In Maryland, the cases in claiming the average payout for dental negligence often follow the same processes as those in which a doctor or nurse is sued for medical negligence. Generally, common dental malpractice settlement claims against dentists, oral surgeons, endodontists, orthodontists, prosthodontists, periodontists, and dental hygienists must follow the same dental malpractice lawsuit criteria for seeking compensation.

In most cases, if you wish to sue the dentist for dental malpractice in Maryland, you’ll need expert advice from a dental malpractice attorney and strong evidence on what the dentist should have done and what was left undone in the dental practice. Since getting the average payout for dental negligence in Maryland can involve a long and complicated process, this post will explore the average dental malpractice settlement amounts in Maryland and the procedure performed to get them.

What is Dental Malpractice?

What is Dental Malpractice

Dental malpractice occurs when a dentist or other dental health care practitioner gives inadequate treatment as a result of negligence. However, just because the anticipated result was not achieved is insufficient to charge a dental expert with dental malpractice. So, dental malpractice victims’ complaints are often required to provide evidence of their dental negligence claim. This is most needed, especially when they file for the average payout for dental negligence in Maryland.

A dental malpractice case may also entail performing operations on a patient without their informed permission. A patient may be considered to have provided “informed consent.” This is the case when they agree to dental treatments after being fully aware of the prospective advantages and dental anesthesia complications of the medical treatment. Consequently, dentists in Maryland are forbidden from conducting dental procedures on dental patients. Unless they provide them with written permission papers to review and sign.

In Maryland, expert witnesses are often relied upon to testify regarding the intricacies of a dental professional’s violation of duty of care. Put another way, the expert will testify about what a qualified dentist would have done in an identical situation. The fact that the plaintiff’s expert comes from the same broad area of dentistry as the defendant’s expert permits them to weigh in on the problem. For example, if the defendant is a dentist, the expert witness will undoubtedly be a dentist.

Victims of dental negligence have the legal right to seek monetary compensation for their losses. This can include past, present, and future medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other expenses. You should be aware that the average payout for dental negligence can be awarded as either economic or non-economic damages.

Non-Economic Damages

The non-economic damages refer to the pain and suffering inflicted on the victim of the dental negligence.  It generally includes physical pain, emotional agony, anxiety, shame, discomfort, incapacity, deformity, and loss of companionship.

In wrongful death claims, the bereaved may suffer “loss of society, companionship, comfort, protection, marital care, attention, advice, and counsel” as a result of the decedent’s death, and these damages take that into consideration.

This is the legalese that the jury will be handed, but we all know what it implies.  There are no words to explain the depth of your sadness when a loved one dies as a result of a doctor’s error.

If the patient suffers non-monetary losses due to the claimed dental malpractice, they are entitled to a non-economic average payout for dental negligence settlement. The non-economic dental malpractice settlement amounts that may be awarded in situations of medical negligence in Maryland are time-of-occurrence-based.

Dental malpractice settlement

For example, in Maryland, medical malpractice lawsuits filed on or after January 1, 2023, have a maximum amount that may be awarded for non-economic damages of $875,000.00.  The maximum amount that may be awarded to two or more wrongful death beneficiaries in Maryland for medical malpractice cases filed after January 1, 2023, is $1,093,750.00.

Several case-specific factors determine the amount of money a patient may receive in a medical negligence settlement. These factors include the degree of obviousness of the malpractice, the kind and size of the malpractice injury, and the monetary and non-monetary losses experienced.

Economic Damages

Because the malpractice settlement amounts may vary according to the venue, the average payout for dental negligence settlement amounts should be used cautiously. The stated average settlement amounts might vary significantly according to the practice area. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can explain the different compensation alternatives available in your case and assist you in negotiating the best medical malpractice settlement possible.

Average Settlement for Dental Negligence in Maryland

Dentists, like all other medical practitioners, have an obligation to provide good care to their patients. The unfortunate fact is that this is not always the case. Thankfully, you can be eligible for a dental malpractice settlement if you or a family member were injured due to a dentist’s medical errors.

So, if you or a loved one has suffered from medical misconduct, you may wonder, “How much is the average payout for dental negligence?” However, since each dental malpractice case is unique, it is difficult to generalize about the typical amount of a medical malpractice settlement. There are several factors that affect how much dental malpractice settlement a patient receives, if any.

How to Calculate Medical Malpractice Settlement Amount in Maryland

When a doctor’s negligence causes a patient damage, the patient is entitled to financial compensation. The courts financially compensate the victim because they are unable to “fix” the issue by eradicating the negligence-related injury. This financial compensation improves the victim’s quality of life by providing funding for continuous medical treatment, prospective surgeries, or specialized equipment.

Second, individuals who cause injury should be required to pay victims since the lack of such a requirement would eliminate a significant deterrent to conduct in a manner that does not cause harm to others. However, if they did pay compensation, it would lessen their tendency to behave carefully.

What Is the Average Compensation for a Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

In the United States, an average settlement in a medical malpractice claim is $242,000, whereas a median payout is $250,000. Individual negligence compensation sums might vary substantially depending on the jurisdiction and the degree of the plaintiff’s injuries.

Each of Maryland’s counties may be assigned a monetary value based on their different patterns of population increase and decrease.  The remainder of the counties, except for Baltimore City and Prince George’s County, are typically adverse to victims. Victims in Anne Arundel County, Charles County, and Montgomery County also had it relatively easy.

Do Most Medical Malpractice Cases Settle Out-of-Court?

Do Most Medical Malpractice Cases Settle Out of Court?

Approximately 90% of all instances involving medical malpractice are settled out of court. A jury only hears and decides 10% of medical malpractice cases. And only around 20% of cases that get to trial are decided in favor of the plaintiff. This indicates that more than 75% of people who file dental malpractice lawsuits get monetary compensation.

Dental Malpractice Injuries

In cases of dental injury during dental treatment, dental healthcare practitioners, including general dentists, oral surgeons, orthodontists, and even dental hygienists, may be held accountable for malpractice claims. Dental negligence often results in various injuries, including the following:

  • Gum infections;
  • Root canal errors;
  • Nerve injuries to the jaw, lips, or tongue
  • Wisdom tooth extraction injuries;
  • Facial deformities;
  • Crown and bridge errors;
  • TMJ damage;
  • Oral cancer; or
  • Crown errors.

What Kind of Cases Get Filed in Dental Malpractice?

What Kind of Cases Get Filed in Dental Malpractice

If dentists fail to give sufficient treatment, they put patients at risk for various dangers. A fractured jaw, infection, systemic trauma, nerve injury, a stroke, meningitis, renal failure, malignancy, and even death are all possibilities.

Due to the severity of the injury, such situations sometimes result in dental malpractice lawsuits. Many people who want legal assistance may have difficulty obtaining dental malpractice settlements. Most dental malpractice claims include what would be considered minor injuries in a negligent context.

Among these errors are the inappropriate extraction of a healthy tooth, misdiagnosing a condition that demands hospitalization, and erroneous implantation of dental implants. These are all terrifying possibilities. However, they may not always be warranted because of the high expenses associated with pursuing a dental malpractice claim.

Some dental malpractice claims involve legal firms that request advance fees and costs. Hence, they lose money regardless of the case’s result. This implies that dental malpractice attorneys in Maryland will only accept cases involving severe injuries or tragic deaths. Unfortunately, they get a high volume of calls from people alleging malpractice. However, they cannot accept the case since the losses do not warrant the expense of litigation. Consequently, many victims are upset because no one is taking their case seriously, and they don’t know why.

Causes of Dental Negligence in Maryland

Dentists Lying in the Medical Records

Medical researchers have spent significant time and effort investigating innovative strategies for reducing the likelihood of medical mistakes. They hold seminars and publish journal papers on frequent errors and how to prevent them.

That is something that dentists do not do. Dentists are less integrated into society than physicians. Most dentists work alone, learning to care for patients of diverse knowledge and aptitude. This does not provide a firm foundation for understanding what causes errors and how to prevent them in the future.

Similarly, dentists seldom leave clear records in patient files. Why? This is due to two primary reasons. First, they seem to assume that now that they are on the island, they are no longer under anyone’s watchful eye. And hospital authorities are not currently monitoring them.

Second, although dentists in the Baltimore-Washington region make many errors that harm patients, dental malpractice cases in Maryland are uncommon. Even though these mistakes often cause damage to individuals, they continue to occur. Dentists may be sure that no legal action will be taken against them unless they leave a traceable paper trail.

Dentists Overextending Themselves

Compared to other medical operations, dental care is under-covered by insurance coverage. As a consequence, dentists have a financial incentive to do additional operations. As a consequence, they subject themselves to unneeded stress. Too many dentists believe they can provide patient care that needs the expertise of specialists. The value of more education and training cannot be overstated.

A prosthodontist who has completed two or more years of further study has a higher degree of education than a regular dentist. A prosthodontist should perform any essential dental reconstructive operations. A general dentist, on the other hand, would often insist on being qualified for the role even when it is evident that they are not. As a result, unethical medical practices are often performed.

Delayed Diagnosis and Misdiagnosis

Many dental malpractice cases result from the dentist’s failure to notice the patient’s complaints or the dentist’s incorrect diagnosis of those symptoms, which resulted in substantial injury to the patient. For example, a dentist may be held accountable for a patient’s suffering caused by oral cancer if the sickness was ignored despite the patient displaying warning indications or complaining of symptoms.

If you do not get a proper diagnosis or start treatment for less serious dental problems like periodontal disease or temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), it can also hurt you because waiting can make your symptoms worse and lead to bad outcomes like infection or unbearable pain.

Lack of Standard Dental Care

Dentists and their staff, like doctors, must provide a minimum acceptable level of care to their patients. Dental malpractice may arise if a dentist acts in a way that is not consistent with standard dental care procedures.

An experienced Maryland dental malpractice lawyer may investigate the specifics of your case in light of your dental and medical records. This is to determine whether your dentist behaved appropriately under the circumstances. When a dentist makes errors during treatment, the patient often experiences severe pain and emotional distress.

Conclusion

Claim the right average payout for dental negligence if you are injured

If you or a member of your immediate family were hurt due to a dentist’s failure to fulfill their responsibilities properly, you may be entitled to financial compensation. You will, however, need diligent and competent dental malpractice attorneys willing to battle for the dental malpractice settlement amounts you deserve. Fortunately, Maryland has the Law Offices of Alex Poberesky, P.A., an experienced dental malpractice attorney who will fight fiercely for your interests in dental malpractice cases. Contact our law offices today at (410) 484-0400 and schedule a free case evaluation