Medical Malpractice and Cosmetic Surgery: Know the Risks
As advances in science and technology allow people to live longer and maintain their health for many more years compared to previous generations, people are now searching for ways to keep their outside appearance looking as good as their interior body. This desire is reflected in the fact that in 2015, for the first time ever, Americans spent more than $13.5 billion on surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures. In fact, South Florida is a prime destination for those seeking medical treatment, especially cosmetic procedures, and such procedures brought in billions of dollars to the Florida economy over the past few years. Many view the money spent for these procedures as investments in their health and psychological wellbeing. While there are certainly benefits to receiving cosmetic surgery, it is important to remember that many of these medical procedures require invasive techniques that can lead to complications and possible permanent injury that lead many to file medical malpractice lawsuits. A mother from Homestead can attest to the horrible repercussions a cosmetic procedure gone wrong can do to a family. Her daughter went to a clinic in Miami for breast augmentation as a normal healthy 18-year-old, and left with brain damage after her brain was deprived of oxygen and rendered her unable to speak or move. Doctors say she will never fully recover, and requires constant care. While this tragic case is certainly not the norm for most patients, it is still a possibility every time someone is put under anesthesia.
Injuries Associated with Cosmetic Procedures
As most people know, any medical procedure carries some amount of inherent risk that even the most skilled and experienced doctors cannot completely eliminate, and invasive procedures that require cutting into the body will create trauma that takes time to heal. However, the appearance of certain injuries/problems post-surgery could indicate the surgery was not properly performed and the doctor may be liable for malpractice. These red-flag injuries include:
- allergic reactions and other complications from the anesthesia;
- blood clots;
- drop in blood pressure;
- necrosis or death of tissue;
- nerve damage; and
- death due to complications.
Making a Medical Malpractice Claim
Once a person suspects they may have received substandard care, the next step is to speak with a medical malpractice lawyer about their injuries and the care they received. In order to successfully sue for medical malpractice, the claimant must show:
- a doctor/patient relationship existed at the time of the procedure;
- the doctor owed the patient a duty of care to act in same manner a reasonable surgeon having the same skill and experience would use in a similar situation;
- this duty was breached because the doctor failed to provide treatment that met medical standards;
- the breach was the actual cause of the patient’s injuries; and
- the patient suffered an injury as a result of the breach.
It is important to note that Florida law limits the amount of time a person can file a lawsuit for medical malpractice to two years from the date of the injury or two years from the date the injury was discovered, leaving at most four years to file a claim. Consequently, it is imperative to consult with a medical malpractice as soon as the possibility of a claim arises to prevent being shut out.
Talk to a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Malpractice suits are complicated and labor intensive and should be overseen by an lawyer experienced in this area. The lawyers at the Miami law firm of Pita Weber & Del Prado understand how these cases work and can help you recover for your injuries. Contact us for a free consultation.