How Are Personal Injury Awards Calculated?
July 2, 2014
Ten Things You Must Do After An Auto Accident
July 2, 2014

Medical Malpractice and Elective Surgery: Do You Have a Claim?

Medical malpractice suits are brought against hospital facilities and medical providers for instances of negligent care that result in harm to the patient.  The basic components for a claim are the existence of a doctor / patient relationship, some negligent act or omission and a resulting injury.  If the injury caused some form of damage to the patient, a claim may be brought.

Elective Surgery Complications And Your Legal Options

This kind of case is well established, but many patients wonder if they have the same options available to them for medical mistakes or misinformation when they have elective surgery.  Most elective surgeries are cosmetic in nature, in other words, they are not medically necessary for health or longevity.  Examples of elective surgeries are face-lifts, nose reduction, liposuction and breast enhancement.  These are all common procedures that require the experience and skill of an established surgeon, and if not successful, may result in aesthetic and even life threatening complications.

Even though these types of procedures are elective, this does not relieve the surgeon or facility of the duty to maintain a reasonable standard of care for the entire medical process.  This includes adequate warning beforehand about side effects or known consequences of the procedure, actual performance of the surgery, the outcome of improved appearance and post- surgical care.  At each step, the physician must provide the same level of care that any other surgeon would in the same situation.  Any deviation from that standard violates their duty of care as a professional, and can be the basis for a medical malpractice claim.

Damages Awarded For Elective Surgery & Medical Malpractice

Although the legal standard is the same, the primary issue with elective surgery may be the amount of damages that will be awarded to the patient.  Even if there is some lasting disability or disfigurement, juries may be less sympathetic to a victim who was seeking a cosmetic procedure to enhance their appearance.  There could be a bias to allowing the physician more latitude in the procedure, especially if the patient were warned ahead of time that there was the possibility of complications.

Nevertheless, any doctor or facility that maintains a professional practice will be held to the high standards of the medical industry. Medical experts can be used to assess if the procedure was performed correctly and was appropriate for the patient.  If lasting harm can be shown that compromises overall health, limits the ability to work or affects the enjoyment of life, there may be basis for a damage claim from the injury.  In some extreme cases, pain and suffering can be compensated in the form of damages.

Medical malpractice is an area of law that requires an attorney who understands how to formulate the case, obtain expert testimony and advocate for the restitution due their client.  The Rossman Law Group has the experience in medical malpractice that can overcome the challenges in obtaining awards for elective surgeries.  Contact a Boise medical malpractice lawyer for a consultation to discuss your case at 208-331-2030.