Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Dental Malpractice in Chicago, IL
Just like regular medical care, dental care presents plenty of room for errors. When dentists, dental hygienists, oral surgeons, and orthodontists act negligently, patients can suffer a wide variety of injuries. These injuries can lead to long-term pain and suffering, nerve damage, medical bills, lost wages, and so much more. The good news is that you can sue for dental negligence, especially if your injuries wreak major havoc on your life. A Chicago dental malpractice lawyer at Curcio Law Offices can defend your legal rights and help you recover the compensation you deserve for your suffering.
Our legal team has the skill and experience necessary to take on all sorts of medical malpractice cases, including dental malpractice cases. Call 312-321-1111 to schedule a free consultation at our law firm today.
What is Dental Malpractice?
We’ve all heard of medical malpractice, and dental malpractice is pretty much the same thing. Dental malpractice occurs when a dental professional or an oral surgeon violates the medical standard of care and causes significant problems for the patient. Any injuries and/or illnesses caused by the negligence of a health care professional is a serious legal issue. Therefore, an injured patient has grounds to file a dental malpractice lawsuit in order to recover compensation for their damages.
How Common is Dental Malpractice?
Believe it or not, dental malpractice cases are very common in the United States. According to medical malpractice payment statistics from the National Practitioner Board (NPDB), there have been more than 1,500,000 adverse action reports and medical malpractice payment reports from 1990 to 2022. Dentists and dental hygienists make up more than 107,000 adverse action reports and medical malpractice payment reports in that 32 year time frame.
Common Types of Dental Malpractice
Common examples of dental malpractice include:
- Failing to diagnose various oral conditions such as oral cancer, periodontal disease (gum disease), etc.
- Oral surgery errors, such as performing a tooth extraction on the wrong tooth or causing permanent nerve damage during surgery
- Making major mistakes during routine procedures such as root canals and tooth fillings
- Failing to treat complications from dental procedures such as infection, pain, or tooth damage
- Making an existing condition worse with various dental procedures such as a root canal or a tooth extraction
- Failing to properly supervise the work of dental hygienists or dental assistants
- Anesthesia errors during different types of oral surgery such as tooth extractions
- Failing to refer a dental patient to a specialist for a their specific type of oral condition
- Lack of informed consent about dental procedures
If you have suffered major injuries or illnesses from one of these types of dental negligence, then you have grounds to contact a Chicago medical malpractice attorney at Curcio Law Offices.
How to Prove Dental Malpractice
Proving negligence in a dental malpractice case is very similar to proving negligence in a regular medical malpractice case. First, you need to prove that a dentist patient relationship existed. This element can easily be proven through dental records. Then, you need to prove the 4 D’s of negligence:
- Duty of Care: Just like all medical professionals, dentists must follow a specific medical standard of care. This standard refers to a certain level of care that a similarly skilled dentist would have provided in the same situation. In order to establish this standard of care, dental malpractice lawyers at Curcio Law Offices will bring in an expert witness.
- Duty Dereliction: The dentist breached this duty of care by acting negligently.
- Direct Cause: The patient suffered injury or illness because the dentist failed to provide appropriate care.
- Damages: The dental negligence caused the injured patient to suffer a variety of damages for which they should receive compensation for.
The most important pieces of evidence to include in a dental malpractice case include dental records, dental or medical bills, x-rays of oral injury/damage, documentation of time off from work, etc.
But the most important part of proving negligence in dental malpractice lawsuits is bringing in expert witnesses from the same dental profession. So if you were injured by an oral surgeon, you would need another oral surgeon to be an expert witness. If you were injured by an orthodontist, you would need another orthodontist to be an expert witness.
A Chicago dental malpractice lawyer can bring in this witness so that they can explain how they would have treated you/your condition under similar circumstances. If the witness comes to the conclusion that the dental professional acted negligently under the circumstances, then you would likely have a very successful case.
Damages for Dental Malpractice
Our dental malpractice attorneys can help you recover compensation for the following types of damages:
- All dental/medical expenses for surgeries, procedures, medications, corrective care, etc.
- Lost wages
- Any out of pocket expenses you have incurred due to your negligent dental work
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent mouth or nerve damage
Illinois Statute of Limitations for a Dental Malpractice Claim
If you’re looking to recover compensation for your dental injuries, you need to act fast because there is a time limit (called the statute of limitations). In Illinois, victims of medical malpractice have two years from the day of their injury/illness to file a claim. If you wait too long to contact an attorney and file a dental malpractice claim, your case could be dismissed entirely.