Injured during a Dentist Visit - Can I Sue the Dentist and Assistant?

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When a patient goes to a dentist, he or she expects a certain duty of care to occur so that complications do not cause injury or further damage than what is already happening inside the mouth. However, when the person leaves without the appropriate care given, he or she may need to seek legal assistance to receive compensation for any additional medical care sought.

Proving a case of medical malpractice is often a complex issue. These that attempt to do so usually must hire a lawyer early and ensure as much evidence gathered as possible is available for the legal representative to analyze. The incident usually involves a claim of negligence or a duty of care breached which caused the injury. The more specific details there are, the better chances may increase of a successful claim. However, even with enough information, the case could still fail without proper preparation and examination of the facts. Without legal services assisting, attempting any type of litigation may not be possible in most states.

Negligence and the Injury

Many doctors of various types have nurses or assistance that help with the menial or simple tasks. These individuals usually have enough experience and education to discover if any issues exist. However, if the dentist does not check over the patient and he or she leaves, this professional may engage in negligence. Some practices protect the assistant in the situation, but others include them in the negligence claim. Before moving to the next stage of a case, the patient must sustain injury that requires compensation or a remedy for possible recovery. Then, this individual may seek legal assistance through a consultation to determine if the incident has merit.

When a dentist leaves a patient entirely in the hands of an assistant, this could lead to negligence claims. However, the duty of care must involve a breach and injury afterwards. An infection, abscess or similar circumstances are usually necessary. Situations where implants were put in the mouth or equipment is the cause of injury could include negligent acts. The details are as important as the evidence gathered in these events. Speaking with a lawyer about the problem is the first step in determining if the claim is strong enough to proceed to the next stage.

Starting a Dental Malpractice Claim

If the patient leaves one dentist with a potential health issue, he or she may need medical assistance if it becomes serious or aggravated. A second opinion may lead to a trip to the emergency room if the dentist is unable to assist from the first encounter. Every document filed by the hospital in these situations should increase the strength of the case. The detailed statement from the second dentist or other doctor could supply the claim with an expert declaration that the previous dentist or assistant was not performing to the best ability. Then, the case may include negligence.

Sometimes, it is important communicate the needs for recovery to the lawyer. If compensation is the sought-after conclusion, this could occur through a settlement. For a dentist facing medical malpractice, he or she may want to settle the matter outside of the courtroom. Negotiating the compensation is important to avoid unwanted expenses in these situations. The more evidence exists in negligence or malpractice claims, the greater chance the plaintiff has in getting the defendant to offer a settlement. Then, the legal representative may communicate what the client is seeking. This could lead to a swift and speedy end to the problem.

The Elements Needed and Legal Help

Before malpractice claims may proceed, the case must contain four elements. These include the duty of care owed to the patient. A breach of this duty must occur at some point. The breach must then cause injury to the person in some form. Then, there is a cause that connects the breach and damage sustained by the victim. The patient is responsible in proving the evidence and demonstrating these elements to the court. The duty usually exists between doctor and patient. Negligence is part of a breach of that duty. Dental damage could involve the injury. The reason for the problem may be more difficult to prove.

Legal services are usually necessary to litigate in most states in the country. By protecting the rights of the client and pursuing legal action against the defendant, it is sometimes possible to demonstrate to the courtroom the four elements when there is enough evidence.


Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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