Every year millions of people turn to cosmetic surgeons to perform reconstructive surgery on their bodies. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2018, doctors performed 17.7 million cosmetic procedures (1.8 cosmetic surgical procedures and 15.9 cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures) and 5.8 million reconstructive procedures. While most surgeries go as expected, unfortunately, sometimes they do go horribly wrong.
If you, or a loved one, suffered an injury due to the negligence of a cosmetic surgeon, the lawyers at the Raphaelson & Levine law firm are here to support you. Call us 212-268-3222 or contact us through our online form for a free case evaluation.
Cosmetic surgery is a category of plastic surgery. People receive plastic surgery to fix skin or flesh that has been seriously injured, such as with serious burns or replacing breast material removed due to cancer. Cosmetic surgeries are usually elective medical procedures people opt to do to enhance or improve their appearance. Doctors perform numerous different types of cosmetic surgery procedures every day. Common types of cosmetic and minimally-invasive procedures include:
While these procedures are deemed safe, no medical surgery, regardless of how minimally-invasive, doesn’t come without risk. However, patients still have a reasonable expectation that they won’t be harmed or suffer serious injury when opting to get cosmetic surgery.
The types of complications that can arise from cosmetic surgery negligence often involves surgical error, also known as “botched surgeries.” These medical malpractice mistakes often occur due to procedural errors or if an inexperienced surgeon or unskilled surgeon performed the surgery. Common errors include, but are not limited to:
Not liking results doesn’t necessarily equate to medical malpractice, but patients have a reasonable expectation their cosmetic surgeons will keep them safe before, during, and after any procedure or surgery. Medical professionals who perform plastic and cosmetic surgery have a responsibility to identify potential problems and use property safety protocols to mitigate any complications. Failure to do so equates to medical negligence.
While plastic surgery is often a necessity due to disfigurement caused by an accident or medical condition, most types of cosmetic surgeries are largely elective. Defendants and their insurance companies and attorneys will often try to push a “you didn’t need surgery” angle to juries who may be sympathetic to this mindset and put partial blame on the injured party. Human nature may come into play during the case because juries may be biased against plaintiffs for being “vain”, “lazy,” or for having the money to pay for elective surgery since insurance companies won’t cover it unless the surgery is medically needed.
Due to the nature of these surgeries not being necessary for health reasons, putting a case together can be difficult, and any unconscious biases that may emerge during the trial must be dealt with before they happen. A patient’s best chance of successfully filing a cosmetic surgery malpractice claim is to get legal advice from an experienced personal injury attorney who is skilled with cosmetic surgery malpractice cases. Attorneys who are well-versed in NYS personal injury law can put together a strong case using techniques to prove negligence without a reasonable doubt and evoke sympathy from a jury.
Unlike any other type of medical malpractice case, to file a lawsuit in New York State, a patient must establish four critical factors. They must:
If these four factors can be validated, it satisfies the criteria necessary to file a plastic surgery malpractice lawsuit.
Under NYS law, victims can pursue economic damages related to cosmetic surgery errors. Many people who elect to have cosmetic surgery must pay out of pocket. They can be reimbursed for their payments, subsequent medical bills, lost wages, and other financial losses.
Injured patients can receive compensation if they can prove they’ve suffered physical injury. This includes but is not limited to scarring, blindness, deformities, nerve damage, blood clots, disfigurement, infection, physical pain, and emotional trauma. Courts will typically consider the type of injury, its severity, and how long the pain is anticipated.
Punitive damage is usually awarded when a court or jury wants to “punish” a defendant for their intentional and malicious actions and make a strong warning to others. While it’s less likely to be granted, some plaintiffs are awarded punitive damages, depending on the nature of their injury and what circumstances led to it occurring.
Every year millions of people in the United States choose to undergo cosmetic or plastic surgery with high hopes of having a positive outcome. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. If your cosmetic or plastic surgeon committed an error that led to you suffering one or more injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one, contact the compassionate medical malpractice attorneys at Raphaelson & Levine.
We pride ourselves in our reputation for being the "Voice of the Injured." The attorney-client relationship is very important to us, and we give each client 100%. Our legal team will put together a strong medical malpractice lawsuit and advocate for you to receive justice for the injuries you’ve suffered during or after having your cosmetic procedure. Call our law office at 212-268-3222 to receive a free consultation or contact us through our online form.