Claim Plastic Surgery Compensation
This article explains when it is possible to claim plastic surgery compensation, the process involved, how compensation amounts are calculated and some of steps that must be taken in order to maximise the probability of a compensation claim for a plastic surgery error being successful.
Although making a plastic surgery compensation claim can be straightforward, there are many potential problems which can arise at various stages in the claims process. Claiming compensation for a plastic surgery error tends to be more complex than other types of personal injury claims, as the right to take legal action depends on whether a plastic surgeon has been negligent – and this is not always easy to establish.
The outcome of a particular procedure cannot be predicted with absolute certainty, and while many cosmetic surgical procedures produce excellent results there can be no guarantee of success. While it may not always be possible to claim for plastic surgery gone wrong or for undesirable results, it is usually possible to claim compensation for an error by a plastic surgeon if this can be proven.
Plastic Surgery and Medical Negligence
Regardless of the outcome of a surgical procedure or the severity of the injuries or disfigurement suffered, it is only possible to claim plastic surgery compensation if the surgeon has been negligent. It is not just during surgery that a surgeon can be negligent, and compensation for an error by a plastic surgeon can be claimed for a mistake during the initial consultation or for a failure to take sufficient care of the patient after surgery.
Many patients agree to have a procedure completed on the understanding that the health risks associated with the treatment are minor and only occur very rarely. While this is usually true, a surgeon may be deemed to be negligent for misleading a patient about the probability of success, or for glossing over potential complications that can arise which would certainly give a patient grounds to make a claim for plastic surgery gone wrong.
A compensation claim for a plastic surgery error can also be made if a mistake was made by a surgeon that caused a patient to come to harm, suffer preventable medical complications or if it resulted in a serious disfigurement being suffered. Whether a plastic surgery compensation claim will be worthwhile pursuing will depend on the extent of the injury caused and the consequences to the patient.
To find out if you have a valid claim for plastic surgery gone wrong, and whether a surgeon has been negligent under the circumstances, you should consult a specialist medical negligence solicitor. Your case will be assessed, potential compensation amounts calculated and you will be given legal advice about your options.
Complications with Plastic Surgery
One of the most contested aspects of compensation for an error by a plastic surgeon is when a patient has suffered medical complications during or after surgery. Although it is possible to claim plastic surgery compensation for almost any complications suffered under certain circumstances, a plastic surgery compensation claim will only be successful if it can be established and proven that the complications would not have been suffered if a reasonable level of care had been taken during the operation.
Medical complications are difficult to predict and can even arise when highly skilled cosmetic surgeons perform operations. Health problems suffered by a patient undergoing plastic surgery do not necessarily constitute negligence and, if health problems were not reasonably preventable or predictable under the circumstances, a claim for plastic surgery gone wrong is unlikely to be possible.
The test which must be conducted by a medical negligence solicitor – assisted by an independent plastic surgeon – before the right to claim compensation for a plastic surgery error can be confirmed is whether, under the same set of circumstances, a reasonably competent and skilled plastic surgeon would have taken a different course of action which would have prevented a patient from coming to harm. If no plastic surgeon could have reacted differently or avoided a patient being harmed, a compensation claim for a plastic surgery error cannot be made, as the complications would not be deemed to have developed as a consequence of negligence.
The Process of Claiming for a Surgical Error During Plastic Surgery
The process of making a compensation claim for a plastic surgery error differs from standard personal injury claims. The Injuries Board will not agree to assess claims for compensation for an error by a plastic surgeon, as it is beyond its remit to become involved in claims involving negligence by a medical professional. While this is currently under review and a ‘Medical Injuries Board’ may be established in the future; at present it is necessary to use a medical negligence solicitor to assess compensation amounts in a plastic surgery compensation claim.
It is also necessary for a claim for plastic surgery gone wrong to be independently reviewed by an expert plastic surgeon – or other qualified medical professional – before it can be made, as medical negligence can only be confirmed by a medical expert. Once a case has been fully investigated and negligence confirmed, the case should proceed in a similar fashion to standard injury claims. However, liability is rarely accepted by plastic surgeons or their insurance companies, so it is usually necessary to recover compensation for a plastic surgery error by litigating the claim.
When there is substantial evidence proving medical negligence it may not be necessary to claim plastic surgery compensation through the courts, and settlements can be agreed without litigation. Should this be possible, a solicitor will attempt to obtain an appropriate ‘out-of-court’ settlement through direct negotiation with the plastic surgeon’s insurance company.
When is it Possible to Claim for a Breast Implant Surgery Error?
Breast implant surgery is one of the most common cosmetic surgical procedures performed on patients, and advances in materials technology has seen many of the common problems with implants from yesteryear drastically reduced. The rupture of implants can still occur, although this is now most commonly associated with errors made by the surgeon when fitting the implants. It is now far more common for compensation for an error by a plastic surgeon to be claimed against the surgeon, rather than product liability claims being against implant manufacturers.
A compensation claim for a plastic surgery error during breast augmentation can be made for undesirable results such as rippling of implants, and it is also possible to claim plastic surgery compensation for poorly positioned implants resulting in uneven breasts, excessive – or highly visible – scarring, loss of sensitivity in the nipples and poor management of complications from surgery; such as capsular contraction.
Compensation for a plastic surgery error during breast augmentation is frequently claimed for complications during surgery which are not specific to the fitting of implants, including – but not exclusive to – anaesthesia errors, infections, excessive bleeding and haematomas. Making a plastic surgery compensation claim on these grounds can be complicated, as it must be established that a health problem resulted from negligence of the surgeon and ‘on the balance of probabilities’ would not have been suffered had a reasonably competent surgeon performed the operation.
Although a claim for plastic surgery gone wrong is usually made on the grounds of medical negligence, it may also be possible for compensation to be recovered when there has been a breach of contract; although this must be discussed with a solicitor and is beyond the scope of this article.
When Can Compensation for a Liposuction Surgery Error be Claimed?
A number of complications can occur with liposuction which can form the basis of a plastic surgery compensation claim. While the procedure is usually safe, when it is performed inexpertly there is considerable potential for damage to be caused to the skin, internal organs and the nerves. Since plastic surgery is broadly unregulated, and any doctor can offer liposuction treatments, errors are all too frequently made due to a lack of appropriate training and experience.
Typically a compensation claim for a plastic surgery error during liposuction is made when a plastic surgeon or doctor removes excessive amounts of fat in a single operation – from single or multiple sites – or when the now outdated technique of Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction (UAL) is performed; which has much higher potential to cause damage to internal organs, bleeding, skin burns and severe scarring.
It is possible in some cases to claim plastic surgery compensation for unfavourable results, although scarring, bumpy skin, bruising and temporary loss of sensation are all risks associated with the procedure which should have been explained by the surgeon before treatment commenced. Injuries such as these can only be included in a claim for plastic surgery gone wrong if they have been suffered to an excessive degree.
H3: Amount of Compensation for a Liposuction Error
Even when two patients claim plastic surgery compensation for highly similar liposuction injuries, the amount of compensation for an error by a plastic surgeon can vary substantially. There is no fixed amount of compensation for a plastic surgery error, and the level of damages will depend on the individual circumstances of each case.
Damages in a plastic surgery compensation claim are split into two separate categories, one dealing with financial elements such as costs and expenses incurred – termed special damages – and general damages which covers pain, suffering and loss of amenity. Loss of amenity in a claim for plastic surgery gone wrong is concerned with deterioration in quality of life and loss of opportunity due to an injury.
It is possible to claim the cost of corrective surgery to remedy a mistake by a plastic surgeon when a compensation claim for a plastic surgery error is made, in addition to any other medical treatment costs which have to be covered as a direct consequence of negligence by a plastic surgeon.
Excessive Scarring After Plastic Surgery Compensation
Although it is certainly possible to claim plastic surgery compensation for excessive scarring after a cosmetic surgery procedure, some degree of scarring should be expected as there is always potential for scars to form when a surgeon makes a cut in the skin. The healing response of patients is highly variable, and wounds may heal very quickly or can up take 18 months or more before the visibility of scars starts to reduce. It may therefore be necessary to delay a compensation claim for a plastic surgery error due to scarring to see if visibility of the scars reduces over time.
When a solicitor investigates excessive scarring injuries to determine whether a plastic surgery compensation claim is possible, an expert plastic surgeon will be consulted to establish if a procedure was performed incorrectly, if the positioning of the cuts was negligent and – as far as is possible – an assessment of the permanency of the scars will be made. You may be required to wait for this assessment to be completed before your eligibility to make a claim for plastic surgery gone wrong is confirmed, and certainly before the amount of compensation for a plastic surgery error can be accurately calculated.
Compensation for Nose Reshaping Plastic Surgery Gone Wrong
Due to the complex nature of nose reshaping plastic surgery, there are many complications which can occur – some of which can form the basis of a plastic surgery compensation claim. Provided that the surgeon has been negligent, and this can be proven ‘on the balance of probabilities’, it should be possible to claim plastic surgery compensation for nose reshaping plastic surgery gone wrong.
You are likely to qualify to make a claim for compensation for a plastic surgery error that caused an eye injury, loss of the sense of smell, haematomas, excessive bleeding, breathing difficulties, infections and excessive or highly visible scarring. A claim for plastic surgery gone wrong can also be made if the surgeon has displayed poor professional performance resulting in a highly unsatisfactory outcome involving clearly visible contour irregularities, extruding implants, a retracted columella or for asymmetry.
Claim for a Problem with a Face Lift Gone Wrong
When a face lift goes wrong it can have serious consequences for a patient and, while it may not result in pain and discomfort, it still has potential to cause substantial suffering. Due to the high visibility of surgical errors during face lift operations, there is a considerable potential for psychological problems such as depression and anxiety, as well as affecting self esteem and self confidence. It is possible for patients to claim plastic surgery compensation for mental health issues provided they have been diagnosed by a doctor; although a plastic surgery compensation claim made for psychological problems alone may be particularly difficult to justify.
A claim for plastic surgery gone wrong can be made to recover compensation for an error by a plastic surgeon, for preventable medical complications, a lack of care taken by the surgeon and for a failure to provide sufficient post-operative care. It is not possible to claim compensation for a plastic surgery error which could not have been prevented under the circumstances and neither if the surgery only produced reasonably good results.
If you have suffered slippage, sagging skin, badly positioned incisions, excessive scarring or asymmetry, it is important that you speak with a medical negligence solicitor to discuss making a compensation claim for a plastic surgery error, as these problems are frequently caused by negligence of a surgeon.
Compensation for Facial Scar Revision Surgery Gone Wrong
Facial scar revision is usually a safe procedure but there is no guarantee that the visibility of the scars will be substantially reduced. It is therefore unlikely that you will be able to make a plastic surgery compensation claim if the procedure has simply not worked or if the desired results have not been achieved – although you can claim plastic surgery compensation if the risks were not explained to you or if you were mislead by the surgeon about the probable outcome.
Typically it can take some time after surgery before it can be established how successful a procedure has been, and time must be allowed for the healing process to take place. As a result, a claim for plastic surgery gone wrong must usually be delayed until the seriousness of any complications has been established.
There are many common complications with this type of surgery which can form the basis of a claim for compensation for a plastic surgery error, including excessive bleeding, infections, allergic reactions to chemicals, chemical or laser burns from inexpertly conducted procedures, haematomas and blood clots that are not identified or treated. If the surgeon has been negligent and has make a mistake which has caused the worsening of the scar, compensation for an error by a plastic surgeon can usually be recovered.
How to Start a Plastic Surgery Compensation Claim
Due to the number of complications that can arise with plastic and cosmetic surgery, it is not possible to list every possible scenario under which compensation for an error by a plastic surgeon can be claimed. There also many factors which must be considered before negligence can be established, which may have the potential to affect both the right to make a plastic surgery compensation claim and the amount of compensation that can be recovered.
If you would like to establish whether you may be eligible to claim plastic surgery compensation, you should contact a specialist medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible. Once you have discussed the circumstances of your plastic surgery experience, if a justifiable claim for plastic surgery compensation is likely, you will be given important legal advice in relation to you specific personal situation about how to start the claims process and the steps that can be taken to maximise the probability of your compensation claim for a plastic surgery error being successful.