Why Has The Medical Expert Recommended That I See A Cosmetic/Skin Camouflage Expert?
Personal injury claims can involve several types of injuries. From whiplash type injuries to fractures to burns and scars. In personal injury cases which involve injuries such as burns or scars, a medico-legal expert such as a Plastic Surgeon will be instructed to comment on the injuries suffered and provide an opinion on diagnosis and prognosis.
Instructing a Suitable Medical Expert
As a Personal Injury Lawyer with over 8 years’ experience I deal with many claims which involve burn injury and scars. In such cases I instruct a Consultant Plastic Surgeon to offer an appointment to my client for a medical examination, which requires my client to attend a face to face appointment. My client is given the opportunity to tell the medical expert the circumstances of their accident and the injuries they have suffered and the impact the injuries has had on their day to day life. The medical expert will carry out an examination of the injuries and detail their findings in a medical report which will include their opinion on diagnosis and prognosis and any recommendations for treatment.
Such recommendations for treatment could involve laser therapy, steroids and surgery. In many cases such treatments are not suitable as the scarring or the hyperpigmentation from the burn injury may be permanent and surgery is unlikely to provide any benefit but may cause more harm. In these situations the medical expert may advise for the client to be seen by a cosmetic or skin camouflage expert to provide an opinion, education, products such as creams and powders and costings to conceal the scarring or hyperpigmentation.
I am currently instructed by a client who suffered a superficial partial thickness burn as a result of an accident at work. In this case the Consultant Plastic Surgeon recommended for my client to be seen by a cosmetic camouflage expert as the hyperpigmentation will fade over time but remain permanent and surgery is not suitable as it could make the scar look worse.
Cosmetic/Skin Camouflage Expert
A cosmetic/skin camouflage expert is usually then instructed to offer an appointment and advise on the following:
- Whether skin camouflage is likely to be appropriate and effective to conceal the Claimant’s scars
- Skin camouflage recommendations and directions for use
- Rate of replacements of the products
- Costings for the products
- Sourcing the products
Understandably my client was not too keen to use camouflage make up on a regular basis and questioned the need to see a cosmetic camouflage expert. I advised my client that it would be in their best interest to see a camouflage expert prior to the settlement of their claim as they may change their mind in the long term about the use of camouflage products. Furthermore it is important to include all costs arising from any recommended products as part of the claim for losses and expenses. This is because if a claim is settled without seeing a camouflage expert, a client cannot come back at a later date and ask for more money, nor could they ask for their case to be re-opened.
For injuries involving scars and hyperpigmentation that are permanent and cannot be improved by surgery or other forms of treatment, camouflage make up can minimise the appearance of any scars which cause upset or concern.
Time Limit for Bringing a Personal Injury claim
The time period for bringing a claim for personal injury is 3 years from the date of the accident. It is important to bring a claim, including all associated losses and expenses, before the expiry of the 3 year period otherwise your claim will be statute barred.