When My Dentist Causes Injury, Can I Sue?
When most people think about personal injury and malpractice, they think of car accidents and medical doctors. But you can also suffer the pain, expense and life changes of dental injury. If your dentist provides low quality or substandard treatment that leads to injury, you have the right to file a dental malpractice lawsuit. As in other personal injury cases, you simply need the help of a seasoned and highly skilled personal injury lawyer who helps you seek the damages you are owed under the law.
Dental malpractice cases are very similar to medical malpractice. Your case and resulting injuries must meet the principles of negligence in Arizona, where your injury occurred. So if you believe your dentist was negligent and caused your injuries, turn to a dental malpractice and personal injury lawyer who knows how to succeed in gaining you the compensation the dentist and his or her insurance company owes.
Suing Your Dentist for Malpractice
When you seek to sue your dentist for malpractice, you need to remember several important factors. First, your injuries and potential compensation fall under Arizona’s statutes of limitations. This means you only have a limited time period during which you can sue. In other words, you need to talk to your Phoenix personal injury lawyer as soon after the injury as possible.
Your case must also meet four standards of a malpractice lawsuit. These four standards include:
Duty of Care
As a practicing dental care provider, your dentist must meet the legal and ethical standards for dentistry in Arizona. This is an obligation. It means your dentist must meet the same quality of care that you should receive under anyone with the same training, education, licensing and geographic service provision. This standard and duty of care differ from state to state. What Florida, Utah, Nevada or California consider the duty of care for dentists in those states does not necessarily match the standard of care in your Arizona home community. Your personal injury lawyer knows this duty of care and quickly assesses if you have a good case, based on your dentist’s actions and performance.
Breach of Duty
It is a breach of duty for your dentist to not meet the standards of his or her duty of care. This means that not liking your results after a dental appointment does not necessarily add up to a breach of duty. It is not based on “unhappiness” or discontent. Instead, the breach of duty is founded in future complications after the treatment and improper methods or care that lead to further injury. Your personal injury and dental negligence lawyer uses the testimony of a trained dental expert witness to build your case. This expert proves breach of duty by the defendant and helps you gain the compensation you deserve.
This very important part of a dental malpractice case points to the injuries you sustained as being caused by your dentist’s breach of duty. If no injuries occur when your dentist breaches duty, you do not know the breach of duty occurred. So the relationship of your injuries to how the dentist performed his or her treatment influences the outcome of your case. In fact, without causation you will not usually succeed in court. A free consultation with a personal injury lawyer helps you know if causation exists, tying your injuries and costs to how the dentist performed.
Your successful dental malpractice case also requires clear damages. You must prove you suffered damages as a result of the dentist’s treatment. Damages prove breach of duty, negligence and injury, with the dental service being the cause of those injuries.
Damages of a dental malpractice case include:
- Physical injuries, including damaged teeth or nerve damage
- Financial damages, including how much it costs you to gain repair of the dentist’s mistakes
- Non-economic damages, including how your injuries affected you in daily living
If you prove your dentist provided treatment under a breach of duty and beneath the standard of care, as well as that your injuries resulted because of those breaches, you gain your damages in your successful lawsuit.
You Need a Qualified and Experienced Dental Malpractice and Personal Injury Lawyer
Having a solid personal injury or dental malpractice case relies on the expert witness testimony and outcome of your personal injury lawyer’s investigation into your injuries. You need the help of a lawyer able to provide the highest quality of representation, including access to these expert witnesses and investigations experts who know how to prove you deserve compensation.