Qualifications of Dental Malpractice
Dentists, like physicians, are held to a legal standard of care for each of their patients regardless if they are simply cleaning teeth or doing something complex like a root canal. Although most patients have faith in their dentists, things can go wrong during a procedure and a patient may suffer serious harm due to the dentist’s negligence.
What Constitutes Dental Malpractice?
Dental malpractice is the same as medical malpractice: if a dentist/physician does not provide their patients with the duty of care that they are owed and the patient is injured: that is malpractice. Here are a few common examples:
- Unnecessary tooth extraction
- Failure to diagnose an issue.
- Failing to obtain consent from a patient for a dental procedure.
The dental office is considered liable for these mistakes because it is their responsibility to keep accurate records and verify any decisions they make regarding treatment and procedures.
How Does One Prove Negligence?
It can be difficult to prove negligence. However, generally your lawyer will need to meet these criteria in order to prove negligence:
- The defendant had a patient-dentist relationship with the plaintiff.
- The dentist did not fulfill the duty of care owed to the patient which resulted in a negligent act.
- The negligent act directly caused a serious injury or complication.
Medical professionals will have malpractice insurance and likely a legal team to protect them. The burden of proof lies on you and your legal counsel. It is always best to have representation in legal matters, particularly in a malpractice case. 40
Agreements Made in a Settlement
The insurance company of the dentist may offer a settlement to a victim if they have a good case against them. This allows the victim and the dentist to forego a trial as well as avoid any bad publicity for the office. A settlement can often be negotiated faster than a trial will proceed and may even be more financially attractive than a court award because of the absence of high legal fees.
Regardless if you are entering a settlement negotiation or a trial, it is best to seek help from a medical malpractice lawyer Fort Lauderdale, FL residents trust to help guide you in the right direction. Call for a consultation today to decide what legal steps you should take next in pursuing a proper settlement award. Don’t wait, be sure to take care of this immediately before even beginning a claim process.
Thank you to our contributors at Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. for the above information.