Dental malpractice cases are often unreported because patients may not understand how to report dental mistakes. Insurance companies that represent dentists do not release details about dental malpractice lawsuit cases. The statute of limitations also limits the amount of time a victim has to file his or her claim.
Victims of dental malpractice should report the incident immediately and seek the advice of a qualified medical malpractice attorney. Once a claim is filed, state regulators will examine the facts. If the dentist is found to be at fault for medical malpractice, he or she may face a fine, probation, or even a suspended license.
Claims Go Unreported
Many patients do not report dental malpractice issues for a variety of reasons, including:
- Not understanding their options
- Legal roadblocks
- A culture of silence regarding mishaps and mistakes
After a dental malpractice injury, patients may not understand that reporting a problem is even a possibility. They may have no idea who to turn to in the event of a poor dental experience. If an incident or injury does occur, dental claims may be filed online at the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations.
A qualified medical malpractice attorney can help victims navigate obstacles that may be present when filing a dental malpractice claim. Insurance companies work hard to protect the interests of dentists, so malpractice victims need experienced representation on their side. Legal roadblocks should not prevent a victim from reporting a mistake or mishap.
Patients may also shrug away or excuse a mistake if it seems harmless. However, it is important to report any incident that causes injury or undue pain so that there is a record of the event. Filing medical malpractice claims not only helps victims to recover damages, but also helps to hold the at fault dentist responsible for his or her actions. Future unsuspecting patients might have been warned if only someone had spoken up.
How Long Do Victims Have to File Dental Malpractice Lawsuit Cases?
It is important that victims understand the statute of limitations and file a complaint as soon as possible. The statute of limitations limits the time allowed for a claim to be filed. For dental malpractice claims, victims have two years from when the injury was discovered, or reasonably should have been discovered, to file. Victims can not file a claim after four years have passed from the date of the incident, with the exception of cases involving minors who suffered a disability from the incident.
The Numbers May Be Misleading
There is no precise number of cases for dental malpractice. Insurance companies in Illinois that handle such cases do not release any details about possible incidents. The American Dental Association, based in Chicago, presents a sunny scenario with few cases of dental malpractice.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services does maintain records concerning reported cases. There were over a thousand cases between 2004 and 2014 that resulted in adverse actions of medical malpractice payments in Illinois.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Dental Malpractice Claim?
Victims can recover compensation after dental malpractice occurs. This compensation covers all injuries and losses that resulted from the malpractice incident. These damages include pain and suffering, any medical expenses associated with the injuries sustained, lost income and future lost income, scarring and disfigurement, mental anguish, and loss of quality of life.
Reporting Dental Malpractice
Patients who feel that they have not received quality dental care should report the dentist. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can provide guidance when a dentist has not provided appropriate treatment.