What to Do if You Have Had a Bad Cosmetic Surgery

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

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.

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