Going in for cosmetic surgery can be an anxious time. It’s normal to worry about the procedure not living up to expectations. However, you do have options if you’re not happy with your results or if you end up with an injury. Below, we explore medical negligence in cosmetic surgery procedures.
The difference between cosmetic and plastic surgery
First, it’s important to understand the difference between cosmetic and plastic surgery. Plastic surgery is used to repair or restore damaged skin: the aim is to restore functionality and appearance to the affected area. On the other hand, cosmetic surgery is carried out purely to enhance the aesthetics of someone’s face or body – there’s no urgent medical need for this procedure.
Medical negligence in cosmetic surgery cases
Medical negligence refers to when a medical professional fails in their duty of care towards you, and you suffer an injury as a result. Whether you have a procedure performed in public service or private, medical negligence can happen. Usually, cosmetic surgery is undertaken privately, so if you choose to hire no-win-no-fee solicitors, you’ll be suing an individual clinician, not an NHS trust.
What to expect
If your case is accepted by solicitors, you might be wondering what to expect from the process. You’ll begin by handing over all your medical records to your team. From there, your solicitors will negotiate with the clinician: the defendant will be invited to admit fault and compensation will be negotiated to help you try and return to your normal life. However, if your case is complex or if compensation can’t be agreed upon, you might end up with your case going to court to find a verdict. This process usually takes between 12 and 18 months for a straightforward case, but it can stretch out further for a more complex case.
Limitations and exceptions
There are limitations and exceptions to be aware of though. For a start, there’s a time limit on medical negligence claims: for adults who have the capacity, the time limit for medical negligence claims is three years from the date in which you became aware of said negligence taking place. However, children have three years from the date of their 18th birthday to pursue a historical medical negligence claim. Furthermore, if you have a mental impairment there is no immediate time limit imposed unless you recover and are deemed capable of making a claim once more.
If you’ve let down by a clinician during a cosmetic procedure, it can be a stressful time. But by following the guide above, you should be prepared to judge whether you can make a medical negligence claim to help you recover.