Overview of a Dental Malpractice Lawsuit
Provided by HG.org
There are numerous issues that could occur when a person visits the dentist, but it is usually instances of negligence that leads to a dental malpractice lawsuit. For those injured during these visits, it is important to prove the four elements of a claim and seek as much compensation as possible so that recovery may resolve the matter entirely.
For dental malpractice lawsuits, it is critical to gather as much evidence as possible to strengthen the case. This includes copies of consent about procedures performed, a medical history of the patient, a treatment plan, notes, the entire chronology of events and any other details of the event. This information may contain something that may explain or expand upon negligence committed by the dentist. This will assist the plaintiff’s legal party in pursuing legal action against the dentist or dental practice. Compensation is usually what the victim seeks in these incidents. Most litigation cannot occur without the use and hire of a lawyer.
Common Negligence Issues in Dental Malpractice
When the patient suffers injury during a dental procedure, it usually occurs through common factors. This may include anesthesia complications at some point, diagnosis problems and failures, injuries sustained to oral nerves and other locations in the mouth, tooth extraction, root canal and medication problems. Novocain is one of the drugs used in these procedures. Some patients are allergic to this or may sustain injury when administered the drug. Any injury could occur based on the procedure, but the likelihood increases when the dentist does not take the appropriate precautions and safety measures. This could also lead to future complications that require medical assistance.
Many cases start with the initial injury and may expand to include other details. Some patients suffer effects from the Novocain or anesthesia when needing surgical-related procedures. If a tooth extraction results in a jaw bone broken or splintered, the plaintiff may need to include these details with his or her lawyer after discovering the new information. The negligence he or she suffered usually reveals additional data when investigating into the matter fully. Failed dental implants or an over medication complication could lead to long-term effects with the mouth or body. Some may even need medical assistance after seeing a dentist.
Other Complications in Dental Procedures
While negligence is the most pressing issue, it could lead to severe infection not countered by medication. If the dentist prescribes the wrong antibiotic, the patient may not find his or her infection alleviated. Additionally, some procedures are so invasive or complex that the after effects lead to wrongful death. In this event, the surviving family may have an option to seek a claim against the practice or specific dentist for compensation to dependents and remaining family members. The suit may have more or less information depending on the circumstances of the death and which procedure the deceased patient sought when needing dental work.
The Malpractice Lawsuit in Action
To progress to the point where a malpractice suite may proceed to a courtroom, the plaintiff must have enough evidence and details for a reasonable chance at success. The four elements must exist, and the injury needs sufficient documentation for the judge or jury. Any confusion about negligence needs clearing before testifying before the courtroom. It is essential to connect the defending dentist or practice to liability. This is most possible by demonstrating how he or she acted negligently. A breach of duty of standard and reasonable care leading to injury is proof against the dentist. However, if the patient died, the case may shift to a wrongful death claim instead of dental malpractice. This has different requirements.
Some infections that occur after the dental procedure may require the need for hospitalization or emergency room visits. This is even more important when the prescribed antibiotics are not enough to remedy the infection or are the incorrect type. Misdiagnosis of the primary concern in the mouth could also cause further injury. Without taking the necessary time and care with the patient, the dentist may act negligently. Then, a malpractice lawsuit could have enough strength to proceed to the courtroom.
Malpractice Legal Support for Dental Concerns
A lawyer’s hire usually occurs after the initial consultation. He or she will explain if the claim has enough strength to progress to the next level. If it does not yet, he or she may still take the case and assist in gathering enough proof to take the claim to the courts for a possible remedy or 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.