What you need to know about Dental Malpractice Lawsuits
Dental Malpractice Lawsuits are creating the same problems in America as Medical Malpractice Lawsuits. The financial awards given to successful plaintiffs are causing the cost of dental care to spiral almost out of control. It’s a serious problem.
When juries award millions of dollars to a plaintiff who was a former patient of a dental surgeon, for instance, that surgeon quickly discovers that his malpractice insurance premiums have gone up … a lot. In fact, even before losing a Dental Malpractice Lawsuit, the average Dental Surgeon or even regular dentist must pay tens of thousands of dollars annually in malpractice insurance premiums. Obviously, the dentist is not going to absorb those costs. Instead, he passes them on to you, his patient and customer.
That’s how it works for all medical professionals, doctors and dentists. If they are forced to pay outrageously high insurance premiums to protect themselves against Medical Malpractice Lawsuits or Dental Malpractice Lawsuits – and obscenely high judgments – they are going to think of it as a professional expense, a cost of keeping their practice open and viable, but they are not going to absorb all of that cost and reduce their income.
That cost, high premiums, is always passed on to you, the person who requires – and must pay for – the service. Can this system be improved? The answer to that question is: absolutely yes! Members of Congress, in fact, need to address this very important issue and start working on creating a solution.
It shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with the kind of change that is needed. All they really have to do is “put a cap” on jury awards for Dental Malpractice Lawsuits. That means a plaintiff will still be able to win a judgment against a dentist for malpractice, but that the award he or she receives will have a pre-determined financial limit, a ceiling.
If that happens, insurance premiums for Dental Malpractice protection will come down. And when insurance premiums are finally lowered, the fees that dentists and dental surgeons charge their patients will also come down.
If that solution seems simple, you are right … it is “cut and dried.” So, why has legislation not been enacted that would make “caps” on awards a legal reality? There is a powerful lobby working against caps … trial attorneys and the organizations that represent them. It stands to reason that attorneys are happy with the status quo. If a client they represent wins a huge award, they receive a large commission, often an amount that can be tens of thousands of dollars or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
For trial attorneys, change in the current system is a bad idea. But that’s a short-sighted and selfish view. The greater common good will be served, and countless more people will benefit, if legal limits on jury awards for Dental Malpractice Lawsuits become the law of the land.
Insurance premiums will be lower … fees for dental services, including surgery, will be lower, as well – everyone will benefit!