In 2016, there were just under 8,500 paid medical malpractice claims with many of these claims involving dentists. Unless your dentist made a significant mistake, you will likely need to hire an expert witness to help you with a dental malpractice case. The expert witness will be responsible for explaining breach and causation.
A breach refers to when a dentist has a duty of care and breached this duty. The dentist was expected to take specific actions but did not take them. These would need to be actions that a reasonable dentist would take. This is where the expert witness steps in and testifies to the proper actions that a reasonable dentist would take.
When you suffer damages, you will need to prove that the dentist was responsible for causing these damages. This can be difficult in the area of dentistry when other factors can affect dental health such as the lack of personal oral care. The expert witness will give his opinion regarding whether he believes that your injuries were the result of a pre-existing condition or the actions of the dentist.
Your dentist is responsible for informing you of potential risks. If there are potential complications for the medical procedure, your dentist is responsible for warning you of this. Failure to do so may also lead to a medical malpractice claim.
The Role of an Expert Witness
In some states, you may be required to consult with an expert witness and include an affidavit with your complaint. Otherwise, you will not be able to move along with your case. An expert witness can also help you determine, with the help of a dental malpractice attorney, whether you should consider seeking compensation for your injuries.
You are able to hire an expert witness on your own. However, the best way to find an expert witness when seeking legal action against a dentist is to hire a dental injury attorney. Most law firms that handle dental malpractice cases will know expert witnesses and may even have employees who can serve as expert witnesses. The attorney will also have a great working relationship with the expert witness which will make the process much smoother.
If your case goes to trial, expert testimony will play a crucial role in helping the jury determine whether the defendant is responsible for the damages you have suffered. The expert witness will describe the practices and procedures of the dentist under normal circumstances. They will then show how the defendant's practices deviated from the acceptable standards of care.
If you were injured by a dentist, contact a dental malpractice lawyer, such as Mitchel Lidowsky, Esq., for help.