Skilled Legal Advocacy For Victims Of Plastic Surgery Malpractice

Plastic surgery has become commonplace in the United States. Patients seek plastic surgery to enhance their appearance or repair the damage from a traumatic accident. Most of the time, the surgery succeeds and provides the desired results. However, as with any other type of surgery, there is always the chance that something can go wrong with the procedure, resulting in serious injury to the patient.

A negative outcome alone is not proof of medical malpractice. If, however, the problems were the result of negligence, the patient may be able to recover damages for the harm they suffered as a result of that negligence. Also, since health insurance typically does not cover purely cosmetic surgery, a patient whose surgery was performed negligently may suffer more significant damages in the form of out-of-pocket expenses and can attempt to reclaim these in a malpractice claim. Our firm, Kaire & Heffernan, PLLC, has helped many Miami-area clients seek compensation for harms inflicted by negligent medical providers.

Common Plastic Surgery Malpractice Scenarios

Some of the more common malpractice situations include the following:

  • Allowing non-plastic surgeons to perform plastic surgery
  • Exceeding the scope of the patient’s informed consent (performing extra, unauthorized procedures)
  • Failing to take a full history of the patient
  • Operating on the wrong part of the body
  • Performing lengthy or complex plastic surgery procedures in private offices that are not equipped to address complications arising during the surgery
  • Using nurse anesthetists instead of anesthesiologists to save costs

Florida law does not require plastic surgeons to guarantee results or provide perfect outcomes for surgery. However, it does require plastic surgeons to act reasonably. To prove that a plastic surgeon committed malpractice, a patient must prove that the surgeon’s conduct did not meet the standard of a reasonably prudent plastic surgeon under the same or similar circumstances. If the surgeon’s actions did not meet that standard of care and the patient is injured, the surgeon may be liable to the patient for damages.

A victim of negligent plastic surgery’s time to take legal action is not unlimited. Florida’s statute of limitations on medical malpractice lawsuits gives plaintiffs just two years from the date of your injury to file, though that can be extended to up to four years if the injury was not immediately obvious. If someone files past the date the statute of limitations “tolls” (expires), the court will be forced to dismiss the suit.

Adverse Outcomes From Improperly Executed Plastic Surgery

Any kind of surgery, including plastic surgery, requires extensive and careful preparation, skillful execution, and proper supervision and monitoring of the patient after the surgery. If any of the medical professionals participating in the surgery fail to provide the patient with a reasonable level of care, the results can be devastating. Problems resulting from plastic surgery malpractice include:

  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia or other medications
  • Blood clots
  • Permanent scarring and disfigurement
  • Excessive bleeding or fluid buildup
  • Heart attack or stroke
  • Hematomas
  • Infection
  • Paralysis
  • Skin discoloration or other skin irregularities
  • Sudden drooping or caving-in of the surgical site

Unlike cosmetic surgery itself, which generally is not covered by health insurance, these conditions can require medically necessary corrective procedures. A patient who is injured by plastic surgery malpractice may be entitled to receive monetary damages for current and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, and more. The family of a patient who dies as a result of a plastic surgeon’s malpractice may be entitled to compensation in a wrongful death claim for damages caused by the loss of their family member.

However, the surgeon, clinic or hospital named in the lawsuit could claim that a preexisting condition contributed or caused the plaintiff’s injuries. Conditions like obesity, a smoking habit or drug addiction, or certain illnesses could be used as a defense against malpractice. Whether a risk factor or preexisting condition contributed to what happened to the patient could be a major controversy during the lawsuit and possible trial.

The Plastic Surgery Error Lawsuit Process

Before beginning a lawsuit, a potential plaintiff and their attorney must fulfill certain pre-suit requirements, including obtaining an affidavit from a doctor confirming that medical malpractice is the source of the plaintiff’s injuries. The plaintiff’s attorney must then notify the defendant or defendants that they are initiating legal proceedings and provide a copy of the expert’s affidavit.

The defendant then has 90 days to respond, either by negotiating a settlement or choosing to defend themselves in court. After 90 days, the plaintiff may file suit in a timely manner. Before trial begins, both sides may file pretrial motions and examine evidence through discovery.

Meanwhile, as the plaintiff, you have the responsibility to be honest with your attorney about your experience, and to seek prompt medical attention to try to fix what the negligent health care provider did to you.

Tell Us Your Story In A Free Initial Consultation

Kaire & Heffernan, PLLC, represents injury victims in Miami and throughout Florida. Contact us today with your questions by calling 305-376-7860 or reaching out online. We offer free consultations, and there is no fee or charge to you until we win. Se habla español.