First things first, just because you do not like the results, does not mean you can file a lawsuit. Cosmetic surgery is generally voluntary and complicated, and may not always yield the desired results. However that is not an adequate reason to label the surgery harmful and commence a cosmetic surgery lawsuit on that basis.
There is a lot to be understood when it comes to cosmetic injury lawsuits. Here we attempt to shed light on the most important aspects.
What Constitutes Cosmetic Surgery?
Cosmetic surgery is a type of reconstructive strategy on the skin or flesh. While some plastic surgeries are essential to repair serious injuries and restore damaged body parts, there are few who opt for cosmetic surgery as a voluntary medical treatment to enhance body image.
The elective nature of this surgery, is what makes it a difficult litigation scenario. Health insurers rarely pay for cosmetic surgery.
Botox, liposuction, breast augmentation and reduction, hair transplant, lip plumping, face lift, tummy tuck and skin repair are the most common types of cosmetic surgery.
When Can You File Cosmetic Injury Lawsuits?
Negligence and surgical errors are the main criteria to file cosmetic injury lawsuit. But the question is how do you determine these? When any of the following factors are experienced in your cosmetic surgery, it indicates malpractice and you become eligible to file a cosmetic surgery lawsuit.
Unskilled or Inadequate Surgeons
Like any other surgery, doctors and surgeons performing cosmetic surgery must display a high degree of skill and competency. If the doctor does not show that level of efficiency,expertise, and cautiousness in the procedure, it can be stated that the treatment did not meet medical standards.
If the operating surgeon is found to be without adequate experience or certification, it does make your case stronger. However, it is always recommended to verify the credentials and qualifications of an individual before you agree to be operated on by him.
With no health insurance involvement, many inadequately qualified surgeons also get into the business of cosmetic surgeries and often end up causing serious injury to the patients.
While it is true that a board certified and well qualified doctor will make you feel safer, it does not guarantee that your surgical procedure will go scar free, pun intended. Malpractice claims involving post surgery infections are very common. Anesthesia or drug injection gone wrong can also seriously complicate matters for you.
There is certain amount of inherent danger in cosmetic surgery procedures. But they only get catapulted when administered incorrectly. Numbing of the organ, scarring, discoloration, injury to nerves and muscles are some of the most dangerous outcomes of operational errors during cosmetic surgery.
Sometimes inappropriate surgical procedures cause wounds that lead to much pain, and may take really long to heal.
We have already discussed above that cosmetic surgery does come with certain dangers and scope for aberrations. However if your doctor fails to notify you of the dangers associated with your particular case, or does not disclose the likelihood of their occurrences in your case, you stand in a position to sue him.
What Makes Cosmetic Surgery Lawsuits Difficult?
Don’t be fooled by the easy flow of information above. Don’t believe that injustice has been meted out to you. You have been exploited for your money, and so justice, claims and compensation will be yours. If only it was that easy! Winning a lawsuit is particularly challenging for the following reasons.
The Surgery Was Not Necessary
The problem with an elective surgery is that most people believe that it was not needed, including your jury. Looking better or image enhancement never really acquires any serious significance for most people. Consequently your jury will always be a little less sympathetic towards you.
The cosmetic surgeon receives the benefit of doubt and, you always remain the one who could have done without the surgery.
Lower Jury Awards
A common trend noticed by legal practitioners among cosmetic surgery jurors are that they often blame the victim. Cosmetic surgery is expensive.
The jurors often feel that if the victim has excess money to spend on superficial surgical procedures, why would they need the compensation amount?
Besides, it is a human tendency to dislike people who opt for short cuts and get things easy. Under such circumstances, even a very strong case is awarded lower amounts.
The Claimant is Being Overly Rigid
Cosmetic surgery is one such surgery that has extremely subjective influences. There might be a group of jurors who may feel that the doctor has done a fair enough job, while the claimant is asking for too much precision.
You as the claimant will know that you have not received what you were promised and in fact must receive appropriate compensation. It might be difficult to convince the jurors of the same though.
Therefore, How do you Navigate a Case?
In such cases you need immediate legal assistance. Consult an expert cosmetic surgery malpractice lawyer who has a proven track record in such cases. Doctors are unwilling to admit any errors on their part and an attorney has a tough job of convincing the jurors and getting you, your rightful compensation.
Economic, non-economic as well as punitive damages (when the action is particularly malicious and must be discouraged) must be recovered from the erring surgeon.
Make sure you hide no facts about the case from your attorney. Clearly assess the damages suffered by you due by this medical error.
Consider the future medical costs you will have to incur, the humiliation, and the mental and emotional anguish you are undergoing due to the same.
Discuss things properly. Voice out your concerns and do ensure within your and your attorney’s capacity that you have an unbiased and neutral set of jurors.
Richard Bogar, Marketing manager at HALE & WAGNER S.C. Attorneys at Law – One of the leading personal injury law firms in Milwaukee, WI. He has more than a decade of experience in writing about law and legal issues, particularly medical malpractice and personal injury law.