1. Free Legal Help, Legal Forms and Lawyers. TheLaw.com has been providing free legal assistance online since 1995. Our most popular destinations for legal help are below. It only takes a minute to join our legal community!

    Dismiss Notice

I want to sue my dentist Medical Malpractice

Discussion in 'Professional, Medical Malpractice' started by rabakh, Oct 9, 2020.

  1. rabakh

    rabakh Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Jurisdiction:
    Texas
    Hello,

    I am 25 and work in a shop floor. I am in the Texas jurisdiction. I went to a Dentist to have my tooth extracted. I have never been to that Dentist before.

    The Dentist recommended I get a root canal, but I opted for an extraction due to lower cost.

    I had the tooth extracted and the Dentist offered me OTC pain killers. A few hours later I was in pain so I called the Dentist, and asked for antibiotics. The Dentist gave me a prescription pain killer and asked me to come back for an examination before he could give antibiotics. I could not go back that day.

    I did not disclose to the Dentist that I am a regular tobacco user and have existing medical conditions. I put NO to all of this in the new patient form at the Dentist. When asked by the Dentist I said I was healthy and a non smoker.

    I signed all the consent forms stating the risks of this procedure, including nerve damage etc. etc.

    The next day I went to an ER because of pain. I went back to the ER after 5 days because of continued pain and a swelling. The ER (second visit) referred me to a hospital where I had to have an abscess removed and was in hospital for 2 days. There were no other issues during the hospital visit.

    Because of the pain I was unable to attend my job and I was fired from my job.

    An attorney is willing to take on my case and write a letter to the Dentist requesting the records and a settlement.

    I went to the Dentist 7 months ago and went to the hospital at the same time (7 months ago).

    I presume I will get a settlement which covers all the medical bills, past and future and the max of $250,000 for non economic damages?

    Thank you

    Rabakh
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2020
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

    Messages:
    32,711
    Likes Received:
    4,910
    Trophy Points:
    113

    You've asked (in your own way) a question of sorts, and (answered in your own way) your question.

    You claim to be represented by an attorney, therefore no ethical attorney will respond to you about your issues, other than to suggest you should ask YOUR attorney any and all questions that befuddle, puzzle, baffle, or confound you.
     
    rabakh likes this.
  3. rabakh

    rabakh Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I meant to say that an attorney is willing to take my case and write a letter to the Dental office.

    I want to know how this is likely to play out before hiring the attorney. This is my first experience with suing anyone.
     
  4. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,074
    Likes Received:
    536
    Trophy Points:
    113

    First there is the issue of whether the dentist committed any malpractice. An adverse outcome does not itself mean the dentist did not provide the minimum standard of care in the procedure. Sometimes a bad outcome might result even when the dentist does everything in the proper manner.

    Second, from your description of the damages I think it extremely unlikely you would get anything close the kind of compensation you are hoping for. Five or so days of mouth pain isn't something that gets you anything like $250,000 for pain & suffering (the noneconomic damages).

    Consult an experienced malpractice attorney for a realistic assessment of what you would likely get out of this, assuming that you can prove malpractice in the first place, and how much that litigation will cost. I think you'll find you are being considerably overly optimistic on the damages.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2020
    Michael Wechsler and rabakh like this.
  5. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,074
    Likes Received:
    536
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Is this attorney experienced in litigating medical malpractice cases? They are not easy cases to try, and not cheap either. While most malpractice attorneys will take the case on a contingent fee basis, they will generally only take those that have enough potential to generate a decent fee. You can expect the fee to be likely 33% to 50% of whatever award you get, plus costs at the lower percentages, and the costs can be considerable. You might want to consult 3 or 4 attorneys to see what the consensus is on your case and to find the attorney that best suits you. Going with the first attorney you meet can turn out to be a mistake.
     
    rabakh likes this.
  6. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

    Messages:
    11,244
    Likes Received:
    1,904
    Trophy Points:
    113

    I am not clear why you want to sue the dentist. What do you believe the dentist did wrong?
    Why didn't you return to the dentist instead of the ER? It seems you brought that expense on yourself.
     
    rabakh likes this.
  7. rabakh

    rabakh Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thank you these are very helpful points.

    I will try and talk to 2-3 attorneys, but one is willing to take on my case. I presume he is doing so because he knows he will win?!

    I did not disclose any medical conditions or tobacco use to the Dentist, when in fact I have minor conditions and am a tobacco user. Can the Dentist use this as a defense?

    What happens after the attorney I choose writes a letter to the Dentist requesting records, and threaten to file a lawsuit if not settled?

    Do the Dentist malpractice insurance companies have lawyers to deal with such letters or will the Dentist get scared and settle?

    Typically this process can take 60 days or so to settle? Or more?

    Thank you
     
  8. rabakh

    rabakh Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I went to the Dentist in April 2020 in the morning. He pulled my tooth, he offered a root canal I refused and opted for the extraction. I signed all the consent forms etc. I did not disclose any medical history or tobacco use on the forms and denied tobacco use when the Dentist asked me in person. Of course he cannot prove the verbal denial!

    Later that day I called and asked for antibiotics as I was in pain. He offered a prescription pain killer and asked me to come back for an evaluation before he could prescribe antibiotics.

    Is that not enough to sue? He did not prescribe antibiotics at the time of treatment or when I called and asked over the phone, he asked me to come back to the clinic that day. I was busy.

    This is my first time suing, I want to sue for loss of enjoyment, all my medical bills (I have insurance from a major provider), disfigurement and loss of job.

    Is an adverse reaction and refusing to prescribe antibiotics over the phone not enough to sue?

    I went to the ER twice, 5 days apart and then to the hospital.

    Thank you
     
  9. rabakh

    rabakh Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    If the attorney takes my case, what is the downside of settling a letter to sue or request a settlement? I have nothing to lose right? Maybe some expenses for postage etc?

    Or can the Dentist sue me back if the case is not strong?
     
  10. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,586
    Likes Received:
    665
    Trophy Points:
    113

    What are you alleging the dentist did wrong?
     
    rabakh likes this.
  11. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,586
    Likes Received:
    665
    Trophy Points:
    113

    The question is not "Is that enough to sue?" ...the question is, "Is that enough to win?"

    IMO, No, it is not. Any responsible Doctor would not prescribe antibiotics over the phone. The doctor wanted to see you in person to determine if there was indeed an infection and you were to "busy" to go...although, curiously you found the time to visit the ER. Why did you not go to the dentist rather than spend hours at the ER?

    What were your damages caused by the dentist? What "disfigurement" did the dentist actions/inactions cause? What type of tobacco products do you use? What is the overall condition of your teeth (that you never had cleaned/maintained in your 25 years of life)?
     
    rabakh likes this.
  12. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

    Messages:
    8,194
    Likes Received:
    2,177
    Trophy Points:
    113

    He can certainly raise it as a defense.

    As soon as the dentist gets your attorney's letter he will turn it over to his malpractice insurance company. An experienced claim rep will be assigned to investigate, one who has been threatened with lawsuits so many times that the threat is meaningless. Don't count on the letter getting you any money. Though it might get you some go-away money which is a few hundred or even a few thousand. No guarantees so don't count on it.

    Yes, the insurance companies have lawyers but lawyers don't get assigned to handle claims until a lawsuit is filed. The claim rep is going to be the one to deal with your attorney. The dentist won't have anything to do with it.

    More like months. Many months. You'll have to be examined under oath. You'll be examined by the insurance company's own doctor. Your medical history will be an open book.

    That could work against you if the dentist can show that a root canal would have cleaned out the infection and saved the tooth.

    Of course he can prove it. It's in his notes. Where else would he get it from?

    He was right. Antibiotics are for infection, pain killers are for pain.

    And you didn't go. That also works against you because nobody prescribes antibiotics without examining the infection and determining it source and proper treatment.

    I seriously doubt that you'll get any of that.

    I've already explained that it doesn't work that way unless you are willing to settle for a small amount of go-away money. You haven't won the lottery.

    He won't have to. His insurance company may pay you little or nothing and he will be happy for that.
     
    Michael Wechsler, rabakh and justblue like this.
  13. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,074
    Likes Received:
    536
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Not much to lose there. Make sure you know what the costs will be before you sign off on it though.

    The dentist cannot successfully sue you just because the case you had was not strong. If file a case in court and the case was completely frivolous the dentist might get sanctions against you, though, for trouble he had to go through to respond. If your attorney is any good he or she won't file a frivolous complaint in court.
     
    rabakh likes this.
  14. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

    Messages:
    11,244
    Likes Received:
    1,904
    Trophy Points:
    113

    You have repeated the scenario twice and I still see neither a reason why you should expect the dentist to pay any demand you make nor a reason you should expect to prevail in court.
    That is not too say you can't be successful, but if you have a strong case you are not giving the details that support it.
    That you found an attorney willing to write a demand letter is not an indicator that you have a strong case to bring.
    You failed to return to the dentist for treatment. That is not the dentist's fault.
     
    rabakh likes this.
  15. Paddywakk

    Paddywakk New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    [Do you mean you smoke or do you mean you chew?
     
    rabakh likes this.
  16. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

    Messages:
    8,312
    Likes Received:
    1,455
    Trophy Points:
    113

    You refused the treatment he advised. You failed to disclose to him relevant medical issues. You failed to go back in to his office when advised to do so (there is NO WAY any reputable dentist or doctor is going to prescribe antibiotics over the phone without an in-person visit).You signed all the forms consenting to the procedures and accepting the risks.

    And you think you've got a case to sue him? At all? Let alone for a quarter mil?

    What color is the sky in your world?
     
  17. rabakh

    rabakh Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Hello,

    Thank you for all you replies. Thank you thank you!

    As a new user, I am only allowed 5 posts every 24 hours so apologies for the delay.

    I will read the replies and respond in detail.

    Basically I want to sue the dentist for negligence and malpractice so that he can reimburse me for my medical bills, lost wages and non economic damages.

    If an attorney writes a demand letter and the Dentist does not pay up, then it most likely goes to court correct? Or do some attorneys write a demand letter knowing it may not lead to a court case even if the accused does not pay up?

    If the case does go to court, and I have to be present in court somedays, then who reimburses me for lost wages on those days? The court or the defendant? Lets say I go to court on 5 different days in a single month, I lose 40-50 hours of paid work, so who will reimburse me for that?

    Thank you
     
  18. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,586
    Likes Received:
    665
    Trophy Points:
    113

    1. Nothing you posted here indicates in any way that the Dentist committed malpractice or negligence. On the contrary, he was doing his job properly and with care.
    2. Maybe.
    3. Maybe.
    4. No one. That is the "cost" of suing someone.
    5. Neither.
    6. No one.

    I have a question for you...How many law suits have you filed in the last 3 years?
     
    rabakh and mightymoose like this.
  19. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

    Messages:
    8,312
    Likes Received:
    1,455
    Trophy Points:
    113

    You need to get your head around this.

    Based on your own description of the events, the dentist was not negligent. He did not commit any kind of malpractice. He does not owe you a penny.

    You, on the other hand, contributed to your own problems by insisting on the treatment you wanted instead of what he recommended; by not providing him with relevant information about your medical issues; and by refusing to come back in when he recommended it.

    You may have an attorney who is willing to write a nasty letter for you, but before you go forward I would recommend you have a very long talk with that attorney as to whether he is prepared to take it to court if the dentist does the sensible thing and ignores it. Because unless you have left out very significant facts, you'll get eaten alive in court and it's not impossible that the judge will be reaming you up one side and down the other for wasting his time.
     
    shadowbunny and rabakh like this.
  20. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,074
    Likes Received:
    536
    Trophy Points:
    113

    No one reimburses you for that. That's a cost of litigation that you bear.
     
    rabakh likes this.

Share This Page