Florida Dentists: Dental Malpractice Claims Jeopardize Your License
If you are a licensed dentist in the state of Florida, an accusation of dental practice can lead to more than lawsuits and an increase in your insurance premiums: You can lose your license, and with it your ability to earn a living. You can also face up to $10,000 in administrative fines for each offense, and these fines may not be covered by your liability insurance.
If you are a Florida-licensed dentist and have received an administrative complaint from the Department of Health (DOH), you are probably concerned about how this may affect your license. To set up a FREE no-obligation consultation with attorney Jeff Howell or attorney Rickey Strong, contact the law firm of Howell, Buchan & Strong, Attorneys at Law at 850-877-7776. We represent licensed dentists statewide, including out-of-state clients who are concerned about the status of their Florida license.
According to Section 466.028(1)(x), Florida Statutes, the Florida Board of Dentistry may discipline your license if you are found to have committed “incompetence or negligence by failing to meet the minimum standards of performance in diagnosis and treatment when measured against generally prevailing peer performance” or if you commit dental practice, which includes but is not limited to:
three or more claims within the previous 5-year period which resulted in indemnity being paid, or any single indemnity paid in excess of $25,000 in a judgment or settlement, as a result of negligent conduct on the part of the dentist.
It’s important to note that the Board can find you guilty of incompetence, negligence, or malpractice even if you have not been sued by a patient in a court of law.
According to Rule 664B5-13.005(1)(x), Florida Administrative Code, the penalty for a first violation of this statute is a fine of anywhere between $500 and $10,000 for each violation and possible probation. A second offense brings probation or suspension, and fines between $1,000 and $10,000 for each violation. A third offense brings a fine between $2,500 and $10,000 for each violation and possible revocation of your license. Your disciplinary history is a matter of public record, and will be viewable by patients and prospective employers.
However, these penalties are not set in stone. The Board of Dentistry can take into account any number of aggravating or mitigating factors to increase or lesson the penalties set down in the rules. When you have an experienced health care attorney fighting for you, you stand a much better chance of receiving the lowest possible penalty, and even of getting the complaint against you dismissed.
Contact the law firm of Howell, Buchan & Strong, Attorneys at Law at 850-877-7776 to set up your FREE no-obligation consultation with attorney Jeff Howell or attorney Rickey Strong today. DOH has experienced attorneys on its side. So should you!