Dental Malpractice Wrongful Death Cases in FloridaDental wrongful death cases are a tragic and often overlooked aspect of medical malpractice litigation. When a dental treatment is unsuccessful, the outcomes can be heartbreaking for both those affected and their families. In this article, we will delve into the complex world of dental wrongful death claims and dental malpractice claims in Florida.

Delve further into this article to learn how dental malpractice can result in fatal outcomes and the potential for a wrongful death lawsuit. Additionally, we will discuss who can bring a claim on behalf of their deceased family member under Florida law.

Finally, we will explore the different kinds of damages that a family may be able to recover in a dental malpractice wrongful death case under the Florida Wrongful Death Act. By understanding these critical aspects of dental wrongful death claims, you can better protect your rights and seek justice for your lost loved one.

How Dental Malpractice Can Lead to Wrongful Death

  • Anesthesia Errors: Improper administration of general anesthesia can result in life-threatening complications or even death.
  • Infections: Failure to properly administer antibiotics or to maintain hygiene practices and sterilize instruments can lead to serious infections that may become life-threatening if left untreated.
  • Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis: When a dentist fails to diagnose a serious condition like oral cancer or a serious infection, this error cause the patient's death.
  • Surgical Errors: A surgical error can cause serious problems and even death when the procedure involves susceptible patients or high risk patients.
  • Compromised Health: Patients with pre-existing health issues may be at greater risk for complications from dental treatments if the dentist doesn't take proper precautions.

Death will often occur in the dental context when patient is compromised. The story in these types of cases if often quite similar. A patient will go to a dentist who is more interested in making money than protecting the patient. Shockingly, the patient will often go to several dentists who refuse to do a procedure, like dental implants, because the patient is too high risk for these types of procedures. However, the patient will continue to search for another opinion. 

Eventually, some dentist will agree to do the procedure because that dentist ignores the patient's medical history or doesn't study it carefully. As a result, the high-risk patient will undergo a dental or surgical procedure that the patient that should not have undergone, and the patient will die as a result.

Overall, it is essential for dental professionals to adhere to the highest standards of care and study the patient's medical history carefully before when treating their patients to avoid serious harm or even death. Otherwise, the dentist may find himself or herself facing a wrongful death lawsuit because the reality is that dental procedures can be deadly.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit for Dental Malpractice in Florida?

The Florida Wrongful Death Act, as provided in Florida Statutes 768.16 et seq., limits the individuals who can file a case for medical malpractice resulting in death to specific family members only. These family members are defined explicitly and include children aged 25 or younger, adult children reliant on the deceased for financial support, the spouse of the deceased, and parents of a child aged 25 or younger. 

Interestingly, despite these types of laws that protect hospitals and doctors from responsibility, healthcare costs have not become more affordable in Florida. It is essential to maintain consistency in laws across all sectors so that everyone has equal access to justice through legal channels. Otherwise, all these efforts to pass these kinds of laws have one obvious purpose: To fill the pockets of the insurance companies and make medicine more dangerous for patients.

Damages Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Case in Florida

When negligence, carelessness, or recklessness leads to the wrongful death of a family member in Florida, it's important to know which damages a claimant or estate can recover in a wrongful death claim. 

  • Economic damages cover financial losses like medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of income and earning capacity, as well as past and future loss of support and services. 
  • Non-economic damages compensate for emotional pain caused by unexpected loss such as mental anguish, loss of companionship and protection, or parental guidance.
  • Punitive damages are additional compensation that may be awarded if the dentist's actions were particularly egregious or reckless; these damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from similar conduct in the future.

Specific damages and amounts awarded can vary significantly, so work closely with an experienced Florida wrongful death attorney to navigate this complex legal process and ensure your family receives the compensation they deserve. Comprehending who is able to file a wrongful death suit and what kind of remuneration may be obtainable can help you pursue justice for your lost loved one and hold those responsible liable for their carelessness.

Damages Recoverable in a Dental Malpractice Wrongful Death Case in Florida

In Florida, the Florida Wrongful Death Act spells out the damages that loved ones can recover for the death of the decedent. This Act also provides who can bring a claim and recover damages when someone dies due to dental wrongful death and dental malpractice. We will break this down by the claimant and the damages recoverable.


The act allows a living spouse to recover for their own intangible losses like mental pain and suffering and loss of companionship. Additionally, they may also receive compensation for lost services and economic support. 


Other blood relatives who were wholly or partly dependent on the deceased person for support or services may also claim damages. This includes children, adopted children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren as well other blood relatives who depended on the deceased person.

Child Under 25 Years of Age

If a child is under 25 years old at death, they may receive compensation for intangible losses such as mental pain and suffering along with loss of parental guidance and companionship. 


If it can be fairly predicted that more assets would have been accumulated by the deceased over their remaining work-life expectancy had they not died due to negligence while being employed then estate of that individual can claim those lost assets known as lost net accumulations of the estate. 

Funeral Expenses and Medical Bills

The estate can also typically claim reimbursement for any medical bills caused by negligence along with funeral expenses which depend upon who paid them originally.

The Issues and Inequity of the Florida Wrongful Death Act

The Florida Wrongful Death Act was created to provide a way for people who have lost loved ones due to wrongful death to hold those responsible accountable in civil court. However, there are significant disparities in the compensation that is rightfully owed specifically in the context of medical malpractice and dental wrongful death. 

One such issue is the restricted circumstances under which adult children and parents can receive compensation for their loss. It seems unjust and illogical that healthcare providers in Florida cannot be held liable for the wrongful death of an unmarried patient with no children under 25 years old. This limitation severely restricts the type and amount of damages that can be recovered by relatives of a victim of wrongful death, making many medical malpractice cases involving a death impossible to pursue. Essentially, justice cannot be served for individuals without spouses, dependent family members, or children below 25 years old.

Key Takeaway: 

Dental wrongful death can occur in multiple contexts, especially during complex surgical dental procedures involving anesthesia. Negligence such as improper administration of general anesthesia, failure to maintain hygiene practices and sterilize instruments, misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, and surgical errors can cause death or result in severe consequences on a patient's overall health.

How a Florida Dental Malpractice Attorney Can Help

If you have reason to believe that dental malpractice led to the death of your family member, you should seek the services of a wrongful death lawyer in Florida who handles dental malpractice cases and dental malpractice claims. The attorney can assist with gathering evidence, negotiating with insurance providers, and representing you during legal proceedings if required. By comprehending who can bring such a lawsuit and the types of damages that are available under Florida law, you can make informed decisions about pursuing legal action and receive compensation that can help to alleviate some of the financial strain caused by this devastating loss.