No longer the preserve of the rich and famous, cosmetic procedures such as Botox injections, breast implants, dermal filler treatments, tummy tucks, chemical peels and facelifts are becoming much more common in modern life.

Most sensible people would only consider undergoing treatment with the potential to cause harm rather than improving their appearance, having thoroughly researched the cosmetic surgeon or therapist concerned and assured themselves that they are well regarded and competent. Even when every line of enquiry is made and reviews have been studied, cosmetic surgery and treatment procedures can and do go wrong.

Richard Blair, a partner and personal injury solicitor with WBW Solicitors in Paignton explains your options if you have suffered injury as a result when cosmetic surgery or treatment goes wrong.

Cosmetic procedures can go wrong for many reasons including – but not only – the following:-

  • The surgeon or therapist may lack the skill to carry out the treatment with an acceptable level of skill and care;
  • They may fail to test you for an allergy to any chemical used;
  • Surgical incisions or injections may be made or administered at the wrong place or using unacceptable skill and care;
  • Surgical instruments sterilised inadequately or at all, can lead to serious, even life-threatening infection;
  • The use of surgical stitching if carried out with insufficient care can cause scaring or damage to nerve structures or both; or
  • Occasionally small instruments or surgical material is unintentionally left in the patient’s body, causing infection or other complications.

All cosmetic surgeons owe you a duty of care to carry out treatment using an acceptable level of skill and care and avoid exposing the patient to the risk of harm. If the surgeon or therapist acts negligently and in breach of the duty the patient may be left scarred, disfigured or suffer depression or other psychiatric injury. In that event the patient is entitled to seek compensation. There may also be significant financial losses.

If you wish to pursue a compensation claim, it is very important you seek advice from an experienced solicitor without delay. Generally claims have to be started by Court action within 3 years of the date of the injury which results in injury was caused. That time period may be longer depending upon the date when you knew or should have become aware that you had suffered injury and loss.

Our medical negligence specialists can deal with all the legal paperwork and help you gather the evidence you need to bring your claim. The starting point for the investigation will be obtaining copies of all relevant medical records. Statements will have to be drawn up in your name and the names of witnesses who can give relevant evidence. Really good quality – probably professional – photographs of cosmetic injuries will be enormously valuable. And of course you will have to produce documentary proof of the financial losses you have suffered as a result of the surgery or treatment.

During the investigation of the claim, your solicitor will refer you to a medical specialist who will assess your injuries, consider the reasons they occurred and report on their impact in terms of your personal and working life. WBW work hard to win the claim and achieve an out-of-court settlement on the best possible terms. We shall make the practical arrangements and represent you if your case has to go to court.

The compensation you are entitled to will depend on the severity of your injuries and your long-term prognosis, but could include damages for:

  • Physical and psychiatric pain and suffering;
  • Loss of earnings past and – potentially future.
  • A potential loss of pension entitlement;
  • A claim for care including privately funded care;
  • The cost of further medical treatment including medicines;
  • Travel expenses.

For more information on claiming compensation for mishandled plastic surgery, or any other medical negligence issue, contact Richard Blair at WBW Solicitors in Paignton on 01803 546134 or email richardblair@wbw.co.uk.

WBW has offices in TorquayPaigntonNewton AbbotExeterBovey Tracey,  Exmouth,  Honiton,  Sidmouth,  Launceston,  AxminsterChard and Seaton.

This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.