Cosmetic Surgery Negligence & Compensation Claims Explained

Mark Benson

Mark Benson

Money Savings Advice Cosmetic negligence compensation

Are you one of the many people seeking cosmetic surgery compensation in the UK? While the regulatory framework has been improved of late, there are still numerous issues of cosmetic surgery negligence which can lead to long-term complications. If you believe you are suffering as a consequence of negligence by a cosmetic surgeon, then you will have recourse for compensation.

Cosmetic surgery compensation is an area which incorporates both physical and mental scarring. It is worth noting that the courts view physical/mental injuries in the same manner even though this was not necessarily the case in years gone by.

As a consequence, if a botched cosmetic surgery has had both a physical and mental impact on your life, then you may well be entitled to significant compensation.

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What Is the Definition of Cosmetic Surgery Negligence?

There are two things to take into consideration cosmetic surgery negligence. If certain promises were made to the patient, which was not delivered upon, this could be classed as negligence. More likely, cosmetic surgery compensation claims will revolve around botched procedures – substandard treatment.

How Do You Measure the Quality of Care/Negligence?

In a similar fashion to traditional medical negligence compensation claims, the treatment received will be compared and contrasted against that reasonably expected from those in a similar role in the industry. The measurement is simple, what level of treatment could you reasonably expect from peers?

Can I Sue for Procedural Error?

If we are talking about simple procedural errors such as administering the wrong dose of medicine/product, this is grounds for negligence. We sometimes hear of difficulties with individual procedures which could be deemed procedural error, but there may be an inherent risk associated with the treatment.

In these cases, if the patient is made aware of the risks and signs the appropriate disclaimer, then the practitioner may be able to have claims of negligence dismissed.

Does a Disclaimer Stop Me From Pursuing Compensation for Negligence?

There are situations where you may be asked to sign a disclaimer if there is a particular risk with a procedure – which has been explained to you in full. However, if you are asked to sign a general disclaimer, this does not take away your right to sue for negligence.

No matter what form of documentation you sign, the medical practitioner is still legally obliged to provide a high quality of care - commonly referred to as the Bolam test.

Is There a Cut-Off Point for Lodging a Compensation Claim?

The traditional window of opportunity in which to pursue a compensation claim is three years from the diagnosis of an illness/injury. It is normally immediately obvious if there have been issues with your cosmetic surgery; therefore, the window of opportunity tends to start on the day of treatment.

There will be other scenarios where perhaps there were no issues on the day of treatment, but complications were to develop later on. As and when these complications are diagnosed, that is the start of your three-year window of opportunity.

Can I Claim for Disappointing Cosmetic Surgery Results?

As long as you are made aware of the risks associated with your cosmetic surgery procedure, it is unlikely that the cosmetic surgeon would be found negligent because you were “disappointed” with the results.

If they carried out the procedure in the correct manner with the appropriate after-care, then they have delivered on their duty of care. On the other hand, if the cosmetic surgeon promised a specific result and they were unable to deliver, then this may be classed as negligent.

How Do I Start a Cosmetic Surgery Compensation Claim?

The first thing to do is gather as much evidence as possible regarding your treatment, the procedure and how it has impacted your life. This will include elements such as:-

  • Fine details of the procedure
  • Post-procedure issues
  • Complications
  • Unfulfilled promises
  • Copy of original literature
  • Timeline of events
  • Photographic evidence
  • Witness statements

The more detail you can provide regarding your botched cosmetic surgery, the more chance of proving negligence and receiving compensation. The above list is by no means exclusively but does give you an idea of what you can use to support your claim.

Should I Seek Professional Advice When Pursuing a Compensation Claim?

Yes. Even the most obvious of compensation claims can often turn out to be relatively complicated, especially in the area of medical negligence. There are also timelines, legal obligations and certain elements of information which need to be provided to the correct people at the correct time. When you approach a personal injury claims advisor, they will review your evidence and rate your chances of success.

How Do I Pursue My Claim?

The majority of personal injury claim advisers work on a “no win no fee” arrangement which removes the liability of the claimant to cover case expenses. There are also various insurance policies that can be put in place to cover any potential defendant expenses in the event of a failed prosecution.

In order to offer a “no win no fee” arrangement, your personal injury claims advisor would normally require a minimum 60% estimated chance of success.

How Does a No-Win, No Fee Arrangement Work?

In simple terms, the claimant will not be responsible for the expenses/costs associated with their personal injury claims advisor. In the event of victory, then the personal injury claims advisor would look for reimbursement of fees from the defendant.

In exchange for the risks associated with the no win no fee arrangement, your adviser would negotiate a “success fee” with you. This would tend to be around 25% of any compensation awarded, although it could be higher for more complicated cases.

What Levels of Compensation Should I Expect?

While there are guidelines regarding specific injuries, the level of compensation will be decided on a case-by-case basis. For example, very severe scarring as a consequence of negligence would result in compensation between £23,740 and £77,580.

Alternatively, relatively minor scarring would tend to attract compensation in the region of £1360 up to £2810. It is also worth noting there are two different types of compensation, general damages, financial compensation for your pain and suffering, and special damages, financial recompense of costs incurred and future cost expectations - this element would also include lost earnings if you were unable to work.


Thankfully the UK government has introduced a more robust regulatory framework for cosmetic surgery. While there are still numerous instances of botched surgery and substandard treatment, these are thankfully fewer and further between.

However, if you believe you received substandard care from a cosmetic surgeon, then you are perfectly entitled to pursue compensation.

How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With Making a Medical Negligence Compensation Claim?

Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Medical Negligence Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for the negligence they have incurred, and they can do the same for you.

Choosing an independent claims management company means they won’t proceed with a claim unless they are sure it is in your best interests. They are also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.

If you would like to speak to one of these claim management companies who can help you make a compensation claim, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.

Money Savings Advice Author Mark Benson

Mark Benson

Mark has been writing professionally for over ten years for the financial sector. Having started in the financial world as a stock-broker in central London and then moving to equities trader Mark is one of our senior financial writers who has a vast knowledge of multiple financial sectors.

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