Medical negligence is something that most people are aware of as a legal issue. However, what a lot of people don’t know is that quite often, elective procedures including cosmetic surgeries can also be included in terms of situations where medical negligence can lead to compensation. Even though most cosmetic procedures are elective, that is, the patient decides to have the procedure purely for their own reasons rather than because they need it for their health, they should still be held to the same standards as any other invasive surgeries, especially given that many of them do require things like general anaesthetic and will, of course, expose the patient to potential infections and other complications should the medical team fail to take care of the patient properly.
So, what actually constitutes a case of medical negligence when a cosmetic surgery procedure is the topic? In actual fact, medical negligence covers a wide range of things and can be invoked even for seemingly minor cosmetic surgery procedures such as permanent eyeliner which is tattooed on, as well as for things like breast augmentation and rhinoplasty. Wherever there is a negative outcome, as a result of the substandard behaviour of anyone involved in the medical procedure, medical negligence can be something that the patient can seek compensation for.
Here we take a look at some of the different types of medical negligence that can occur with cosmetic surgery.
One of the most obvious kinds of medical negligence that can result from cosmetic surgery is an injury. Naturally, sometimes, to perform a given operation there will be cuts or scars. However, when there are things like burns which were not expected as a result of the procedure, or when there is organ injury during more invasive elective cosmetic surgeries, this can mean that the surgery was not performed to the highest standards that the patient believed they were paying for. Equally, medical negligence lawyers can cover those horrible stories you sometimes hear regarding all kinds of surgery, for instance, where surgical implements are left inside the patients’ bodies. These are, of course, much rarer when it comes to cosmetic surgery because most procedures are fairly superficial, however, it is still a concern with the more invasive cosmetic procedures.
When Surgery is Given the Hard Sell
Another time when some people feel that their cosmetic surgeon or team didn’t take proper care of them is where they believe that they were pressured into having the surgery after having a free consultation. Because almost all cosmetic surgery procedures are done on a private basis, there is an incentive for doctors to try to sell the procedure to the patient in order to win clients. This is a natural part of providing this kind of service, but it oversteps the line if the client ends up feeling that they have to agree to go through with a procedure that they’re not entirely sure about due to being pushed by the clinic or doctor that they spoke to. This can be a tricky one for lawyers to work with because what some people may see as pressure others may just see as normal promotion, but if you are certain that you would not have chosen to have the surgery, or would have chosen to have it with a different team had you not been pressured by your eventual surgeon or clinic, then you may have a case.
Results That Were Overpromised
Another time when you may have a case for medical negligence after your cosmetic surgery is if you believe that the results that you would get from the surgery were overpromised. In some cases, surgery doesn’t lead to the absolute best-case results for every patient, and so where things do not necessarily meet your hopes after the procedure, this isn’t necessarily medical malpractice. However, if you were persuaded to have the surgery with promises of certain results that you did not obtain, or you were not given a realistic idea of the kind of results this type of surgery would typically get, then you may have a case to claim for compensation. This can be linked to situations as described above where the patient feels like they were pressured into surgery.
When It Is and Isn’t Medical Negligence
A negative experience during or after surgery isn’t always something you can make medical negligence claims UK for. What defines medical negligence is when there is a link between the behaviours of the people providing your cosmetic surgery and the unwanted outcome or unpleasant experience. This will generally need to be something that you can provide evidence of to your lawyers, in order for them to take on your case.
When you see your lawyers for the first time, be prepared to discuss the full experience that you had with your surgery, from the first pre-surgery consultations through to aftercare, and bring along any records including things like reference photographs of before and after the surgery, if applicable, and any assessments you had done by doctors since the surgery took place.
Do You Have a Case for Medical Negligence Compensation?
If you believe that you have a case for a medical negligence claim, the first thing you need to do is speak to a medical negligence solicitor. For example, The Medical Negligence Experts (who you can find out more about by visiting https://www.the-medical-negligence-experts.co.uk/) offer a free advice line for people who need to talk to an expert, that is available to the public as well as their clients. They will offer a free consultation to assess your case and decide whether or not it is one they want to go ahead with. You can find UK medical negligence solicitors who will work on a no win, no fee basis, and so it is possible to pursue compensation without having to pay for your representation upfront.
You will need to provide your solicitors with any evidence you have of negligence for them to decide whether your case is likely to be worth following. In some cases, the solicitors will need to go away and do their own investigation before making a decision, both on whether or not you are likely to be able to gain compensation and what kind of value of compensation you should be aiming for.
Of course, it can be a good idea to speak to more than one solicitor, and if you feel that a solicitor who has turned down your case was wrong to do so, you can always approach other solicitors with experience in medical malpractice and negligence, to get a second opinion about the potential your case has for receiving compensation.
Moving on From A Bad Cosmetic Surgery Experience
In a lot of cases where medical negligence UK has occurred relating to cosmetic surgery, part of the reason why compensation is required is that further surgery will be needed to correct the situation or because the patient will have ongoing problems as a result of the negligence. If you need to have further surgery or are likely to have long-term issues because of the botched surgery, you will need to talk to your lawyer about the prognosis when establishing how much compensation you believe you should be entitled to.
The standards in cosmetic surgery have been improved quite a lot in recent years, however, medical malpractice is still a problem and if you encounter problems, it is important to seek the compensation you deserve. This not only will help you to move on from the negative experience but will also prompt further improvements in the industry.