Can I sue my plastic surgeon for a bad surgery? 27 Answers as of May 30, 2013

I had surgery to remove excess skin following dramatic weight loss. The results are very poor and I look like a freak now. I am very emotionally distraught by all of this.

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Goodman & Goodman PA | Bruce Elliott Goodman
Poor results from plastic surgery are not in and of themselves evidence of a malpractice. In order to prove a malpractice you will need another doctor who who is knowledgeable of that procedure to testify that the original surgeon breached the standard of care that a patient had a right to expect, and that said breach was the cause of your damages.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 1/3/2012
Bisner and Chase LLP | Travis Siegel
In theory, you can sue anyone for anything. The issue will be whether an attorney agrees to take your case and files it. To have a valid case against the plastic surgeon, you have to prove that they violated the standard of care, which is what a reasonable plastic surgeon would have done in your particular situation. Plastic surgery cases are difficult to win because whether a doctor acted reasonably is much different from whether the patient is happy with the result. A lot of patients are nothappy with the outcome and typically, the physician explains that possibility to the patient both verbally and in writing.Another plastic surgeon would need to look at your case and evaluate whether your surgeon acted reasonably. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/30/2011
E. Ray Critchett, LLC
E. Ray Critchett, LLC | Ray Critchett
Generally, if you are the victim of medical malpractice, you only have 1 year from the date you knew or should have known of the malpractice. If you believe you are a victim of such actions, I would recommend contacting an attorney sooner rather than later. It may help the attorney if you have documentation of before and after photographs of the areas.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 10/25/2012
Law Office of Jared Altman
Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
A bad result is not necessarily malpractice. You would need a second plastic surgeon to say that thee first one botched the job.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 12/30/2011
Cary J. Wintroub & Associates
Cary J. Wintroub & Associates | Cary J. Wintroub
A bad outcome does not necessarily mean malpractice. Proof of deviation from the standard of care may present a basis to proceed.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 12/29/2011
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    In order to prove a medical malpractice case, a claimant must prove a failure to conform to accepted practice, resulting in an injury. A bad result is not enough, and if it is a "judgment call" by the doctor, there is no malpractice, even if the doctor made the wrong call. You would have to find out exactly what the surgeon did and how he did it as well as what the accepted practices & standards are for this type of surgery. Ultimately you would have to hire an expert witness (meaning, another plastic surgeon) to review the records and determine what went wrong.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    Consult with and/or retain a plaintiff's medical malpractice lawyer for specific legal advice and direction. Many states have administrative procedures which must be complied with before bringing a lawsuit.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry | Ronald Arthur Lowry
    That is a type of medical malpractice case that is, unfortunately, becoming more common. You will need an attorney that is skilled at medical malpractice cases. Most lawyers do not know how to do med-mal but will not admit that. If you do not know which lawyer to contact about this call me and I will refer you to the best med-mal attorney in your area at no charge to you.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/28/2011
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    Medical malpractice cases in the great State of Washington are governed by statutes. RCW 7.70. (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=7.70). The main question is usually whether the health care provider failed to follow the accepted standard of care in the field. RCW 7.70.030. There can also be causes of action for health care providers making promises they didn't fulfill, or acting without the informed consent of the patient. These cases are extremely difficult and require the testimony of an expert witness. Miller V. Jacoby, 102 Wn. App. 256 (2000). (You can read relevant cases at the MRSC website.) Doctors are trained to work cooperatively (unlike lawyers who are trained to be adversarial), so doctors are often reluctant to testify against each other. Doctors who are willing to testify as expert witness usually charge significant quantities of money to do so, and often must be flown in from out of State.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 12/28/2011
    Kirshner & Groff
    Kirshner & Groff | Richard M. Kirshner
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/30/2013
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Personal injury attorneys who handle medical malpractice claims generally offer free consultations. You should speak with one personally. He or she would be able to better judge the probability of a suit by seeing you in person. The fact that you do not like the results is an insufficient basis for a suit, just by itself.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/28/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    Yes, potentially. You'll want to talk to a lawyer who handles medical malpractice cases.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    McKell Christiansen
    McKell Christiansen | Michael McKell
    Yes you can sue the doctor but you will need to show that the doctor breached the standard of care which means he did something different that would be expected of similar doctors. The fact that you do not like the results of the surgery is not sufficient to prove your case. You will need to find another surgeon to act as an expert and clearly identify thing the doctor did that differ from the standard of care or what other doctors would have done.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 12/28/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    This would be a tough case. Most plastic surgeries come with the caveat that there are no guarantees on the outcome and I am sure you signed a consent form saying so. But some are so botched that those guarantees wont prevent a recovery in your favor. You need to speak to a medical malpractice attorney and he/she will have to find an expert that will attest that your surgeon acted below the standard of care. An expert is required and they are very expensive especially in the cosmetic surgery arena. You can expect $1,000/hour to testify, sometimes higher or 1/2 day minimums. But get a free consultation from a lawyer to ascertain your rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/28/2011
    Law Firm of Martin & Wallentine
    Law Firm of Martin & Wallentine | Richard Martin
    Depending on how dramatic the results are, you may have a claim for malpractice. Please consult a personal injury attorney immediately to assess your case. The law imposes strict time deadlines on filing claims.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 12/28/2011
    AyerHoffman, LLP
    AyerHoffman, LLP | David C. Ayer
    You may have a claim against your plastic surgeon if it can be demonstrated to a preponderance of the evidence your surgeon breached the standard of medical care in the performance of your operation. It is important to understand that a bad result from a medical procedure is not in and of itself malpractice. You should consult with a medical malpractice attorney to determine whether you have a viable claim.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 12/28/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    To successfully sue for malpractice, you need three things: 1. Evidence that the doctor/nurse deviated from acceptable standards of due care, either by act or omission. This is also referred to as negligence. A bad outcome, in of itself, is not evidence of negligence. You need a doctor to testify that the doctor/nurse was negligent. 2. Evidence that the negligence cause some harm. 3. Significant damages. If the negligence caused minor damages, it would not be economically feasible to bring a ,malpractice case, because the cost in expert witness fees would exceed your damages. I know some malpractice attorneys who require at least $500,000 in medical bills or lost wages caused by the negligence before they will consider the case. You should consult attorneys with experience in Medical Malpractice to determine whether you have a case. In turn, the attorney will need to consult a doctor to determine whether malpractice occurred.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 12/28/2011
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC | Paul S. Bovarnick
    I'm so sorry about your bad outcome. If your injury was caused the surgeon's violation of the standard of care for plastic surgeons, then you may have a claim. If the surgeon did not tell you of the risks of the surgery, you may have a claim. But you need to consult with a lawyer. Not all bad outcomes will give rise to a successful law suit.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 12/28/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    There is malpractice and there are bad results. You must find a plastic surgeon who agrees there is malpractice and is willing to so testify for you on the subject. Your opinion does not count for much. It is all about what a professional of the same caliber thinks
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 12/28/2011
    Ford, Howard & Cornett, P.C. | Bradley Cornett
    You should confer with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. To bring a malpractice lawsuit, you will need another plastic surgeon to testify that your doctor deviated from the applicable professional standard of care. In other words, it is not enough that the results were not satisfactory. You must prove that your doctor wrongfully deviated from the standard of care for similar doctors in your area. So the focus cannot be on poor results, but rather on what the doctor did wrong that proximately caused the poor results. In addition to conferring with a medical malpractice lawyer, you should confer with board certified plastic surgeons on whether or not your doctor violated the standard of care.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 12/28/2011
    RECHTMAN & SPEVAK | DAVID RECHTMAN
    Bad results are alone not enough to have a cause of action against your plastic surgeon. You and your lawyer must prove in court that the doctor did not conform to the accepted standard of care in the plastic surgery profession.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/28/2011
    The Law Offices of Jason Chan
    The Law Offices of Jason Chan | Jason Chan
    You can if it was below the standard of care.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 12/28/2011
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C. | Steven A. Schwartz
    Unfortunately, there are no guarantees with surgery. You run the risk of a bad result. However, doctors must follow a certain standard of care and their actions cannot be substandard. In order to flesh this out, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area to discuss the details. A determination of whether there was negligence on the part of the doctor must be made.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 12/28/2011
    Law Office of William L Spern | William Spern
    Yes. You should see an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice. Time is of the essence as you have a short time to file suit after service are ended.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 12/28/2011
    Paris Blank LLP
    Paris Blank LLP | Irving M Blank
    Only if you have a written opinion from a plastic surgeon that your surgeon failed to meet the standard of care for plastic surgeons in Virginia and that opinion specifies what constituted the failure.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 12/28/2011
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