It would be safe to say that most people have heard of cases of medical malpractice resulting in personal injury. Incidents like this punctuate the nightly news far too often. But there are other incidents of personal injury resulting from malpractice that usually do not make the headlines: injuries resulting from dental malpractice.
Just as in cases of medical malpractice, dental malpractice occurs when the patient receives an injury as a result of substandard or negligent care. A patient suffering from an injury caused by negligence may have grounds for pursuing a lawsuit. But in most states, like Connecticut, any lawsuit based on the premise of negligence must meet certain requirements to establish proof.
THE EXISTENCE OF A RELATIONSHIP
The first requirement necessary to moving forward with a dental malpractice suit is to provide evidence of a dentist-patient relationship. This element is typically not disputed.
A BREACH IN STANDARD CARE
The second element involves the medical standard of care. What this refers to is the idea that your dentist has a duty to provide the same quality of care as another professional would in the same circumstances. If substandard or negligent care was provided, the dentist has breached the medical standard.
Perhaps the most crucial part of proving dental malpractice is providing evidence that the breach in medical care was the cause of the resulting injury. It is entirely possible that a dentist could breach the standard of care without an injury occurring. It is also possible that an injury could occur even if the dentist did adhere to proper standards.
THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF THE INJURY
Lastly, it is important to take into consideration the seriousness of the injury. Damages in a malpractice case are typically not minor things like temporary pain and discomfort. Pervasive and enduring pain, financial losses due to correcting the dentist's mistake, or even psychological distress caused by the same are typically considered valid grounds for a lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has received an injury as a result of negligence, it might be prudent to call an attorney. Cummings Law Firm has served the Waterbury area faithfully for nearly 25 years. Contact us today, we stand ready to help.