Injury and Scarring – how camouflage may help
This brief overview of skin camouflage expert witness reports in the context of litigation was written by Babs Forman, skin camouflage expert and founder of Skin Confident Ltd. For more information on her skin camouflage or expert witness work, please contact Babs on 07561270971 or firstname.lastname@example.org. See www.skinconfident.uk for more information.
What is the point of a Skin Camouflage Expert Witness Report, and can it help your clients?
1. How does skin camouflage work?
Skin Camouflage is the application of specialist camouflage product to areas of skin suffering from any kind of discolouration in order to lessen its visual impact. Akin to cosmetic products, camouflage creams are highly pigmented and formulated to be long-lasting and waterproof when applied correctly. They were initially conceived for soldiers injured during the wars and are thus designed to tackle even very significant damage to the skin without looking like make-up.
Typically, pigmentation is the result of scarring, birthmarks, vitiligo, acne, rosacea or psoriasis – however, anything and everything that results in an area of skin looking different in colour can be addressed. In the context of litigation, it is most often scarring that is addressed by skin camouflage, whether as a result of personal injury or surgery.
2. What does a skin camouflage expert witness report do?
A Skin Camouflage Expert Witness Report sets out for the judge the skin camouflage practitioner’s recommendations as to what products and accessories the client needs to be able to cover his scars, and at what rate those items would need replacing. It is drafted on the basis of at least one in-person consultation with the client and goes towards quantum. On the basis of the report’s recommendations it will be possible to quantify future financial loss in respect of skin camouflage.
3. So Now we know the basics – is it worth it?
There are two equally important benefits I see to instructing a skin camouflage expert witness report:
1. It Can Increase the Amount of Compensation Awarded to Your Client
In purely financial terms, skin camouflage is an additional head of claim and it is one that is easily overlooked. Although each individual product itself is not particularly expensive, each client is likely to require a number of products in conjunction to get a good result, as well as specialist tools and brushes. Since scarring is also not likely to fade significantly over time it is likely that the costs will remain constant for the client’s whole life for the rest of their life. Applying the relevant multipliers to the cost of camouflage can therefore often lead to sums most definitely worth including in your case.
The fact that the Defendant often instructs a second skin camouflage expert to challenge the amounts suggested by the Claimant’s expert suggests that significant numbers are at play. It is also evidence for the fact that that there is room for difference of opinion regarding the products recommended and their rate of replacement. A good skin camouflage practitioner will set out the assumptions on which their findings are based and explain the reasoning behind their recommendations so that they are less easy to challenge.
2. It Can Help Your Client Rebuild Self-Esteem
In my view, a good personal injury lawyer is one who truly wants to help their client on their road to recovery. And that may be a lot more valuable to the client than any monetary compensation.
For some of your clients the after-effects of their injuries may be as upsetting as the original injuries themselves. I often see a total loss of self-esteem and a hatred for one’s own body that can lead to phobias or an unwillingness to participate in life fully. Skin camouflage can have a hugely empowering effect on peoples’ lives by giving them the ability to expertly conceal whatever it is about their appearance that upsets them and to live life as they would previously have done: go to the gym, go swimming, wear summer clothing, all without fear of other peoples’ reactions and without the visual reminder to themselves.
To sum up, the cost of instructing a skin camouflage expert witness report can be reclaimed many times over not only in real monetary terms, but also in terms of the positive impact on a client’s wellbeing. Who knows…..recommending skin camouflage in appropriate cases may just be the little extra that wins your client’s heart, and marks you out as a lawyer who really cares.