Plastic Surgery Injury LawyersLast updated on: May 17, 2021
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There are countless reasons why someone may undergo plastic surgery, but their expected result is usually the same. You typically expect to be happier with your appearance after the surgery. You certainly do not expect to be injured by the plastic surgeon, but it can and does happen.
When it does happen, it can be devastating for the victim. Victims who have experienced injuries such as disfigurement, excessive bleeding, or even death deserve compensation.
If you or a loved one has been injured in plastic surgery, call (800) 863-5312 to speak to the Zinda Law Group attorneys. Our skilled plastic surgery injury attorneys will be able to give you a free case evaluation and determine whether they can take your case.
Understanding Plastic surgery
Millions of Americans undergo plastic surgery every year. So many procedures were conducted last year that approximately one out of every fifteen Americans could have had some kind of plastic surgery. Several of those procedures, especially minimally invasive and reconstructive procedures, may have been performed on the same person within the year. However, it is likely that over the span of several years, more than one out of every fifteen Americans have had plastic surgery at some point in their lives.
As we alluded to above, there are different kinds of plastic surgery. Plastic surgery is usually either cosmetic or reconstructive. Cosmetic procedures can be further subdivided into cosmetic, surgical procedures and cosmetic, minimally invasive procedures.
Patients who elect to undergo reconstructive surgeries typically seek to repair the appearance of injuries from bodily trauma. For example, a victim of burns or dog bites might want to restore their appearance to its pre-trauma state. Cosmetic procedures aim to change or maintain the physical appearance of the patient.
Cosmetic surgical procedures include:
Cosmetic, minimally invasive procedures include:
How you may have been injured by a plastic surgeon
Every surgery, however minor, involves risk. Surgeons who are improperly trained or who do not follow the proper standards of care can make mistakes that result in disfigurement and even death. These mistakes are preventable and made all the more painful by the expectation that you will be happier with your appearance after the procedure. The following are some categories of malpractice injuries that you or your loved one may have suffered after a plastic surgery that went awry.
Disfigurement is harm to the physical appearance of the surgery site. While many patients choose plastic surgery to address a disfigurement through reconstructive surgery, some become disfigured or have their disfigurement worsened when they undergo plastic surgery.
Permanent Physical Injury
A permanent physical injury affects some bodily function of the patient. This category covers a wide range of harms, from limited physical mobility or paralysis to serious infections, and they can be difficult or impossible to correct.
Unfortunately, some injuries are so serious that they can lead to death. Blood clots, improper administration of anesthesia, and heart and breathing complications during or after plastic surgeries can cause death.
What goes into a medical Malpractice case?
Perhaps the most well-known plastic surgery case in the legal community is Hawkins v. McGee, or the Case of the Hairy Hand. In the 1929 case, the doctor conducted an experimental surgery to replace the patient’s scarred hand tissue with a graft of skin from the patient’s chest. The results were a permanently hairy, damaged hand and a permanently scarred chest.
Today, there is a systematic process for determining the outcomes of medical malpractice cases involving negligence. However, it can be difficult to navigate this system if you are unfamiliar with it. If your plastic surgeon injures you, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer who deals with plastic surgery injuries.
We will explore the steps involved in establishing your case if you have been injured in plastic surgery from your surgeon’s negligent actions.
Duty of the Standard of Care
Doctors and all other professionals have a duty to uphold a particular standard of care. In medical malpractice cases, that standard of care is the degree of skill at which the average qualified doctor in that area of specialty performs. There are some key takeaways from this broad duty.
First, the doctor is held to the standard of care of an average physician in the same area of practice. The doctor need not be the very best at her job in order to meet the standard. So long as she took the average precautions and made average preparations, she will have likely met her duty.
Second, the court measures the doctor’s standard of care against that of other doctors in that area of expertise. Your plastic surgeon will probably not be expected to follow the same practices as a family doctor or a neurosurgeon. Depending on the court, your doctor might not even be held to the standard of other plastic surgeons who perform very different surgeries from your doctor.
Finally, a doctor who uses procedures that are not the most common in her area of practice has not necessarily breached her duty of care. There are many different ways to practice medicine and perform surgeries, and so long as the doctor follows generally accepted guidelines, she has likely met the appropriate standard of care.
A doctor who has breached her duty of the standard of care has not taken the average precautions of a doctor in her area of expertise. In order to show that there has been a breach, you will need to establish the way in which the doctor could have prevented your injury as part of the standard of care required of your doctor. If your doctor could have foreseen the harm she caused you, then she may have breached her standard of care.
The next step you must take if you are trying to prove that your surgeon was negligent is that you have sustained an injury as a result of the breach of the duty of the standard of care.
It is worth noting that mere dissatisfaction with the result of your surgery will not constitute an injury; you must have the kind of harm that a court can attempt to remedy. If you have not suffered pain, considerable loss of income, or a disability from the surgery, it could be difficult for you to seek compensation. We will discuss the kinds of damages to which you might be entitled later in this article.
Should I hire a plastic surgery injury attorney?
In order to build your negligence case, you will need to be able to establish the standard of care that your surgeon had a duty to maintain. You will then need to show that your doctor did not meet that duty and that your injury—which is able to be remedied—came from your doctor’s breach of duty. There are many interrelated steps here, and this is simply an overview of the process.
The reality is that if you are injured, you will likely already be trying to focus on your recovery. The added stress of filing your suit and negotiating your case can be difficult and frustrating. The pressure can be even greater for someone filing on behalf of a loved one who has died as a result of a surgeon’s negligence. You may consider hiring an attorney to get you or your loved one the justice you deserve.
A plastic surgery injury lawyer can help you at all stages of your claim. Not only can a lawyer help you file your claim and negotiate a settlement, but the lawyer will also know what kind of damages you might be able to get based off of your case. Also, if the parties cannot come to an agreement at the negotiation stage, it might be necessary for your lawyer to represent you at trial.
What Compensation can i get if i was injured in plastic surgery?
As a victim of medical malpractice, you could get economic and non-economic damages. If your surgeon’s actions were especially malicious, you could possibly receive punitive damages as a punishment for the doctor.
Economic damages include the medical expenses that you incur as a result of your injury. You may need additional surgery to correct a disfigurement or treatment to care for an infection. Economic damages also include lost wages from your time off of work. Examples of non-economic damages include wrongful death (along with funeral costs, loss of an inheritance, loss of a pension, and related injuries) and pain and suffering.
Give our Plastic surgery injury attorneys a call
If you want an advocate to help you get compensated for your injuries from plastic surgery, our skilled lawyers are ready to hear about your experience. Call the Zinda Law Group attorneys at (800) 863-5312 and they will schedule your free consultation.
Our plastic surgery injury lawyers are ready to fight for you, even at our own expense. We have a No Win, No Fee Guarantee so that you will not pay us unless we win your case for you.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.