Last week a 62-year-old man in Orange County was sentenced to four years in prison for various charges, including seven counts involving the unauthorized practice of medicine. Elias Renteria Segoviano was running a business in Anaheim (“Botox in Anaheim”) in which he performed procedures such as injecting victims with suspected counterfeit Botox, fillers, anesthetics and other drugs, according to a news report. If not performed correctly, these cosmetic procedures could lead to serious injury, excessive scarring, disfigurement and even death.
It Never Hurts to Investigate Your Doctor
In general, most physicians who practice cosmetic and plastic surgery are board certified and therefore qualified to perform the elective cosmetic procedures they advertise. However, there are some doctors who perform these cosmetic procedures without the necessary training, skill and education to do these cosmetic procedures safely and competently. If you are looking into having an elective procedure, it is always a good idea to do your homework. For example, it is pretty easy to go to the California Medical Board (CMB) website and verify that the doctor is actually licensed to practice medicine in California. The CMB site may also have information about the doctor’s history of discipline with the Board (if any) and limited information regarding settlements of malpractice claims or lawsuits against the doctor. Additionally, it may be a good idea to visit the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) website to see if the doctor you are considering is a board-certified specialist, such as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon.
About the worst time to find out your doctor isn’t qualified is after a cosmetic procedure that results in a bad outcome. While a less than pleasing result does not necessarily mean the doctor was negligent, it can be a reflection of practice below the accepted standard of care required. If there has been a bad outcome, you should always ask questions: Why did this happen? Is this something that happens often? Can the result be improved with revision surgery? You should also consider whether what led to the outcome was something the doctor or his staff discussed with you before the surgery went forward. The answers to these and other questions should give you an idea whether your doctor may have been negligent. If you suspect you have been harmed by malpractice, then it may be a good idea to contact a malpractice attorney to investigate further. This generally involves retaining the attorney’s services in order to gather and review your medical records and, if necessary, have those records reviewed by a medical expert.
Another very important point to remember is that there is only a limited amount of time (the statute of limitation) within which you can bring a malpractice claim against a health care provider in California. In general, claims against negligent doctors must be brought within one year from the date of the malpractice or within one year from the date you knew or reasonably should have known of the negligence. Consequently, it is really important to reach out to a medical malpractice attorney immediately, once you believe you have have been a victim. Calculating the statute of limitations period can be complicated all by itself.
Contact an Experienced OC Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you were injured or a loved one killed by a negligent plastic or cosmetic surgeon, seeking the advice of an experienced malpractice attorney is likely the best first step to take toward obtaining compensation for the injuries and damages suffered. Mr. Ralph has more than 30 years of experience at handling personal injury and medical malpractice cases in Orange County and the Southern California area. His office is centrally located in Orange County for the convenience of his clients. Mr. Ralph’s services are provided on a contingency basis so if there is no recovery there are no fees. He can be reached for a free consultation by calling the number below or simply sending a message with the details of your potential case.