If you have experienced a painful outcome after a dental procedure, you might be able to pursue a dental malpractice case. But first, how do you choose the right dental malpractice lawyer for your case? With so much at stake, you do not want to pick a name randomly or turn to a Abogada de lesiones personales or law firm with no experience with dental malpractice cases.
This blog will review which factors to consider when choosing a dental malpractice attorney to handle your claim and possible lawsuit. You do not have to go through this stressful process by yourself. An attorney can do the heavy lifting on your case so that you can focus on your health and well-being.
What to Look for in a Dental Negligence Attorney for Your Case
Many factors go into whether a candidate is a good malpractice attorney. Here are a few things to think about in your search:
- The lawyer’s experience. A dental malpractice case involves sophisticated litigation skills. You do not want your attorney to learn how to handle dental malpractice claims on your case. You want a law office with lawyers who have handled dental malpractice cases and won settlements and court awards for their clients.
- How the attorney charges you for their work. Most lawyers do not charge upfront attorney fees for dental malpractice cases. Instead, they work on a contingency fee agreement. This means they provide a dental malpractice case evaluation at no charge. Also, under this payment arrangement, they receive payment for their work at the end of the case, which is typically a percentage of the settlement or court award. If you do not win your case, you won’t owe the attorney any legal fees.
- The attentive service the law office delivers to its clients. The attorney should listen to you, answer your questions, treat you with respect and compassion, and interact with you consistently, ensuring you are a priority, not just another case. The lawyer should keep you regularly updated on your case’s status and any developments. You should also feel like you can ask your attorney any questions about your case. They should also explain what happens next.
These are but a few examples of topics you will want to explore when selecting the right dental malpractice attorney for your case.
Was It Dental Malpractice? Our Attorney Can Determine What Happened
Things do not always go the way one might expect at the dentist’s office. However, an undesired outcome is not always malpractice. Even if the dentist made an error, it might not constitute dental malpractice. The mistake must be severe enough to fall below the standard of care to be dental malpractice.
You do not have to figure out the answer to this issue by yourself. A dental malpractice attorney can evaluate whether a negligent dentist committed malpractice and if you have a valid legal claim. They can investigate the situation, speak with expert witnesses who can prove dental malpractice occurred, and communicate with other involved parties on your behalf, including insurance companies.
If your dentist committed malpractice, you do not want to wait too long to take legal action. California generally gives injured parties three years to file a lawsuit for dental malpractice under PCCh § 335.1. After the statute of limitations deadline expires, California law can forever bar you from seeking compensation from the dentist. Sometimes, extenuating circumstances can extend the deadline.
Recoverable Damages in Dental Malpractice Claims
When a party injures someone else through negligence, they can be accountable to the injured party for their losses. Some common categories of recoverable damages in dental malpractice cases include the following:
- ingresos perdidos for the missed time from work when recuperating from injuries suffered in the dental malpractice.
- Medical and dental bills. Usually, you cannot get reimbursed for the cost of the original dental work, but the dental and medical expenses you incur because of the malpractice can be compensable.
- Pain and suffering. The physical discomfort and emotional distress you endured because of the malpractice are recoverable. California limits the amount of “non-economic” damages like pain and suffering, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life, but that cap is increasing.
An attorney will review your economic (financial) and non-economic (non-financial) losses and calculate the damages in your dental malpractice case.
Evaluating How Your Dental Injury Affects Your Daily Life
When you talk with an attorney, you will want to tell them how the substandard dental care you receive has affected your life. Examples of the effects dentist malpractice can have on a person’s life include situations like the following:
- You can no longer chew solid food, so you are relegated to eating pureed food because of the damage to your teeth, mouth, or jaws.
- You have chronic pain in your mouth or jaws.
- You suffer from severe chronic headaches.
- You developed temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) because of dental malpractice. The Mayo Clinic describes TMJ as a painful condition that can be a result of a jaw injury.
- Decreased life expectancy due to a missed or delayed diagnosis of oral cancer.
Losses like these can qualify for compensation in the settlement or court award.
The Right Dental Malpractice Attorney Can Handle Your Case – Call Us Today
KJT Grupo de Derecho can represent you in a dental malpractice claim. Many personal injury cases are settled without going to trial. Still, an attorney from our firm will handle your case and go to court if it means you recover compensatory damages.
Your oral health and physical and mental well-being are important. If dental malpractice occurred, we can hold the liable parties accountable and seek maximum compensation. Contact us today for a free initial consultation. You can also review our guide to winning a dental malpractice case.