Cosmetic Surgery and Plastic Surgery Malpractice

Young woman undergoing a cosmetic surgery consultation

When you think of medical malpractice, you may think of a patient getting injured during a necessary surgical procedure. However, malpractice can also occur in situations in which the medical procedure is elective, or not medically necessary, but the patient goes through with it anyway.

This typically occurs with cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery. These types of surgeries are not medically necessary, but they still happen frequently. Just like any other medical procedure, mistakes can happen and cause the patient to become seriously injured. In extreme cases, fatalities can occur due to medical malpractice.

What are your options for legal recourse in these situations? Can you file a lawsuit and recover compensation for your injuries even though the procedure may not have been required? Read on to learn more.

Cosmetic Surgery vs. Plastic Surgery

First, it is important to differentiate between cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they are two different types of procedures. While both augment the body to some degree, they each have different goals and outcomes.

Plastic surgery is a type of surgery used to reconstruct a face or body part that may be disfigured due to an injury, burn, birth defect, or other medical condition. Cosmetic surgery, on the other hand, is not done for a medical reason and is instead performed solely for appearance purposes. Examples of these procedures are liposuction and some rhinoplasty (nose jobs).

Types of Medical Malpractice in Plastic/Cosmetic Surgeries

Medical malpractice can occur in elective procedures. For example, lack of informed consent may apply. If the patient was not informed of the risks involved with plastic surgery, and then suffered an injury, they might blame the doctor. Had the patient known about the risks, they might have declined the procedure.

Surgical errors can also occur. The doctor might not administer the right amount of anesthesia. The doctor could leave surgical instruments inside the body or perform work on the wrong body part. Plastic surgery can also lead to pneumonia, infections, disfigurement, skin discoloration, and even death.

The average settlement for surgery malpractice is $425,000, while a jury award can top $1 million. When the medical malpractice occurs during a plastic or cosmetic surgery, however, obtaining proper compensation can be challenging. The defense will argue that the surgery as not necessary, and therefore the patient should not receive anything. Another issue to consider is biased jurors. Jurors might believe that those who get cosmetic surgery are vain, lazy, or rich. This may not be fair, but it happens.

Work with an Experienced Plastic Surgery Malpractice Attorney

There are risks involved with any medical procedure. If you have elected to undergo plastic or cosmetic surgery and ended up injured in the process, you may be able to file a claim against the negligent medical provider.

Medical malpractice cases are extremely difficult to win, especially when they involve cosmetic surgery—an elective procedure. The plastic surgery malpractice lawyers at Peters Berger Koshel & Goldberg, P.C. can assess your case and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. To get started, call our office at (800) 836-7801 to schedule a free consultation.


What to Know About Informed Consent

Doctor explaining the results of a test to her patient

When you schedule a doctor appointment, it is assumed that you will consent to a  physical exam, particularly if you are ill. However, a doctor can not perform invasive tests or surgical procedures without what is called informed consent. Under informed consent, a patient is entitled to learn about the benefits and risks of recommended medical procedures so that he or she can make informed decisions. They may choose to go ahead with the procedure or opt for an alternative, but the patient must have a solid understanding of what to expect.

When a patient undergoes a test or procedure without their consent, and they are injured in the process, they may be able to sue for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice may also apply if the doctor discusses one procedure, but performs a totally different procedure on the patient, even if the procedure was successful. Read on to learn more about informed consent and its legal
ramifications.

What is Informed Consent?

Informed consent is based on the premise that a patient has the right to make his or her own healthcare decisions. This is best done through informed consent, which describes the risks and benefits of the test or procedure thoroughly. Informed consent also provides the patient with alternatives so that he or she can make the right choice. If the patient agrees to the procedure, he or she will need to provide written consent as proof that the patient allows the procedure to be performed.

The patient has the ability to ask questions and get them answered in a timely manner.

When is Informed Consent Not Required?

There are exceptions to the rule. There are two main situations in which informed consent is not required:

Emergency Situations

In a medical emergency, immediate medical care is often needed to prevent further harm or even death. In these situations, there is no time to obtain consent from the patient, and as such, it is not required. This may apply if the doctor is already performing a procedure and finds another medical issue during the process. The doctor has the right to fix the medical issue without the patient’s consent.

Incompetence:

If someone is unconscious or otherwise mentally or physically unable to give or refuse consent, then informed consent does not apply. The medical professional can perform the tests or procedures that are deemed fit based on the situation. This also applies if the patient is emotionally fragile or extremely anxious and may not make the right decision based on his or her emotional state.

Work with an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney

A doctor must obtain informed consent from a patient in most circumstances. If a medical professional performs a test or procedure on a patient without consent, it may result in a medical malpractice case, particularly if the patient is injured.

If you or a loved one underwent a medical procedure even though no consent was given, it is important to seek legal help. The medical malpractice attorneys at Peters Berger Koshel & Goldberg, P.C. can help you understand your legal rights. Schedule a free consultation by calling our office at (800) 836-7801.


Anesthesia Malpractice: Common Errors

Anesthesiologist administering anesthesia to a patient

Many of us have had to undergo anesthesia at some time or another as a result of a medical procedure. Anesthesia may be a scary experience for some, but it is relatively safe. It is also quite common, with 40 million anesthesia procedures conducted in the United States every year.

Even though anesthesia is a common procedure, it is not without its risks. A documentation error or incorrect dose can lead to serious health effects. Some patients develop permanent nerve damage. Others go into a coma and even die.

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Types of Nursing Home Neglect

Caretaker verbally abusing elderly patient

Many Americans are spending their final years in nursing homes. They cannot take care of themselves in their own homes, and they may not have family members who can give them the around-the-clock care they need.

This means that more and more elderly patients are living in nursing homes. While there are some reputable nursing homes in the United States, many break the law and mistreat their elderly residents. They have received numerous citations for violations for serious cases of neglect and abuse.

Abuse is done intentionally. This often involves physical injuries and mental distress. Nursing home neglect is different, but also a serious issue in nursing homes across the country and one that can lead to great harm done to elderly residents.

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Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations in New York

Artistic depiction of medical malpractice

Your surgeon operated on the wrong leg. A nurse left a surgical tool inside your body during surgery. Your doctor failed to diagnose your cancer.

These are all examples of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is still a common occurrence in today’s society, despite technological advances. In fact, it is believed that as many as 440,000 people die from medical malpractice every year. This makes medical malpractice an epidemic as huge as heart disease and cancer.

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New York City Lead Regulations

Lead paint has been an issue with homes for many years. It has been known to cause physical and mental issues, especially in children. Lead paint was banned from use in homes and other residences in 1960. Given that this was nearly 60 years ago, you would think that this would no longer be a concern, but it is. There are tens of millions of homes that still contain lead paint because landlords have failed to update them with safer paint.

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How Pain and Suffering is Calculated in Medical Malpractice Cases

A frustrated doctor facing medical malpractice claims

Medical malpractice happens quite often. Medical mistakes lead to injuries, medical bills and often intense pain and suffering. While it’s easy to determine your economic damages, finding out how much money you can receive for pain and suffering is a bit more complicated.

Pain and suffering is often limited by caps on non-economic damages. Caps tend to apply to medical malpractice cases. While many states have damage caps under $500,000, New York is one of more than a dozen states that has no cap on any types of damages. This means you could receive millions of dollars for your pain and suffering, depending on the severity of your injuries.

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5 Common Types of Malpractice in an Emergency Room

A team of doctors operating on a patient in an emergency room

Medical malpractice is one of the leading causes of death. Mistakes made by medical staff account for 250,000 deaths every year. Medical malpractice can happen in a doctor’s office, hospital or other venue. Many cases happen in a hospital, particularly in an emergency room.

Emergency rooms are very stressful. When a patient is in the emergency room, time is of the essence. Minutes, even seconds, matter. Doctors often must make quick decisions and sometimes their decisions are not the right ones. Patients often end up getting very sick or even dying.

In an emergency room, medical malpractice can come in many forms. Here are five of the most common types of hospital negligence claims.

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Misdiagnosis of Cancer Statistics and Scenarios

Male doctor speaking to female patient

You cannot receive the medical treatment you need for your condition if the condition is not diagnosed correctly. When a condition is diagnosed as another specific condition, you can receive treatment for the assumed condition, which can at best, be useless and at worst, be harmful while your actual condition goes untreated. This can be as bad as having your condition diagnosed much later than it should have been, which is another scenario that can put you in a position where your condition becomes worse and worse as it goes untreated.

When a delayed or wrong diagnosis could have been prevented if the doctor or another medical professional had taken greater care, the patient can file a medical malpractice claim to seek compensation for his or her damages. One specific type of medical malpractice claim is a cancer misdiagnosis claim.

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NYC Trick or Treating Safety Tips

Halloween is quickly approaching. Many children look forward to this day all year long as they plan their costumes and trick or treating routes in order to yield the most (and best) candy. October 31, however, often ends in tragedy for many children and their families.

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