West Palm Beach Plastic Surgery Malpractice Lawyer
Plastic surgery has become more and more common in the United States in recent years, especially in areas like Florida where sun damage is a very real concern. However, when things go wrong, recovery for your injuries can be surprisingly difficult. It is imperative that you have a West Palm Beach plastic surgery malpractice lawyer who knows this area of law on your side.
Common Malpractice Indicators
While unfortunately there is no way to predict malpractice, there are signs you can take into account when visiting a doctor’s office that might indicate a higher probability. Reputable doctors conduct themselves in ways that disreputable doctors do not.
Plastic surgeons in Florida must be appropriately accredited, and one of the most common indicators of malpractice is that your doctor has no specific plastic surgery credentials. Taking one course or studying one book does not make someone an expert, but it is not uncommon for otherwise qualified MDs to hold themselves out as plastic surgeons in this manner.
Another oft-seen issue is when doctors perform a sort of bait-and-switch; they may hold consultations in a well-appointed office, but on surgery day, you may be directed to a nondescript office with substandard equipment. This is at best unethical.
If you do consent to surgery, however, it is also malpractice if a doctor exceeds that informed consent. Informed consent occurs when a patient expressly agrees to a procedure – but only that procedure. If a patient provides their informed consent to a rhinoplasty (a nose job), a doctor may not take it upon themselves to perform a rhytidectomy (facelift) simply because they want to.
Be advised that not every adverse reaction to a plastic surgery procedure constitutes malpractice, however – only the outcomes that constitute negligence on the part of the medical professional.
The Florida Malpractice Insurance Requirement
There is one extremely important caveat when looking for a plastic surgeon in Florida. Unlike nearly every other state in the country, Florida allows some doctors to practice without obtaining malpractice insurance. It is an option for a doctor in Florida to eschew malpractice insurance (instead, setting up an irrevocable line of credit to cover settlements as required by law) and simply post a sign in their lobby area that states:
“Under Florida law, doctors are generally required to carry medical malpractice insurance or otherwise demonstrate financial responsibility to cover potential claims for medical malpractice. However, certain part-time physicians who meet state requirements are exempt from the financial responsibility law. YOUR DOCTOR MEETS THESE REQUIREMENTS AND HAS DECIDED NOT TO CARRY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE INSURANCE.”
This complicates matters severely for injured patients. Bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida is already a difficult proposition, with the requirements of medical records and expert opinions needing to be met before a suit can even be filed. Suing an uninsured doctor makes things more difficult, given that most attorneys simply will not take the case.
We Can Help You Get What You Are Owed
If you have been injured by the negligence of a plastic surgeon, you need an attorney who knows the law and can use it to get you the compensation you deserve. The West Palm Beach plastic surgery malpractice lawyers at Gary Roberts & Associates will listen to you and involve you in every step of the legal process from beginning to end. We can work with your schedule, and we are also able to accommodate Spanish speakers at our West Palm Beach office. Contact us for a consultation today.