Even with advancements in “painless” dentistry, many people still fear getting into the dentist’s chair. An even greater fear: holding dental professionals accountable when the pain doesn’t go away, chewing remains difficult, or an oral cancer diagnosis is missed. Instead, many people seek help from a different practitioner or suffer in silence and do not pursue recourse when sloppy mistakes or indifference to protocol caused their problems.
What is Dental Malpractice?
Most of New York’s 15,000 dentists take their patients’ oral health very seriously, and there are times when despite best efforts, a dental procedure doesn’t provide the anticipated result. However, dentists, like physicians, can also make mistakes that fail to meet professional standards of care and cause injury or even death. Of every seven malpractice cases, one of them involves dental professionals.
Examples of dental malpractice include:
- Failure to diagnose oral cancer or other conditions, such as periodontitis
- Mistakes during root canal, tooth extraction or other dental surgeries
- Extracting teeth unnecessarily
- Facial paralysis caused by injury to nerves
- Prescription medication or anesthesia errors
- Unnecessary postponement of dental treatment
- Incomplete medical history
How to File a Dental Malpractice Claim in New York
When a dentist makes errors that rise to the level of malpractice, you are the one who suffers. Maybe your speech is affected, you can’t chew correctly or you have ongoing pain. Or instead of catching oral cancer in its early, more treatable stage, it advances and requires aggressive treatment. If you decide to file a dental malpractice claim and you were treated in New York, here are some criteria and deadlines to meet:
- You have been treated by the dentist (a dentist-patient relationship exists)
- The dentist provided treatment that did not meet the profession’s standards of care
- Because the dentist failed to meet those standards, you’ve been harmed.
- A dental expert must review your case and identify where the malpractice occurred.
- The claim typically must be filed within 2 ½ years after the occurrence. The deadline is much earlier – 90 days – when the dental work was performed at a clinic or hospital instead of a private dental office.
Your lawyer will need copies of dental records, insurance payments, X-rays and names of the dentist, dental assistant or dental hygienist who treated you to build the best possible case. Each case is different, but it is possible to seek compensation for pain and suffering, lost income and medical expenses, as well as punitive damages.
Experience Matters With Dental Malpractice Cases
Dental malpractice cases are not the easiest ones to prove. You need a personal injury lawyer Bronx like Evan W. Kohn, who brings more than 30 years of legal experience and tenaciously will pursue the damages you deserve. Se habla español. To learn more and schedule a free consultation, contact our office today at (718) 409-5500.