In the world of medicine, things don’t always go as they should – including time in the dental chair. Still, seeking a dental malpractice suit isn’t easy, as one case recently making NY headlines reminds us.
A case recently went before the New York State Supreme court. A dental malpractice case was thrown out of the lower court due to the strength of expert testimony. It has since been reinstated so that it can progress through the court system.
Hopefully, justice will be served for those impacted. However, this back-and-forth among the courts proves how complicated and tenuous these types of cases can be.
If you want to file a lawsuit against your dentist for malpractice, there’s a lot to know before you proceed. Read on to find out all you should know about dental malpractice suits in New York.
Dental Malpractice: What Is It?
There are many forms of medical malpractice that can occur, one of which is dental malpractice. Unfortunately, not many people understand what falls into this category.
In general, dental malpractice can be seen as an action that leads to harm or death through the wrongful treatment of a patient by a dentist. That may mean a mistake is made during a procedure or that the dentist was negligent in their care.
Examples of Dental Malpractice Cases
While there is no definitive list of wrongful acts that someone can reference to know if their case is one of malpractice, there are some past judgments that can give a clue as to what may qualify. Some examples of dental malpractice include:
- Failure to diagnose or treat oral health issues
- Improper extraction of a tooth
- Issues with tooth extractions
- Injuries to the nerves of the face
- Adverse reactions to drugs
- Wrongful death
The Damage Dental Malpractice Can Cause
The potential issues that case arise from these malpractice claims include:
- Nerve damage
- Loss of teeth
- Cancer of the mouth
- Expensive dental work for tooth replacement
- Pain and suffering
Elements of a Dental Malpractice Suit
For a dental malpractice lawsuit to be successful, a person who is injured by the dentist will need to establish a few important things. They must show:
- The establishment themselves as a patient of the dentist
- What the appropriate standard of care was in the circumstances
- How the established standard of care was breached and caused harm
- The extent and nature of the injury sustained
Proving these things in court is what is required to win a dental malpractice case, which is why you need an experienced attorney to help guide you through and represent your best interests.
How to File a Dental Malpractice Suit
An experienced attorney can help to guide you through the process of filing a dental malpractice lawsuit, but in general, the steps that must be taken include:
- Filing a complaint with the court from which the dentist in question has a certain amount of time to respond to
- Discovery is exchanged between the two parties in the case such as dental records and any other pertinent documentation
- Testimony can be obtained from the plaintiff, defendant, and any witnesses as well as expert testimony
- If the case goes to trial and doesn’t get settled outside court, then a judge will hear the case
Dental malpractice can result in some serious issues for patients for the rest of their lives. If you think you have been harmed, then do what you can to be reimbursed for your damages.