Failure to Properly Examine Patient
Dental malpractice claims can arise from negligent treatment such as a dentist’s failure to use properly sterilized dental equipment, or placing an implant incorrectly such that it causes nerve damage to a patient. Professional negligence can also occur if a dentist misdiagnoses a patient, fails to refer a patient to a specialist, or fails to properly examine a patient. If you have been hurt by a dentist’s negligent actions, a skilled Rockland County dental malpractice attorney can help you assess your potential claims for money damages. Our firm can review your dental records, advise you of your legal rights following a possible act of malpractice, and help you get started on filing a claim.Failure to Properly Examine a Patient
Unlike some types of dental negligence in which a dentist makes a mistake during treatment of a patient, cases involving a failure to properly examine focus more on what a dentist missed by not conducting an appropriate evaluation of the patient than on a mistake the dentist made while performing a certain procedure. For example, if a dentist took only a cursory look into a patient’s mouth, or didn’t perform an exam at all even though one was warranted and a serious medical condition such as oral cancer was missed, the patient’s condition may become far worse than it would have been had it been diagnosed promptly. In some cases of delayed treatment, a patient might even die because of his or her dentist’s failure to conduct an appropriate oral examination.Proving Malpractice in a Rockland County Professional Negligence Case
In order to be successful in a dental malpractice case alleging that a dentist failed to properly examine a patient, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to prove the following: the existence of a dentist-patient relationship; the standard of care that should have been observed by the dentist; evidence that the dentist breached the standard of care; and a causal relationship between the dentist’s breach of duty and the alleged harm suffered by the patient. While the applicable standard of proof does not require the plaintiff to prove his or her case beyond a reasonable doubt (as would be required in a criminal case), it does mean that the plaintiff must have enough evidence to convince the trier-of-fact (typically a jury but sometimes a judge) that, more likely than not, the plaintiff’s version of the case is to be believed over the defendant’s version. A seasoned dental malpractice lawyer can assess whether you may be able to prove your claims under the facts of your case.
Professional negligence cases, such as those asserting a claim for dental malpractice, are distinct from simple negligence cases in that malpractice cases typically require the testimony of one or more expert witnesses. That’s because under New York evidentiary rules, only other professionals are qualified to render an opinion concerning the applicable standard of care and whether the defendant dentist breached this standard. Usually, both the plaintiff and the defendant will retain experts who will testify at trial in this kind of lawsuit. In a case alleging that that a dentist failed to properly examine a patient, the plaintiff will need to introduce expert testimony concerning the standard of care that should have been followed by his or her dentist, the manner in which the dentist failed to follow the standard with regard to his or her examination, and the relationship between the failure to properly examine the patient and the injuries for which the patient seeks compensation in his or her lawsuit.Talk to a Dental Malpractice Attorney in Rockland County
Dental malpractice cases, arising from a dental professional’s alleged failure to properly examine a patient, can take time to properly prepare for trial. It is important that a patient, who believes that his or her dentist has acted negligently, not sit on his or her legal rights. Talking to legal counsel promptly can help ensure that the statute of limitations deadline for filing claims is met, and that the case proceeds through discovery and trial in a timely manner. To schedule an appointment to discuss your case, call the Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., at 845-708-5900, call Valerie’s cell phone 24/7 at 845-598-8253, or fill our online contact form. There is no charge for the consultation, and most cases are accepted on a contingency fee agreement – we get paid when your case is settled or results in a favorable judgment, rather than upfront. We are available to serve clients in Rockland, Westchester, Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange Counties, and across the Greater New York Area.