California Dental Malpractice LawsUnder California law, you must file a dental malpractice suit within certain time limitations. Dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, dental hygienists and other professionals who work on oral care can all be held liable if they injure a patient. You may be entitled to damages in a dental malpractice case if any of the following have happened to you:
- Accidental aspiration/ingestion of foreign bodies
- Misdiagnosis or delayed dental diagnosis
- Anesthesia complications
- Nerve damage due to cutting healthy tissue
- Pulling healthy teeth
- Fracturing teeth with dental tools
- Unsanitary tools, resulting in infection or blood poisoning
- Failure to properly treat a patient's condition
California Dental Malpractice CompensationThe California Dental Board has a reporting limit of $10,000, meaning that any dental malpractice settlement of that amount or larger goes on the dentist's "record" and the dentist must take corrective action to keep his or her license. As a result, many cases are settled for $9,999 to avoid the reporting requirement. However, you may be entitled to much more than this amount in a California dental malpractice case.
In order to make a successful case for dental malpractice, an injured patient (and his or her attorney) will typically need to establish the following:
- the existence of a dentist-patient relationship
- the appropriate medical standard of care under the circumstances
- how that standard of care was breached, causing harm to the patient, and
- the nature and extent of the patient's injury.