Los Angeles Dental Malpractice Attorney
Experienced & Reliable Los Angeles Dental Malpractice Attorneys
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who actually enjoys going to the dentist. But it’s just one of those things that we all have to do, so we come to expect at least a bit of discomfort from each visit. But one thing we shouldn’t have to expect is an abrupt injury – something severe or permanent like nerve damage, loss of teeth, or cosmetic damage – from an unnecessary medical error, especially when we’re paying dental professionals for a high quality of care that is specifically meant to evade such injuries.
In these cases, turning to an experienced personal injury attorney can make a significant difference. At Berberian Ain, LLP, our dental malpractice attorneys in Glendale, CA have a strong track record of securing fair compensation for injury clients.
What is Dental Malpractice?
Similar to medical malpractice, dental malpractice occurs when a dental professional has harmed a patient through negligence or substandard treatment. Dentists have a legal duty of care to their patients, and breaching that duty may result in long-term or even permanent physical damage.
While it’s rare for a patient to suffer an erroneous injury during a routine exam or cleaning (though it’s certainly not impossible), medical malpractice typically occurs during more complex procedures, including but not limited to:
- Root canals
- Brace fitting
- Tooth extractions
- Gum (periodontal) surgery
- Bridges and implants
- Deep cleaning
Injured by a dentist? Get a thorough case review by an experienced attorney. Contact us at (818) 808-0048.
Dental Malpractice Cases
Dental malpractice can occur at the hands of a dentist, periodontist, or oral surgeon during any dental procedure. Negligence on the part of a dental professional can lead to the loss of teeth, infections, abscesses, unnecessary bleeding, and more. Common cases can include nerve injury from a tooth extraction, dental implant placement, or root canal procedures, leading to persistent numbness and/or permanent pain.
In some instances, a dentist may fail to diagnose or inadequately treat periodontal disease or infections related to tooth decay. Other times, a medical professional may even perform treatment that is beyond their scope of training and ability, such as a general dentist performing oral surgery that he or she is not qualified for.
Other common examples of dental malpractice can include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Lacerations of the gums, tongue, or other areas of the mouth
- Lacerations of nerves, resulting in nerve damage
- Anesthesia errors, resulting in the patient feeling extreme pain during a procedure
- Performance of unnecessary treatments or procedures
- Ignoring the patient’s consent for treatment and proceeding with further procedures
- Performing the wrong procedure on a patient
- Jaw fracture resulting from oral surgery
- Inadequate treatment or failure to diagnose oral cancer
- Poorly placed or defective crowns, bridges, or veneers
- Excessively contoured restorations causing bleeding gums
Also, CDC guidelines require dentists and assistants to meet certain sanitation standards and perform routine maintenance on medical equipment. This includes flushing dental unit lines and devices with water and periodically chemically purging these lines. These safety procedures are designed to prevent the dangerous buildup of biofilm in the equipment water lines, which can lead to infections. If a medical professional fails to adhere to these sterilization guidelines, they could be held liable.
In some instances, the injury may not be the fault of the dentist, but rather of the medical equipment failing to perform as it was intended. In these cases, the manufacturer may be held responsible for a defective product, in which case you may still have grounds for a lawsuit but it would be known as a product liability case. This is one of the many reasons why it’s important to speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible to determine the correct angle for your case.
Making a Dental Malpractice Claim
Dental malpractice claims are often complex affairs, generally requiring expert witness testimony as to how these injuries could have been prevented with more diligent care. These claims require you and your dental malpractice attorney to prove four elements of negligence:
- You had a dentist/patient relationship with a dentist who owed you a duty of care.
- The dentist breached his or her duty of care in some way.
- The breach of duty caused an injury.
- The injury caused permanent or long-term damage.
More often than not, the dentist responsible will deny any wrongdoing leaving you to battle it out with his or her insurance company’s attorney, who will undoubtedly have plenty of experience eschewing dental malpractice cases. Because of these factors, it is critical that you consult one of our experienced dental malpractice lawyers in Glendale to determine your legal options and put up a fair fight on your behalf.
Also, remember that there is a statute of limitations to filing such claims, so time is of the essence when it comes to dental malpractice lawsuits. In California you generally have between 1 and 3 years to file a claim. If you discovered the injury either immediately or up to 1 year after the incident, then you will have 1 additional year to file a claim. If a year passed with no knowledge of the injuries, then you will have up to 3 years from the date of the injuries to take legal action.
We’re Here to Help. Contact Us Today!
Your case may seem overwhelming in the beginning, but there are others who have been in similar situations and found a way forward. Our team can help you take the next steps so that you can ultimately win a dental malpractice settlement that will help you recover damages for things like medical bills, future treatments, loss of earning or loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma. Contact Berberian Ain LLP today to schedule a free initial consultation with our lawyers. You can also call us at 818-808-0048.