When cosmetic procedures go wrong – can you make a claim?

Cosmetic procedures have become increasingly common, but unfortunately, they do not always go to plan. If you have undergone a cosmetic procedure that has not gone as planned, we understand the devastating impact this may have on your life. A cosmetic procedure gone wrong such as lip fillers, botox, liposuction, breast augmentation, or dental surgery, can cause significant damage to your health, your confidence, and your wellbeing. However, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. This blog looks at how to make a claim if a cosmetic procedure has gone wrong.

Cosmetic procedures gone wrong: first steps

If you have instructed a professional to carry out a cosmetic procedure, you are entitled to a certain level of care. If you believe the professional has done something wrong or acted negligently, you may be able to bring a claim. In the first instance, we would recommend trying to resolve this with the organisation that carried out your procedure. The practitioner may recommend a further procedure to rectify what you are unhappy with, and they should have a formal complaints procedure. However, in some cases, patients are left with chronic pain or lifelong injuries, including scarring.

If you have suffered a significant injury due to a negligent cosmetic procedure, we would advise that you contact an experienced medical negligence or personal injury solicitor.

Informed consent

When you undergo any medical procedure, including rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, a gastric band operation or liposuction, the medical professional has a duty to obtain ‘informed consent’. Informed consent means that they made you aware of all of the risks of the procedure, before it was carried out. If you were not aware of what could go wrong and you then suffered such complications, you may be able to bring a claim for lack of informed consent.

Making a claim for a cosmetic procedure gone wrong

There are various elements to making a successful claim for a cosmetic procedure that has gone wrong, which are set out below.

Time limit

There are strict time limits for bringing a claim. You must bring a claim within three years of the date of the procedure or within three years of realising that you had suffered an injury.

You must have suffered an injury

It is not enough that the practitioner acted negligently; you must have suffered an injury to claim compensation. An injury does include scarring, burns, or infection.

You must be able to prove the practitioner acted negligently

The practitioner must have failed to exercise the standard of care that could be reasonably expected of a person in their role. Whether or not a mistake was ‘negligent’ is often the key factor in cosmetic injury cases.

To discuss this, or any other Clinical Negligence matter with Gerard directly, please call us, start a live chat or email us at info@hartbrown.co.uk.

*This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.


Gerard Sanders

Partner, Head of Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence

Gerard qualified with a large regional firm in 1991. Since 1995 he has specialised exclusively on claimant personal injury work. More recently he has focused...

Gerard Sanders - Head of Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence

Partner, Head of Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence

Gerard Sanders

Gerard qualified with a large regional firm in 1991. Since 1995 he has specialised exclusively on claimant personal injury work. More recently he has focused on complex higher value clinical negligence and personal injury claims, achieving seven figure settlements in personal injury cases involving amputation, multiple orthopaedic injuries and head injuries.

His greatest success has been winning the high profile case of Delaney-v-The Secretary of State for Transport where after almost 9 years of litigation involving two Court of Appeal hearings and an application to the Supreme Court he was finally able to establish that the Motor Insurers’ Bureau Agreement was incompatible with EEC law. As a direct result of the decision in this case the agreement has had to be amended to the benefit of many future victims of uninsured drivers.

Gerard is a member of the Law Society’s Personal Injury Panel and he appears in the latest Legal 500 rankings in the fields of personal injury and clinical negligence.

Gerard’s other professional qualifications include a Diplome D’Etudes Juridiques Francaises from Strasbourg University.

What do people say about Gerard?

“I have the highest regard for you and your company.” – Dr Philip Steadman , Consultant Psychiatrist.

“He is a pleasure to work with and always gains the absolute best outcome for those who instruct him. He is highly responsive and he has an eye for detail with a sensible overview of the global issues.” – Colin McDevitt, Barrister, 3 Paper Buildings.

“I think that is an excellent outcome!. You have phenomenal negotiation skills. I work with insurers every day and to say the very least they are a challenge!” – client.

“It has been an unbelievably difficult time over the past few years. The decision to have my leg amputated was not particularly easy, nor was the rehabilitation. To do all of that whilst worrying about my case would have quite simply been overwhelming. Having you there meant that I had none of that worry. I have always known as I was in incredibly good hands and that I had nothing to be concerned about… You have made a unfathomably difficult situation immeasurably easier, and I will be forever grateful to you.” – client.