If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as the result of dental malpractice, you may be wondering what your next steps should be. Determining whether or not to file a lawsuit can be difficult, but with the help of an experienced lawyer, it can be done. In this blog post, we will discuss what dental malpractice is, the elements of a dental malpractice case, and examples of damages that may be awarded in such a case. We will also provide tips on how to gather evidence to support your claim. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information about orthopedic specialists of san diego.
What is Dental Malpractice?
Dental malpractice occurs when a dentist or other dental professional fails to provide the standard of care that is expected, and this failure results in injury to the patient. It is usually proved by showing that the dentist breached the duty of care owed to the patient and that this breach caused the injury.
When a patient is injured as a result of dental malpractice, they may be entitled to recover damages for their injuries. These damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. In some cases, the patient may also be awarded punitive damages if the dentist’s actions were particularly egregious.
Elements of a Dental Malpractice Lawsuit
In order to succeed in a dental malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff (the injured party) must be able to prove the following elements:
-The existence of a duty of care. This means that the dentist owed the patient a duty to provide care in accordance with the accepted standards of practice.
-A failure to provide the necessary standard of care. This means that the dentist breached their duty of care by failing to meet the expected standards.
-Causation. This means that the dentist’s breach of duty must have caused the patient’s injuries.
-Damages. This means that the patient must have suffered some type of harm as a result of the dental malpractice.
Examples of Dental Malpractice
There are many different types of dental malpractice, but some common examples include:
• Improper diagnosis or treatment of a dental condition. This can be presented as either a failure to diagnose a condition that should have been diagnosed or a misdiagnosis of a condition.
• Improperly performed dental procedures. This can include errors made during surgery, such as cutting too deeply into the tissue or failing to remove all of the decay during a root canal. It can also include errors made while administering anesthesia.
• Failure to obtain informed consent. This means that the dentist did not inform the patient of all of the risks involved in a particular procedure and did not obtain the patient’s permission to proceed.
• Performing a procedure without the proper training or experience. This can be especially dangerous if the dentist is performing a complex procedure that they are not qualified to perform.
• Leaving a foreign object (such as a surgical instrument) in the patient’s mouth after a procedure. Objects such as these can cause serious infection or other damage if they are not removed.
• Causing physical injuries to the patient during a procedure. For instance, if the dentist accidentally cuts the patient’s tongue or lip during surgery, this would be considered dental malpractice.
Relevant Evidence to Support Your Dental Malpractice Lawsuit
In order to establish a legitimate dental malpractice claim, an injured patient (and/or their attorney) will need to gather evidence to support each of the above elements. Relevant evidence to support your dental malpractice lawsuit may include:
• Copies of communications with the dentist who caused your injuries, such as letters or emails.
• Medical records documenting your injury and treatment. Bills and receipts related to your medical care, including any costs for medication, dental work, or therapy.
• Expert testimony from a dentist or other medical professional who can attest to the standard of care that should have been provided in your case and how the dentist’s actions fell below that standard.
Dental malpractice can be a complex legal issue, and it is important to understand all of the elements involved before moving forward with a lawsuit. If you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of dental malpractice, it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. An experienced dental malpractice attorney will be able to review your case and help you understand your rights and options.