Thankfully, most dentists are competent, professional and do a good job. However, there have been cases where an incompetent or inexperienced dentist has caused serious harm by:
- Performing the wrong procedure
- Making a mistake while operating on the teeth and/or gums
- Recommending unnecessary treatment
- Failing to notice an oral disease or condition in time for it to be treated properly.
Those who feel that they have been wronged by a dentist may very well want to file a dental malpractice lawsuit against this individual and claim compensation.
Talk to a Lawyer
A person who thinks that he or she may have grounds for suing a dentist should talk to a number of lawyers to make sure that this is actually the case. In some instances, a person may not actually have a case.
Most lawyers who handle malpractice lawsuits do so on a “no win – no fee” basis. This means that the lawyer only gets paid if the case is won or settled. It also means that malpractice lawyers will be very honest regarding whether or not a case is actually valid.
If a lawyer deems the case valid, then ask how much compensation could potentially be won. This is determined by various factors, such as:
- Damage done
- Whether this damage can be reversed
- Pain caused
- Evidence against the dentist
Be sure that there is enough compensation to make the case worthwhile before going ahead with the lawsuit.
A person who wants to file a lawsuit against a dentist will need to collect evidence. Some important evidence to have on hand includes:
- All papers, notes and/or prescriptions from the dentist the person is suing
- Paperwork from a different dentist noting what sort of damage was done, what the results of the damage were and whether or not the damage can be treated.
- Paperwork noting how much it will cost to treat the damage
- Evidence pertaining to one’s family dental records and genetic factors that may indicate that a person is or may be susceptible to certain teeth and/or gum problems
Determining the Course of the Case
Once a person has chosen an attorney and collected the evidence, then the attorney will file the case in court. At this time, it is up to the individual to decide whether or not he or she is willing to accept a compensation settlement. A lawyer can give advice as to whether this is a good course of action but in the end it is a decision that one must make alone.
Filing a dental malpractice lawsuit is not overly complicated, as the lawyer actually does a great deal of the work. All a person has to do is choose a good lawyer and provide the lawyer with the evidence that he or she needs to build the case. Anyone who has been harmed by a dentist’s actions or lack of action should look into legal action as soon as possible, as there is a statue of limitations that prevents a person from filing a suit after too much time has passed.
Sam Moser is a freelance content writer who has written almost exclusively for the web since graduating from the School of Journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario. Sam has interviewed victims of medical malpractice and malpractice lawyers in Toronto, as well as hospitals and dentists, to better understand the issue from both sides.