Visits to the dentist or oral surgeon are stressful for most people, even though treatments usually go smoothly. When dental malpractice occurs, you may find your stress is compounded by pain or even a permanent injury.
A normal trip to the dentist might leave your mouth a little sore, but what happens if you discover that your pain worsens after your visit? Perhaps you have an injured nerve from a dental procedure. In some cases, general dentists have even extracted the wrong tooth, or worse.
Types of Tampa-Area Dental Malpractice Cases
Complication caused by tooth extraction is among the most common reasons for bringing a malpractice suit against a dental professional. Endodontic complications, or those relating to the pulp inside the tooth, are another frequent reason patients seek legal recourse. Nerve injuries due to these and other issues comprise a large percentage of dental malpractice claims, and can cause serious complications.
A dentist or oral surgeon may also be negligent in collecting a detailed patient history, updating and properly reading x-rays, properly informing the patient of risks, or providing referral for follow-up treatment after an incident.
Other dental malpractice claims may involve:
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) injuries
- Implants, crowns, or bridges
- Orthodontic issues
- Failure to diagnose or treat infections
- Failure to diagnose periodontal disease
- Adverse drug reactions
Time Constraints and Requirements for Florida Dental Malpractice Claims
Under Florida law, dental malpractice is a form of medical malpractice. The statute of limitations for a medical malpractice case is only two years, rather than the four allowed for most personal injury claims. The burden of determining whether a claim is viable falls on the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s lawyer. This will require hiring and interviewing an expert witness. Before filing the malpractice claim, the plaintiff’s attorney must certify that the case has been investigated and that the attorney believes there is a basis for the claim based on that investigation. An injured patient may have great difficulty in making that assessment and locating a reliable expert, not to mention paying the expert’s fees. An experienced dental malpractice attorney knows how to identify and work with experts to start the case off on solid footing.
The Value of Dental Malpractice Claims Varies
The median average settlement for dental malpractice cases nationwide in 2016 was $68,000. However, the severity of dental malpractice injuries and the need for ongoing care vary widely. Some plaintiffs may seek lower amounts in damages, looking toward restorative work for their injuries; while rarely, cases may be settled for over one million dollars.
During your free consultation, we can discuss the factors that may impact the value of your claim and give you a general idea of what type of damages may be involved.
Contact a Tampa Dental Malpractice Attorney Today
You now know how complicated and time-consuming the process of filing your malpractice claim can be, and that you have a limited amount of time to proceed legally. If you think you or your loved one has experienced an injury due to dental malpractice, don’t delay any longer.
Take the first step toward peace of mind by filling out the form on this page, or calling 1-800-253-5523 to schedule your free consultation with an experienced malpractice lawyer in our office right away.