Why You Need Dental ImplantsAlthough many individuals are content with using dentures for the rest of their lives, some elect to go the less traditional route to get implants. The implants consist of screws that are primarily made of titanium and can fuse to the bone, making functionality and appearance high quality. A dentist can perform the procedure at his office; other dentists will refer patients out to other locations, whether dentist’s offices or oral surgeon facilities. Recently, there have been strides in dental medicine. One of the most successful methods is “all-on-four” surgery, which involves placing 4 screws in the mouth to lock the implants in place. However, there have been problems listed with these types of procedures.
Examples of Dental Implant MalpracticeThere are many ways that malpractice can o cur concerning dental implants. Before a procedure even happens, the dentist has a responsibility to his patients to X-ray them, provide a diagnosis, and conduct an examination. Failure to make a diagnosis, or wrongfully diagnosing a patient, can be cause for a dental malpractice claim. For example, your dentist may tell you that there is no need to remove your tooth because of a wisdom tooth issue, only to go ahead and so anyway. He may say that you require implants and will pull remaining teeth to put them in. Other causes of dental implant malpractice include:
- Implants failed
- Bone loss and jaw instability
- Need for reattachment
- Inappropriate treatment for your symptoms
- Removal of numerous other healthy teeth to make room for implants
- Lack of informed consent on what the next procedure or plan of action was
- Anesthesia was wrongfully applied during surgery
- Infection of the tooth or gums due to unsterilized equipment
- Nerve damage caused by improper placement of implants
- Misalignment of teeth after implants were administered, leading to jaw problems
Learn more about your options for compensation by calling (213) 389-3765.
What You Need to File a ClaimIn order to file a dental malpractice lawsuit for injuries sustained from dental implants, you must be able to show a few points of negligence. These points are as follows:
- You were owed a duty of care by the dentist. This is not often disputed, as anyone who goes to a dentist for a procedure or treatment (even if it’s merely to get a diagnosis of a problem) is owed a duty of care. Off-the-record advice, however, does not equate to a relationship being established between the dentist and the individual.
- The duty of care was breached. The dentist must have done something that placed you in harm’s way. In order to prove this, another professional dentist or assembly of dental professionals will state whether or not they would have acted the same way under similar circumstances. If they would not have, you have stronger evidence on your side.
- The breach of duty caused an accident, such as any of the above situations, that was not your fault and was the direct or indirect fault of the dentist.
- You suffered lasting actual physical injuries. If you were not harmed, you would not be able to file a dental malpractice claim; further, small damages would likely not hold up, such as a few cuts on the gums.
Evidence You Need for a Dental Implant Malpractice LawsuitAs with all personal injury lawsuits, it is crucial that you collect as much evidence as possible to present to the insurance company to receive compensation for your damages. You will benefit from having too much evidence more than you would from not enough, so even if something seems like it may be inconsequential, include it. First, you should have photos or videos of your injuries. These can be taken by you or by a doctor. The photos will show how severely you were hurt and can also show what the dentist did that was wrong or negligent. You should go to the doctor to get any damages fixed. You may need surgery, antibiotics for an infection, or an evaluation to deal with nerve damage. It is important that you do not return to the dentist or oral surgeon who harmed you in the first place, as you may suffer additional damage. Once any treatments have been done, hold on to the medical records and doctor’s notes. You can also keep a copy of your receipt and expenses from this visit.
Call (213) 389-3765 to schedule a free legal consultation.You can take down witness statements and testimonies from people who saw the damages or could attest to the malpractice. Although you may not be able to get any help from the assistants at the office, you may be able to talk to other patients. Of course, you could take records from anyone else who saw the results as well. It is wise to hold on to the proof of the procedures, which would be in the form of dental records and insurance records. You can show that a dental implant procedure went wrong or was improperly carried out. Of course, all of this evidence can be submitted to the insurance agency at once, but it might be outright rejected. This is why it is crucial that you hire a qualified dental malpractice attorney who can negotiate a fair settlement for you and who won’t back down. You likely won’t have experience in the legal field and you may not find it easy or possible to get a worthwhile deal from the insurance agent. A lawyer can ensure that you are properly covered.
Statute of Limitations for a Dental Malpractice ClaimYou have a certain amount of time to take legal action if you were injured from receiving dental implants. A lawsuit must be filed within 1 year of the discovery of the injury, or within 3 years of the injury itself. Essentially, if you know that you are injured, you have 1 year to take action. If something took a long time to manifest, such as decay or disease, you have 3 years to file a lawsuit. You may be able to have this time limit extended, though, if circumstances permit it and if your lawyer can prove that you were eligible. For instance, if you were hurt due to dental malpractice when you were under the age of 18, the statute of limitations would n ot begin counting down until you turned legal age. Also, if the dentist fled the state and tried to wait out the statute, the deadline would be extended to match the date he returned.
It is important that you pursue a claim as quickly as possible. It will remove the stress of deadlines and will allow your attorney to have ample time to assemble your evidence and submit it to the insurance agency.
Compensation from a Dental Implant Malpractice LawsuitOur lawyers can see to it that you receive the fullest compensation available for your dental malpractice injuries. We know that these damages are severe and can cause problems everywhere in life, and you deserve to be compensated. Our attorneys can help bring you coverage for:
- Medical expenses relating to the injuries (surgery, additional medical and dental procedures, future expenses, and more)
- Lost income from missed work because of your damages or other treatments
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering (capped at $250,000 for malpractice lawsuits; medical expenses, on the other hand, are not capped)
- Punitive damages if a dentist acted with the intention to harm or with gross negligence
- Wrongful death expenses if a family member or loved one died due to complications during a dental implant procedure (adverse reaction to anesthesia, for example)