Irvine Dental Malpractice Lawyer

Injuries that occur because of dental malpractice can have consequences that go beyond just dental issues. The malpractice can be caused by the dentist, the hygienist, or anyone involved in your care. If you have experienced dental malpractice, contact an Irvine dental malpractice lawyer who may sue the clinic or hospital where you received your treatment. Medical professionals are generally covered by malpractice insurance. An experienced medical malpractice attorney may be able to speak with the insurance company on your behalf.

Common Dental Malpractice Injuries

Irvine dental malpractice lawyers have seen a few types of injuries that could occur due to dentist negligence.

Some of the most common types of injuries are:

  • Dental extraction that leads to an infection
  • Medical activity that causes a fracture in the jaw
  • Prescribing the wrong dosage of medication
  • Failure to refer a patient to a necessary specialist
  • Taking out the wrong teeth
  • Improper fillings
  • Not properly diagnosing a patient
  • Administrating anesthesia incorrectly
  • An improperly placed implant
  • Nerve damage from dental procedures
  • Perforation of the sinus canal

California Dental Malpractice Laws

In order to prove a dental malpractice case, there has to be a failure to meet a professional dental standard. To establish what the dental professional standard is, a plaintiff will most likely need expert testimony. Once the expert has proved what the standard is, then an Irvine dental malpractice lawyer will have to show how the plaintiff’s dental professional failed that standard.

California follows a comparative fault theory when it comes to negligence. This means that when a plaintiff is considered to be partially at fault for the injury, their total amount of damages will be subtracted by the percentage amount they are at fault. The lawyer for the dental professional will also have to prove the plaintiff is at fault. What this can mean is that if a plaintiff is proved to be 20 percent at fault, then their total damages will be reduced by 20 percent as well.

Statute of Limitations

Patients have three years from the injury or one year from discovering the injury to bring a dental malpractice case to court. However, if a person can show that their dentist intentionally concealed the mistake, committed fraud, or left something in their body, then they can extend that deadline. There is a separate timeline for injuries that happen to minors. With children, the general rule is the same as for adults. If the child is under eight, then the court will look at how many years are left until they turn eight. Whichever amount of years is longer is the time limit that applies.

Contacting an Attorney

If you are considering a lawsuit for dental malpractice, a lawyer can help you decide on your options. Your Irvine dental malpractice lawyer can also make sure that you meet the statute of limitations and that an expert is able to set a standard of care that your dental professionals should have followed.

Then your attorney will argue to show how your dental professional failed to follow that required standard of care. Another option is to reach a settlement without going to court. This can happen by reaching an agreement with the dental office or provider directly. Alternatively, your lawyer can negotiate with the dental malpractice insurance company.