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Beauty parlour syndrome

Some of you may have read in the papers yesterday, about the dramatic end to a haircut suffered by Dave Tyler, the businessman who visited his local salon only to collapse two days later having suffered a stroke thanks to having his hair was washed in the salon. 

Dave has now received £90,000 in compensation, after making a personal injury claim against the salon.  It is believed that when he was bent backwards over a basin to wash his hair, his neck was over-extended, causing damage to an artery.  The artery caused a blood clot which burst  in his brain two days later, leading to the stroke. 

The incident is known as vertebrobasilar insufficiency, or ‘beauty parlour syndrome’ and, whilst rare, it can have a devastating effect on its victims.  Dave has been told he will never drive again because he now suffers from blurred vision, and is unable to pursue his hobby of dinghy sailing with his wife and daughters.  The injury will also undoubtedly have an effect on Dave’s ability to work in the future, thanks to symptoms such as his blurred vision. 

Sustaining a life-changing injury is just about the last thing you’d expect to happen when doing something as routine as attending a hairdressing appointment, so the idea of making a claim for compensation isn’t likely to be amongst the first things to cross your mind, or that of your loved ones.  That said, it can often be precisely at these times that making a compensation claim can be vital.  Remember, the goal of a personal injury claim is to put the injured party back in the position they had been in prior to the accident, or at least as close as possible.  In the case of Dave’s injury, his final compensation award will no doubt have taken into account the impact his stroke has had on his career, as well as restricting things he was previously able to do without restriction, such as drive a car. 

Often, cases such as Dave’s are reported in the papers purely because of their rarity – nobody would really assume that they’d visit a hairdresser and suffer a stroke two days later – and provide some interesting watercooler conversations for the workplace.  But being aware of your rights in such situations is vital in the instance you or a loved one is in a similar position.  Remember, you are entitled to make a personal injury claim whenever you feel that you’ve been the victim of another party’s negligent actions, regardless of the circumstances.  My colleagues and I have seen some very unusual injuries arise from both everyday and out of the ordinary circumstances and we deal with each in exactly the same manner; knuckling down to get our clients the compensation they deserve. 

If you’re in a situation where you think you may be entitled to claim compensation, but are not sure, it’s always worth giving the professionals a call, to get their opinion.  My colleagues and I are always happy to have a no-obligation chat with people, to help them understand what they’re entitled to do, and whether or not they have a valid claim.  You can contact me on 0800 054 6570 or gordon.cartwright@jmw.co.uk .  I look forward to chatting with you.  

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