Is my husband liable for compensation due to dental malpractice at a VA facility?

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Is my husband liable for compensation due to dental malpractice at a VA facility?

My husband is a veteran. He goes to the VA hospital for all his medical needs. He went in for root canal today and the dentist did the wrong tooth. Even with the X-rays and him telling her which tooth, she still did the wrong tooth. So he ended up having 2 root canals today. Onewhich was totally unnecessary. I found it appalling for a professional dentist to make this mistake.

Asked on June 17, 2011 under Malpractice Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Whenever a medical professional--including a dentist--is negligent or careless, he or she is potentially liable for malpractice. Performing a root canal on the wrong tooth would, on the face of it, certainly seem to fall under that category, so it would seem to give rise to a malpractice claim. You should consult with a malpractice attorney immediately, and make sure the attorney understands that this is a VA hospital; special rules apply to  suing government organizations, including shorter-than-usual time frames and special notice requirements. You want the attorney to understand that this may be a time senstive matter, and--if it's worthwhile to sue (that's something to explore with the attorney; what this matter may be worth--that you may need to more faster than on the typical malpractice case.


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