A Guide to Claiming Liposuction Negligence Compensation

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

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered liposculpture liposuction injury and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

Introduction

Liposuction is a type of cosmetic surgery used to remove unwanted body fat to improve appearance. The operation is also known as liposculpture or suction-assisted lipectomy.

By permanently removing fat cells it can alter body shape, and is most often carried out on the buttocks, hips, thighs, tummy and upper arms.

The procedure is growing in popularity, with the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) reporting that 4,627 liposuction procedures were performed in 2014. It was the fifth most popular procedure among women and the fourth most popular among men.

Liposuction surgery

Do I have a liposuction negligence 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 a liposuction negligence claim expert on 0800 612 7456.

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

You can also find out if you have a claim with our Online Claim Checker.

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.

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 liposuction negligence?

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

  • the extent 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 liposuction negligence has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

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 a liposuction negligence? (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 a liposuction negligence claim?

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

However, the money you would receive following a liposuction negligence will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

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

See the injury table above for some examples.

I can't find my injury in the table, can I still claim?

The table is a list of the most common injuries associated with a liposuction negligence claim. You can see the full list of injury awards here: Judicial College Injury Tables.

Liposuction negligence compensation calculator

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a liposuction negligence 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 liposuction negligence claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a liposuction injury claim take?

The length of time needed to get compensation for liposculpture liposuction can vary significantly.

For instance, a simple uncontested medical negligence claim could be completed in 12 to 24 months. If the case goes to court however, a compensation claim a number of years. Normally a medical negligence claim will take 12 to 36 months. See more:

How long will my claim take?

Will I still be able to claim for a liposuction negligence after the law changes in April 2020?

The law relating to personal injury claims is changing in April 2020.

You will no longer be able to claim no win, no fee compensation using a solicitor for lower value claims (under £5,000).

In addition, compensation for whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries will be reduced.

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your liposuction negligence claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to 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.

How is liposuction performed?

Liposuction is usually carried out under a general anaesthetic and the procedure may take between 1 and 3 hours. Where liposuction is used on very small areas it may be done so with local anaesthetic.

The surgeon starts by preparing the area from where the fat is to be removed, usually by injecting the area with a mixture of anaesthetic and salt solution to liquefy the fat. A medication called epinephrine is included to reduce blood loss, bruising and swelling.

High frequency vibrations, a weak laser pulse or a high-pressure water jet may be used to further break up the fat cells.

A small cut is made in the skin of the area to be treated into which the surgeon inserts a microcannula (a small suction tube). By a series of movements back and forth the tube is used to loosen the liquefied fat and suck it into a large surgical vacuum machine.

Following this, the surgeon drains any excess fluid and blood using small drainage tubes. This may have to be repeated after the procedure.

What can go wrong?

Although liposuction is generally regarded as a safe treatment, there remain several risks which the surgeon must take action to prevent. Failure to do so may cause the following conditions:

  • Infection: All invasive surgery carries the risk of infection if proper measures are not taken minimise the risk of surgical site infection (SSI). These include antiseptic cleaning of the area to be cut, administration of antibiotics before the operation, and careful post-operative care of the wound and any wound drains. Prior to discharge a patient should be issued with instructions on how to care for the wound and who to contact should they have any concerns.
  • Scarring and other skin damage: The microcannula may cause damage to tissue beneath the skin, causing a ?spotted' appearance. If the patient poses a particular scar risk or has been improperly treated the cut in the skin may also scar. Scars should heal within a year after the surgery. There may be bleeding under the skin (haematoma)
  • Bumpy skin: Some patients may experience a bumpy appearance to their skin or "contour irregularities'. This may be due to the nature of the patient's skin, or through failures during the procedure. A patient may observe changes in skin colour or numbness in the treated area, which may last for months - especially where the treatment area was prepared using high-frequency vibrations.
  • Puncturing an internal organ: Damage to internal organs may occur, especially where the liposuction is performed on the abdominal area. Such damage, caused by a surgeon's lack of professional skill, may require further surgery to repair to prevent serious illness.
  • Thromboembolism: If action is not taken to reduce the risk, it is possible to allow fatty matter to enter the bloodstream, causing a blood clot. Although very rare, this is a life threatening condition.
  • Burns: Failing to exercise due care during the operation may cause the microcannula to burn tissue, especially where older equipment is used.
  • Blood toxicity: If too much solution is injected during the procedure anaesthetic solution may enter the blood stream. This may cause blood poisoning if countermeasures are not taken.
  • Fluid imbalance: The operation relies upon the use of significant amounts of fluid. If the balance of fluid within the body is not carefully regulated the heart, lungs and kidneys could be damaged.
  • Some liposuction patients find that the surgery does not produce the results they had been assured of by their medical professional. They may have lumpy and uneven results, or the appearance is not what they were promised.

No win, no fee, no risk

Under a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay if your claim is not successful.

No win, no fee guarantee

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is absolutely no financial risk in making a liposuction negligence claim, even if you don't win your claim.

What do I pay if I win my liposuction negligence claim?

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

What do I pay if I do not win my liposuction negligence claim?

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

Why do most solicitors charge 25%?

25% success fees are charged by most law firms as this is the maximum fee that the Ministry of Justice allows them to charge. liposuction negligence claims can take a solicitor hundreds of hours work and they receive nothing if the case is lost. In some cases our solicitors can work on a reduced success fee. Call us for more information.

Is there a penalty if I withdraw?

Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.

Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

How can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, 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, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Liposuction negligence 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 about claiming on behalf of another person.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 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 held in front of a judge, not a jury.

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

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

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?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

About the author

Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert