Can I Sue for Plastic Surgery?

Can I Sue for Plastic Surgery?

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Can I Sue for Plastic Surgery?

Each year, cosmetic surgery becomes increasingly more popular. In fact, reports indicate that nearly 15 million cosmetic surgeries take place annually in the United States alone. About 92% of these cosmetic patients are women, and the majority are between the ages of 40 and 54. 

While most cosmetic surgeries are minimally invasive, it’s possible to experience unintended consequences no matter the scope and size of a surgery. If you have fallen victim to a failed cosmetic procedure, you may wonder, “Can I sue for plastic surgery?” 

The answer to this question will depend on a variety of conditions and factors in your case. Fortunately, Morgan & Morgan has extensive experience in this field of law and can answer your many questions. Hop on our website and fill out our easy-to-use online form to schedule your free case evaluation.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Before diving deeper into the topic of failed plastic surgery, we must first cover an umbrella term. Medical malpractice refers to any act by a physician that deviates from normal practice and results in quantifiable harm. 

Some of the more common examples of medical malpractice include:

  • Failing to diagnose a patient
  • Misdiagnosing a patient
  • Misreading or entirely ignoring a patient’s test results
  • Failing to order testing or recognize symptoms
  • Disregarding the patient’s medical history
  • Discharging a patient from care prematurely
  • Providing poor after-care or inadequate follow-ups for a patient
  • Performing unnecessary surgery 
  • Making surgical errors
  • Prescribing improper doses of medications

These are just a few of the most common types of medical malpractice lawsuits. But the truth is that medical malpractice can take many shapes and forms, including failed plastic surgery. 

So in answer to the question, “Can I sue for plastic surgery?” you may be able to say yes. However, multiple factors will impact your legal position. For example, you must be able to prove that the following conditions existed:

The Physician or Clinic Violated the Standard of Care

Not every illness is treatable, and not every bad outcome is avoidable. If, however, you can prove that the standard of care is higher than what you received, you may have a case. Essentially, you can prove negligence by establishing that another reasonable physician would have behaved differently. 

This Violation Caused an Injury

Once you have proven that an avoidable mistake was made, you must then prove that the mistake caused a serious injury. If you are not sure about this area of your case, it may be time to speak with a lawyer about your experience.

The Injury Resulted in Serious Damages

Remember that medical malpractice lawsuits can be very expensive for each party involved. If the damages you experienced were minimal, you might not have a good case. 

It may not be worth filing a lawsuit If you can’t prove that your damages were substantial. In that case, it may be best to explore other options. The best way to know whether it is worth it to file a lawsuit is to consult an attorney.

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  • When Is Failed Plastic Surgery Considered to Be Malpractice?

    Now that you know more about medical malpractice, you should learn more about how failed plastic surgery might fall into that category of law. While cosmetic surgery is generally considered elective surgery, that doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to the same level of care as any other patient.

    Can I sue for plastic surgery? If the surgeon or the clinic made a mistake that has caused you serious harm, filing a lawsuit could be the best option. After surgery, you might consider a medical malpractice claim if you experience the following:

    • Disfigurement
    • Paralysis
    • Excessive bruising
    • Allergic reactions
    • Scarring
    • Excessive bleeding
    • Damage to your skin, tissue, or nerves
    • Post-op infections

    Again, not all of these conditions will qualify for a medical malpractice lawsuit. But if you think you may be eligible, it’s worth a call to an attorney. 

  • What Are the Common Examples of Failed Plastic Surgery?

    A plastic surgeon may paint a pretty picture for you. After all, who wouldn’t love to fix their blemishes or improve the things they don’t like about their bodies?

    Fortunately, most of these surgeries are considered successful. But if you are one of the unlucky few to experience a complication, you may find yourself in a dark and vulnerable place. 

    Here are a few examples of how failed plastic surgery can result in a medical malpractice lawsuit:

    • Hematomas, or large and painful blood pockets, are sometimes experienced after breast augmentation or a facelift
    • Infections are always a post-surgery risk but are even more common in post-breast augmentation patients
    • Nerve damage is usually temporary after plastic surgery but may sometimes be permanent
    • Organ damage is a possible side effect, especially after liposuction
    • Complications to anesthesia can cause lung infections, heart attacks, strokes, and even death
    • If you believe that your plastic surgery has resulted in one of these side effects, call a lawyer immediately.
  • What Factors Affect My Ability to Sue?

    We already mentioned that medical malpractice lawsuits depend upon your ability to prove that the standard of care was not met. But there are a few other factors that can impact your ability to file a lawsuit. 

    Can I Sue for Plastic Surgery if I Signed a Waiver?

    Because cosmetic surgery is usually voluntary, you are often required to sign a waiver before undergoing surgery. Naturally, this can complicate your ability to file a medical malpractice lawsuit down the road. 

    If you did sign a waiver acknowledging the risks of surgery, you might still be able to file a lawsuit. But you will need the help of a qualified attorney.

    Can I Sue for Plastic Surgery if I Lost Some of My Documentation?

    The success of your lawsuit will hinge on the amount and quality of evidence you are able to provide. If you can provide your attorney with copies of the waiver, your medical records, and your medical bills, you will have a more solid footing from which to build your case.

    How Long After the Procedure Can I Sue for Plastic Surgery?

    In most states, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is two years from the date of injury. So if you have missed that window, you may have missed your chance. However, it is worth a call to an attorney to discuss the specifics of your case as well as your state’s statute of limitations.

  • What Type of Compensation Am I Entitled To?

    In the U.S., the average medical malpractice lawsuit settles for over $200,000. But that does not mean you should expect to obtain such a large sum. 

    There are a number of factors that will impact the final amount of your settlement. Details like your ongoing pain and suffering, your ability to continue working, and the additional medical bills you have accumulated because of the injury will all play a role.

  • What Kinds of Challenges Could My Case Face?

    You might believe that your claim is valid, and your attorney might agree, but there is no denying that plastic surgery lawsuits are inherently difficult to win. Below are a few of the challenges you can expect to face:

    The Surgery Was Elective

    If the physician or clinic refuses to settle, your case will be presented in court and in front of a jury. This is where the elective nature of your surgery can take its toll.

    Unfortunately, jury members tend not to blame the physician when an accident occurs during elective surgery. Even if you win your case, you may end up with lower damages than you might otherwise expect.

    Jurors May Be Biased

    Jurors have been known to view the victims of failed plastic surgery unfairly as vain, lazy, or spoiled. In an ideal world, these kinds of biases would have no place in the courtroom. But because of human nature, it can throw a wrench into your legal plans and is something you should be aware of.

    Of course, these biases should not prevent you from filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. But they can make the road more difficult, so you should discuss them with your attorney.

  • How Common Are Failed Plastic Surgeries?

    Of the 15 million cosmetic surgeries that occur each year, about 1% go wrong. So if you find yourself in this situation, you aren’t alone! More than 100,000 other Americans have experienced something similar in the past year.
     

  • Do I Need a Lawyer to Sue for Medical Malpractice?

    Technically, you can file a lawsuit without the help of an attorney. But it is strongly recommended that you obtain legal counsel before filing. These cases can be extremely complicated and costly, so you’ll want an attorney to keep things as straightforward as possible.

  • How Much Will I Owe a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?

    At Morgan & Morgan, the fee is always free! In other words, you won’t owe us anything until we’ve won your case.

  • Are There Non-Legal Options Available for Handling My Botched Surgery?

    If you’re not ready to pursue a lawsuit, you may wonder if there are other ways to handle a failed plastic surgery. Below, we’ve outlined a few steps you might take before deciding to file a lawsuit:

    1. Speak with the surgeon about your unfavorable side effects.
    2. Give yourself time to heal and reflect before making a decision to file a lawsuit.
    3. Consider a follow-up procedure and ask if the surgeon would be willing to amend the problem free of charge.
    4. Get a second opinion.
    5. Contact the state medical board to report inappropriate or negligent behavior.

    If your surgeon is unwilling to discuss the problem or provide a reasonable solution, it may be time to file a lawsuit. At the very least, you should contact an attorney to get a third-party opinion on the matter.

  • Call Morgan & Morgan to Learn More

    If you believe you may have a medical malpractice lawsuit on your hands, don’t wait. Fill out our convenient form to schedule a free case evaluation to further discuss the specifics of your case. 

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