Can I Sue My Dentist in Small Claims Court?
Dentists and other healthcare professionals are held to a certain standard when it comes to patient care. If a professional does harm to a patient, they can be sued for medical malpractice. But, this is a time-consuming, expensive process and medical malpractice cases are difficult to win. However, if you've been harmed by a dentist, you may be able to file a lawsuit in small claims court to recover some damages.
Common Reasons to File a Lawsuit Against Your Dentist
Going to the dentist is a stressful experience for many people, and when things go wrong, it can be a nightmare. If you're unhappy with a procedure that your dentist has performed, the first step is to contact them to voice your concerns and to ask for assistance. If the dentist refuses to repair the problem or doesn't work with you to resolve an issue, you may want to consider a small claims lawsuit against your dentist. A few reasons to file include:
|The Wrong Tooth is Pulled||The dentist extracted the wrong tooth and refused to replace the tooth. Dentists are generally very diligent and attentive, but on occasion, something goes wrong and a tooth is extracted accidentally. If your dentist does this and doesn't provide you with adequate treatment to repair the issue, you might benefit from filing a lawsuit.|
|Dentures and Dental Appliances||You may have grounds to sue your dentist if you're charged for dentures or bridges that fail to perform as expected. If your dentures are a poor fit, if you have problems chewing, pain, or other jaw issues, you may be able to sue the dentist who made them.|
|Not So Thorough Dental Exams||When you go to the dentist for an exam, any loose teeth, cavities, or other issues are supposed to be found during these visits. However, what happens when a tooth falls out after a dental exam or procedure without warning? If the dentist should have found it, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.|
|Damage Caused by the Dentist||Your dentist takes great care to protect your lips, gums, mouth, and other teeth when performing procedures. If, however, your dentist isn't careful enough or doesn't have adequate experience, they can cause severe damage leaving you in pain. If your dentist causes damage and won't fix it, you may have to sue.|
File a Lawsuit Against a Dentist on Your Own
You can represent yourself in a small claim court lawsuit against your dentist. But keep in mind that filing a medical malpractice lawsuit isn't easy. In fact, it can be downright difficult to put together a viable case even with legal representation. You're going to have to be prepared. Here’s a checklist to get you started:
- If possible, obtain a sworn statement from a licensed dentist describing the dental issue you suffer from and that the cause of the issue is a previous dental procedure.
- You must show that the damage to your tooth, teeth, or mouth could have been avoided with proper care and attention by the dentist being sued.
- A description of the cost of restorative treatments, procedures, and other professional dental procedures to rectify the problem.
- Keep in mind you'll have to pay for a dentist to prepare a sworn statement as well as the cost of any dental exams and procedures necessary for them to come to a conclusion regarding your case.
Case Assembled, What’s Next?
The process for suing someone in small claims court is relatively simple and unchanging. In a nutshell, here’s what the process will look like:
- Draft a demand letter
- Serve the defendant
- File your case in your county
- Go to court (with all the information you previously gathered and prepared, of course)
Dangers of Filing a Lawsuit on Your Own
The biggest problem with filing a lawsuit against your dentist on your own is that you may miss an important part of the process. If you fail to include key pieces of evidence in the right way, incorrectly complete paperwork, or miss an important date, your case won't go anywhere. In addition, your dentist most certainly has experienced legal representation, whereas you're probably not well-versed in legal matters. In any of these scenarios, your odds of winning are slim to none.
How to Sue Your Dentist With DoNotPay
Hiring a lawyer to sue your dentist is expensive. Filing a lawsuit on your own is difficult, time-consuming, and unlikely to work out the way you want it to. Filing a lawsuit against your dentist with DoNotPay is fast, easy, accurate, and your odds of winning are better. The process is so simple:
- Log in to DoNotPay and select the Sue Now product.
- Enter the dollar amount of compensation you are asking for.
- Choose the option for a demand letter or court filing forms.
- Provide details about the reasons you're filing the lawsuit, including photographic proof, sworn statements, and other pertinent information.
That's it! Once you've entered all the required information, DoNotPay will generate the demand letter or court filing forms you requested. We'll even mail a copy of your demand letter to the individual or business you are suing! In addition, you'll receive a professionally written script that you can use in court to benefit your case and ensure a win.
DoNotPay Takes the Guesswork Out of Small Claims
DoNotPay’s app is powered by AI to help people like you bring a claim against their dentist, neighbor, or phone company to small claims court. You don't need to hire a lawyer or become a legal expert. In fact, all you need to do is load up the app in your web browser and access the DoNotPay chatbot. Answer some questions and the app will help you prepare to file your case. You'll get a demand letter, all the legal forms you need to file, and a customized script to use for your court appearance. Here are just a few companies we can help you sue: