I suffered a severe 3rd-4th degree burns after receiving a laser treatment to my tattoo, can this be considered medical malpractice?

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I suffered a severe 3rd-4th degree burns after receiving a laser treatment to my tattoo, can this be considered medical malpractice?

This took place in a physician’s office but was done by a technician who only had written permission to do a bikini hair laser removal. The technician offered to treat the tattoo as a kind act and didn’t charge for it or ask for a consent form to be signed. Best case scenario I feel there will be a severe indent and scar approximately 2″x3″. This occurred 3 weeks ago and I went to the physician about 2 weeks later; they were surprised that the tattoo was layered and she put me on oral antibiotics. I have had one follow up with the physician since that time.

Asked on July 3, 2012 under Malpractice Law, Michigan

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable medical practitioner in the community would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  The doctor may be liable for malpractice because the technician did the laser procedure which should have been done by the doctor.  Also, the procedure was done without your written consent.  An employer is liable for the negligence of an employee which occurs during the course and scope of employment.

Prior to filing a lawsuit for negligence against the doctor, it may be possible to settle the case with the doctor's malpractice insurance carrier.  When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Your personal injury claim filed with the doctor's malpractice insurance carrier should include these items.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  If the case is settled with the doctor's malpractice insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the malpractice insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit for negligence against the doctor.  If the case is NOT settled with the malpractice insurance carrier, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence against the doctor prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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