Cosmetic Surgery Medical Negligence Claims

The majority of people undergo cosmetic surgery in order to improve their appearance and increase their self-confidence and many invest both their savings and trust in their cosmetic surgeon. Prior to 2002 however, many cosmetic surgeons did not undergo specialist training and instead carried operations as wide ranging as breast augmentations and rhinoplasty (nose reshaping) which with today’s tighter regulations would normally be deemed specialist areas by different types of cosmetic surgeon.

Whilst the quality of treatment given by many cosmetic surgeons is very good there are some who make unsatisfactory errors, leading to claims for operations such as face lifts, breast enlargement or reduction, nose reshaping (rhinoplasty), cosmetic dentistry, gastric band surgery and other complications such as damaged nerves, arteries and organs and failure to obtain informed consent.

In addition, whilst post-surgery infection is not necessarily grounds for medical negligence, failing to notice that a patient is developing an infection may be because neglected infection can be far more life-threatening than infection which is treated at onset.

Our team of specialist medical negligence solicitors will deal sensitively and professionally with your cosmetic surgery claim and offer a free 30 minute initial consultation to discuss whether or not you have a case, your funding options and any time limits for bringing your compensation claim.

The damaging Compensation Culture Myth

Despite the media and television adverts for no win no fee claims portraying the UK as a nation with a compensation culture (which persist despite the Claims Management Regulator saying they will be stopped), claims fell from just under 11,000 in 2001 to 10,308 in 2010.

The ABI (Association of British Insurers) recently published a report calling for an end to the UK’s ‘have a go’ compensation culture. The Law Society responded by accused the insurance industry of ‘spreading obfuscation and confusion’ about the existence of a compensation culture. According to the ABI, the growth in ‘spurious and exaggerated personal-injury claims and excessive legal costs’ has resulted in higher costs for consumers, local authorities and the NHS, as well as a more complex procedure for genuine claimants.

In the case of medical negligence claims against the NHS however the situation is somewhat different. The rules surrounding claim notification has recently changed, directly resulting in an increase in claims reported to the NHSLA which monitors and deals with legal claims on behalf of the NHS.

When a defendant receives details of a claim they must register the details with the Compensation Recovery Unit (a government agency which works with insurance companies, solicitors and DWP customers to recover social security benefits received by claimants following injuries where a successful claim is made). In 2009/10 the claims notified were just over 6600 but had increased to just over 8600 by 2010/11.

A significant number of people are injured by and in the NHS every year and very few would rather keep the money if there was a chance of full or significant recovery. They are and always should be entitled to compensation. This therefore demonstrates that the compensation culture is a myth.

If you have been the victim of a no fault accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Wherever you live in England and Wales, for free accident claim advice you can trust, contact our specialist team of personal injury lawyers today on [01722 ] 422300

 

Solicitor reappointed to Law Society Panel

Specialist Clinical Negligence SolicitorsAs a firm, we are absolutely committed to excellence and our personal injury team is no exception to this. As a result, therefore, we are really happy to announce that the head of our personal injury department has just been reappointed to the Clinical Negligence Accreditation Panel run by the Law Society itself.

Denise Broomfield, a specialist medical negligence solicitor, will now be a member of the panel until 2017 – this is a particularly specialist panel – out of more than 100,000 solicitors nationwide, only just over 300 of them are members of this Clinical Negligence [or medical negligence as it is more often known] Accreditation Scheme. According to the Law Society, the panel is recognition of specialist and excellent skills, knowledge and practice in the area of medical negligence compensation claims.

Denise covers a wide variety of medical negligence work – including birth injuries, hip replacement compensation claims, GP errors, surgical mistakes and compensation claims that result from cancer misdiagnosis.

In addition, Denise is also on the equally specialist medical negligence accreditation panel run by AvMA -the nationwide charity, Action Against Medical Accidents. In addition, one of our personal injury solicitors who specialises in accident claims which don’t involve medical negligence, Anthony Pownall, is also a member of the Law Society Personal Injury Panel.

Removing legal aid from medical negligence – government make slight concession

It appears that the government have made a slight change of policy with regard to its highly controversial proposal to abolish public funding [as legal aid is now called] from all medical negligence claims.

A planned amendment to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill allows for the retention of legal aid in what are referred to as “in obstetrics cases which result in severe disability”.

While, in general, there has been a welcome response to this minor concession, a number of observers – including the campaigning medical accident charity, Action against Medical Accidents – are querying how very limited the concession will be. We share those concerns. It’s not entirely clear why, either for practical reasons or for reasons of fairness or social justice, that a baby suffering a catastrophic traffic injury at birth due to medical negligence should be entitled to legal aid to help bring a compensation claim, whereas perhaps a one-year-old child, suffering equal injuries on account of medical negligence would be denied.

Despite this remarkably limited concession, the government appeared to remain committed to the proposals to remove 25 per cent of the compensation payments for victims of medical negligence to top up the general legal aid fund.

Will medical negligence claims be reduced by 50%?

That’s the question that is currently being asked by Peter Smith – a senior member of the Civil Justice Council. Speaking at the Bar Conference, Mr Smith [who is also the managing director of First Assist Legal Expenses Insurance] predicted that the forthcoming proposed removal of medical negligence claims from legal aid [or public funding as it is now properly known] along with the proposed changes in regulations proposed by the so-called Jackson reforms, could reduce the number of medical negligence compensation claims annually – from 6000 to just 3000. In particular he predicted that 2000 claimants would no longer have funding to make compensation claims for medical negligence due to the removal of legal aid, and that a further 1000 claims would probably be lost as a direct result of planned changes to conditional fee [or no win no fee ] arrangements and after the event insurance.

Mr Smith also predicted that so-called “before the event “[BTE] insurance premiums were likely to rise by “seven or eight fold”, partly due to the planned ban on personal injury referral fees. He concluded that he could see no insurance mechanism allowing those with” decent claims to bring them” adding that the proposed Jackson reforms and removal of legal aid for medical negligence would have a “dreadful [and] chilling effect”.

If you think you have been a victim of medical negligence, contact our specialist medical negligence solicitors today on FREEPHONE FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for a free first interview.