Dental Malpractice Damages
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What Is Dental Malpractice?
Dental malpractice is a general term that is used to describe situations in which a dentist or other dental professional does not follow the industry standards for dental care or dental procedures. These often involve some form of negligence by the dentist or their staff. Dental negligence is the failure by the dentist or other dental professional to exercise their duty of care to the patient, resulting in injury or loss to the dental patient. Some dental professionals may be held to different standards depending on their specialization.
What Are Some Examples of Dental Malpractice?
Examples of dental malpractice include:
- Performing the wrong procedure on the patient
- Failing to utilize proper procedures with regards to anesthesia or other aspects of a procedure
- Leaving a bandage or other object in the person’s mouth
- Misdiagnosis of a condition, or failure to diagnose a condition
- Causing irreparable damage to the patient, especially to their teeth or gums
Various other types of conduct can also be considered malpractice. Remember, many different people in addition to the dentist can be held liable for dental malpractice, including dental assistants and office staff.
How Do Damages Work in a Dental Malpractice Case?
Dental malpractice damages will be different in each case. The calculation of a monetary damages award due to dental malpractice will depend on many different factors. Some factors used to calculate dental malpractice damages include:
- The seriousness of the injury or dental error involved
- Whether the injury, error, or oversight can be corrected
- Whether the patient suffered physical pain
- Whether the injury will affect the patient’s abilities in the future, such as their ability to chew or speak
- Comparisons with similar cases in that particular practice field
- The background of the dentist or dental professional being held liable
- Whether the patient’s injury was an aggravation of a preexisting condition
In many cases, an expert medical witness may be called upon during court proceedings. This can help to clarify the damages involved, and can help the court calculate how much is owed in damages. Some states impose limits on damages in medical or dental malpractice cases.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Dental Malpractice Damages?
Dental malpractice cases are often serious because they can involve serious injuries that have life-long effects on the patient. You may need to hire a personal injury lawyer in your area if you need any legal assistance with a dental malpractice claim. Your attorney can assist provide legal research and information if you have any specific issues or questions. Also, if you will be attending any court hearings or sessions, your lawyer can provide representation during such times.
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Last Modified: 08-19-2015 09:32 AM PDT
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