Dental negligence is a form of medical negligence, and it is more common than you imagine, even as dental processes are less complicated than surgical procedures. You can claim compensation for your suffering. When you sustain avoidable injury or damage due to your dentist failing to practice reasonable care during treatment. However, things are trickier than they sound because a typical claim process involves several legal steps. You must have sufficient evidence to support your case and calculate its value accurately to get the amount you deserve. Here are a few actionable steps to maximize your claim value in a dental negligence case.
Establish a dentist-patient relationship
Establishing a dentist-patient relationship is the first step to recovering compensation from a negligent provider. When you engage with a dental practitioner for treatment, they have a duty of care to you as a patient. Essentially, it is a legal obligation that requires them to follow a reasonable standard of care throughout the treatment. You can prove the relationship and resultant breach of duty of care by providing a copy of an appointment card, patient record, and dental bills.
Prove the failure to use a reasonable standard of care
After validating your relationship with the practitioner, you must prove their failure to use a reasonable standard of care during the process. It is the tricky part because you cannot rely on paperwork as robust proof. A seasoned attorney is the best person to define a reasonable standard of care in dental negligence claims. The best way to do it is by bringing a seasoned professional to give their expert opinion on the treatment. As expert witnesses, they confirm that an error in treatment led to your injury or worsened your problem. Here are a few common instances of failure to offer the necessary standard of care –
- Diagnostic error
- Poor execution without due attention and care
- Nerve damage
- Sedation complications
- Post-treatment complications such as severe infection
- Failure to inform you about the risks of the procedure
- Not referring for further testing where required
Quantify the damages
Quantifying the damages is another significant aspect of maximizing your dental negligence claim. Typically, you must add up the cost of additional treatment to rectify the error and loss of earnings when you take time off work during the recovery period. Besides the monetary value of treatment costs and income losses, you can also claim compensation for physical pain and psychological trauma during the long and complicated healing process. An expert lawyer with relevant experience can help you with the calculation of the accurate claim value you deserve. They use pieces of evidence such as bills from further treatment, a testimony of a dental expert, and wage slips to quantify the exact value of the claim.
Although dental negligence claims sound complicated, handling them wisely from the outset gives you the best chances of maximum compensation. Most importantly, you must bring a seasoned legal expert with relevant experience on board because they know the nitty-gritty of the legal process for such claims.