You would need to assess your damages and determine if they exceed the maximum for small claims court. Always best to get a free consultation with a dental malpractice lawyer in your city to discuss.
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First you need to get the requisite work done by a competent dentist. He will then be able to address what, if any, shortcomings were involved in the first dentist's approach and work. It sounds like there was quite a mess but the fact that the first dentist proceeded without x-rays sounds very suspicious to me.
Malpractice against a health care provider is also known as professional negligence. The claims arise when a professional (doctor, lawyer, accountant, etc.) fails to meet a reasonable standard of care. Thus, a similar professional is needed to support the claim and criticize the work performed. This can be quite expensive and is why these claims are so difficult to bring.
The claim for any negligent act relies on four principals:
1. There was a duty to act reasonably
2. That was breached
3. Which proximately caused
4. Damage either financially and/or physically.
Thus, one who has sustained damage due to the fault of a professional should seek the advice of an attorney to determine whether the case is worth pursuing.
It sounds like you may have a viable medical malpractice case that should be filed in Circuit Court (not small claims) in Palm Beach County, Florida. Would the second dentist be willing to testify vesus the initial dentist?
Not so sure about punitive damages. Sounds more like a medical/dental malpractice case.
Feel free to call my office in Delray Beach at 561-266-9191.
You should contact an attorney who can obtain all of your records so they can be reviewed and evaluated by a well qualified, competent dentist and/or endodontist. Only after the records are reviewed can a determination be made whether there is a valid claim for negligence.