Can I sue a Cosmetic Surgeon for Negligence?
A claim against a Cosmetic Surgeon is no different to any other claim made against a medical professional for example a Doctor working for the NHS.
Like any other Doctor, Nurse or medical practitioner, Cosmetic Surgeons have a duty of care to their patients. The duty of care extends to every step of the process, from first evaluation to aftercare.
In addition to the general duty of care owed by the Doctor/Surgeon to the patient, there is also likely to be a contract of service between you the patient, and the hospital or Surgeon undertaking the procedure.
Therefore not only does the Doctor/Surgeon have a duty of care to you in the negligence sense, they may also have a contractual duty to you to perform the surgery with care and skill.
Some forms of medical neglect occur before any cut is ever made. Your Surgeon has a duty to make sure that you aware of any potential side effects or complications, and discuss any alternative procedures that may be better. This is sometimes called informed consent. There should also be a cooling off period between the initial consultation and the procedure; they should not be done on the same day.
Your Surgeon is legally obliged to discuss with you the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ of any cosmetic procedure and allow you time to make an educated decision yourself without any pressure. If you realise later on that you weren’t given this period to decide, the Surgeon could be in breach of the contractual terms and conditions, and you may have the potential to pursue a claim.
Sometimes mistakes are made after the surgery while the patient is recovering. This may include things like failing to act on an infection. While contracting an infection may not be as a result of any negligence or malpractice, failure to notice the signs can constitute such.
What kind of complications can arise?
Some of the most commonly undertaken procedures are the ones most likely to produce complications. This includes reduction surgery such as tummy tucks or rhinoplasty, as well as breast augmentation, cosmetic Dentistry and liposuction.
All surgery has some form of risk, but medical negligence is different — it applies to poor standards of surgery, defective implants or tools and damage to nerves, arteries and organs. If you have made an informed decision about surgery and something goes wrong due to improper procedures or mistakes, the burden is upon the professional to show that they have procedures in place to minimise the risk to the patient.
Improper aftercare is also a form of negligence, so if you weren’t given proper instructions on how to treat your wounds you may have a claim.
Whilst being unhappy with the results of the surgery is not necessarily the same as having been a victim of medical negligence, our Solicitors are happy to discuss the facts of your case with you to see if we think you have a claim. All surgeries come with inherent risks, meaning that things can happen which make the surgery unsuccessful or not as successful as you would have hoped. If however you are unsure about this, it’s always worth contacting one of our Solicitors to discuss your concerns and any potential claim.
How could it affect me?
Incidences of Negligence in Cosmetic Surgery often doesn’t affect health in any kind of serious way; patients are normally disappointed with the cosmetic result post-surgery. However there are instances where the surgery/procedure can cause harm, injury and sometimes long term damage. An unnoticed infection left to spread could cause the loss of limbs, or nerve damage could affect the patient’s movement for the rest of their lives. However cosmetic damage is a legitimate cause for concern as you could be left badly scarred, having to take out corrective procedures.
It is much more difficult to quantify the psychological damage you may have suffered. For instance, the negligence may not prevent you from physically working but severe scarring could prevent you psychologically from going to work and being seen.
Luckily, many medical negligence cases are simple to prove. But if your case is complex and may require the testimony of medical professionals, it could take some time.
Making a Claim
With Been Let Down as your Solicitors it’s easy to find out if you may be entitled to compensation. Our friendly Solicitors will discuss your claim with you free of charge. Just contact us using the freephone telephone or via the simple initial contact claim form on our website. You will be called back promptly by one of our highly experienced Solicitors to discuss your situation further.
Unlike other legal firms, you will be able to discuss your claim with a qualified Solicitor, not just a call centre employee or unqualified person. All initial consultations will of course be free and at no obligation to you. We will listen sensitively to the details of your claim, and if we decide that you have a good case of negligence, with a reasonable chance of success, then we most likely offer to pursue your claim for you on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis.
It’s best not to delay in getting the advice you need as all cosmetic surgery negligence claims have time limits in which proceedings must be commenced. You have nothing to lose in contacting us; all calls are no obligation. Contact us today and find out if you can claim for compensation.