Do I need an attorney for botched liposuction surgery?

Asked over 4 years ago - North Hollywood, CA

I had "liposculpture" in Sherman Oaks, CA at a medical clinic. The outcome was cosmetically very poor. The area where the work was done looks much worse than before the surgery. I was told that nothing could be done to fix it. I did sign an arbitration agreement. I am aware that this kind of thing can be repaired but of course that will involve more money, pain, and time off from work. I am wondering if I should get an attorney and threaten them with legal action in order to get at least a partial refund of the $7500 I spent for the procedure.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Pamela Koslyn

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . As my colleague noted, the medical disclosure and consent form you signed may have limited how and where and for what you can sue the doctor for medical malpractice. If you agreed to an arbitration clause, then if you sue in civil court, your doctor's lawyer can petition to have the case transferred to arbitration, which you've agreed to, so that will be a waste of your time and money.

    Have you gotten an opinion and estimate from another doctor about the nature of the botched surgery and how much it will cost to repair? You need to see a medical malpractice lawyer to assess your rights and damages, and these facts are key.

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

  2. Michael Edward Atwater

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . If you signed an informed consent form, you will need to review it to see what rights you have or have not waived. A bad result of cosmetic surgery is not necessarily malpractice. You have to be able to show by the testimony of a medical expert that the doctor violated a recognized medical standard.

    My comments are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, are not confidential, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Proper legal advice can only be given by an attorney who agrees to represent you, who reviews the facts of your specific case, who does not have a conflict of interest preventing the representation, and who is licensed to practice in the appropriate jurisdiction where the legal issue may be filed or in the state where the law applies.

  3. Andrew Daniel Myers

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . I never take a case just to "threaten" people. There is no way in the world any experienced medical malpractice attorney can give you a yes or no "is this malpractice" answer based on a brief online posting and summary answer, even on a great legal site like AVVO.

    The short summary answer is that the medical malpractice law comes right out and states that medical malpractice requires more than simply an unfortunate medical result. Professional medical liability is based on proof that the care that was given fell below the average standard of care, and that damages resulted as a result of that substandard care.

    A determination is more a medical decision than a legal determination and malpractice attorneys work with medical experts to screen the facts and records in any given case prior to determining if any case merits going forward.

    If you believe that there may be a case, please make an appointment with an experienced medical malpractice attorney in your jurisdiction for a confidential and no cost initial consultation.

    I truly wish you the best.

    This answer is provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided in an office consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, with experience in the area of law in which your concern lies.

  4. Todd Nathan Hendrickson

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . If your only goal is to get back the fee you paid, then I'm going to respectfully suggest that your claim isn't economically viable from a medical malpractice attorney's standpoint. The cost of bringing a medical malpractice suit is extremely high and if you do not have damages that warrant the expenditure, it is unlikely that you will find an attorney willing to pursue the matter.

    If you are dissatisfied with the outcome I would urge you to look closely at the arbitration agreement and see if you can proceed down that road without the need to retain an attorney.

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