Dentists and other dental professionals are just like any other medical provider – they owe a duty of care to those they treat.
When something goes wrong, and you’re injured due to subpar care, then these professionals can be held liable just like any other. Dental malpractice does happen, but it gets overshadowed by other medical malpractice claims in popular culture.
If you or someone you love was injured by a dentist, there is a legal remedy for your injuries. Here is what you need to know about dental malpractice and dental negligence in New York.
Dental Malpractice in New York: What Is It?
When a dentist or dental professional such as a hygienist causes harm to a patient because of inadequate care, then that is referred to as dental malpractice. While that seems like a straightforward definition, there are many types of ways dental malpractice can manifest in the real world.
Some of the most common examples of dental malpractice are:
- Anesthesia errors
- Failure to diagnose
- Infections due to contaminated equipment
- Bungled tooth extractions
- Nerve damage due to carelessness
- Surgeries on the wrong tooth
- Root canal complications
If you have suffered one of these injuries at the dentist or another that you believe to be dental malpractice, then you should consult with an experienced attorney.
How Can Dental Malpractice Be Proven?
There is a certain amount of risk associated with any type of medical procedure you have done, including dental work. So, if something goes wrong, that doesn’t automatically mean the dentist or other dental professional is liable for your injuries.
In order for a dentist to be held liable, you must be able to prove that malpractice was committed. In other words, you have to be able to demonstrate to the court that you were not given the duty of care to which you were legally entitled – and suffered harm because of it.
It’s important to understand that dental malpractice cases are extremely complex. An investigation will be required to get the information needed to prove your case, which is why having a skilled attorney on your side is vital in order to be successful.
What Kind of Compensation Can You Get?
New York law allows victims to get compensation for both economic and non-economic damages in dental malpractice cases. However, most of the time, dental malpractice cases will be litigated by large insurance companies, even after the dentist has been found liable.
Insurance companies fight hard to settle these types of claims for the least amount of money possible, another reason to ensure you have an attorney who can fight for you.
The circumstances of each dental malpractice are different, but in general, you may be able to get compensation for damages like these:
- Emergency medical care
- Lost wages
- Impairment or disfigurement
- Medical and dental bills
- Wrong death
- Pain and suffering
Punitive damages can also be a part of a court’s ruling, though they are not as common. These damages are meant to penalize the dentist for making an error so that they will not repeat the same behavior in the future. In most cases, this is only done when the dentist was reckless in their care that led to your injuries.
If you were injured by a dentist, then you may be entitled to compensation. Discuss your case with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.