Plastic surgery is something that more and more people are undergoing as it becomes more affordable and easier to access. That being said, this ease of access and reduced cost can lead to more failed plastic surgery attempts with doctors that are less skilled, less sought after, and that are performing more surgeries at a faster pace. If you have dealt with bad plastic surgery, you may be entitled to compensation and you might be able to get a settlement for medical malpractice.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is any act or omission by the physician performing the treatment that deviates from what is otherwise widely accepted norms for the practice and for the procedure. These deviations or omissions must lead to injury of the patient to be proven as malpractice. Malpractice law was created to protect the patient and to provide them with the ability to get some compensation and legal recourse to make up for the fact that the physician that was supposed to protect them and care for them, did not do their job.
This is not the same as an accident, if the physician has an accident while they are performing surgery or if there is some extenuating circumstance that changes the course of the treatment to the point that there is injury, this is not a malpractice suit for the most part. Rather, this type of suit is going to be covered by the insurance of the hospital or the facility where the doctor works. Malpractice does not have to have malicious intent, however, it can be that the doctor is inexperienced, that they are not suited for the procedure that they are performing, or that they do not have the knowledge needed to handle the surgery or the procedure that they are doing. If that is the case, you can go through with a malpractice suit.
What are the Four Elements of Medical Malpractice?
In order to have a medical malpractice suit, your case does have to prove four different elements. First, that professional duty is owed to the patient, second, breach of duty was performed, third, injury was caused by that breach, and lastly, there are resulting damages. These are the four elements that must be proven in court in order for the malpractice case to go forward and for it to become an actual paid malpractice case.
The first element, there is a professional duty owed to the patient. Looking at this, it means that you have to prove that the doctor or physician that was performing the surgery or the procedure has some sort of professional duty toward you. This means that they are your physician, that they have agreed to do the procedure, that they are performing the procedure in some professional capacity, and that they owe it to you to do so in a safe and effective manner.
This means that if something were to happen and a person that was not a doctor performed the procedure, that they would not be liable for a medical malpractice suit, but rather a personal injury case. Any doctor or physician that is performing any sort of medical procedure owes it to the patient to do so in a professional and safe manner that is not going to lead to any injury or any pain above and beyond what is largely accepted for that type of procedure typically.
The second element, and this is perhaps the most important, is the breach of duty. This means that you and your lawyer have to prove that at some point during the procedure that the doctor or physician breached their ethical and professional duty to you by either doing something out of the ordinary and not widely accepted, or that they did not do something that they should have done.
This can be a very broad determination. A great way to better understand this concept is to look at a few examples. Say you are having knee surgery, the doctor that has agreed to do the surgery has a duty to you to perform it to the best of their ability in keeping with the standards that have been set by others in this field and the hospital or facility that they are working at. Say the doctor performs the surgery, but they fail to check that the wound is clean and they sew your knee up with a piece of gauze still inside that should not be there. This is an omission of duty as they did not properly check the wound before going ahead with the closure.
The gauze then gets infected, the infection spreads to the knee, to your blood, and to other areas of your body and you become very ill. You have to have another surgery to remove the gauze and to get rid of the infection in your body. This causes pain and lasting damage due to the omission of checking the wound properly before closure. This is a clear breach of duty to the patient and that doctor is liable for medical malpractice and the monetary compensation and legal action that goes with it.
The third element, injury caused by the breach, means that you and your lawyer must prove that the medical malpractice is what caused the injury and not something else. This is generally the process that is picked apart by the other side in an effort to place blame on the patient and to take the heat off of the doctor or physician in question. They will do a few things to disprove this element. First, they will try to say that the injury is the fault of the patient, that something they did following the procedure was out of line with the proper aftercare, and that they caused the injury.
They may also try to say that the patient did not do all that they could to protect themselves and to help the procedure site heal properly. In this case, you may need the help of another physician or the report of another physician that has inspected and looked at the site to prove that it was not done properly and that it was the fault of the other physician that something went wrong, not you.
You also need to be able to prove that the injury is permanent or at the very least, very life-altering. You also have to be able to prove that the pain and injury you are suffering is not part of the normal routine healing of the procedure. This means you are likely going to have to wait until enough time has passed that you and your lawyer can prove that the injury is not part of the normal healing process. An exception might be that you have a very apparent issue, like the amputation of the wrong limb or a very serious issue where it is very clear that something went wrong.
The last element is resulting damages. This is the part of the settlement in which your lawyer is going to help you determine what needs to be done to right the wrong that you are dealing with. Are you going to have to have further surgery, are you going to have to have physical therapy, are you going to have to go on medication, and so on? This is the step in which the court is going to determine how much of a settlement you need.
Is Failed Plastic Surgery Medical Malpractice?
When it comes to plastic surgery, it may be a bit harder to prove malpractice as it is an elective surgery that is not necessarily done for medical purposes. That being said, it can still be done wrong and it can still lead to a medical malpractice case in some different instances. You are going to have to prove the four elements of medical malpractice, even for a plastic surgery case, in order to prove that it was medical malpractice.
Simply being unhappy with the way that your plastic surgery turns out is not a medical malpractice case. Similarly, if something does not turn out the way that you thought it would, this is not going to be medical malpractice and is not going to qualify. There are a few different things to keep in mind with medical malpractice and plastic surgery, the first is to determine what might be considered malpractice in this case and what might not be.
Common complaints with plastic surgery malpractice are infections after surgery, damage or complete destructions of the nerves, blood clots that lead to other issues, excessive bleeding, allergic reactions, excessive scarring, excessive bruising, or lasting skin discoloration, and even paralysis or disfigurement of the patient. This means any medical issue that takes place after a plastic surgery procedure that is not part of the expected healing process.
Another thing you might be able to sue for is if the plastic surgeon took liberties and did what they wanted while they were operating instead of what you agreed upon prior to the procedure. With plastic surgery, there is a very rigorous process of making a clear and concise plan of what is going to be done and what the expected end result is. That means that if you are going in for a nose job for instance, your surgeon cannot decide that you need an eye lift while they are working. They are required to do what you and the surgeon have agreed upon prior to the surgery and nothing more.
This also means that if you are getting a breast augmentation or implants, they cannot put a larger size than what you agree upon in pre-op. Pre-op is a very important part of plastic surgery and any plastic surgery procedure. Your surgeon is required to get approval for all the things that they want to do and that you want to be done, and they cannot go above and beyond what you have agreed upon. With plastic surgery, these agreements have to be in writing as well. This is to protect both the surgeon and the patient and to ensure that only what was agreed upon is done once the patient and the surgeon make it to the operating room.
With plastic surgery, it is important that the doctor gets full consent for anything that they want to do and for anything that you agree to and want to have done. When a plastic surgeon goes against what they have agreed to do, when they do what they want instead of what has been agreed upon, or when they do not do to ensure that you are going to have a healthy and safe recovery.
What Can a Lawyer Do?
A lawyer is an absolutely necessary part of any malpractice suit. It is very difficult for you to prove a malpractice suit on your own, a lawyer can truly help you to figure out what you can do and what sort of settlement you can potentially get. The first step of any malpractice suit is going to be to ensure that there is a clear and concise account of the procedure and how it went. With any procedure, you can get a report from your surgeon or your physician and team about how the procedure progressed.
The surgeon or the physician needs to let you know if there is anything that went wrong during the procedure, what went on, and how the overall procedure went. This is going to help you understand what happened and what the overall recovery process should be. If anything was to go wrong during the procedure, they are required to let you know and they are required to adjust their recovery plan and to let you know if there are any other issues that might be going on.
Your lawyer is also going to be able to help you understand what your rights are and what the overall process for getting a settlement might be. You are likely going to need to talk with a lawyer about getting a second opinion on the injury and on the issue that is going on. A second opinion is the best way to ensure that you are going to be able to prove that the injury was not something that happened as a result of something that you did. The report or the corroboration of another physician is going to go a long way in the court to help prove that the injury or issue was not something that you caused or something that you could have prevented had you done something different.
Your lawyer is going to work to prove that the surgeon or the physician has a duty to care for you and that they are required to care for you while they are performing the procedure. They will then work to prove that the surgeon breached that duty of care in some way shape or form. Your lawyer will work to help prove that the surgeon or the physician caused the injury that you are dealing with and that it could have been prevented.
The last thing that your attorney is going to do is to figure out what the course of treatment is going to be for that injury and help you figure out what sort of settlement is going to help you get better and deal with the issues that you are now living with as a result of the malpractice and a result of the issue that occurred. Your attorney can help you get a settlement that can help you to figure out what your next steps are and can help you to move forward.
What Type of Settlement Can You Get?
The next step to any case is going to be to figure out what sort of settlement you might be getting. The first step is going to be to determine what the course of treatment is going to be to rectify the issue and to take care of the problems that you are dealing with. Are you going to have to have corrective surgery? Are you going to have to have physical therapy to overcome the pain and the issues of the surgery? Are you going to have to adjust your life dramatically as a result of the issue that you are dealing with and the injury that you have sustained?
These are all things that your lawyer is going to take into account when they start to build the case ad start to figure out what the possible treatments are for your issue is. This will help your attorney figure out what sort of settlement you are entitled to. You can first and foremost get the cost of any corrective treatment that you have to have done paid for to help correct the issue that you are dealing with.
You are also going to be able to get a settlement for the cost of any treatment that you need to deal with the injury that you sustained. A great way to better understand this is to look at an example. Say you have a surgery and it leads to a very serious physical deformity or physical injury that makes it hard for you to go about your daily life. You can then have a corrective surgery that can correct that injury to help you feel better and help you get back to your daily life.
You can get money to pay for that corrective surgery or that corrective procedure so that you can get away from that injury and start to live your life again. You can also get the cost of continuing care to help you overcome the injury. Say you have to be on medication for the rest of your life as the result of the injury, you can get compensation for that, if you have to have physical therapy you can get that paid for, and so on.
Your settlement may also be for the cost of time off work that you have to take to recover from the injury that you have sustained. Say you had a surgery and you had a specific amount of time off to recover from it. Say you were injured during the surgery and you have to then take more time off work to recover further and to get past the injury that you are dealing with. You can get compensated for that extra time off work that you have to take. You can also get money for pain and suffering.
With things like pain and suffering, this is often a relative thing that might not be so easily defined. Your attorney is going to work to help you figure out how to calculate pain and suffering and help you get a settlement for that amount and help you get your settlement and get your money so that you can get your life back on track. This is going to help you figure out what your next steps are and help you get your life back on track.
Why Contact a Lawyer?
A lawyer is going to be your best defense when it comes to a medical malpractice suit. They can help you figure out what you need to do, they can help you get a settlement from the doctor or the physician in question, and they can also help you figure out what you should to do help you feel better and help you heal. In some cases, the doctor may lose their license, they may be put off work for a time, but they will be held accountable for their action or inaction that led to your injury.
It is important that you remember that most hospitals have some form of medical malpractice insurance in place that can help you get your settlement paid out so that you can start to recover and start moving on. It is a difficult thing to have to deal with medical malpractice, there are courses of action; however, that can help you get the money you need to pay for those corrective surgeries or those corrective procedures and help make up for the time that you have to take off of work. It can be so hard to deal with medical malpractice, a great lawyer can make a huge difference and can help you recover, even in cases where you are dealing with very serious injury and with very serious pain and suffering following any procedure. It is so important that these physicians be held responsible and accountable for all malpractice suits.