Dental malpractice is not an uncommon occurrence. Dentists work in very tight spaces in the mouth, and sometimes they make errors. There are a slow of damages that can happen, including trigeminal neuralgia, facial damage, facial paralysis, and more. Lingual nerve damage is among these injuries, and it is most often a result of procedures related to the wisdom teeth. Dentists and their insurance companies are reluctant to pay out malpractice claims, and in order to get the compensation and subsequent treatment you need, you might need to file a lingual nerve injury lawsuit. Our Los Angeles-based law firm, the Downtown LA Law Group, can help you file your dental malpractice lawsuit for a lingual nerve injury and win you fair compensation.
What is a Lingual Nerve Injury?
The lingual nerve runs from neck through the lower jaw and to the tongue. It provides the front majority of the tongue with sensation and taste. When the wisdom teeth are slated to be removed, dentists may make incisions that are near the fragile nerves’ cutting too low or too deep can cause damage to the lingual nerve. As a result, victims can suffer the following kinds of damage:
- Near-permanent or permanent loss of taste
- Alteration or change of taste
- Numbness or anesthesia of the tongue and lower jaw
- Tingling or paresthesia of the tongue that does not go away or subside
- Persistent pain, stinging, burning, or similar sensations to the tongue and jaw
- Heavy discomfort in the gums, floor of the mouth, tongue, and jaw
- Speech impediment or impairment due to pain or movement
- Unawareness of drooling or saliva buildup
- Infection at the site of the incision
There are a few ways that lingual nerve injuries can be treated, but none are simple. You may receive some kind of surgery to repair the nerve, but this is not guaranteed to work, especially if there is extensive damage. You may be prescribed painkillers to numb the pain, which is not necessarily a fix at all. You could have laser treatments that may restore the sensation. In some cases, hypnosis and relaxation therapy can be prescribed, but they are primarily related to mindfulness and do not impact or change the composition or damage of the nerve.
What Should I Do to File a Lingual Nerve Injury Lawsuit?
In order to file a dental malpractice lawsuit for lingual nerve injuries, you must establish negligence. These points are similar to regular personal injury negligence, but they are slightly modified. They are as follows:
- There was a doctor/patient relationship established between you and the dentist
- The dentist breached his care of duty in some manner, as attested to by other dentists who would not have acted in the same manner had they been presented with the same scenario
- The breach of duty resulted in physical injuries of some kind – namely, in this case, a lingual nerve injury
- The injury caused permanent damages or long-lasting damages (nerve damage is considered long lasting and is particularly severe)
You will need ample evidence to file a claim, as well. You should take these steps:
First, if you have not done so, get a second opinion on additional treatment from another, more trusted dentist. He will recommend a course of action to help you with your lingual nerve injury. You can get this treatment and add the evidence and bills to your evidence package. You should hold on to all receipts and notes as well.
It is important that you do not hesitate or delay getting this additional treatment. If you do, you run the risk of worsening the damage. You also risk the insurance agent doubting your claim. If there is a large gap between the procedure and the medical treatment, he could claim that you were obviously injured elsewhere.
You can take photos of the damage, such as the swelling or site of any infection, to prove the extent of the injury.
If any eyewitnesses, friends, family members, or coworkers can attest to the damages you suffered, you should add their statements and testimonies to the claim. They will provide you with beneficial, additional support.
Collect the relevant insurance information and contact information of the dentist so you know who to submit your claim to.
Lastly, you should call a skilled lingual nerve injury lawyer in Los Angeles to help you with your case. It is possible that you will not have any sufficient knowledge of the law, which means that you will be trying to handle the case blindly. If you haven’t negotiated a deal or filed a lawsuit, you will be at a severe disadvantage. If you hire us for your case, we will handle the entire case from start to finish while you focus on recovering. You should not exert additional effort if you do not have to. We will work on your behalf and strive to win you the maximum restitution available for your claim.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Receive from a Lingual Nerve Injury Lawsuit?
A lingual nerve injury is a serious complication and you deserve fair compensation from the error of the dentist. Your case will be valued by an insurance agent handling it; he will look at how impactful the injury was and how much of an effect it had on your life and career. If there were ample cause and sufficient damages, he will make you an offer. Many insurance agents make low offers, and it is the responsibility of our dental malpractice attorneys to fight back and negotiate a fair deal for you. We will ensure that you are given the following damages:
- Coverage for medical expenses for surgery, treatments, future procedures, medication, and more
- Reimbursement of lost income if you were unable to return to work because of the injury or due to the recovery time and additional medical treatments
- Potential payment for lost or damaged personal property
- Pain and suffering damages for emotional trauma, mental anguish, PTSD, anxiety, fear, and more
Bear in mind that pain and suffering damages for medical and dental malpractice cases in California are actually capped at $250,000. There is no upper limit on medical bills, however. A skilled lawyer will be able to negotiate the maximum settlement for you and ensure that all of your losses are covered.
What is the Deadline to Sue a Dentist for a Lingual Nerve Injury?
In California, the statute of limitations on dental malpractice lawsuits is either 1 year from the date of the discovery of the injury, or 3 years from the occurrence of the injury itself, whichever comes first. This means that if you do not discover the injury after 1 year, you still have 2 more years before the statute expires. However, if you do discover the injury, you must file a claim before the year expires.
There are a few ways in which the statute of limitations can be extended beyond this deadline. Most commonly, the exceptions apply to minors. Minors cannot sue without legal guardianship, and so they would be given an extension that would allow the statute of limitations to begin once they turn 18 years old. Further, it is possible for you to wait to sue because the defendant has left the state. The statute of limitations will not count down if the dentist has left California; it will resume once he returns.
Many lawsuits end up not getting filed and many victims do not get the compensation they need because they do not acknowledge the statute of limitations. They may believe they have more time than they actually do or they may not know how much time they have at all. If you come to our law firm and speak with our lingual nerve injury lawyers, we will tell you exactly how much time remains on your claim. We will file your case for you and ensue all your documents are submitted according to the deadline.
Expert Dental Malpractice Lawyers in Los Angeles
The Downtown LA Law Group has a team of highly skilled dental malpractice attorneys with experience in lingual nerve injury lawsuits. We know the best methods to win your case and we will stop at nothing to ensure that you are fully covered. If we have to go to court, we are willing to do so. Our aggressive lawyers are highly respected and highly reviewed, and we will stop at nothing to fight for the rights of our clients.
For a free legal consultation, call us today. We will tell you about the legal process and answer any questions you have about the claim. If you want us to represent you, we will make sure you pay no out of pocket expenses thanks to our zero fee guarantee. We won’t get paid unless and until we win, and the money will come from a portion of the settlement we bring you. If we lose, we get nothing at all.
To sue a dentist for a lingual nerve injury, get in touch with our dental malpractice attorneys at the Downtown LA Law Group.