Dental malpractice is a serious matter and not as uncommon as you might think. If you are a resident of New Jersey and have suffered harm due to your dentist’s negligence, contact Nagel Rice LLP to give yourself the best chance of recovering meaningful damages.
Our well-respected law firm has been in practice for over three decades and has an impressive history of successful outcomes. Although the end result of a lawsuit can never be guaranteed, the fact that we have won over $1 billion in settlements and verdicts should give you confidence.
Contact us for a free consultation to have your case evaluated. Once you become our client, we will charge you no attorneys’ fees until we win your case and bring you the compensation you need going forward.
The Legal Requirements in New Jersey for Proof of Dental Malpractice
In order to prove dental malpractice, we must prove four basic elements:
- You and your dentist had a professional relationship in which you were owed a duty of care (i.e. you didn’t ask a dentist you met in the elevator for advice).
- Your dentist breached the duty of care they owed you as a patient by violating the accepted standard of dental care.
- That breach caused your injury.
- You had real financial losses as a result of your dentist’s breach.
How Our Dental Malpractice Attorney Will Prove Your Case
Typically, it is easy to prove your professional relationship with your dentist and the real losses that resulted from your injury. What is more challenging is proving that a reasonable dentist would have acted differently under the same or similar circumstances. To do this we must:
- Gather evidence
- Interview witnesses
- Review dental and medical reports
- Consult with an expert in the pertinent field of dentistry
Once this is accomplished, we will build our legal strategy based on the details of your particular situation, including the severity and prognosis of your condition. We will also make plans to have the dental expert who will bolster your case testify on your behalf.
In many situations, our attorneys are so adept at negotiations that they will arrive at a negotiated settlement and you will never have to go to trial. Nonetheless, we always plan our presentation to be persuasive enough to meet the high legal standards of the courtroom.
Dental Malpractice Can Occur in Any Dental Specialty
Our sharp dental malpractice attorneys will be able to help whether you or a loved one were injured by your general dentist or by a specialist in one of the following fields:
- Pediatric Dentistry
- Oral surgery
- Dental oncology
There are a number of ways a dentist’s negligence can cause you harm. The most common include:
- Failure to take the patient’s medical history or failure to pay close attention to recorded pre-existing conditions, e.g. allergies, drug reactions, hypertension, etc.
- Failure to get the patient’s informed consent, especially before high-risk procedures
- Failure to diagnose and treat, or refer for treatment: advancing periodontal (gum) disease, severe tooth decay or abscess, need for root canal treatment or tooth extraction, oral cancer
- Failure to refer is typically a sign of hubris in which general dentists undertake tasks beyond their level of expertise, e.g. complex extractions best handled by oral surgeons
- Misdiagnosis that results in unnecessary dental surgery or other harm
- Medication errors involving mistakes in prescription, dosage, or administration
- Failure to follow up after surgery or other complicated treatment
Because dentists are the first line of defense for oral problems and pay close attention to their patients’ mouths on a regular basis, dentists are considered responsible for picking up abnormalities in the mouth and the surrounding area, such as enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, pale gums, lesions on the lip or elsewhere in the mouth, or eroded enamel.
Such symptoms can indicate anemia, bulimia, or oral cancer, all of which may require urgent medical attention. A dentist’s failure to notice or report such signs can be considered dental malpractice.
Many people don’t realize how traumatic dental injuries can be. Here are examples of injuries caused by dental malpractice that can be painful, result in loss of function, or even be life-threatening:
- Causing unnecessary surgery or tooth loss
- Allowing the patient to swallow a foreign object
- Perforating the sinuses with a dental tool
- Causing nerve damage to the lips, tongue, or jaw that causes loss of sensation
- Improperly sterilizing equipment that results in patient infection
- Breaking a tool in the patient’s mouth that results in a puncture injury
- Injuring the patient’s gum or tongue
- Fracturing or dislocation of the patient’s jaw or causing TMJ
- Administering anesthesia improperly, resulting in permanent damage or wrongful death
Whatever type of dental injury you have suffered, Nagel Rice’s talented attorneys will stand by you and fight for your right to maximum compensation.
Damages Our Dental Malpractice Attorneys Will Fight For
No matter what type of dental negligence you or your family member has suffered, we are ready to lift your burden so that you can concentrate on healing while we concentrate on recovering damages for:
- Medical and rehabilitation costs
- Lost income, present and future
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Permanent scarring or other disfigurements
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death
If you have lost a close relative to wrongful death, we will file a wrongful death suit to recover final medical costs, funeral expenses, and the loss of your loved one’s financial and emotional support. Though this cannot bring back the person you love, we hope it will provide your family with some justice and make your financial future more secure.
Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Dental Malpractice Attorneys Today
At Nagel Rice, we are well aware that dental malpractice can lead to severe injury, progressive disease, disability, disfigurement, or fatality. This is why we are fully committed to providing our clients with skilled, compassionate service. Contact us now to find out if you have a viable lawsuit and to discuss your best options.