It’s not fair in the least but people commonly think of a dentist as being lesser than a doctor and dental procedures not being as serious as medical procedures. Perhaps this perception fuels the fact that fewer people come forward to explore their legal options when things go wrong at the dentist’s or orthodontist’s office.
This misconception can result in real financial damage for the victims of unreported dental malpractice. It’s true that mistakes happen in every line of work, but when preventable mistakes result in physical, emotional, and financial damage for the victim there needs to be accountability and proper compensation. A recent cases out of Georgia highlights the real costs involved in a botched dental procedure.
As reported by the Staunton News Leader, an Augusta County judge heard oral arguments (no pun intended) in a civil case where a jury had awarded a family over $600,000 in damages. These damages are for the girl’s pain and suffering as well as past and future costs associated with the injury, including medical bills.
The underlying case involved a 12-year-old girl who suffered immensely after a botched procedure to remove her wisdom teeth. Four teeth were pulled and another was surgically adjusted. Unfortunately, things were anything but right with her oral health after the procedures. She experienced intense swelling, bruising, blistering, and numbness. Subsequent tests showed that the damage was the result of a nerve being damaged during the surgery.
It’s tragic to imagine where this family would be without this jury award and then realize that it’s exactly where so many are after a dental procedure gone wrong: left holding the bag. Dentists should be held to the same high standard as any other medical professional and that includes holding them accountable financially when their preventable mistakes harm patients.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you hold your dentist accountable and slay the insurance companies who stand in the way of a just settlement or jury award.