Cosmetic Surgery in the UK is poorly regulated. As the procedures are 98% privately funded, the issues of statutory redress for those who have either a very poor surgical outcome or who have suffered negligence are always through legal enforcement. The thinking here from the powers that be is that if you can afford the surgery, you can afford the lawyers...
There are a great many solicitors out there offering no win no fee agreements but see our pages and educate yourself, many of these agreements have hidden clauses about irrecoverable costs and insurance premiums. Not us. We have a unique 20% deduction if you win and nothing more. If you lose, then nothing at all. Nobody out there offers a better deal.
The mistake however, that most Lawyers and Non-Lawyers make is to believe that the matter is one of breach of contract. The issue of breach of contract may well actually exist and in fact may well form part of the claim (in a well pleaded case), however, it is perhaps inappropriate to begin from this starting point. Badly performed surgery, is always an injury, and it is an injury for three very clear reasons. Firstly, you did not consent to being treated thus and therefore there is no legal authority for the damage caused, secondly you will have to undertake corrective surgery from a different cosmetic surgeon (and this is a intrusion), lastly, you may be left with scar tissue and / or other complications that cannot be reversed. Do not instruct any Solicitor in this type of action, unless you are confident that they understand these points.
Why Claim for Cosmetic Negligence
Some of the most popular cosmetic procedures include breast enlargement, liposuction, breast reduction, a tummy tuck, or face lifts. There are, for most people all sorts of reasons why you might choose to have cosmetic surgery. You may consider having a cosmetic procedure to improve a feature you’re unhappy with, or it could be that you simply want to look younger when the ageing process has made you feel less comfortable with your appearance. It doesn't matter what the reason is, you are entitled to the highest possible standards of surgical skill and surgical safety. You are also entitled to the best clinical advice available, which should include:
- what are the risks
- what are the benefits
- what can go wrong
- can the risks be countered
- is this right for me
- are there alternatives that give similar results
Cosmetic surgery can be very exciting, and it can bring a range of benefits by making you feel better about the way you look. For many men and women, it will be a life-changing moment. The trust that patients place in the hands of the cosmetic surgeon is one based on the utmost respect for the process and for the surgeon. However, there is no doubt, in some cases that trust is misplaced. Many of our clients are left with poor outcomes and woefully poor responses post surgery.
Will I Win My Cosmetic Negligence Case
Poor surgical outcomes can result even from the best surgical practice, in such circumstances the business models of the surgeons practice usually allow for some degree of refund (the good ones at least) however knowing that this is a poor but non negligent outcome and being able to determine that it is actually poor surgery is the issue. Most patients are simply not able to determine this for themselves, however, they have a nagging doubt that the outcome that they have is what was explained to them as potential "complications". Under these circumstances, again, it is best to seek external help.
In some cases of cosmetic negligence, the results can be horrifying with the entire surgery being little more than "botched surgery". We have brought actions against a great many cosmetic surgeons in the last 20 years and many of them are not actually specialist cosmetic or plastic surgeons at all, they are general surgeons performing plastic surgery and capitalising on the lack of good regulation in this sector.
Of course, there are also a great many surgeons who are perfectly skilled and the poor outcome can be a simple mistake or even the result of medical accident. Instruct a Law Med Solicitor and you will get a specialist medical claims lawyer who is a full member of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel. Act now and recieve a full no obligation discussion and assessment about your situation - if you qualify you can benefit from a No Win No Fee agreement.
"You are a credit to your profession, I genuinely wanted you to know how much you have helped me through this horrible ordeal"
"I genuinely did not have the mental reserve to face revision surgery until after you helped me with this claim. I came to see that one poor plastic surgeons errors does not invalidate the whole lot of them"
"I have with the money you got me, started again, it has taken all of my courage. Thank you for your help and please thank your Doctor for his helpful guidance"
Typically an action for Surgical Negligence (Cosmetic) will have the following elements:
Rectification Costs - This will include, revision surgery and rehabilitation, there is likely to be other damages associated with this including loss of earnings and expenses as well as care and nursing.
Pain Suffering and Loss of Amenity - this will be different in every claim but is likely to be enhanced by issues such as the individuals job, trade or profession effected, so a fashion model is likely to suffer a significant impact but a plumber maybe not so much. Pain is different in every case and so this is really a matter for expert evidence.
Psychiatric / Psychological Damage, these injuries often add more to the claim than the other heads of damage altogether. A persons appearance is linked to their mood and self image, a cosmetic injury may rob someone of their confidence or even change their personality altogether.
Expenses - losses associated with the surgery or the recovery from it.
We have a widespread team of experts in cosmetic surgery and in the law surrounding professional surgical negligence and the law.
We cannot cover every city but generally we would not expect you to travel significantly to have an examination or revision surgery advice.
Call today to discuss your own situation.
Mr Balmforth began his medical negligence legal career with clients claim for cosmetic negligence, this claim was for a then well known TV personality who had suffered horrendous injuries at the hands of a would be plastic surgeon. Investigation proved that the surgeon in question was not in fact a cosmetic specialist but a general surgeon working in the nhs undertaking minor surgery for hernia repair and cyst removal. He had no specialist training or experience at all in more complex cosmetic surgery. That action resulted in disciplinary action and civil claim that settled for an amount that cannot be published.
Mr Balmforth has gone on to undertake specialist cosmetic and plastic surgery claims for many high profile people whose career means that they are in the public eye. He has recovered millions in compensation over the years and has made significant contacts in the wider cosmetic and cosmetic surgery industry. He has been consulted on forthcoming or proposed legislation and he has engaged in mediation and in other alternative dispute resolutions to bring about settlements in actions where there has been a high degree of potential publicity. He remains one of the most prominent specialist lawyers in the north of England for such work and whether it be cosmetic dentistry or procedures involving, augmentation or appearance of breast tissue etc. It is likely that he will have undertaken the sort of work you present to him before. Even if this is a case of "just checking your options" time spent in conversation is not wasted, Mr Balmforth is a Law Society Accredited Specialist Clinical Law Solicitor and he is a dual qualified Barrister and Medical Forensic Scientist. He can advise you on the likely duration of your claim, the value inherent within it and the difficulties you will have to get over.
He also has experience in advising on the best routes for protecting your position publicly and if you have issues of reporting can invoke injunctions to protect you from publication or press interference if this is appropriate for your position. If you are not a "celebrity" then you are no less important in terms of your claim and your damages. Call today to discuss or use the contact box, there is no charge for the contact at all and most of these actions are no win no fee with a straight 20% deduction from damages if you win.
Will I have to have to have revision surgery as part of my claim?
In short, no, whilst you are entitled to the costs of revision surgery and in fact other related losses such as future loss of earnings and expenses, you do not actually have to have them, the option is yours, you are entitled to that option. It is not after all, you fault that you face the prospect of revision surgery. Most clients however, do in the long term return to have corrective surgery undertaken, it takes away a large percentage of the problems associated with body image / self image and allows the psychological healing process to get underway, this is hard to envisage at the outset of a cosmetic surgery claim, however, it is the best possible way forward.