Dental Negligence Attorneys in Gainesville, FL
Dentists in Florida are held to the same standards of care as doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. While a dentist cannot be held liable if a treatment isn’t successful or doesn’t produce a desired result, they can be held liable if any negligent actions or errors lead to an injury.
Dentists and other medical professionals must act in accordance with what is known as standards of care. If a dentist’s actions fall outside this standard, or if they act with complete disregard of practice guidelines or state regulations (Ch. 466, Florida Statutes), they can be sued by the patient for negligence, and be held liable for medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering.
If you’re experiencing an infection, intense pain following a routine dental procedure or if you feel your condition wasn’t treated properly by a dentist in Florida, you should immediately contact an experienced dental negligence attorney at Warner, Sechrest & Butts by calling 352.373.5922.
What are some ways dental negligence occurs?
Like medical malpractice, dental negligence can manifest itself in several ways. The mouth contains literally hundreds of nerves that can get damaged if a dentist is negligent or doesn’t have the experience to do the job. Damaging these nerves can lead to very intense pain. Sometimes, surgery is the patient’s only option for addressing the issue. This of course is very costly, both in direct medical expenses, lost wages and of course, loss of quality of life.
Below are a few examples of ways dental negligence occurs:
- Performing procedures improperly
- Performing unnecessary procedures
- Not obtaining patient’s consent before performing a procedure
- Touching a patient inappropriately (sexual assault)
- Administering anesthesia improperly
- Not treating, or failing to diagnose, oral conditions like cancer or gum disease
- Not warning a patient of potential risks
- Not keeping complete patient records
- Performing a procedure the dentist is not licensed or qualified to perform
- Improper or lack of post-treatment follow-up
- Unsafe or unsanitary environment
If a dentist doesn’t take the proper steps to prevent an injury, or if they operate in an unethical way, they could be held responsible for any resulting injuries.
What effects can dental negligence have on the patient?
Dental negligence, like as described above, can lead to a host of issues for the patient, including:
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Loss of taste
- Damage to nerves in the mouth, lips or jaw, which can cause intense pain
- Structural damage
- Abscess caused by removing the wrong tooth
- Complications from fillings, crowns or bridges
- Tooth loss
- Pain in the gums
Not getting the desired result from a dental treatment doesn’t qualify as negligence. However, if the dentist was obviously negligent or did not operate under a generally accepted standard of care, they could be held liable if their actions caused an injury, or even death.
What is a patient entitled to if their dentist fails to provide adequate care?
If your dentist’s negligent actions led to an injury, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Loss of wages
- Loss of future earnings potential
- Loss of quality of life (a.k.a. pain and suffering)
- Loss of consortium (i.e. damages suffered by a spouse)
- Wrongful death
Compensation is dependent on a host of factors that will be evaluated during the pre-suit investigation, negotiation and trial if you’re unable to settle your case before that time.
What do I do if I think I’ve been the victim of dental negligence?
If you’re in Florida, your first step is to call dental negligence attorneys at Warner, Sechrest & Butts, P.A. in Gainesville. Our team of talented, passionate and experienced attorneys in Gainesville, FL will be able to review your case and determine the best way forward.
It’s vitally important that you discuss your case with an attorney in Gainesville, FL as soon as possible after determining negligence as a possible source of your troubles. In Florida, some claims can fall under a statute of limitations, it's best to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will require time to determine if a dentist’s actions (or inactions) led to your injury, and if it constitutes negligence.
The case will also need to be reviewed by a dental expert to determine if the dentist in question operated within standards of care.
All of this takes time since records from your dentist, your insurance company and general medical records must be collected and evaluated.
Dental negligence attorneys at Warner, Sechrest & Butts, P.A. have the necessary experience to obtain compensation and justice for your injury.
Attorneys Marc Warner and Michael Sechrest possess extensive experience at proving negligence and obtaining compensation for their clients. Both Gainesville lawyers are quite skilled at litigation. Michael Sechrest is board-certified for civil trial law and has extensive experience at representing client interests before some of the most powerful companies.
Our firm is also staffed with medical experts (paralegals) and works with some of the most prestigious doctors and dentists in the profession.
If you feel your dentist acted improperly or was negligent and caused an injury or death to a loved one, do not delay in contacting a dental negligence attorney in Gainesville today.
Call us any time day or night to discuss your case with a top dental negligence attorney at Warner, Sechrest & Butts, P.A. Although our offices are in Gainesville, attorneys Marc Warner and Michael Sechrest are able to represent clients throughout Florida in local, state or federal courts.