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Finding the right dental malpractice lawyer for you in the D.C. metro area can be challenging. Taking a trip to the dentist, like any other health care professional, should never be a stressful visit. Health care professionals are supposed to inspire our trust and comfort and make us feel comfortable whether we are going to get our semi-annual check up or going in for a major dental procedure.
However, sometimes that is not the case. Thankfully, dentists most often provide outstanding care. They help care for teeth, and like most health care practitioners, there are rarely incidents. Occasionally, however, a dental mistake or malpractice can occur, and when that happens, you should consult with the medical malpractice law firm Washington DC trusts.
There are four different types of dental malpractice that often result in lawsuits. The first is dental malpractice that is the result of an error in treatment. Common errors in treatment may happen when a dentist does a procedure that his or her patient is not healthy enough for. Another frequent cause for dental malpractice is when dentists do not use the proper techniques during a procedure. Dental malpractice from not using the proper techniques may occur with dentists who were not trained properly. The third type of dental malpractice that may result in a lawsuit is when a dentist fails to check on a patient after treatment. The standard of care generally requires dentists to follow up with their patients after procedures, especially surgical procedures. The final type of dental malpractice occurs when a dentist fails to refer a patient to a specialist, when it’s necessary. A good deal of pain and damage can occur when a patient does not get a procedure that they need. It may be considered dental malpractice if a dentist notices that a patient needs to see a specialist and does not refer them to one; this could be for anything from the patient needing his or her wisdom teeth out to the dentist believing the patient might have mouth cancer.
Generally, medical malpractice claims have a statute of limitations of two and a half years. The clock on the statute of limitations begins from the very moment a dentist commits a professional act of negligence. Of course, this can range from state to state.
Dental malpractice can occur when a dental patient is harmed through due to substandard care. Dentists, including oral surgeons and orthodontists, can be found liable of substandard care.
Crucial Elements of Dental Malpractice Lawsuit:
With the help of an experienced dental malpractice attorney, an injured patient will want to show:
-The existence of a dentist-patient relationship: You must be able to provide proof that you have seen this dentist and you are a patient. Medical and dental records may be involved. This isn’t something that is usually disputed as it is very easy to prove or disprove.
-The medical standard of care under the circumstances:
You must be able to show what was expected and the medical standard of care for the situation, which means proving the level and kind of care that another dentist would have provided in the same circumstances. This is usually established by enlisting a qualified expert medical witness who is a healthcare professional familiar with the kind of procedure that is being addressed in the lawsuit and who has been retained by the plaintiff’s dental practice attorney. It is likely that if you are suing a root canal gone wrong, your expert witness would be a dentist who is competent at and performed root canals previously.
-How was the dental standard of care breached:
It is important to show how a dentist or dental office caused harm to the patient.
In a dental malpractice lawsuit, the “breach” and “causation” elements are key in receiving compensation. A plaintiff must prove that the health care provider or dentist caused that person’s injury or the health care provider or dentist made an existing condition worse by their action or inaction. It is likely that proving a “breach” and “causation” will come from the testimony from a qualified expert medical witness. Often what is crucial is explaining what steps should the dentist have taken? What steps did the dentist or healthcare professional take? How did the steps taken by that person cause or contribute to the patient’s harm and/or injury?
-The nature of the Injury:
Providing a full report about the nature and extent of the patient’s injury will be key in a dental malpractice lawsuit. If you are filing a dental malpractice claim, you will want documents of what your injury is and how it negatively impacting your life.
It is important to note that in some states, it may be necessary to obtain an affidavit from a health care practitioner saying that the lawsuit has merit before a dental malpractice lawsuit can be filed. In some states, it’s also beneficial to have a favorable ruling from the state board of dentistry before bringing a malpractice claim. A knowledgeable dental malpractice Washington DC attorney will be well-versed in any and all procedural requirements in the Metropolitan DC area that must be met in order to bring your case to court.
If you have been injured as a result of dental malpractice in the DC area, contacting a dental malpractice lawyer Washington DC may help aid you if you decide you want to file a dental malpractice lawsuit.
If you or your family member has endured any of these grounds for medical malpractice in the Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, D.C. area, contact Cohen & Cohen P.C. today. Dental malpractice can be difficult to prove, so the sooner you contact us for an evaluation, the sooner we can tell you how much compensation you are entitled to and the sooner we can get your case to trial. At Cohen & Cohen we strive to match you with the perfect attorney for your case so we can work with you to help you get the most amount of compensation achievable for your case. Our goal is to give you the help you need in your dental malpractice litigation so that you can focus on the more important things, like recovering from your dental injury.
Please do not rely on any legal information here. If you believe you have a case, consult with the Washington DC injury lawyers at Cohen & Cohen immediately.