If an oral surgeon left behind a wire in my gums after getting my jaw wired, is there some kind of compensation?

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If an oral surgeon left behind a wire in my gums after getting my jaw wired, is there some kind of compensation?

My jaw was wired 2 years ago. I had got the wires removed and they left behind a wire that almost looks like a twisted bread tie in my gums. I realized this when going to get X-rays at the dentist recently because I was feeling some pain. I thought it was my wisdom teeth. Although my wisdom tooth on the right does have to come out, the one on the left where the wire is has been removed already. I have to get oral surgery now to get the wire removed. Just need to know if there is some compensation for this?

Asked on April 15, 2012 under Malpractice Law, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the oral surgeon for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that would have been exercised by medical practitioners in the community).

Prior to filing a lawsuit, 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 medical (dental) bills, medical (dental) reports and documentation of any wage loss.  You should obtain your medical (dental) bills from both oral surgeons (I assume you are going to a different oral surgeon to have the wire removed), and your medical (dental) report from the second oral surgeon. 

Compensation for the medical (dental) bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical (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 medical (dental) bills.  If the case is settled with the first oral surgeon's malpractice insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit for negligence against the first oral surgeon.  If the case is NOT settled with the first oral surgeon's malpractice insurance carrier, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence against the first oral surgeon prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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