When you experience injuries due to a dental professional’s negligence, you have a legal right to seek compensation. However, filing a dental malpractice claim requires clear and compelling evidence. Understanding how to gather evidence for a dental malpractice lawsuit can help you successfully pursue justice and financial recovery from the responsible party.
Understand What Evidence Can Help You Prove Dental Negligence
To have a successful dental malpractice claim, you need evidence. You can gather many of these items on your own or with the help of a personal injury attorney. Information that could support your dental malpractice claim includes:
Medical records provide critical evidence for dental malpractice claims. X-rays, doctor’s notes, treatment plans, appointment details, and prescriptions help create a detailed timeline of your dental treatment.
As the patient, you can request your dental records from your dentist’s office at any time. When you submit your request, avoid mentioning anything about a lawsuit. Some providers may try to hide or withhold documents if they believe they may face legal action.
You may also use medical records for treatment you received following the negligent dental care. Say you went to the hospital with an infection because your dentist failed to properly treat a cavity. Request the medical records from your hospital visit, primary care provider, pharmacy, and any other medical professionals who assisted with your treatment and recovery.
Medical Bills, Invoices, and Financial Statements
Bills, receipts, invoices, and financial statements can show the extent of your financial losses due to dental negligence. Keep copies of any expenses related to your dental injuries. This information may include:
- Bills for medical treatment
- Medication receipts
- Pay stubs and bank statements
- Receipts for transportation to and from appointments
Testimony From Dental Experts
A major source of supporting evidence in dental malpractice claims is expert testimony. If you believe you suffered injuries due to dental negligence, consider seeking a second opinion. You can use medical records and statements from this second provider to establish negligence.
Your dental malpractice attorney can typically help you secure medical testimony from dental experts or recommend a dental professional for a second opinion.
Workers and other patients in the dental office could also provide testimony to support your dental case. For example, if your dentist failed to conduct standard diagnostic procedures, an employee could help prove this treatment was inconsistent with the practice’s standards. Such testimony could help prove that the dentist violated their field’s standard of care.
You do not need to secure witness testimony yourself. Simply take down the involved parties’ names and contact details, if possible. Your personal injury lawyer can help you obtain witness statements later.
The Evidence You Gather Must Prove the Elements of Dental Negligence
To recover fair compensation, the information you have to support your case must:
Establish the Dentist’s Duty of Care
Dentists, dental hygienists, and other dental professionals have a duty of care to their patients. To prove negligence, you must show that you were a patient of the negligent dental care provider. If you prove the dentist treated or advised you in a professional capacity, you can hold them to professional standards for their field.
Prove That the Dentist Violated Their Duty of Care
When a dental healthcare provider fails to treat their patients in a manner consistent with standards of care for their field, they could be sued for negligence.
An example of a violation of the duty of care is a dentist who fails to properly repair a cracked tooth. If you suffer discomfort, illness, or further injury because of the untreated dental injury, you could hold them responsible for violation of their duty of care.
Show That The Dentist’s Negligence Caused Your Injuries
Causality can be the most challenging aspect of a dental malpractice claim. To prove causality, you must have evidence to prove that you suffered injuries, illness, or other losses due to the dental provider’s negligence.
When establishing causality, you can use medical records and other documentation to show that the dental care provider’s negligence directly or indirectly caused your injuries.
Quantify the Losses You Suffered Due to Dental Negligence
Finally, the evidence you gather must show that your injuries caused you to suffer damages. Losses you could claim include:+
- Medical bills to repair dental errors
- Medical expenses to treat health issues that arise due to dental errors
- Lost income if you missed work due to dental negligence
- Reduced income potential
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional distress
- Long-term health issues
- Disability, scarring, or disfigurement
A skilled dental malpractice lawyer can help you understand which damages to include in your case’s overall value.
Work With a Dedicated Dental Malpractice Attorney
When you suffer losses due to a dental practitioner’s negligence, you deserve fair compensation. Let the dental malpractice lawyers at KJT Law Group help you pursue justice and a fair settlement for damages. Contact us today to learn how to gather evidence for a dental malpractice lawsuit and defend your legal rights. Dial (818) 507-8525.