Cosmetic surgery and other procedures are becoming more commonplace and in some cases, routine. With the increasing numbers of people taking advantage of accessibility of these procedures, it is important to understand your rights when undergoing that treatment.
Commonly, we are asked to act on behalf of people who have been injured, or not achieved the desired outcome following cosmetic surgery procedures such as:
- Nose, Chin and Cheek Enhancements;
- Face lifts (including eyelid, neck and brow lifts);
- Tummy tucks;
- Gastric banding;
- Breast Enhancements;
- Filler injections;
- Dental and jaw procedures;
- Laser treatments; and
- Development of infections.
It might be misconceived that just because these types of surgeries are not treating threatening illnesses, they carry different legal rights than those attached to other surgeries people might undergo. Despite what you might think, cosmetic surgery procedures are no less important than any other procedure you might undertake.
For each procedure, your doctor or treatment provider has a duty of care to exercise a reasonable standard of skill and care when treating you.
Furthermore, in most circumstances you will have further protection pursuant to the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and in particular, the section 60 guarantee that the services be rendered with due care and skill. Pursuant to section 267(4) of the ACL, compensation for loss or damage can be recovered as a result of any breach of that guarantee.
So what happens when your cosmetic surgery goes wrong?
In circumstances where your cosmetic procedure has gone wrong, we recommend seeking legal advice immediately. This is particularly important given the various avenues of legal redress that might be available to you depending on the circumstances of your claim and the type of treatment you undertook.
For example, in order to be successful against a cosmetic surgeon, you must establish, amongst other things, that the surgeon’s treatment fell below what would be considered by peer professional opinion in Australia as competent professional practice.
There may be a different legal test and evidentiary burden in circumstances where if you are injured as a result of malfunctioning/faulty piece of equipment, or you did not consent to a particular cosmetic procedure.
If you feel that you have negligently treated by a medical practitioner in any circumstances, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information, and to arrange a free, no-obligation assessment of your claim, please contact Stacks Goudkamp on 1800 25 1800, or alternatively make an online enquiry.
Written by Mark Crollos.