Laguna Hills Dental Malpractice Lawyer

Injuries caused by dental malpractice are painful and can be temporary or permanent, depending upon the nature and extent of the injuries and the amount of nerve damage involved. In these types of cases, a Laguna Hills dental malpractice lawyer will be essential in building your case to receive compensation for your pain and suffering and ensuring you know what to expect at each step of the legal process. To learn more or begin working toward your recovery, consult with a medical malpractice lawyer in Laguna Hills today.

Types of Dental Malpractice

Most dental malpractice injuries are the result of negligence, carelessness, or both. Dental malpractice typically occurs at the hands of a dentist, oral surgeon, or dental hygienist. The most common types of dental malpractice involve a dentist or an oral surgeon extracting the wrong tooth, maintaining unsanitary office practices, such as not sterilizing equipment or failing to address serious health code violations at their offices, or performing incorrect or unnecessary dental procedures.

Other less common instances of dental malpractice involve performing defective root canals and negligently installing implants, bridges, or crowns. Injuries caused by dental malpractice almost always result in oral pain and discomfort because the nerves and nerve endings of the mouth and gums are irritated or damaged.

Common symptoms of nerve damage include tongue numbness, difficulty tasting, a burning sensation in the mouth, and drooling. An individual who has suffered from any of these malpractice claims should not hesitate before contacting a Laguna Hills dental malpractice lawyer to prepare a case to help recover any deserved damages.

Statute of Limitations

In the context of dental malpractice or dental negligence, the statute of limitations is the period following the initial injury during which an action must be brought. In the State of California, a lawsuit alleging medical or dental malpractice must ordinarily be filed within three years from the date the injury was sustained, or one year from the date on which the injury should have been discovered. A dental malpractice lawyer in Laguna Hills can best help an individual determine the statute of limitations that may exist with their case.

Burden of Proof

To prove dental malpractice or dental negligence, a few elements must be satisfied. Firstly, a dentist-patient relationship must exist. This relationship is usually evident from the patient’s dental records and other documentation. Because a dentist is a doctor specializing in dental medicine, in the context of dental malpractice, negligence means a failure to provide the standard of skill, knowledge, and care in diagnosis and treatment that a reasonably prudent, competent dentist in the same geographical area would have provided under the same or similar circumstances.

Because a dentist is a specialist, a higher standard of medical knowledge and care is applied when compared to a general practitioner. Specifics regarding the standards of care that are applicable to specialists, nurses, hospitals, and other healthcare providers and facilities can be found in the California civil jury instructions

Once the standard of care has been established, an injured dental patient must prove that the standard of care was breached, meaning that the dentist fell short of the applicable standard of care under the circumstances. This breach is usually established by expert testimony at trial.

Lastly, to prove dental malpractice, the patient must suffer injuries and damages. Damages in dental practice cases include compensation for economic damages, such as lost wages and medical bills, as well as compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, humiliation, embarrassment, and loss of enjoyment of life. To recover for these damages, it is crucial to enlist the help of a Laguna Hills dental malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

Contacting an Attorney

Litigating dental malpractice cases requires a special skill set, including both strong legal knowledge and strong medical knowledge in the field of dental medicine. In order to maximize the value of your case, you should have an experienced Laguna Hills dental malpractice lawyer in your corner every step of the way.