Has your dentist's negligence or malpractice resulted in your injury?
If you have sustained injuries or infections to your teeth, gums, or jaw bone as a result of dental work completed by a dentist or their staff, you may file a dental injury or malpractice claim against them.
Before you file, it is important to seek legal advice from a dental injury attorney to establish if you may sue for dental malpractice. Discussed below are the basic requirements for a valid dental injury claim.
A dentist-patient relationship existed.
The first thing you need to prove when making a dental injury claim is that there was a consensual relationship between you and the dentist you are suing. Such a relationship is established when you ask for a practitioner's opinion concerning a dental problem and they agree to provide a "cure" of some type.
Whether the activity occurred formally or informally is irrelevant if the practitioner intended you to rely on the professional advice they gave.
The dentist acted negligently.
Every dentist must provide each patient with a standard level of care that other qualified dentists would provide to the same patient.
To prove that a dentist acted negligently, you may need to ask an expert dentist to show that the dentist you are suing didn't work skillfully and carefully enough to provide you with the standard level of care.
The dentist caused your injury.
To hold a dentist accountable for your injury, you must prove that their actions directly resulted in your injury or exacerbated an existing condition.
You may need to rely on an expert dentist witness to establish a causative link between your dentist's negligence and your injury, as well as to outline which standard procedures should have been followed to avoid the injury.
Your injury resulted in specific damages.
To make a successful dental injury claim, you must identify the specific damages you suffered as a result of your injury.
For example, nerve injuries resulting from improper usage of dental tools may lead to further treatment and extended healing time. The damages can be quantified based on the cost of further treatment, loss of future income, and the emotional and physical suffering of the patient.
How much compensation you receive for your injury depends on the nature and severity of the injury suffered, so be sure to document that.
Need help with making a dental injury claim? Contact a dental malpractice lawyer near you to discuss your case.