A Brief Look at Dental Malpractice Issues
In early 2015, a Connecticut dentist was found culpable in the death of a patient while having more than 20 teeth removed at one time. This is something most would see as a very clear-cut case of dental malpractice simply because of the facts surrounding the patient’s death. However, not all cases of dental malpractice are that obvious, and you may not realize that you have a valid claim.
There are thousands of dental malpractice claims made every year, and yet a lot of us don’t quite know what would constitute malpractice at the hands of a dentist. It is helpful to know that any and all malpractice issues tend to translate to one simple thing: the medical professional in question failed (through negligence or carelessness) to provide the standard of care that their training and education prepared them to deliver. Because of their failure, someone was unnecessarily injured, and this creates the foundation for a malpractice case – and for liability.
Understanding What Dental Malpractice Means
While almost everyone you know will admit that going to the dentist is not on their list of favorite things to do with a free afternoon, most would say that they don’t have a truly valid reason to avoid or fear the dentist. After all, most of us have not been injured in the dental chair. Sure, we’ve been poked with needles, had a tiny drill used on our teeth, and maybe suffered a bit of discomfort…but actual injury is rare. Sadly, it does occur.
Those who feel that they need to pursue some sort of dental malpractice cases are those who have probably experienced:
- Misdiagnosis of a condition
- Anesthesia administered wrongly
- Infection because of mishandled equipment
- Failure to diagnose a serious condition
- Delay in treatment (unwarranted)
- Needless extractions
- Avoidable injury
While it seems like these things would be difficult to prove or argue in a courtroom, there are many examples of people who have successfully won their claims when they too have experienced such avoidable issues. Remember, though, as in all claims of malpractice, it is up to the patient to prove that the medical or dental expert in question is the cause of the harm or injury. This is difficult at the best of times, and it is why you will always want to count on the help of a skilled and experienced attorney when you think it is the right time to pursue a dental malpractice claim.
What It Involves
If you do decide to seek compensation for damages or injuries, you will have to begin with your state dental board. There, you or your attorney will register a formal complaint, and this is officially investigated by the board. If there is an obvious case of malpractice, the dentist is called to a hearing before the board, and this is when your evidence is going to be presented.
Clearly, this is not something that you will want to attempt on your own. How do you get expert opinions, depositions, and formal records to present to the board? And sadly, even if the board finds in your favor, it is very difficult to get a dental professional’s insurance firm to pay on malpractice claims.
This is why so many dental malpractice cases end up in courtrooms. Even when the dental board finds that malpractice has indeed occurred, and that you should be compensated for the injuries or losses, you may still have to go to court to get what is rightfully yours.
Hiring a skilled attorney is going to allow you to enjoy far more success than fighting the battle alone, and it may even keep you out of court if your attorney is a skilled negotiator.
InjuryClaimCoach.com. Dental Malpractice Suits for Injury Compensation. 2015. http://www.injuryclaimcoach.com/dental-malpractice-suit.html