Scalp burned in botched salon visit...

by Jay
(Raleigh, NC)

What I requested:

1) A relaxer,
2) demi-color (black or dark brown) to cover my grey roots, and
3) a trim of my mid-back length hair.

What I got:

1) Second degree chemical burns on my scalp from the relaxer. Although I informed the beautician that my scalp was burning and to rinse it off, she replied, "Just a few more minutes," and kept it on longer. I have medical bills to verify.

2) Wrong color used. I now have orange roots instead of black/dark brown as requested. I voiced concern prior to the beautician applying color, "Isn't that color going to be too light to cover my gray?" She replied, "It looks lighter in the bottle than on the hair. You'll like it, you'll see."

3)Hair butchered. "Cut" four inches shorter on one side than the other. I have photos of the burns, wrong hair color, and extremely uneven hair cut.

The website says that beautician specializes in relaxers and color. I attempted to make the beautician aware of all of these issues and my extreme dissatisfaction. She is very belligerent, argumentative and unprofessional.

She refuses to correct any of theses errors that she has created, unless she is paid additional money. "I don't do no free hair!" She then hangs the phone up in my face. What's worse is the salon's website states, "We guarantee 100% customer satisfaction."

What recourse of action do I have as a very dissatisfied customer? Is this grounds for a small claims suit? Do they have to pay for medical bills? Thanks for any information you can provide.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Scalp burned in botched salon visit...":

Jay (Raleigh, NC):

The first question is how you know you sustained 2nd degree burns. Second degree burns are quite serious and require immediate medical treatment. If you sustained 2nd degree burns, you must have medical records supporting your treatment at a hospital or medical clinic.

If you diagnosed yourself, you will have a difficult time proving you actually sustained 2nd degree burns. If you have medical proof, that will help in pursuit of a personal injury claim against the salon owner.

If you do have medical proof confirming you sustained 2nd degree burns, you will need an experienced personal injury attorney to pursue your case. There is just too much to lose in a serious burn case. Without an attorney, you will have little or no leverage with the salon owner. You can complain all you want, but if the salon owner refuses to compensate you, then you are pretty much at a loss.

With second degree burns and a good personal injury attorney you will be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, out-of-pocket expense (for such items as medications, bandages, etc.), lost wages, and for your pain and suffering.

Gather your medical records, medical bills, receipts for expenses, and a letter from your employer verifying any wages you may have lost during your treatment and recovery. Bring them with you when you visit with several injury attorneys. The attorneys will review the documents, and explain how your personal injury case will proceed.

In the event you do not have medical proof of second degree burns, your only recourse will be to file a lawsuit in small claims court. Read these articles about small claims court.

The maximum amount, you can sue for in North Carolina small claims courts is between $5,000 and $10,000 dollars, depending on local rules.

If you do file a lawsuit in small claims court you may be entitled to reimbursement for the costs of treatment. North Carolina Small Claims Courts do not allow a plaintiff to seek compensation for pain and suffering.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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