Category

Medical Negligence

plastic surgery gone wrong

Can I Make a Medical Negligence Claim for Plastic Surgery Gone Wrong?

By | Medical Negligence

Plastic surgery is an increasingly common choice for all types of people. Where once an individual might have suffered from the stigma attached to this kind of self-enhancement, now a range of people spanning genders, age groups and income levels make the choice to undergo cosmetic surgery. From out-patient procedures to more invasive operations, people are pursuing surgical improvements to self-image, psychological wellbeing and other physical benefits.

Like any medical procedure, however, there are risks associated with plastic surgery. If you or a loved one undergo plastic surgery and receive less than desirable results, it is possible that a breach of the duty of care took place. If so, you may be able to make a medical negligence claim.

Negligence

Negligence is generally shown by establishing that one party owes the other a duty of care, that the duty of care was breached, and that an injury was caused by the breach. In medical negligence cases there are an endless number of ways a doctor or surgeon may be proven to be negligent, but in the context of plastic surgery, the most crucial element is whether or not the doctor adequately informed the patient of the risks of the operation.

Despite the potential psychological, self-esteem and quality of life benefits associated with plastic surgery, most procedures are rarely essential and are primarily cosmetic. Because plastic surgery is elective and not necessary for survival, this means that the patient should have an even greater understanding of the risks involved.

Additionally, surgeons are required to ensure that the patient is mentally and emotionally prepared for the process by conducting a psychological evaluation prior to the operation. If the doctor rushes the process, fails to fully inform the patient, or overlooks psychological red flags and the results of the surgery aren’t satisfactory, the patient may be able to argue medical negligence.

What can you do to protect yourself?

The very best way to protect yourself if you are considering plastic surgery is to do your own research about your desired procedure, the surgeon you will be using and the possible outcomes, both good and bad. According to the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, many people fail to spend the appropriate amount of time researching and preparing for their procedure, with many focusing solely on their desired outcome without considering the potential risks.

By rushing into cosmetic surgery, even for seemingly minor procedures, patients are putting themselves at risk. To prevent potential injury, botched cosmetic surgery, future complications, or even just less than perfect results, you should do as much research and preparation as possible before undergoing any surgery.

Medical negligence lawyers

If you or a loved one have undergone plastic surgery and are suffering unexpected consequences, you should consult with a medical negligence lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will be able to tell you if you have a claim and how best to proceed if so. When talking to your lawyer, it will be crucial to disclose the details of all conversations between you and your plastic surgeon, providing copies of any advertisements that enticed you to undergo the surgery, and medical records both before and after the procedure. By comparing your life before and after the surgery, your lawyer will have a better idea of how the surgery has impacted you and can provide a guideline for how you should be compensated.

Lawyers are your advocate first and foremost, and are professionally trained to help you collect the necessary evidence to build the strongest case possible.

cosmetic surgery negligence claim

What to Do if You Have Had a Bad Cosmetic Surgery

By | Medical Negligence, Podcast

In this podcast, Marie Doueihi, one of our Personal Injury answers questions regarding medical negligence claims in relation to cosmetic surgery.

TRANSCRIPT

Dan:
Cosmetic surgery in Australia is increasingly becoming very common for both male and female, but so too are the number of complaints by people who are not satisfied with the result, or worse, have suffered through the negligence of the cosmetic surgeon. In either circumstance, what do you do about it?

Dan:
In this podcast, Marie Doueihi, a personal injury expert at Gajic Lawyers answers the question.

Marie Doueihi:
Hi, Dan. Thanks for having a chat with me today. Well, to start, medical negligence in cosmetic surgery generally occurs when a cosmetic surgeon causes physical or psychological injury to their patients, and an injury that could have been prevented if the surgeon had acted or performed the procedure within their duty of care.

Dan:
So what is required to make a medical negligence compensation claim for those who have perhaps suffered as a result of this cosmetic surgery?

Marie Doueihi:
Well, for those who have had cosmetic surgeries that did not go to plan, a medical negligence compensation claim is a way of receiving compensation for the negligent actions of their cosmetic surgeon. In proving that a cosmetic surgeon’s treatment was negligent, it must first be proven that their treatment did not reasonably meet the Australian standards of the medical community at large. Now, it must also be established that if the cosmetic surgeon had not given negligent treatment, any harm to the patient would have been avoided.

Marie Doueihi:
So this judgement is based on the opinion of a number of other respected cosmetic surgeons in the industry, but a bad outcome from cosmetic surgery does not automatically mean that medical negligence has occurred, nor does it mean that the victim, or that the injured patient, is entitled to compensation. So it is really important that patients who believe they have had harm or damage caused by their surgeon seek the opinion and advice of the legal team.

Dan:
Marie, how is compensation calculated in these matters?

Marie Doueihi:
How much compensation you receive for negligence of your cosmetic surgeon will vary depending on the amount of harm and loss of use suffered. The aim of compensation, at the end of the day, is to put the patient back in the position that they would have been, had the cosmetic surgeon’s negligence not occurred. We can generally help you achieve compensation for your claim, which includes loss of earnings, pain and suffering, medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, and loss of your quality of life.

Dan:
Marie, in the context of cosmetic surgery, is there a particular common negligence action that you see in your experience?

Marie Doueihi:
Yes, there is, Dan. The most common form of cosmetic surgery medical negligence claims we see is a cosmetic surgeon’s failure to warn their patient of all the associated risks of a procedure that they propose. A cosmetic surgeon is required to explain and provide information on all the possible outcomes and risks of a surgery before the patient decides whether or not to proceed. Medical negligence has occurred when a cosmetic surgeon has then failed to warn a patient of all the risks of a procedure, and had their patient known of the risks, would not have gone ahead with the surgery, and therefore would have avoided an injury.

Marie Doueihi:
To give an example, a woman sued a cosmetic surgery business after suffering a permanent facial scarring. She was informed by her cosmetic surgeon before the procedure that the worst outcome of her cosmetic surgery would be slight pinkness of the face and was not warned of any permanent scars, so she was able to make a medical negligence claim and was successful in doing so.

Dan:
So, Marie, what’s the time limits for these types of matters?

Marie Doueihi:
Okay, so generally with medical negligence claims, you must resolve your claim with the insurer or defendant’s solicitors within three years, or you must commence proceedings in court within three years from the date of injury, otherwise the case can be statute barred, i.e. that means you will lose your right to make a claim. There are a number of time consuming procedural steps which must be taken before court proceedings can be commenced, so we encourage clients to not leave it to the last minute, and to consult and obtain legal advice as soon as possible.

Dan:
Marie, thanks for joining me.

Marie Doueihi:
No problem. Thank you, Dan. Thanks for your time.

Speaker 1:
Thank you for listening. If you have any questions related to personal injury law, contact Gajic Lawyers on 02-9890-5885.

can I sue my dentist

Can I Sue My Dentist for Negligence?

By | Medical Negligence

Trips to the dentist can be fraught with anxiety, unexpected expenses, and the potential for pain. However, while most visits to the dentist are extremely necessary and end in nothing more than fresh breath and appointment reminders, there are those who suffer more than just the awkward, mouth-full conversations with the dentist. Sometimes, people must go in for more than a simple cleaning, requiring braces, surgery, or tooth removal. And sometimes, people sustain serious injury and death in the interest of maintaining dental health.

Dentistry, like most medical care, is expensive. Even when you have insurance, there can be high overhead that you will need to find a way to cover. And if a botched surgery, bad professional advice, or treatment failure ends in pain, suffering, or even a need for more dental services, what recourse do you have? Luckily, the legal field of negligence may likely help you with these burdens.

Negligence

Poor dental treatments are unfortunately rather common, either due to poor advice or inadequate treatment. When this happens, you may be able to pursue a negligence claim. A Negligence claim requires that a plaintiff (here, the patient) must prove that the defendant (the dentist or oral surgeon) was lax in their duty of care.

To prove that the duty of care was breached, a plaintiff must provide expert opinion that expresses that the level of care provided by the defendant falls short of the standard level of care required by one in that profession. However, this testimony alone is not enough. Not only must you demonstrate that there was a breach in the duty of care, you also need to establish that if the duty of care had not been breached, you would not have sustained the injury. If the injury or damage would have been sustained regardless of the level of care provided, then you will not be able to recover.

Contract Law

The other avenue of recovery for a patient injured in the course of dental care is a breach of contract claim. A dentist or oral surgeon is paid in exchange for providing a service; a service that they are contractually obligated to provide to the best and fullest extent of their ability. If the defendant provides treatment below the expected standard of care, the patient is entitled to a refund for the services that they paid for versus what they received.

Bringing a Claim

First and foremost, locating the dental records of the patient will be crucial to moving the case forward. Once you have the original dental records, you can demonstrate the change in the patient’s condition from before and after the services were provided. Next, as mentioned above, a patient will need to gain the testimony of an expert to support their claim that there was a breach in the standard of care. After getting an expert to testify on your behalf, you and your lawyer should approach the dentist with an offer of a settlement before taking the case to trial. The dentist will also need to get an expert to testify, and the degree to which the two experts agree will determine how quickly a settlement can begin.

The best way to ensure that your interest are protected in the event of a dental injury or damage caused by a dental procedure is to contact our Parramatta Personal Injury Lawyers as soon as possible.