Is a Botched Plastic Surgery Considered Medical Malpractice?

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Plastic surgery is a common and continually increasing type of medical procedure. People undergo plastic surgery for a variety of reasons, some reconstructive and some cosmetic. However, no surgery is without risks. When plastic surgery goes wrong, it’s possible to recover medical malpractice compensation — but only under certain conditions.

If you’ve been the victim of botched plastic surgery, it’s best to consult a medical malpractice attorney to learn more about whether you are entitled to compensation for being the victim of medical malpractice.

Does Medical Malpractice Cover Plastic Surgery?

There are two main types of plastic surgery: cosmetic and reconstructive. Cosmetic plastic surgery is a voluntary procedure undertaken for aesthetic purposes. Breast augmentation, liposuction, and facelifts are all popular forms of cosmetic plastic surgery.

Reconstructive plastic surgery, by contrast, is undertaken for medical purposes. Depending on the case, it may be necessary or elective. Reconstructive plastic surgery is often used in medical cases involving burns, scarring, or birth defects.

You can recover medical malpractice compensation for both reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery. However, it’s important to note that disliking the outcome of cosmetic plastic surgery doesn’t automatically give you grounds for a medical malpractice claim.

Understanding Negligence in a Plastic Surgery Claim

Regardless of the type of plastic surgery, a medical malpractice attorney needs to be able to prove negligence to recover compensation for a client. Negligence is a four-part legal concept. Demonstrating negligence requires proving the following:

  • The surgeon had a duty of care toward the patient
  • This duty was violated
  • The patient suffered damages as a direct result of the provider’s conduct
  • The patient can provide proof of damages

To successfully prove that a plastic surgeon acted negligently, the patient must have suffered some type of injury. Dissatisfaction with appearance after a cosmetic surgery doesn’t fulfill this requirement. However, if plastic surgery left the patient severely disfigured, they may be able to recover compensation.

A plastic surgeon can act negligently in a variety of ways. Some of the most common include:

  • Performing procedures that they’re not certified for
  • Performing a procedure without adequate training
  • Failing to check a patient’s health history
  • Failing to inquire about patient allergies
  • Operating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Making mistakes during the procedure, such as injuring a body part or other structure, accidentally

The reasons for how and why plastic surgery went wrong directly impact whether a lawyer can prove that negligence occurred. It’s important to involve a lawyer as soon as possible so they have time to preserve evidence that may be central to winning your case.

Signs You Should Call a Medical Malpractice Attorney

Botched plastic surgery that meets the legal criteria for medical malpractice is a form of surgical error. Surgical errors often leave a patient struggling with certain signs and symptoms. Some of these include:

  • Fever
  • Infection
  • Nerve damage
  • Disfigurement
  • Scarring
  • Paralysis
  • Blood clots

Certain complications during or after the surgery can also provide grounds for a medical malpractice claim, like when the patient suffers an allergic reaction.

Health issues and complications that arise due to plastic surgery often result in significant post-surgical costs, such as the need for immediate medical treatment. Some patients may also need to undergo additional surgeries.

When plastic surgery negatively impacts your physical health or finances, it’s a sign you should contact a medical malpractice attorney to learn more about your options.

Proving Medical Malpractice in a Plastic Surgery Case

Medical malpractice is one of the most complicated areas of personal injury law. Doctors are held to a high standard of care; however, there are inherent risks involved in any surgical procedure. Showing that a surgeon acted negligently or unreasonably usually requires additional steps, like hiring an expert medical witness to review the case and testify against your surgeon.

Proving medical malpractice can grow even more complicated in cases involving cosmetic plastic surgery, when a patient may have signed waivers or other legally binding documents.

A medical malpractice attorney will review the facts of your case, assess your case value, and collect evidence to prove that the surgeon acted negligently. If a medical malpractice attorney can prove negligence and damages, there’s a good chance they’ll be able to recover compensation for your injuries.

Speak With a Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq. is a leader in recovering compensation for victims of California medical malpractice. Founding attorney Dr. Bradley Kramer is a medical doctor turned award-winning attorney. He leverages his insider knowledge of the medical field to build winning cases for his clients.

The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq. has recovered over $100 million for our injured California clients. Contact our firm today to learn more about how we can help you after a plastic surgery gone wrong.

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