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Plastic Surgery Malpractice in Chicago, IL

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Americans spent a whopping $16.5 billion on cosmetic or plastic surgery in 2018 alone. The most popular procedures that year were breast augmentations. Most of the time, cosmetic surgery creates aesthetically pleasing results and minimal complications, especially if you choose a skilled surgeon. But we’ve all seen the show Botched, where people from all over the U.S. consult with board-certified plastic surgeons Dr. Nassif and Dr. Dubrow about their botched cosmetic surgery results and complications. Not only do some of these people need corrective surgery, but they also need a plastic surgery malpractice lawyer, because many of their complications are the direct result of medical negligence.

Below, our team of medical malpractice attorneys discuss how complications from an elective surgery differ from medically necessary surgeries, and how to know if a botched cosmetic surgery is worthy of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Call our Chicago law firm at 312-321-1111 to schedule a free consultation.

plastic surgery malpractice

What is Plastic Surgery?

Plastic surgery is designed to improve a person’s appearance or fix physical defects from accidents or other surgeries. Some people undergo plastic or cosmetic surgery because they don’t like how their nose looks, and some people undergo plastic surgery because they suffered a severe physical deformity from a dog bite, a car accident, or even a birth injury.

Most plastic surgery procedures are elective surgeries, meaning they are usually not medically necessary. For example, getting a nose job just because you don’t like how your nose looks would fall under the umbrella of elective procedures, especially on your health insurance. But if you suffered a major accident that completely changed the shape and structure of your nose – making it difficult to breathe and causing you excess sinus infections – this may be considered a medically necessary surgery.

Common types of cosmetic surgeries include:

  • Breast augmentation, reduction, lift, or reconstruction
  • Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)
  • Liposuction for body contouring
  • Face or neck lift
  • Eyelid surgery (to create “cat eyes” or “fox eyes”)
  • Brazilian butt lift (BBL)
  • Rhinoplasty (nose job)
  • Silicone implants in the butt, calves, cheeks, arms, nose, chest, etc.
  • Botox injections
  • Filler injections

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when the negligent actions or inactions of a medical professional cause a patient to suffer significant personal injury or wrongful death. Any kind of medical professional can face a medical negligence charge whether it’s a nurse, a doctor, a phlebotomist, a cosmetic surgeon, a dentist, a pharmacist, an anesthesiologist, a chiropractor, etc.

Common Types of Medical Malpractice

Common types of medical malpractice cases include:

How to Prove Medical Malpractice

In order to have a strong medical malpractice case, you must have a top-notch Chicago medical malpractice attorney who can help you prove the 4 D’s of negligence:

  • Duty of Care: All medical professionals, including plastic surgeons, owe their patients a specific medical standard of care. The medical standard is a level of care that a reasonable and competent doctor would provide to their patient.
  • Duty Dereliction: The medical professional violated this duty of care during a medical procedure.
  • Direct Cause: The patient suffered severe injuries or death as a direct result of the doctor’s violated duty of care.
  • Damages: The medical malpractice victim suffered many damages as a result of the breached duty of care for which they should receive fair compensation.

Showing that there was a doctor-patient relationship is also crucial in proving a medical malpractice claim. This is often easy to prove through medical records. Chicago medical negligence lawyers at Curcio Law Offices can help you gather sufficient evidence to create a strong medical malpractice case.

can you sue a plastic surgeon

When is Failed Plastic Surgery Considered Malpractice?

It’s important to note that simply disliking the aesthetic results of your cosmetic surgery is not considered medical malpractice. In other words, you cannot sue your cosmetic surgeon for not straightening your nose as much as you wanted.

Plastic or cosmetic surgery malpractice occurs when you suffer serious complications from a surgical error. Common injuries from surgical procedures include:

  • Post operative infections
  • Sepsis
  • Necrosis, which is basically tissue death
  • Blood clots
  • Pulmonary embolism, which is when a blood clot travels to the lungs
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Permanent nerve damage
  • Paralysis
  • Surgical site skin discoloration
  • Anesthesia-related complications
  • Significant scarring and disfigurement
  • Open wounds that won’t heal
  • Hematoma, which is a collection of blood under the skin (AKA: a bad bruise)
  • Seroma, which is a collection of fluid under the skin
  • Internal organ damage

If you have suffered one or more of these complications from your cosmetic surgery, you may have grounds to file a plastic surgery malpractice lawsuit.

Plastic Surgery Malpractice Statistics

Sadly, medical malpractice is incredibly common in the United States. Americans go under the knives of unskilled surgeons in order to save money on highly desired cosmetic procedures, and they suffer major medical issues as a result.

A 2021 study claims that medical negligence incidents in the U.S. make up approximately 2.4% of total health care spending. That breaks down to about $55 billion. Plastic surgery malpractice makes up a decent chunk (more than 3%) of those claims.

Plastic surgeons have a 15% chance of facing medical malpractice lawsuits every year. The vast majority (93%) of these lawsuits will result in a settlement, while only 7% will go to trial. Cosmetic surgeons tend to win almost 80% of the cases that do go to trial, which means that three quarters of these cases will result in no compensation for the malpractice victim.

Statistics like these should emphasize the importance of having an experienced and highly rated law firm on your side if you choose to move forward with a medical malpractice lawsuit. The legal team at Curcio Law Offices has litigated dozens of medical malpractice lawsuits for all sorts of medical conditions. In fact, we have won nearly $40,000,000 in combined medical malpractice verdicts. When you choose us, you can rest assured that you’ll get a successful outcome.

Can You Sue a Plastic Surgeon for Botched Surgery?

Yes, you can hold a doctor liable for your botched cosmetic surgery, but only if the doctor’s negligent action or inaction caused you significant harm. Again, you can’t just sue if you dislike the aesthetic results of your surgery.

Plastic surgery malpractice cases do come with a few more legal challenges than other medical malpractice cases. That’s because, in most cases, cosmetic surgery is purely elective. In other words, you chose this procedure, which means that you essentially signed up for some of the risks and complications.

Before you move forward with filing a claim, check to see what kind of waiver you signed before undergoing surgery. Most plastic surgeons require their patients to sign waivers which can protect them from liability if something goes seriously wrong. This doesn’t mean that you can’t sue, but it may make your case more complicated. Be sure to bring this waiver and all of your other medical records to your free consultation with a Chicago plastic surgery malpractice lawyer. Our team will analyze these documents alongside qualified medical experts in order to help you build a strong case.

Damages for Plastic Surgery Malpractice

A Chicago medical malpractice attorney can help you recover financial compensation for the following types of damages:

  • Past and future medical expenses, including expenses associated with revision cosmetic surgery
  • Past and future physical therapy expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Permanent scarring and disfigurement

Illinois Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice

All medical malpractice victims in Illinois have two years from the date of their injury, or two years from the date they discovered their injury, to file a claim. That’s why it’s so important to act fast and file a claim before the statute of limitations window ends. If you wait longer than two years to file a claim, your case may be dismissed altogether.

plastic surgery lawsuit

Call a Chicago Plastic Surgery Malpractice Lawyer at Curcio Law Offices Today

Just because cosmetic surgery is generally elective surgery doesn’t mean you don’t have legal rights. If you suffered life-threatening complications from a botched surgery, you may have grounds to file a plastic surgery malpractice lawsuit. Our legal team has what it takes to successfully litigate cosmetic surgery cases and ensure that victims are justly compensated for their suffering. We are ready to start an attorney-client relationship with you today. Call our Chicago personal injury lawyers at 312-321-1111 to schedule a free consultation.