Top tips for patients considering a cosmetic surgery negligence claim

Specialist Medical Negligence Lawyer, Oliver Thorne, Provides Some Handy Tips To Patients Who Are Considering a Cosmetic Surgery Negligence Claim

The number of cosmetic surgery procedures is increasing every year. This in turn means that there is a higher number of procedures going wrong. It is also a very competitive market with surgeons and clinics under pressure to provide treatment that cheaper than their competitors. In providing these ‘cut-price’ procedures, corners are often cut and this inevitably results in devastating consequences for the patients.

The quality of care provided by plastic surgeons in the UK is, on the whole, very good, but from time to time things do go wrong. We receive a steady flow of complaints from patients who are unhappy with the treatment they have received. If you find yourself in this unfortunate position then here are some tips on what you can do:

  • First, we’d recommend that you make a written complaint to the surgeon or the clinic/company who provided your treatment. The letter doesn’t have to be particularly detailed, but it should be succinct. Make sure you mark it as a  ‘complaint’ so there can be no doubt about your intention. If you aren’t certain about how much detail to include then please feel free to use our free legal helpline for assistance.
  • A simple apology can sometimes be sufficient, but if you have incurred financial losses and a period of pain and suffering, then the chances are you will expect to receive compensation. If you are contemplating a medical negligence claim then you should consult a Lawyer who specialises in dealing with cosmetic surgery claims. This is a niche area and cases can are often difficult. It is therefore is vital to ensure the firm you choose is familiar with these types of claims and has experience of dealing with cosmetic surgery cases.
  • The Lawyer will want to see your medical records. You have a legal right to be given a copy of your medical records, unless very unusual circumstances apply. A charge can be made by the cosmetic surgeon or clinic, but it must not exceed £50.
  • We always recommend that claimants make a written record of the events relating to their treatment, including what they were told, what happened, and who was involved.
  • It is important for cases to be progressed without delay. Court proceedings must be issued within 3 years of the date of the treatment. The courts can apply their discretion in certain cases regarding this date but it is better to act swiftly to avoid uncertainty. Medical negligence claims can take anything between 12 months and 3 years to conclude. Cases where fault is acknowledged by the other side at an early stage are more likely to settle sooner than those that are defended.
  • There are several ways in which a medical negligence claim can be funded. While Legal Aid is no longer available for cosmetic surgery claims, many people have insurance that would fund a claim. If you are in any doubt we are always happy to check your insurance policies to see if you have cover. CFAs, or ‘no win no fee’ agreements, are becoming an increasingly popular for funding medical negligence claims. We routinely undertake cosmetic surgery claims an a no win – no fee basis and are always happy to review potential claims free of charge.
  • At the outset of any claim the lawyer will need to establish whether your surgeon or clinic is insured for a medical negligence claim. Some clinics act as intermediaries, introducing patients to surgeons, and often it is the surgeon (rather than the clinic) who holds the insurance. Some surgeons and clinics do not carry appropriate insurance, so this is always something that should be checked with them at the outset before treatment is given. Obviously if your treatment has been provided under the NSH then insurance is not a worry.

We have a specialist team of cosmetic surgery lawyers with a proven track record of winning these cases. If you would like to speak to us about the treatment you have received then call our FREE legal helpline on 0800 975 8091 or email Oliver direct at oliver.thorne@sleeblackwell.co.uk

Top tips for patients considering a cosmetic surgery negligence claim