While medical malpractice is a fairly well-known term, dental malpractice can be equally as serious. In fact, according to the National Practitioner Data Bank, a service of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there were 3,558 dental malpractice payments issued in the state of California alone between 2003 and 2013.
Like all other forms of medicine, a patient seeking dental work has the right to be treated with a reasonable standard of care. If you have been the victim of dental malpractice, we can help you recover the damages you’ve suffered as a result.
Types of Dental Errors and Dental Malpractice
No one visits the dentist expecting to leave the office without having received the proper care. Unfortunately, some in fact do leave the office having suffered further harm. Below are some types of dental errors to which a patient might fall victim.
- Failure to diagnosis oral cancer or gum disease
- Incorrect use of dental anesthesia
- Use of defective materials or tools
- Poor practices in performing root canals or other dental procedures which then lead to infection or injury
- Failure to refer a patient to a specialist when necessary
- Improperly implanting dental implants which then causes nerve damage
- Poor restorations causing tooth loss
Not only are dental errors often very painful, they can also cause long-term complications or more serious health problems. Sometimes, a patient may lose her sense of taste, lose teeth, suffer partial paralysis to the face or lips, or experience chronic pain. Additionally, dental errors are often very expensive to correct, and can negatively affect a person’s finances and quality of life.
Liability in a Dental Malpractice Claim
Like all other healthcare professionals, dentists have a responsibility to maintain a standard of care in their practice. If a dentist fails to diagnosis a condition, performs improper or faulty treatment, or fails to warn a patient of risks of a procedure or medication, then the dentist may be liable for patient harm.
In order to establish liability, our San Diego dental malpractice attorneys can help you prove you sustained an injury that would not have occurred but for the dentist’s irresponsible actions. If the dentist exhibited behavior outside of a reasonable standard of care, and if that behavior caused your injury or health complication, speak with a lawyer about your case.
Types of Damages in a Dental Malpractice Claim
When filing a claim for dental malpractice in California, there are two forms of compensation you may be able to recover: economic and non-economic damages.
The former refers to damages that are the direct result of financial loss, such as medical expenses or lost wages. The latter refers to damages that aren’t financial, such as emotional pain, anxiety, loss of enjoyment, or physical suffering. In California, the damages cap for non-economic damages is $250,000, per the 1975 Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act. However, there is no cap in California for economic damages that a person can recover in a medical malpractice case.
Contact a Dental Malpractice Lawyer in San Diego Today
If injured by a dentist who didn’t properly perform his duties as a healthcare provider, get help from our dental malpractice lawyers in San Diego. According to California Code of Civil Procedures section 340.5, legal action against a healthcare provider must be taken within three years of the date of injury, or within one year after the injury was discovered, whichever comes first. Because of this time limit, you need to act now if you want to recover compensation.
At Hiden, Rott & Oertle, LLP, our dental malpractice attorneys will fight hard to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. For guidance through the process of filing your claim and providing negligence, call us today at 619-296-5884.