A guide to making a No Win No Fee cosmetic surgery claim
It is estimated that over 100,000 cosmetic surgery procedures will be performed in the UK in 2015. With the number of cosmetic surgery procedures on the increase, it is likely that the number of procedures that result in negative outcomes will also increase.
Like non-elective surgery, cosmetic surgery carries risks. Negative outcomes can occur despite the professionalism and training of the medical staff carrying out a procedure, and it can be difficult to make a claim in such circumstances. However, if something goes wrong as a result of an error or other negligence it is likely that a medical negligence claim can be made.
Cosmetic surgery is not as heavily regulated as many other medical and healthcare-related disciplines. Procedures are in some cases performed by untrained or inexperienced staff, and in environments that are not equipped to treat complications should they arise.
The causes of cosmetic surgery negligence
In order to make a cosmetic surgery compensation claim, the claimant must prove that the cosmetic surgeon or the cosmetic practice were negligent. All medical practitioners have a ?duty of care' to their patients. Practitioners must take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the patients in their care. Failure to do so may amount to negligence.
Negligence in cosmetic surgery procedures can include:
This could be a mistake made in the surgery that resulted in physical injury such as nerve damage, or a mistake that meant the surgery produced poor results. Being dissatisfied with the outcome of surgery may not in itself be grounds for a claim, but if an independent medical expert agrees that the results fall below a reasonable standard, it may be possible to make a claim.
Failure to advise
Practitioners are required to give the patient the necessary information to make an informed decision prior to the procedure taking place.
If the practitioner fails to do so, there may be grounds for a compensation claim. Failure to advise could include a failure to warn patients of potential side-effects, or failing to adequately warn the patient of the potential risks associated with the procedure.
Common cosmetic surgery procedure claims
Compensation claims have been made in numerous cases of negligent cosmetic surgery. An increasingly wide range of procedures are identified as 'cosmetic surgery', including:
- Breast augmentation
- Botox injections
- Tummy tucks
- Hair replacement
- Laser surgery
- Skin resurfacing
- Blepharoplasty (surgery of the eyelids)
In the case of newer and rarer forms of cosmetic surgery, it may still be possible to make a claim. A specialist solicitor will be able to advise you on your options.
What can I claim compensation for?
If it can be proved that the medical practitioner or the cosmetic practice have been negligent when treating you, you may be able to make a compensation claim for the following:
The Courts recognise that the physical impact of negligent cosmetic surgery can be significant. Awards for scarring to the face and other visible parts of the body are frequently higher as a result. Claims are often made for injuries such as nerve damage, scarring and secondary infection arising from inadequate health and safety procedures.
Compensation awards also reflect the fact that the psychological impact of poor cosmetic surgery can be significant, affecting a person's confidence, self-esteem and mental health.
Cost of corrective procedures and other medical expenses
As with other injury claims, treatment costs can also be factored into the calculation of a cosmetic surgery claim. The cost of corrective surgery, where possible, should be included the agreed settlement or award.
No Win, No Fee agreements for cosmetic surgery compensation claims
No Win, No Fee cosmetic surgery compensation claims effectively begin with an injured party signing, with their injury lawyer, a Conditional Fee Agreement (or CFA).
The CFA lays out the terms between you and your injury lawyer.
It details the work your solicitor delivers, and crucially, a "success fee". The "success fee" is the fee to be taken from the compensation when they win your case.
Selecting a Quittance injury-specialist solicitor, you will be able to focus on your recovery, knowing that there will be nothing whatsoever to pay if the case is not successful.
What to do next
Making the right decision for you depends on receiving the correct information. Get any questions answered before you instruct a solicitor.
Find more information before picking up the phone. See our frequently asked questions here.
Compare personal injury lawyers
The key question to ask a solicitor before you instruct them to handle your claim is "What success fee do you charge "
For a better idea how much more compensation you could keep with Quittance's personal injury lawyers, compared to typical solicitors, compare compensation claim quotes here.
How to get your claim for compensation underway
When you have made the decision to proceed, you can start the claim by phoning 0800 612 7456 or 0333 344 6575 or through Quittance's contact form.
Do you have more questions? The Quittance team can help
Talk to Quittance's network of specialists for more information about the process. Call 0800 612 7456 or request a callback.