Can I Sue a Dentist for Botched Dental Work?
Are you wondering if you can sue for botched dental work? At Moody Law, serving Lakeland, Winter Haven, and Tampa, FL, our medical malpractice attorneys discuss when filing a dental malpractice lawsuit is a good idea.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
If you wonder if you should sue a dentist for botched dental work, it is important to remember that this is a type of medical malpractice lawsuit. These claims require the plaintiff to show that the dentist:
Failed to Provide a Standard of Care
Like all medical professionals and entities, dentists are held to a certain standard of care. This means that dentists are expected to provide treatment at a level that a reasonably competent dentist would under similar circumstances.
Our attorneys must demonstrate that the dentist was negligent in providing care. This may involve showing that the dentist's actions fell below the accepted standard of care, and this negligence directly resulted in harm to our client.
Dental patients need to have suffered damages as a result of the poor dental work. Damages may include additional medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of income, or other monetary or emotional consequences.
Statute of Limitations
In addition to having an attorney show that the dentist failed to provide a good standard of care, acted negligently, and caused damages, patients must also file their lawsuit within a certain timeframe.
In Florida, the standard statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is generally two years from the time the incident occurred or the time the patient discovered or should have discovered the injury, whichever is later. But, there is a maximum time limit of four years from the date of the incident, regardless of when the injury is discovered. For minors, the standard two-year statute of limitations doesn't start until the minor turns 18, but the maximum time limit of four years still applies.
Possible Causes for a Claim
Many of the same types of cases occur in dental malpractice as in medical malpractice. Some examples include:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis–Cavities, periodontal disease, or oral cancers that go undiagnosed can lead to worsened conditions, the need for more invasive treatment, and increased risk of complications. Dentists could be liable if they don't refer patients to specialists when necessary.
- Surgical errors–Surgery comes with its own risks; if extractions or implant placement result in nerve damage, excessive bleeding, or other complications, you may have a dental malpractice case.
- Infections or postoperative complications–Failure to follow proper sterilization procedures or inadequate postoperative care can cause injury and result in damages.
- Medication errors–The wrong medication, incorrect dosage, or failure to consider a patient's medical history and allergies can lead to serious complications.
- Orthodontic errors–Improper alignment or use of incorrect appliances may lead to bite problems or other complications that can be costly for patients.
Additional examples of dental malpractice include:
- Failure to obtain informed consent
- Substandard treatment
- Negligent extraction
- Unnecessary procedures
Contact Moody Law
Contact Moody Law in Lakeland or Tampa to schedule an appointment to discuss when filing a dental malpractice lawsuit is a good idea. We look forward to hearing from you.