Cosmetic surgery is an increasingly popular choice for Australians, thousands of whom choose to go under the knife every year. Naturally, each patient chooses to undergo plastic surgery with a particular end result in mind.
Unfortunately, in some cases, the outcome can be vastly different. Read on to learn more about the steps you will need to take if you’re seeking plastic surgery compensation.
What is Malpractice in Cosmetic Surgery?
To hear the phrase ‘cosmetic surgery gone wrong’ is the worst nightmare of many patients who go into their procedure expecting wonderful results, only to have their situation made worse with botched plastic surgery. Surgical repercussions do not necessarily constitute grounds for legal action. However, if these negative implications are due to suspected medical negligence on the plastic surgeon’s behalf, a medical negligence claim can be considered.
Cosmetic surgery malpractice may involve:
- An unregistered plastic surgeon performing cosmetic surgery
- Nurse anaesthetists being used instead of anesthesiologists
- Performing cosmetic surgery in places outside of hospitals/clinics which do not have the medical equipment required to deal with complications that may arise
- Failure to take the patient’s medical history
- Breaching the patient’s informed consent
How Can You Prove Malpractice?
In order for your medical negligence claim to be successful, you must be able to prove your surgeon owed you a duty of care, breached that duty of care through negligence or failure to act reasonably, and an injury was sustained as a result of the breach.
It is not uncommon for cosmetic surgery to result in unexpected challenges. However, if your plastic surgery has gone wrong and your outcome has worsened your original issue, or resulted in new problems such as scarring, nerve damage, sagging skin, or other poor outcomes, you have a valid reason to believe your surgeon may have been negligent.
Consulting with a plastic surgery compensation lawyer will assist you in finding out if you have a strong case and where to go from there. Many compensation lawyers offer complimentary assessments, so do not waste time if you believe you have a valid reason to make a medical negligence claim.
What Compensation Will You Receive?
Should your case be successful, your plastic surgery compensation may cover a number of expenses such as:
- Medical costs
Current medical bills and future medical expenses associated with your injury may be compensated for.
- Loss of income
You may receive compensation for loss of wages depending on how long you were unable to work and the degree to which your injury affects your ability to work (in the present and future).
- Pain and suffering
Patients who suffer psychological trauma due to medical negligence may be compensated to mitigate the extent of their anguish.
- Wrongful death
If the patient suffers death as a result of the surgeon’s medical malpractice, the patient’s family may be entitled to some amount of compensation.
In cases of medical negligence or failure to act due to malicious intent, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the defendant and deter other practitioners from committing similar offences.
Like many medical negligence claims, there are strict time limits that must be followed. Poor cosmetic surgery outcomes can be difficult to notice immediately after the event, and most new cosmetic surgery complications become evident over a longer period of time.
With this in mind, it is important to consult a plastic surgery compensation lawyer who can advise if you are within the time frame of making a medical negligence claim and if you are not, whether you have a valid reason for exemption.
Filing Your Claim
Your plastic surgery compensation lawyer will assist you in gathering the correct documentation needed to strengthen your medical negligence claim. Compensation lawyers will gather medical information, including copies of all nursing, hospital and surgical notes.
It is also important you write out all the conversations you had with your surgeon before and after surgery. Many cases can involve a lack of informed consent regarding the nature of plastic surgery procedures and the associated risks involved. You may also find that you were not given adequate information about post-surgery care.
If you responded to an advertisement for your surgeon, make a copy of it so that you can prove your surgeon was advertising themselves as a cosmetic surgeon, in the case that they are not specialised as a cosmetic surgeon.
Facing a cosmetic surgery gone wrong is a difficult time for patients, often this can alter their lives for the worse. If you believe your cosmetic surgeon has committed medical malpractice, contact Schreuders today. We can help ensure you receive the plastic surgery compensation you are entitled to.