Cosmetic Surgery Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a cosmetic surgery injury, we can help.

If your injuries were caused by the negligence of a doctor, nurse, midwife or other medical professional, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor

You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a specialist clinical negligence solicitor.

Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove the negligence happened. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses.

We can help you make a medical negligence claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

In this article

Introduction

Over 27,000 cosmetic surgery procedures were performed in the UK in 2019. 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.

Cosmetic surgery

Do I have an injury claim?

Medical negligence claims differ from personal injury claims as the following will need to be established:

  • there was a breach of duty ("negligence" or "fault"); and
  • the breach of duty was the cause of your injury, damage or loss ("causation" or "avoidable harm").

Breach of Duty

A breach of duty means that the standard of care you received was below the standard that could reasonably be expected of a competent healthcare professional.

Causation

To establish causation, it will need to be demonstrated that the injury you suffered resulted from the negligent care rather than the underlying condition.

Get an impartial opinion

To get impartial advice on whether you have a claim, speak to an injury claim expert on 0800 376 1001.

A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.

Is compensation always payable?

If an error occurred during treatment and the patient was harmed as a result, this may be referred to as an "undesirable outcome".

Not all treatment that results in an undesirable outcome will result in the payment of compensation.

Sometimes an undesirable outcome is due to a known risk associated with the treatment, or due to a mistake that a doctor could reasonably have made in the circumstances.

Can I make a cosmetic surgery claim right up to the three-year limit?

Technically, yes. However, in practice, not always. Many solicitors will not take on a cosmetic surgery claim that only has a few months (sometimes even a year) left before the time limit expires. The panel of solicitors will take a claim on as late as possible where it is felt that the claim could be successful.

How long do I have to start a claim?

If your injury is apparent immediately after medical treatment, you will have 3 years to start a claim.

It may be that the negligent procedure happened more than 3 years ago, but your injury was only diagnosed recently, within the last 3 years. If so, you may still be able to make a claim.

What if your injury was diagnosed months or years after treatment?

You may not be immediately aware of your injury. In some cases, months and even years can pass before symptoms appear.

The law allows you to make a medical negligence claim up to three years after the 'date of knowledge' (when you first learned of the injury).

It is recommended that you start a claim as soon as possible, as medical negligence cases can be complex. Starting your claim sooner will give your solicitor more time to gather medical evidence, assess the extent of your injury and to negotiate interim payments and your final compensation amount.

How much compensation can I claim for an injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

  • the seriousness of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

What is the average injury compensation for an injury claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

Can I claim for prescription costs?

Special damages are awarded for costs or losses incurred as a result of the cosmetic surgery injury. Damages can include loss of earnings, treatment cost and any other 'out-of-pocket' expenses such as prescriptions.

Calculate my injury compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your injury claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a cosmetic surgery claim take?

How long it can take to secure compensation for a cosmetic surgery can vary considerably.

A straightforward liability accepted medical negligence claim might be concluded in 12 to 24 months. However, if court proceedings are necessary it could take a few years. Usually, a medical negligence claim should take 12 to 36 months. Read more: How long will my claim take?

How else can a solicitor help me?

Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.

Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

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 well being of the patients in their care. Failure to do so may amount to negligence.

Negligence in cosmetic surgery procedures can include:

Procedural error

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
  • Facelifts
  • Liposuction
  • 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:

Physical injuries

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.

Psychological damage

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.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.

Less than 5% of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.

Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.

Read more:

Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

How does no win, no fee work?

No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you any legal fees if your injury claim is unsuccessful. 'No win, no fee' is also called a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA'.

No win, no fee promise

If you have been injured and someone else was to blame (even partially), our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your injury. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. Your solicitor will agree a success fee with you before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my injury claim?

If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Can I get Legal Aid?

Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.

Is there a catch?

The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) sets out the terms between you and your solicitor., No Win No Fee is a regulated activity and as such there should be no nasty surprises in the agreement. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you read the agreement carefully and ask any questions if you are unsure.

How we can help you

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning medical negligence claims.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open:

  • 8am to 9pm weekdays
  • 9am to 6pm on Saturday
  • 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday

Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:

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Injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more:

Claiming on behalf of another person.

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more:

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

I need the money now - what are my options?

If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.

Read more:

How to I get an interim compensation payment?

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Author:
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor