Our Michigan dental malpractice lawyers represent clients injured due to mistakes by dentists. This includes cases against oral surgeons, periodontists, orthodontists, or other dental professionals.
Patient injuries occur due to the failure to diagnose a condition or to properly treat a dental condition. Many injuries are caused by negligence during the procedure itself. Because there are risks associated with most procedures, the injuries suffered must be a result of negligence to succeed in a dental malpractice case.
- Dental malpractice negligence examples
- Can I sue my dentist for malpractice?
- Dental malpractice settlement example
- How do you prove dental malpractice?
- Common injuries in dental malpractice lawsuits
Examples of Dental Malpractice Negligence
There are many types of dental malpractice that can occur. These include:
- Wisdom tooth extraction injuries
- Failure to diagnose oral or tongue cancer
- Root canal mistakes
- Improper administration of anesthesia
- Errors in the placement of crowns, bridges, and fillings
- Negligence in the placement of dental implants
- Extraction of the wrong tooth
- Failure to treat post-surgical infections or prescribe antibiotics
- Medication mistakes
- Physical or sexual abuse by a dentist
- Failure by a general dentist to refer to a specialist, such as an oral surgeon
Can I Sue my Dentist for Malpractice?
Under Michigan law, there are specific elements, or factors, for proving medical malpractice cases. The same factors apply when you sue a dentist for professional negligence.
To successfully sue a dentist, the injured patient must show that the dentist was negligent in providing dental care and that the negligence resulted in injury. These must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence to win at trial. The four elements are:
- The existence of a duty owed by the dental professional to the plaintiff, or a doctor-patient relationship;
- There was an applicable standard of care, and the health care professional violated that standard, which was a breach of the duty owed the patient;
- That the violation of the standard of care resulted in an injury to the patient;
- Injury to the patient.
Essentially, the law requires that the dentist failed to act as a reasonably prudent and trained dentist would under the same or similar circumstances when treating a patient. If the dental professional was negligent and the patient was harmed, it is a basis to sue the dentist in a malpractice lawsuit.
Dental Malpractice Case Study
A 25-year-old woman had TMJ surgery performed by an oral surgeon. The surgeon used an outdated technique that caused improper healing. During post-operative visits, the surgeon failed to take necessary corrective measures.
As a result, the jaw became misaligned and caused substantial problems. The patient required multiple additional surgeries and braces. She suffered significant pain and incurred substantial medical expenses. We pursued her case and obtained a $400,000 settlement.
How Do You Prove Dental Malpractice?
To prove a case of dental malpractice, it is required that another dentist of similar training and experience supports your case. The expert must sign an affidavit and provide testimony that your dentist was negligent in your care and that you suffered an injury. It is likely that your dentist’s lawyer will hire an expert witness to say that nothing was done wrong in your care.
Our legal team will get your records and X-rays and have them reviewed by a nationally recognized expert. The expert will tell us if you were the victim of dental malpractice and if improper treatment caused your injuries. If your case meets both criteria, you have what is needed to prove a dental malpractice lawsuit in Michigan.
Common Injuries in Dentist Malpractice Lawsuits
The most common injuries resulting from dental malpractice are:
- Nerve injuries, including the lingual nerves
- Facial numbness, tingling, and loss of sensation
- Infections causing significant injuries
- Temporal mandibular joint syndrome (TMJ)
- Fractured jaws
- Loss of teeth
- Wrongful death
- Severe pain and discomfort
Types of Compensation Available
The injured patient can request compensation for pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and disability caused by a dental mistake. Other damages include payment of medical expenses and lost wages.
Settlements are often substantial for cases involving permanent nerve damage and those resulting in significant problems with the mouth and jaw. There are damage limit caps on medical malpractice cases and our attorneys will explain which one applies to your case.
In cases involving death, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit. These claims often result from anesthesia errors and the failure to timely diagnosed oral cancer. Family members can seek damages for the pain and suffering of the loved one before the death; they can also claim the loss of society and companionship resulting from the loss of the family member.
What is the Average Dental Malpractice Settlement Amount?
There is no average or typical dental malpractice settlement. Every case has its own unique set of facts and injuries so no two cases are exactly alike. The settlement amount of your case will be determined by the degree of negligence, the seriousness of your injuries, and the amount of any financial losses you suffered from the injuries.
Our lawyers are experts at evaluating cases and determining the proper settlement amount for a particular case. Many times, the appropriate compensation cannot be determined until after depositions of witnesses and experts have been taken and the parties have a complete understanding of the case. Frequently, the case will be settled at mediation before going to court for a trial.
What is the Statute of Limitations For Dental Malpractice Lawsuits?
In Michigan, there are strict time deadlines for filing a dental malpractice case. This time limit, called the statute of limitation, is two years from the date of the negligent treatment. There are very few exceptions. Therefore, it is important to contact a Michigan dental malpractice lawyer as soon as you believe you are the victim of improper treatment.
Get Help from our Michigan Dentist Malpractice Attorneys
If you or someone you care about was harmed by a negligent dentist or dental professional, we can help. Our experienced lawyers will investigate your case and determine if it meets the legal requirements in Michigan. If it does, we will file a lawsuit for you.
- 29000 Inkster Road
Southfield, MI 48034
- Phone: (248) 595-7544
- 19 Clifford St.
Suite 805 Merchants Row
Detroit, MI 48226
- Phone: (313) 992-8281
- 1001 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
- Phone: (313) 777-8482
- 343 S. Main Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
- Phone: (734) 888-3003
- 51424 Van Dyke Ave
Shelby Township, MI 48316
- Phone: (586) 250-2626
By: Chelsea Seeley
Client Description: I called in about a medical malpractice case and spoke with Melanie in the intake department. She was kind and very helpful when answering all of my questions!
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