What can we do if I took my daughter to have her wisdom teeth removed but they removed a wrong tooth?

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What can we do if I took my daughter to have her wisdom teeth removed but they removed a wrong tooth?

He said the orthodontist wrote a different tooth number on her referral. I made the appointment for wisdom teeth, nothing else. She just got her braces off after 3 years and $5,000. All ruined in an instant. Is there anything we can do?

Asked on May 25, 2014 under Malpractice Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 6 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).

Obtain your daughter's dental records and dental bills.  Have another dentist review the dental records, who can write a report supporting your malpractice claim. 

It may be possible to settle the case with the at-fault dentist's malpractice insurance carrier without filing a lawsuit.  Your daughter's claim should include her dental bills, dental records and the dental report supporting the malpractice claim.  Compensation for the dental bills is straight reimbursement.  The dental reports including the report supporting the malpractice claim will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the dental bills.

If the case is settled with the at-fault dentist's malpractice insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the at-fault dentist's malpractice carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault dentist on behalf of your daughter.  You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your daughter because she is a minor.

If the case is NOT settled with the at-fault dentist's malpractice insurance carrier, the lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault dentist must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your daughter will lose her rights in the matter forever.


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