Liposuction Negligence Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by liposculpture liposuction 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
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 liposuction procedures increased by 12% in 2019 up to 2,286. It was the fifth most popular procedure among women and the sixth most popular among men.
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.
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.
What if I want to make a multi-party or group claim?
A multi-party claim (sometimes referred to as a 'group claim' or a 'class action') brought by a group of people who have sustained the same or similar injuries due to the negligence of the same defendant. How you start a multi-party claim will depend on the circumstances and we recommend you speak to a solicitor for more information.
What if there is no evidence?
Evidence can take the form of eyewitness accounts, CCTV footage, photographs etc. It will be difficult to win a liposuction negligence claim with no evidence at all. You may feel that there is no evidence but a solictor may well be able to assist in collating evidence that you, as a claimant, were unaware of.
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.
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 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 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
- 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 get an interim payment?
Interim payments are effectively an advance on a probable compensation award. An interim payment may be awarded if the claimant is in immediate financial hardship.
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:
How long does a liposuction injury claim take?
The 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?
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.
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.
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.
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 an injury claim, even if you don't win your claim. 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 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 injury claim?
If your injury 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. The success fee will be subject to your individual circumstances and the actual fee may vary. Call us for more information.
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:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
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.
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.
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.
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.