If you or a loved one has been severely injured because of a dentist’s mistakes, a Newburgh dental malpractice lawyer could help you collect monetary compensation for pain, suffering, and other damages. Some dentists are careless, reckless, or negligent in performing their medical duties while others may lack the appropriate qualifications to work on patients. To discuss your potential claim and legal options moving forward, call a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney today.

Liability in Newburgh Dental Malpractice Cases

Most dental malpractice cases are founded on the doctrine of negligence, which contains four primary components. There must be a duty owed, a breach of that duty, damages, and causation. Medical professionals have an obligation to perform their duties according to the prevailing standard of care in their medical field, meaning they would act as any other prudent professional would in the same instance.

To establish a duty of care in a Newburgh dental malpractice case, the attorneys typically obtain the expert testimony of another medical professional. After determining the applicable standard of care, they must prove that the defendant breached that standard of care in some way. Dental malpractice could take various forms including:

  • Anesthesia mistakes
  • Surgical mistakes
  • Misdiagnoses
  • Insufficiently informing the patient of the risks associated with a particular procedure
  • Failure to refer a patient to a specialist

Upon showing the duty and breach of duty, the third step is to establish that the defendant’s malpractice was the direct cause of the victim’s injury. Finally, the victim must have sustained actual damages from the malpractice which might include past and future medical costs, past and future lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Shared Fault Laws

According to New York Consolidated Laws, Civil Practice Law and Rules, §1411, if the claimant’s malpractice case goes to trial and they are found to be partly to blame for their injuries, they would still be able to recover compensatory damages. New York courts follow the pure comparative negligence rule. So, if the plaintiff is found to bear some portion of fault for their illness, injury, or medical condition, damages awarded will be diminished proportionally to their share of the blame. A seasoned dental malpractice lawyer in Newburgh could fight for an injured individual’s right to fair compensation.

Compensation for Dental Malpractice

There are different forms of monetary compensation available through a dental malpractice lawsuit. A patient who has been injured by an act of malpractice could recover significant compensation depending on how severe their injuries are.

Dental Bills and Other Medical Expenses

One of the largest costs of dental malpractice is medical bills. These bills could involve additional dental work to not only address the damage that was done but also to deal with the underlying dental issue. Serious injuries might require additional medical intervention. It could be possible to recover the cost of this medical care through a civil lawsuit.

Disfigurement

Some acts of dental malpractice could leave a patient with scarring and disfigurement. For example, a dentist who damages the nerves in a patient’s face could cause partial paralysis near the damaged nerve. Compensation could be available for the mental and physical hardship that comes with scarring or disfigurement.

Pain and Suffering

Many dental errors cause severe pain. A patient living with pain and suffering due to dental malpractice could be entitled to compensation. It can be challenging to show a jury what a pain and suffering claim is worth because pain is subjective. An attorney for dental malpractice in Newburgh could help pursue a claim by providing a jury with examples on how this pain impacted the injured party’s life.

Resolving a Dental Malpractice Claim

There are two ways a dental malpractice case could reach a favorable outcome. The first and most common example is through a negotiated settlement. The second possibility involves filing a lawsuit and obtaining a verdict at trial.

Few dental malpractice cases ever go to trial. In many instances, these cases are resolved before the patient ever files a lawsuit to begin with. These negotiations can take months to conclude or they could wrap up in a matter of days.

While it is true that many dental error claims settle, not every settlement agreement is created equally. Insurance companies will frequently push injured patients to resolve their case quickly before an attorney can get involved in the case. This is based on the insurance company’s desire to pay as little as possible for a valid malpractice claim. An attorney could help ensure a patient does not settle their case for less than it is worth. Insurance companies often understand that once strong legal counsel is involved in a case, their bullying tactics will no longer work.

Filing a Lawsuit

Not every dental malpractice claim will be resolved through a mutual settlement. Sometimes the dentist will refuse to admit to any wrongdoing. In other situations, the failure of a dentist to maintain their insurance coverage could make it difficult for them to make an adequate settlement offer. In either case, the best option is a civil lawsuit.

The end goal of any civil lawsuit is to secure a verdict against the defendant. However, the plaintiff must still collect on the judgment once they prevail at trial. An attorney could also help with this aspect of a malpractice claim.

Filing a Newburgh Dental Malpractice Lawsuit

A statute of limitations is the set time limit provided by law for plaintiffs to file a civil claim. New York law generally grants a two-and-a-half-year statutory deadline to file a medical malpractice suit.

If the lawsuit is not filed within this period, the court could dismiss the case as untimely and the plaintiff may be barred from financial recovery. However, a Newburgh attorney could help victims file a viable dental malpractice claim in a timely manner.

Get Legal Guidance from a Newburgh Dental Malpractice Attorney

Doctors, dentists, and their insurance companies fight hard against malpractice claims. To explore your legal options consult a Newburgh dental practice lawyer who understands the law, has the necessary resources to secure an appropriate expert witness and take the case to trial if needed. Do not delay scheduling your case consultation with a Newburgh dental negligence attorney so you can pursue justice today.