Is this malpractice? What does the law say?

I had a tooth exacted a year ago and recently was told by
another dentist that the root tips were still there. Had to
have surgery to remove three root tips and another tooth
beside the tips. I kept having serious facial pain.

Asked on November 2, 2017 under Malpractice Law, Alabama


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Dental malpractice is negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable dental 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 the first dentist, it may be possible to settle the case with his/her malpractice insurance carrier.
Obtain your dental bills (from both dentists), dental reports (from both dentists; especially the report from the second dentist) and if applicable, documentation of wage loss. Your claim filed with the first dentist's malpractice insurance carrier should include those items.
Compensation for the dental bills is straight reimbursement.  The dental report from the second dentist/surgeon 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 first dentist'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 first dentist.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit against the first dentist must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

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