Can I Sue a Dentist or Oral Surgeon for Malpractice?
When people think of medical malpractice and negligence lawsuits, they often think about surgical mistakes and delayed diagnosis of terminal illnesses. Yet medical malpractice can cover more than doctors and surgeons. In fact, the scope of these lawsuits can even go beyond nurses, orderlies, and pharmacists.
The team at our Scranton and Stroudsburg, PA, law offices would like to consider dental malpractice and negligence lawsuits. These kinds of cases can be much more serious than you think.
Dental Care Mistakes Can Have Serious Consequences
All systems of the body are connected. When a dentist, periodontist, endodontist, or oral surgeon fails to meet a standard of care, it can lead to general wellness issues in patients.
Examples of Dental Malpractice
Some common examples of dental malpractice include:
- Botched Extraction and Oral Surgery - If you’re getting a wisdom tooth extracted or getting dental implants placed, an oral surgeon could accidentally damage the jawbone. The same is true of the nerves and other soft tissues around the incision site and surgical area.
- Toxic Shock Syndrome - Toxic shock syndrome occurs when bacteria release toxic substances that enter the bloodstream. This potentially fatal condition could occur during root canal therapy or the treatment of a dental abscess.
- Anesthesia Errors - If you are given too much IV sedation or too little anesthetic, this can lead to various complications during your dental work. Mistakes like this are preventable.
- Failure to Diagnose - When a dentist ignores the telltale signs of an impacted wisdom tooth, an abscess, or oral cancer, it can have tragic results. Dentists must be held accountable for their inability to identify common symptoms of health problems.
Damages and Settlements in Dental Malpractice Cases
When you file a dental malpractice claim, any money you recover will be used to address the cost of additional dental work, emergency medical care, and possibly even long-term medical treatment as a consequence of the botched dental work you received.
Statue of Limitations for Dental Malpractice
In the state of Pennsylvania, you have two years from the date of the incident of dental malpractice to file a lawsuit. Once those two years have passed, you will likely not be able to pursue legal action against the negligent dental health professional.
Two years may sound like a lot of time, but it’s best to get the legal process started as soon as possible. This will allow you to receive a settlement sooner or proceed to a jury trial sooner rather than later.
Why You Need a Lawyer on Your Side
A lawyer will be able to provide you with peace of mind as the legal process moves forward. They can help negotiate a more favorable pre-trial settlement with insurance companies. If a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached, they can build a compelling case as part of a civil lawsuit and jury trial.
Throughout this process, your attorney can focus on the litigation process while you concentrate on healing and moving forward with your life.
Contact Our Law Firm Today
If you need to speak with an attorney about filing a dental malpractice lawsuit, contact our offices in Scranton or Stroudsburg. We will review the details of what happened and let you know what steps you need to take next to receive compensation.