Can I sue my oral surgeon for removing 4 teeth that needed to be evaluated instead of the 4 that needed to be removed for me to put braces on?

I was given a treatment plan by the oral surgeon. However, I assumed that the 4 teeth included in the plan were the ones that my orthodontist specifically stated needed to removed in my referral; the ones they needed to “evaluate” as per my referral did not need to be removed. I am not a dentist so I did not know the tooth number differences between the referral and the treatment plan.

Asked on August 13, 2013 under Malpractice Law, Florida

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable medical practitioner in the community would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

Prior to filing a lawsuit for negligence against your oral surgeon for removing the wrong teeth, it may be possible to settle the case with the oral surgeon's malpractice insurance carrier.  Your claim filed with the malpractice insurance carrier should include your dental bills, dental reports and if applicable documentation of any wage loss.

Compensation for the dental bills is straight reimbursement.  The dental reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the dental bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

If the case is settled with the oral surgeon's malpractice insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the malpractice insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the oral surgeon.  If the case is NOT settled with the malpractice insurance carrier, your lawsuit for negligence against the oral surgeon must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

If you are a minor (under age 18), you will need your parent or another adult appointed guardian ad litem to handle all of the above (dealing with the malpractice insurance carrier and filing a lawsuit) for you.


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