Can You Sue for Botched Plastic Surgery?

Plastic surgery is supposed to be a safe form of medical care. Millions of people seek plastic surgery each year for a variety of physical ailments. When you seek plastic surgery, having something go wrong probably doesn’t even cross your mind. You just expect everything to work.

If something goes wrong with your plastic surgery, you may feel angry and lost. You may be left with severe, physical disfigurement. There may be additional medical appointments and procedures to correct the damage. Instead of making your life better, plastic surgery can make your life much worse.

What are your legal rights after plastic surgery goes wrong? Can you and you Tampa medical malpractice attorneys sue after a botched plastic surgery? Here’s what Florida law has to say about lawsuits after botched plastic surgery.

Can You Sue After Botched Plastic Surgery in Florida?

Yes, you may be able to sue if your plastic surgery goes wrong in Florida. Your case may fall under Florida’s medical malpractice laws or Florida’s general negligence laws. If the care that you get during plastic surgery falls below the level of care that a competent plastic surgeon ought to have used for your operation, you may qualify for financial compensation. Your compensation can include increased medical bills as well as compensation for physical disfigurement and emotional suffering.

You might bring a lawsuit for medical malpractice or negligence after many types of plastic surgery including:

Breast augmentation
Breast reduction
Eyelid procedures
Facelifts
Laser Hair Removal
Liposuction
Neck lifts
Procedures to reduce scarring
Rhinoplasty (nose procedures)
Skin peels
Tummy tucks

Plastic Surgery Is a Medical Procedure Under Florida Law

Plastic surgery procedures are medical procedures. Plastic surgeons are trained, medical professionals. That means, when plastic surgery goes wrong, Florida’s medical malpractice laws apply. Florida law 766.102 applies to all medical malpractice cases in Florida including plastic surgery. Whether your procedure is necessary to save your life or to correct scarring or another issue, medical standards apply to all plastic surgery cases.

Medical Malpractice Laws Apply to Bad Plastic Surgery Cases in Florida

Because plastic surgery qualifies as a medical procedure for Florida’s medical malpractice law, you may bring a claim if the quality of care that you receive falls below what a reasonably trained, competent doctor would have provided in the same situation.

Florida law 766.102(1) says that the legal standard for a medical malpractice claim is that the “alleged actions of the health care provider represented a breach of the prevailing professional standard of care for that health care provider.” You must be hurt because of the care that you receive. If you can show that your injuries, pain or disfigurement occur because the care you got doesn’t live up to professional standards, you may have a valid claim for medical malpractice.

What’s the Burden of Proof in a Plastic Surgery Medical Malpractice Case in Florida?

The burden of proof to win a plastic surgery medical malpractice case in Florida is the “greater weight of the evidence.” That means more likely than not. Proving something by the greater weight of the evidence just means that there’s more evidence that the doctor breached the standard of care in your case than they didn’t.

As the plaintiff, it’s up to you to present evidence of your claim. You do that by presenting an expert medical opinion about what went wrong in your case and how it fell below the standard of care. Even though you have to present the evidence in your case, you only have to prove that it’s more likely than not that your doctor’s care fell below the standard of care.

A medical malpractice claim can be tricky in that you need to prove what happened from a medical standpoint. Even if a bad result obviously occurred, you still need a medical expert to connect the dots. Finding the right expert is very important for building a strong claim. Our team of skilled medical malpractice attorneys can help you find the right medical professionals to testify in your case.

A Bad Plastic Surgery Case Is Also a Florida Negligence Case

In addition to bringing a claim under Florida medical malpractice law, you can also bring a case under general negligence laws. Negligence laws apply to everyone in society. You must show that your doctor breached their duty of care in a way that led to your injuries and damages.

A Plastic Surgeon Is a Specialist and Held to Specialist Standards

Just like most medical professionals are specialists, plastic surgery is a special form of medicine. Your plastic surgeon has specialized training that they use when they go about their work. When you’re exploring whether medical malpractice occurred in your case, the law holds your surgeon to the higher level of care reserved for professionals. They must perform their work up to the standards of a trained plastic surgeon with specific plastic surgery training.

Florida law 766.102(5) creates standards for specialist testimony. A medical professional that’s going to testify in a case must have the same medical specialty as the person involved in the case. If the issue in the case is that the doctor didn’t have the right training, the medical specialist may have the specialty that the doctor should have had to perform the procedure with reasonable care and up to professional standards.

What Money Damages Can I Recover in My Plastic Surgery Negligence Case?

In a plastic surgery lawsuit, you can recover multiple types of damages. Any financial loss that you have because of the bad procedure can be included like medical bills, lost wages, and medical devices for mobility. You can also ask for payments to cover mental anguish or disfigurement that occurs because of your botched plastic surgery.

How Our Tampa Plastic Surgery Lawyers Can Help

If you’re wondering what to do after a botched plastic surgery, our understanding Tampa medical malpractice lawyers can help. We know how frustrating it can be to face the lasting effects of a botched plastic surgery. With thousands of medical malpractice clients, we have the experience to help you evaluate your case and pursue a claim for compensation.

About the Author

Jack G. Bernstein, ESQ.

For more than 35 years, personal injury lawyer Jack G. Bernstein has protected the rights of individuals who have been injured in a variety of circumstances. Mr. Bernstein is a member of the Florida State Bar Association, the Hillsborough Bar Association and the Clearwater Bar Association.

The information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.