Many people go to the dentist on a routine basis without incident. Unfortunately, though, during some visits, patients receive inadequate care from their dentists, which can result in painful long-term injuries. People who suffer such harm have a right to seek damages for their losses, and it is prudent for them to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Valerie Crown of The Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C. is a dedicated Rockland County dental malpractice lawyer, and if you were hurt by a negligent dentist, she can aid you in pursuing the full amount of compensation recoverable under the law. Ms. Crown regularly represents people in malpractice lawsuits against dentists in Rockland, Westchester, Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange Counties as well as the greater metropolitan area.Harm Caused by Dental Malpractice
When a patient visits a dentist, they typically expect that they will undergo a thorough cleaning and examination of their teeth and mouth and that any areas of concern will be identified and addressed. When dentists neglect to conduct a comprehensive examination, fail to diagnose or misdiagnose a condition or issue, or offer improper treatment, it may constitute dental malpractice. For example, if a patient presents with signs of oral cancer but a dentist fails to take note of their symptoms or refer the patient to a specialist, it can lead to grave consequences. Dentists can also harm patients by unnecessarily extracting teeth, inadvertently damaging nerves or permanently effecting a patient’s ability to feel sensation or taste, and improperly using anesthesia. In some instances, a dentist may commit errors during surgery that cause permanent damage.Elements of a Dental Malpractice Lawsuit
Dentists are similar to other healthcare providers in that they have an obligation to provide their patients with competent care, and if they fail to do so, they may be deemed liable for dental malpractice. In New York, a plaintiff asserting a dental malpractice claim must demonstrate that the defendant deviated from the good and accepted practice of dentistry and that the plaintiff suffered harm as a result of the defendant’s departure.
Typically, as most laypeople do not have an independent understanding of the professional duties imposed on dentists, the plaintiff will need to retain a dental expert to explain to the judge or jury what care is required pursuant to the applicable standard. Expert testimony is also needed to link the defendant’s deviation from the good and accepted practice of dentistry and the plaintiff’s subsequent harm. While the defendant’s actions or omissions do not have to be the sole cause of the plaintiff’s losses, they must be a substantial factor in bringing them about. Additionally, the plaintiff must prove they would not have been injured but for the defendant’s behavior.
A plaintiff that successfully proves a defendant’s liability in a dental malpractice case may be awarded compensation for the cost of past and future dental treatment, lost wages if they were unable to work, and damages for the pain, mental anguish, and suffering they endured due to the defendant’s negligence.
It is important to note that under New York law, dental malpractice claims must be pursued within two years and six months from the date of harm or from the end of the continuous treatment of the plaintiff by the defendant. As such, anyone who wishes to file a dental malpractice lawsuit must act promptly; otherwise, they may waive the right to recover damages.Speak to a Seasoned Rockland County Attorney
Dental care is an important component of a person’s overall health, but when dentists fail to provide their patients with competent care, they can cause lasting harm. If you sustained injuries due to the carelessness of your dentist, you may be able to pursue a dental malpractice claim, and it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney. Valerie Crown of The Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C. is a seasoned Rockland County attorney with ample experience holding negligent health care providers accountable for the losses they cause, and if she represents you, she will advocate tirelessly on your behalf. Ms. Crown has an office in New York, and she frequently represents people in dental malpractice lawsuits in Rockland Westchester, Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange Counties and the greater metropolitan area. You can reach Ms. Crown through the form online or by calling 845-708-5900 (office number) or 845-598-8253 (Valerie’s direct cellphone) to set up a meeting.