How Dental Malpractice Is Determined

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For a dental malpractice claim to proceed to the courtroom or for a possible settlement negotiated between lawyers, it is crucial that the case is valid and has enough evidence. For this to become reality, the individual affected needs to disclose all information with his or her lawyer and negligence or a breach of duty usually must exist.

Some malpractice cases arise due to the dentist acting against standard procedure. In these instances, the recommended course is not what he or she follows. It is usually the injury in these claims that causes the need for litigation to compensate the matter. The person affected needs the monies to recover physically or emotionally. If the harm led to a lack of work for a medical or other dental procedure, this is usually part of the damages owed to him or her. Some procedures do end in complications even if the patient signed an informed consent document. The negative impact in these situations could lead to malpractice suits when certain factors exist.

Malpractice Factors

The primary factors included in malpractice cases include negligence and a breach of the duty of care owed to the patient. The breach of the duty must then cause the injury. Usually, these situations lead to harm immediately, but some procedures may take time. This is often possible when an implant installed causes problems. If an implant is loose or installed incorrectly, the dentist may have breached his or her duty of care. Other instances of similar circumstances involve negligence. The doctor may not have taken the necessary precautions to prevent possible injury or a rupture of implants. He or she may not have maintained proper equipment or another situation may occur that harms the patient.

Negligence in Dental Malpractice

The inaction or nonstandard actions of the dentist often lead to instances of negligence. However, when the standard of care received does not reflect the professional guidelines, the dentist may violate the duty of care that should occur with the patient. In situations where the professional engages in misconduct, he or she may face dental malpractice suits. Other negligence happens when the patient sustains injury through standard care. Dull equipment, defective materials and inattention to detail could all harm the patient and lead to litigation. It is important to observe everything carefully before performing dental services for customers.

If a dentist needs to implant a device, craft braces or items that realign teeth, any mistakes may lead to a lawsuit. It is then up to the professionals to determine if negligence exists in the claim. Accidental errors or inaccuracies with items placed in the mouth may not involve negligence, and the dentist may be free of liability in these instances. However, when the dentist overlooks one of these items that he or she should have been part of, he or she could face accountability through litigation. It is important for the victim of these incidents to contact a lawyer for a consultation of the matter. It is important for a determination to confirm or reject possible negligence and dental malpractice.

The Required Elements Explained

Before medical or dental malpractice suits are viable in the courts, they must contain all four elements. The lawyer will determine if the evidence is strong enough for consideration. However, the victim of the incident may judge the claim based on the circumstances. The claim must involve a duty of care to the patient. This could not include a dentist that was not part of the situation. If the person went to another dentist but was referred to the one in the suit, the claim may fail immediately. The duty of care needs a breach of some sort. This breach must lead to the injury sustained. Then, there must exist some manner of cause between the breach itself and any wounds detailed by the victim.

The Lawyer in Dental Malpractice

It is entirely up to the plaintiff’s legal team to prove all four elements to the judge or jury panel. If any are found lacking, the claim may immediately fail. A hired lawyer may not take on the case if he or she does not see these factors as part of the claim. It is necessary to hire a malpractice lawyer to proceed. It is often best to entertain settlement offers as well to avoid the costs of the courts. If these are not reasonable, then, it is usually best to proceed to trial to determine fair and full compensation.


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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