When you visit a dentist, you place your trust in their hands, literally and figuratively. Unfortunately, sometimes that trust is breached. It could be broken due to negligence or errors. It may even constitute dental malpractice. That's when you need the dedicated team of legal experts at Richardson Richardson Boudreaux.
If you want to recover compensation for a dental injury, you need to seek legal representation. Our compassionate law firm is here to help you. If your dentist breached their duty of care, they could be guilty of malpractice. Learn more about our services below. Then, give us a call to schedule a case consultation.
Secure Legal Representation From Our Tulsa Dental Malpractice Lawyer
At Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, we firmly believe in championing the rights of individuals who have fallen victim to dental malpractice. The struggle of dealing with the aftermath of such an unfortunate event is understandably distressing. The legal intricacies that one must navigate during this period can add an extra layer of stress.
To help alleviate this burden, our Tulsa dental malpractice lawyer, backed with years of experience, is dedicated to guiding you through this challenging period. We commit to helping build a compelling case, standing firmly against the negligence that has caused you undue suffering. Our main objective is to ensure you recover the rightful compensation for the injustice you have been subjected to.
Understanding Dental Malpractice
In dentistry, malpractice refers to a situation where a dentist fails to deliver the expected standard of care. This, in turn, causes harm or injury to the patient. It is essential to clarify that dental malpractice does not encompass minor mistakes or dissatisfaction with the treatment outcome. Such incidents, though unfortunate, can happen even with the dentist or oral surgeon at work.
Instead, dental malpractice occurs when the dental professional's actions or inaction fall into the negligence category. These actions lead to preventable harm to the patient. Such negligent behavior can have serious repercussions. They range from physical pain to emotional distress and significant financial costs. It can include additional medical bills for corrective treatment and income lost due to the inability to work.
Common Types of Dental Malpractice Cases
Our dental malpractice attorneys commonly handle several types of cases. A few examples include:
Surgical errors in dental procedures can cause serious harm to patients. For instance, incorrectly placed dental implants could lead to chronic pain or bone loss. Unnecessary tooth extractions could also result. They could cause needless distress and cost to the patient. Even more severe complications could arise, such as damage to the jawbone or nerves during surgery.
Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
In dentistry, a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis can negatively impact a patient's health. For example, a misdiagnosis could result in a patient undergoing unnecessary procedures. It may also lead to incorrect treatments.
A delayed diagnosis, on the other hand, could allow a patient's actual condition, such as oral cancer or gum disease, to worsen unchecked. This affects the patient's oral health and could lead to life-threatening complications.
Errors in prescribing dental medications can lead to serious health risks. For example, prescribing the wrong medication, an incorrect dosage, or a drug the patient is allergic to can cause severe allergic reactions. Side effects from incorrect medicines can also be harmful.
Furthermore, potential drug interactions, especially in patients taking multiple medications, can harm the patient's overall health.
Infections Due To Inadequate Sterilization
Failure to adequately sterilize dental instruments can result in infections in patients. Infection at the site of a dental procedure can lead to painful abscesses or other localized oral health issues.
In severe cases, these infections can become systemic. They may lead to life-threatening medical problems such as sepsis or endocarditis. Ensuring proper sterilization practices in a dental office is essential to prevent such severe complications.
Nerve damage is another severe form of dental malpractice that can have long-lasting effects on patients. Such damage can result from several types of procedures, such as root canals or tooth extractions if they're not performed correctly. This can lead to chronic pain, permanent numbness, or even a loss of taste. It may require additional surgical interventions to repair the damage in severe cases.
Elements of a Dental Malpractice Case
Like medical malpractice, dental malpractice has several elements. Our dental malpractice attorney will help you prove the following:
Duty of Care
Every dentist has a legal duty to care for their patients with a substantial standard of care. This means treating patients in a manner that a similarly skilled and competent dentist would under similar circumstances.
Breach of Duty
A breach of duty occurs when a dentist fails to meet the standard of care— for example, performing a procedure without the necessary skill or ignoring the patient's medical history.
Causation involves proving that the dentist's breach of duty directly caused your injury. For instance, if a misdiagnosis led to unnecessary tooth extraction, causing permanent damage.
Damages refer to the losses you've suffered as a result of the malpractice. These can be physical, emotional, or financial, like medical bills or lost wages.
Let us help you build a compelling case. We will provide you with the representation you need.
Initial Steps in a Dental Malpractice Case
Initiating a dental malpractice case requires meticulous attention to detail and diligent gathering of evidence. At Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, we start this process by thoroughly evaluating your case to ensure we understand all aspects of your claim.
- We begin by consulting with you to gain a comprehensive understanding of your experience, which helps us identify the specific aspects of your dental care that may constitute malpractice.
- We then proceed to gather your medical records, which serve as critical pieces of evidence. These records can reveal the extent of your injuries and the nature of the dental procedure that led to these injuries.
- To supplement the information in your medical records, we also collect any other evidence that might be relevant. This might include photographs of your injuries or testimonies from witnesses.
- Our team then consults with medical experts to prove whether the standard of care was breached. These experts can provide essential insights into what a competent dentist would have done under similar circumstances.
- The expert consultation also helps us understand the extent of your injuries. These experts can provide a prognosis of your condition, which is crucial for assessing potential damages.
- Liability in a dental malpractice case can be complicated. We conduct a thorough investigation to determine who's responsible for your injuries. This could be the dentist who treated you, the dental clinic, or even a dental equipment manufacturer.
- Once we've established liability, we then proceed to assess the potential damages. This involves quantifying the financial, physical, and emotional impact of the malpractice on your life.
By undertaking these initial steps, we lay the groundwork for a solid dental malpractice claim. Our team at Richardson Richardson Boudreaux is committed to diligently pursuing justice and compensation for our clients.
Filing a Dental Malpractice Lawsuit in Tulsa
Filing a dental malpractice lawsuit involves multiple steps and thorough preparation to build a strong case. At Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, we guide our clients through each step of this complex process, providing the support and expertise they need to seek justice.
- The first step involves drafting a detailed complaint, which lays the foundation for your lawsuit. This document outlines the facts of your case, the legal grounds for the lawsuit, and the damages you're seeking.
- We then initiate the lawsuit by serving the complaint to the defendant, typically the dentist or dental practice that caused the harm. The service of the process ensures the defendant is aware of the lawsuit and has an opportunity to respond.
- After the defendant has been served, they have a certain period to respond to the complaint. This response often involves a denial of the claims and an outline of their defense strategies.
- Following the response, the lawsuit enters the discovery phase, a crucial stage where both sides exchange information relevant to the case. This process is designed to promote transparency and prevent surprises during the trial.
- One aspect of discovery involves interrogatories, which are written questions that the other party must answer under oath. These can provide valuable insights into the facts of the case and the defendant's defense strategies.
- Depositions are another key part of discovery. These are oral testimonies given under oath and can involve parties to the lawsuit or witnesses. They offer a chance to gather more detailed information and gauge how individuals might testify at trial.
- The final aspect of discovery involves document requests. We request all relevant documents, including medical records, communication records, or any other document that could shed light on the malpractice claim.
- Throughout this process, we continue to assess the case and adjust our strategies as necessary. This might include seeking settlement negotiations or preparing for trial, depending on the case's progress and our client's best interests.
With each step in the filing process, we're committed to providing the best possible representation for our clients. Our Tulsa dental malpractice lawyer works tirelessly to seek the justice and compensation our clients deserve.
Statute of Limitations for Dental Malpractice Claims
In Oklahoma, you typically have two years from the date of the incident or from when you first discovered your injury to file a dental malpractice lawsuit. It's crucial to act promptly to protect your rights.
Damages You Can Recover From a Dental Malpractice Claim
Winning a dental malpractice case can lead to substantial compensation for the harms and losses you have suffered due to a dentist's negligence. This compensation, known as damages, covers various categories of loss and suffering:
- Compensation for past and future medical bills can be claimed. This includes the costs of treatments you've already undergone due to the malpractice and projected future medical expenses related to the injury.
- Lost wages and future earnings are also compensable. If you've had to take time off work due to your injury or if your ability to earn income in the future has been impacted, you can seek compensation for these losses.
- Pain and emotional distress represent another essential category of damage. The physical pain and emotional trauma endured due to the injury can significantly impact your quality of life, and you are entitled to compensation for this suffering.
- Finally, if the malpractice has led to scarring or disfigurement, you can seek damages for these physical changes. These damages recognize the impact on your appearance and the potential psychological effects of this change.
By pursuing a dental malpractice claim, you assert your rights and seek justice for the wrong you've endured. At Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, we are committed to fighting for the maximum compensation you deserve. Please give us an opportunity to review your case.
Schedule an Initial Case Evaluation With Our Tulsa Dental Malpractice Lawyer at Richardson Richardson Boudreaux Today
Facing dental malpractice can be overwhelming. But you don't have to navigate it alone. The experienced dental malpractice lawyers at Richardson Richardson Boudreaux are here to help. We will do a deep dive into your case. If we believe you are owed compensation, we will fight for you.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation, and let us fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. You never have to face these issues alone. We are here to help you.