Dental malpractice might occur when a dentist, oral surgeon, orthodontist, or any other dental health care professional causes injury by misconduct or negligent behavior. As any seasoned malpractice attorney may know, dental injuries could cause just as much pain and result in equally severe consequences as any other kind, especially if left unaddressed or unreported.
Errors in any area of dentistry may have detrimental effects on a patient and range from mild complications to life-threatening illnesses. If you are suffering as a result of dental malpractice, a Dorchester dental malpractice lawyer could work with you to evaluate your case and determine what damages you may be eligible for. A seasoned medical malpractice attorney may have the necessary experience to assist you in pursuing compensation for your injuries.
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional breaches a duty of care and that breach causes injury. In other words, medical malpractice means a healthcare professional acted without due care or did not follow standard medical protocols.
Like all medical professionals, dentists are required to act with due care. If a dentist fails to adhere to the medical standard of care and a patient is injured as a result, dental malpractice may have occurred. The patient may also be entitled to compensation for any injuries sustained.
During a trial, an injured plaintiff may establish the standard of care for dentists by providing evidence of what other reasonably prudent dentists would have done in similar circumstances. The plaintiff—along with their Dorchester dental malpractice attorney, if they elect to retain one—could then proceed to show how the dental provider failed to meet the established standard.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, patients have the right to be fully informed of the risks that are associated with a procedure. This consent should be in writing and signed by the patient before any sedation or anesthesia occurs. Also, a dentist must determine if a patient fully comprehended the information that was conveyed and whether the patient voluntarily gave consent.
Theoretically, a dental professional can perform the most dangerous types of treatment only with the patient’s verbal consent. However, a prudent dentist should obtain written consent from the patient if the treatment is dangerous, involves anesthesia and surgery, or difficult to perform. This type of consent is valid and binding on the patient, providing it is fully informed, meaning that the patient understood what they are agreeing to.
It is important to note that a dental professional does not necessarily “provide” informed consent to the patient in all circumstances. Rather, the dentist must obtain the patient’s informed consent in order to perform the discussed procedures. Failure to obtain informed consent is considered a departure from the standard of care for dental practice.
An injured party in Massachusetts cannot recover more than $500,000 for noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases. This damage cap, however, could be exceeded in extreme cases involving loss of bodily function or other similar situations pending the determination of the courts.
A plaintiff’s actual damages may be mitigated or even eliminated if the plaintiff is partially responsible for their injuries or exacerbates the proximate cause of damages in a dental malpractice case. A Dorchester dental malpractice lawyer in could argue on a plaintiff’s behalf for the maximum amount of compensation available to them given the specific circumstances of their case. Therefore, it is essential for injured victims to consult with a seasoned attorney.
If a dentist fails to adhere to the medical standard of care and you become injured as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. While dentists cannot guarantee the success of specific medical treatment, they could still be held liable for damages when their negligence leads to a patient’s injury.
An experienced Dorchester dental malpractice lawyer may be able to help you collect any compensation that you are owed as result of your injuries. To learn more about your options for recovery, call today to schedule a consultation.