Medical malpractice cases are typically among the most difficult to prove at the time of the trial. Physicians are nearly always put on a pedestal by the jury panel who tend to see the doctor as an altruist, who saves lives for a living. Even the most sympathetic of victims up against the least compelling of physicians will have a hard time overcoming this inherent juror bias.
In general, the law demands that a physician or surgeon have the degree of learning and skill ordinarily possessed by practitioners of the medical profession in the same locality and that he or she exercise ordinary care in applying such learning and skill to the treatment of the patient. To prevail in a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff must prove the defendant physician was negligent in his care and treatment and that such neglect was, to a reasonable medical probability, a substantial factor in causing the harm alleged. Sometimes, this is proven when a plaintiff produces sufficient evidence to allow the jury to infer that in the absence of the defendant's negligence, there was a reasonable medical probability the plaintiff would have obtained a better result. Most often, educating the jury to the law and the medicine necessary to understand the case is an uphill battle, resulting in a large number of confused jurors whose predisposition for the doctor carries the day.
While most medical malpractice cases are difficult to pursue from the patient's perspective becasue of the existing juror bias and the complexity of the medicine at issue, these factors are not as prevalent in cases involving cosmetic, plastic surgery. It is not uncommon to find physicians praticing in this lucrative field who are not as well qualified as in other medical specialties. For example, in one case handled by Mr. Ralph, the "plastic surgeon" was actually a board certified OB/GYN with little to no formal training in plastic surgery. In spite of this, the doctor held herself out as being a specialist in "scarless breast surgery." The end result was a bad outcome for the patient and a substantial judgment against the doctor.
In yet another case, a fairly well-qualified physician performed a breast augmentation in such a fashion that he caused the patient's lung to partially collapse. Instead of transferring the patient immediately to an appropriate hospital, the doctor kept the victim in his office overnight, under the watch of a member of his staff. The next day the patient had to be transferred to an Orange County hospital for more treatment and monitoring.
It is important for patients considering cosmetic, plastic surgery to investigate the qualifications of their doctor. Not all "cosmetic" surgeons are board certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery, the certification actually recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Would you want a physician with inadequate training and experience operating on your body or face?
Compensation for victims of medical neglect, should be an important concern for all Californians. When a physician is not qualified to perform a procedure or for some owther reason performs surgery negligently, they should be held accountable. An Orange County trial lawyer with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims. Mr. Ralph has more than 19 years of experience handling personal injury cases, including just this type. He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.
Have you or a loved one been a victim of a cosmetic surgeon's neglect?
- This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter. A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.