Dental malpractice cases generally involve
smaller verdicts and settlements than other types of medical
malpractice cases. In fact, most
dental malpractice cases are settled quickly without ever having
to go to court.
Dental malpractice claims may be settled
with the aid of a medical
malpractice lawyer who specializes in dental malpractice or
through mediation or peer review.
There are times, however, when dental malpractice can result
in severe injury and even wrongful
death. It is important to file a claim for dental malpractice
within the statute of limitations, which is typically 1 - 2 years,
depending on state, so that the case can go forward.
- Wrongful death due to dental procedures or anesthesia
- Nerve injury to jaw, tongue or lips
- Root canal injuries
- Failed prostheses
- Surgical injuries
- Injury from dental lasers
- Failed to diagnose or detect oral cancer
- Treatment by unlicensed dentist
Like any healthcare professional, a dentist is held to a certain
duty of care to their patients. Most dental malpractice cases
involve negligence claims
where the dentist owed a duty of care to the patient, there was
a breach of that care, the breach was the proximate cause of the
injury and the patient needs to be compensated for the injury.
In most cases of dental malpractice, the defendant dentist will
be held to the standard he or she made a mistake that another
"reasonable and prudent" dentist would not have made.
In most cases, another dentist will need to be brought in to provide
expert testimony to state that as a reasonable and prudent dentist
they would have behaved differently than the defendant.
Research has shown the in dental malpractice cases, more favorable
outcomes happen for those who take the time and make the effort
to document their cases thoroughly. It is advisable for those
who believe they have been victimized by dental malpractice to
keep a journal documenting as they occur, the dental care, the
injuries, ongoing symptoms and subsequent treatment for the injuries
and symptoms. Documenting the sequence of events gives credibility
to a claim for dental malpractice. Also, seek help from a personal
injury attorney who specializes in this area of the law as soon
as possible in order to avoid missing any important deadlines.