Despite the recent technological advances in dentistry, dental malpractice, unfortunately, is still all too common. Dental malpractice occurs when a dental healthcare professional breaches the applicable standard of care.
If you have suffered a dental injury at the hands of a dentist or other dental professional, you need experienced legal representation. An experienced injury lawyer will be able to examine all of the facts and circumstances of your case with you and determine whether or not you have a case.
If you have a dental malpractice case, your Tampa malpractice attorney can collect all of the relevant evidence and witness statements, request pertinent medical records, and negotiate with insurance adjusters on your behalf.
Examples of Dental Negligence
The most common examples of medical negligence in the dental context include the following:
- Negligently performed dental procedures
- Procedures performed without the necessary patient consent
- Misdiagnosing a dental condition
- Failing to keep accurate and complete patient records
- Failing to advise a patient of the risks associated with certain procedures
Elements of a Malpractice Case
An injured dental patient has the burden of proving malpractice or negligence on the part of a dentist or other dental care provider. In Florida, dentists are held to the standard of care of a “reasonably prudent and careful dentist” acting under the same or similar circumstances.
If the injured patient can prove that a dentist breached this standard of care and that this breach proximately caused the injured patient’s damages – then the injured patient may have a dental malpractice case.
In addition to filing a lawsuit directly against the dentist or other dental care provider, an injured patient may also be able to file a claim with the Florida Department of Health. This is especially true in cases where a patient alleges sexual misconduct by a dentist.
Injuries and Damages
The following types of injuries are common in dental malpractice cases:
- Tooth loss
- Prolonged gum pain
- Permanent structural damage
- Worsening of mouth disease or infection
- Infection following a dental procedure
- Injury due to improper use of anesthesia during a dental procedure
- Permanent mouth damage (usually to the tongue, jaw, or chin)
- Permanent loss of feeling/taste in the mouth
In cases of dental malpractice or dental negligence, the injured patient may be eligible to receive compensation for the following:
- Payment of medical bills
- Reimbursement for lost wages for time missed from work
- Past, present, and future pain and suffering
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of companionship, consortium, or spousal support
Contact a Dental Malpractice Attorney
Dental malpractice cases can be difficult to prove, as there is generally a presumption that the dentist or other dental provider acted appropriately when providing dental care to a patient. Therefore, it is extremely important that you have an experienced Tampa dental malpractice lawyer in your corner representing you every step of the way.
An experienced Tampa dental malpractice attorney will be able to review the facts with you, determine whether or not you have a dental malpractice case, and, if so, help to maximize the case’s value.