Dental care is an essential aspect of overall health and well-being. When you visit a dentist, you trust you'll receive quality treatment and care. However, like any medical profession, dental care can sometimes go awry, resulting in dental malpractice. If you or a loved one is a victim of this negligence, it's important to consult a Kansas City medical malpractice attorney immediately.
What is Dental Malpractice?
Dental malpractice refers to the negligent or wrongful actions of a dentist or another dental professional that harm a patient. It presents in various forms, including misdiagnosis, treatment errors, failure to obtain informed consent, and even unnecessary dental procedures. Here are some common types of dental malpractice.
Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
Dentists may misdiagnose a dental condition or delay the diagnosis, leading to disease progression or causing unnecessary pain and suffering.
Errors during dental procedures, such as root canals, extractions, or dental implants, result in serious harm if not performed correctly.
Failure to Obtain Informed Consent
Dentists must inform patients of potential risks, benefits, and alternatives to a procedure. Failing to secure informed consent from you before a dental procedure can lead to legal consequences.
During dental procedures, damage to nerves in the mouth or face might happen, resulting in loss of sensation, pain, or other complications.
An error with anesthesia, such as not correctly administering anesthesia during a dental procedure, can lead to severe complications or even death.
Dental Malpractice: What You Need to Prove
To establish your case, you generally need to prove the following points.
Duty of Care
You must demonstrate that a dentist-patient relationship existed, implying that the dentist owed you a duty of care.
Breach of Standard of Care
You must show that the dentist breached the standard of care expected within the dental profession. This involves proving that the dentist's actions or inactions were negligent or reckless.
You must establish a direct link between the dentist's breach of the standard of care and the harm or injury you suffered. This can be challenging but is crucial in showing how the dentist's actions were the proximate cause of your suffering.
Lastly, you must provide evidence of the damages you suffered due to the dental malpractice. This can include physical injuries, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and financial losses related to corrective treatments.
Possible Malpractice Case Compensation
If you successfully prove your dental malpractice case, you may be entitled to various forms of economic and non-economic damages.
This includes compensation for medical bills related to correcting the malpractice, such as additional dental procedures, medications, and rehabilitation.
Pain and Suffering
Restitution for the physical and emotional pain you endured due to the dental malpractice.
If you missed work due to the malpractice, you may be eligible for compensation addressing lost income.
Future Medical Expenses
In cases where the malpractice resulted in long-term or permanent damage, your settlement may include a valuation of future medical expenses.
Loss of Consortium
In some instances, spouses or partners may be entitled to compensation for the loss of companionship or support resulting from the malpractice.
Why You Need an Experienced Malpractice Lawyer
Pursuing a dental malpractice claim is a complex and challenging process. Having a skilled Kansas City medical malpractice legal team like the professionals at Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet can help you navigate the complexities of dental malpractice cases.
We'll help gather essential evidence, such as dental records, expert testimony, and medical reports, to build a strong case to support your claim. Our experts also negotiate with insurance companies and the dentist's legal team to ensure you receive fair compensation. Additionally, if a settlement cannot be reached, you'll need our experienced trial team to prepare your case and represent you in court.