Many people are familiar with medical malpractice, as it’s one of the more common types of personal injury claims. Medical malpractice occurs when medical professionals we’ve been taught to trust with our health make errors and end up leaving patients in worse condition with injuries or illnesses. Dentists can make these same mistakes with their own patients in root canals, orthodontic surgeries, and even in routine checkups.
Though dental malpractice claims do come up from time to time in the realm of personal injury law, the reality is that it’s a rare form of medical malpractice, as only one of every seven medical malpractice cases involve dental negligence. According to True Cost of Health Care, there were around 8,500 medical malpractice claims, in 2016, meaning just 1,000 of those cases were for dental malpractice.
Dental mistakes are just as common as medical mistakes, but many dental malpractice victims are unaware that they can file a claim and don’t know their rights well enough to seek legal action. Though it’s impossible to know just how many claims go unreported, it is certain that countless victims remain silent when mistakes are made every year in the United States.
What Are Common Reasons for the Filing of Dental Malpractice Cases?
According to dental malpractice statistics provided by MedPro Group, most claims filed against dentists are treatment-related. 85% of claims cite poor procedures and techniques for causing injuries. Some of these common injuries include chipped or fractured teeth, gum damage, nerve injuries, infections from equipment, and improper use of anesthesia. Not only are these injuries painful, but they can also be expensive to treat and cost thousands of dollars in surgery and repairs.
While failure to diagnose only comprises 6% of reported cases, according to MedPro Group, these types of dental malpractice cases often result in the highest dollars paid in settlements. This is because failing to diagnose a patient with something as detrimental as periodontal disease can lead to costly damages, some of which aren’t tangible. Failing to diagnose a disease often makes a patient’s health conditions worse the longer they go without treatment. If the patient ends up passing away, their surviving family members can seek compensation not only for their loved one’s expenses and suffering, but also for their own loss and any funeral or burial expenses.
Though there are nowhere near as many dental malpractice claims as there are medical malpractice claims, dental negligence is still a serious issue and victims can experience serious pain, infections, and other injuries as a result.
Trust a Lawyer with Insider Experience
After you’ve been injured, you want to trust a law firm that has demonstrated experience achieving their clients’ goals. Your medical bills may be high, and you can’t afford to settle for anything less than you deserve in your case. The Law Office of Dean Schweitzer was founded by a lawyer who first began a career in dentistry. Dean Schweitzer opened his dental practice in 1980 to treat families and years later decided to help families in a different way – by helping them face their overwhelming legal issues and making a swift recovery.
As a dentist-turned-lawyer, our attorney understands everything that can go wrong in a procedure and wants to ensure that all dental patients receive high-quality care and treatment. We’re not afraid to go after negligent dentists and large insurance companies in order to achieve justice on your behalf. You can trust us to put our experience and past successes to work for you while also treating your case with the personalized attention it deserves.
Contact our dental malpractice lawyer today online or by phone at (661) 460-5795 for a free consultation if you’ve been harmed in a surgery or a routine checkup. Our extensive experience in law and dentistry qualify us to handle your claim.