Cosmetic Surgery Negligence

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Cosmetic Surgery Negligence Claims

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Cosmetic surgery, often elective procedures chosen by individuals seeking to enhance or change their appearance, carries its own unique risks and expectations. 

However, when the outcome of such procedures are impacted by negligence, and brings about physical, emotional or psychological harm, patients have the right to seek compensation. 

In Ireland, cosmetic surgery claims are a significant aspect of medical negligence law. This guide delves into the specifics of these claims, outlining what constitutes negligence for cosmetic procedures, common types and causes, consequences, and the mechanisms for pursuing a claim.

Helen Coughlan

Helen Coughlan
Medical Negligence Solicitor

Helen Coughlan is a partner and advises on medical negligence*, family law and personal injuries*. Helen is a qualified family mediator and collaborative law practitioner and is Chairperson of the Family and Child Law Committee of the Law Society.

Contact Helen Today

What is Cosmetic Surgery Negligence?

Cosmetic surgery negligence occurs when substandard surgical care during cosmetic procedures leads to patient harm. Claims can cover a wide range of procedures and surgeries – from minimally invasive treatments to major surgeries – and involve legal action against the healthcare professionals or institutions at fault. 

Common Types of Cosmetic Surgical Negligence:

Incidents of negligence during cosmetic surgeries can be vary but some of the more common types include: 

  • Substandard Procedures: Poor surgical outcomes or badly performed surgeries that significantly deviate from the expected result.
  • Infections: Which can occur as a result of improper post-operative care or unsanitary conditions during surgery.
  • Scarring and Disfigurement: Where the patient suffers excessive or unexpected scarring, sometimes due to surgical error.
  • Nerve Damage: Damage to nerves or nerve endings leading to loss of sensation or function in the affected area.
  • Anaesthetic Errors: Complications arising from mistakes or errors when administering general or local anaesthetics.

Potential Consequences of Cosmetic Surgery Negligence:

Repercussions stemming from cosmetic surgery negligence or substandard procedures can be severe or life-altering, including:

  • Physical Pain and Suffering: Immediate and long-term health issues as a direct result of surgery negligence.
  • Additional Medical Treatment: Patients may need to undergo further corrective treatments, which come with their own complications.
  • Financial Strain: Additional costs associated with corrective actions and procedures, loss of income, and other expenses can put significant financial burdens on individuals and families.
  • Emotional Distress: The psychological impact of a substandard procedure can be profound, affecting the patient’s mental health, self-esteem and self-identity.
  • Quality of Life: The combined physical and emotional toll can negatively affect the daily life and well-being of patients. 

Common Causes of Cosmetic Surgery Negligence:

Understanding the common causes of negligence can help in identifying potential claims. Factors leading to negligence in cosmetic surgery can often include:

  • Inadequate Skills or Qualifications: Surgeons operating beyond their capabilities or without the necessary skills/specialisations can have dire consequences.
  • Human Error: Mistakes made during cosmetic procedures as a result of human error, lack of care or lapses in concentration can all lead to claims of negligence.
  • Lack of Informed Consent: Where patients are not fully informed about the risks and potential outcomes of their surgery or procedure.
  • Poor Communication & Planning: Failure by healthcare professionals to adequately assess patient suitability or set realistic expectations and outcomes.

H2: How to Make a Claim:

Step 1: Seek Legal Advice

The first step in making a claim for negligence during a cosmetic procedure is to gain experienced legal counsel. Medical negligence law is complex, and a specialist solicitor can guide you through the entire process. They will assess the viability of your case, help you determine whether you are eligible, and advise you on the likelihood of success. 

Patrick J Farrell Solicitors specialise in medical negligence, don’t hesitate to contact us regarding your concerns and to see if you’ve potentially been affected by negligence during a cosmetic procedure. 

Step 2: Gather Evidence

Your solicitor will request your complete medical records, which are crucial for supporting your claim. You will need to compile all of your medical records, correspondence, and any other documentation related to your care. These provide evidence of the care you received and are essential for establishing a case of negligence.

Step 3: Independent Medical Assessment

It may be necessary to have an independent medical expert evaluate your case to establish whether the care you received was substandard and constituted negligence.

Step 4: Letter of Claim

Once your solicitor has gathered all necessary evidence, they will draft a Letter of Claim and notify the hospital or healthcare provider that you intend to take a case against them. This will outline the details of your claim, the alleged cause of negligence, and the resulting harm or injury. 

Step 5: Response and Resolution

The hospital or healthcare provider, through their own legal team, will respond to your Letter of Claim. They can either accept responsibility and work towards a settlement; or they can dispute the claim which will lead to legal proceedings. 

Many claims are settled out of court, and  your solicitor will negotiate on your behalf to arrive at fair compensation for  your injuries, any financial losses, and any future care needs. However, if a settlement can’t be reached, your case may proceed to court where your solicitor will prepare for and represent you in any court proceedings.

H2: Seeking Legal Support for Cosmetic Surgery Negligence

Taking a claim for cosmetic surgery negligence can be both complicated and taxing, typically requiring a deep understanding of both medical and legal practices. If you believe you have been a victim of surgical negligence stemming from a cosmetic surgery, we highly recommend you seek expert legal guidance.

If you or a loved one has experienced negligence during a cosmetic procedure, it’s vital you seek legal support. At PJF, our expert team is committed to providing the compassionate guidance and support you need to achieve the best possible outcome. Contact us today if you’ve been affected and need confidential legal guidance. 

Have You Experienced Medical Negligence?
Let the Experts Stand By You.

At Patrick J Farrell & Company Solicitors, we understand the profound impact medical negligence can have on your life. With a legacy founded by Patrick J. Farrell and carried forward by a dedicated team, we have been advocates for justice for over four decades. Our commitment to putting our clients’ interests first, combined with our extensive legal expertise, makes us the ideal partners in your pursuit of justice.

From the moment you walk through our doors to the resolution of your case, you’ll be treated with the utmost courtesy, respect, and understanding. Choose us – where your well-being is our top priority. Reach out to us today and let our experienced solicitors guide you every step of the way.

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