As with any type of surgery, there are risks attached to cosmetic surgery and complications sometimes occur. When complications occur that you were not pre-warned about, or that could have been avoided with greater care by your plastic surgeon, it may be possible to claim compensation for complications with cosmetic surgery.
Claims for cosmetic surgery compensation generally follow the same criteria as medical negligence claims. There must have been an injury sustained by the claimant which “at the time and in the circumstances” was avoidable, and due to a poor professional performance by a medical professional. There is one exception to this criteria, and that concerns informed consent which is discussed below.
Also similar to medical negligence claims, claims for cosmetic surgery complications are rarely black and white. There are a number of issues which may affect your eligibility for compensation for complications with cosmetic surgery, and for this reason it is recommended that you speak with a solicitor at the first practical opportunity.
Informed Consent is a Major Issue
One of the biggest issues with claiming compensation for complications with cosmetic surgery is what you may have been told before you gave your consent for the procedure to take place. Before any non-emergency medical procedure, it is important not only that a medical practitioner gets their patient´s consent, but that they get their patient´s “informed consent”.
What this means is, if you were told that complications were a risk of the surgery you were undergoing – and you gave your consent anyway – you will be unable to claim compensation for complications with cosmetic surgery. Alternatively, if you were not advised about the risk of complications, the medical practitioner has not obtained your informed consent prior to conducting the surgery.
In respect of claims for cosmetic surgery complications, the failure of a medical professional to obtain your informed consent will make you eligible to claim compensation for complications with cosmetic surgery even if your injury could not have been avoided “at the time and in the circumstances”. If you do not fully understand this point of law, please ask a solicitor to explain it in greater detail.
Making Claims for Cosmetic Surgery Complications
In order to establish that you suffered an avoidable injury due to your plastic surgeon´s negligence, your solicitor will arrange for you to be examined by an independent medical expert. The independent expert will look for signs of a poor professional performance and compile a report for your solicitor.
If evidence of negligence is identified – or you suffered a known complication without having given your informed consent – your solicitor will send a “Letter of Claim” to the plastic surgeon, advising him or her that you are claiming compensation for complications with cosmetic surgery and inviting him or her to make an offer of settlement.
The settlement of claims for cosmetic surgery complications is based on several factors. The physical pain and suffering you have experienced will be taken into account together with the future pain and suffering you will experience if you have to undergo revision surgery. You will also be compensated for any loss of confidence or emotional trauma you may have suffered due to the complications, and be able to recover any costs you have incurred as a result of the cosmetic surgery having gone wrong.
Further Information about Compensation for Complications with Cosmetic Surgery
It is important to be aware that no two claims for cosmetic surgery complications are the same. Even if the physical complications you suffered were exactly the same as somebody else, the emotional distress and impact that the complications have on your quality of life will be completely unique to you.
In order to provide individual advice about claiming compensation for complications with cosmetic surgery, we have set up a Medical Negligence Advice Bureau that you are invited to call with any legal questions you may have about making claims for cosmetic surgery complications.
Please note that by calling our Medical Negligence Advice Bureau you are under no obligation to proceed with claims for cosmetic surgery complications. The purpose of our service is to explain your options to you in plain English, so that you are able to make an informed decision about whether you have a claim for compensation for complications with cosmetic surgery that may be worth your while to pursue.