When you’ve been wrong or injured, you want justice. When all else fails or when the way you’ve been wrong drastically changes your life, you file a lawsuit and take the offending party to court. Working with an attorney is by far the best way to go about the litigation process. After all, their livelihood is around getting justice for their clients.
When selecting an attorney to represent them in court, many people don’t do much research of their attorney. It is easy to think that any attorney is good enough to win your case. A lawsuit is costly and attorney and attorney fees can be expensive. Cheap attorneys, however, are not always the best attorneys. There are reasons they may be inexpensive including their lack of experience and poor work that makes them always perpetually trying to get new clients. Court proceedings can be long and stressful and working with the wrong attorney can make one frustrated, angry and discouraged. This scenario can also lead to an unfavorable lawsuit result and wasted money. On the flip side, the highly successful attorneys will demand more compensation and give clients a better sense of peace knowing their attorney has done many similar cases before and knows exactly what to do and when to turn documents in. Instead they don’t need you around to tell them what to do.
Many attorneys can produce impressive resume that highlight their vast knowledge, experience and successful track records. These are all things one should take into account when looking for an attorney. When it comes to a medical or dental malpractice case, however, no average attorney with a broad knowledge of various areas should suffice. For the best results, it is highly recommended that one employs the service of an attorney specialized in malpractice cases.
While medical malpractice lawsuits are more common, dental malpractice suits have seen a rise over the past few years. Those injured or wronged by their dentist can experience years of life-altering pain and functionality of their mouths, a diminished appearance or be forced to spend more hours and money of additional dental work to correct the initial error.
Like medical malpractice claims, dental malpractice lawsuits have the potential to yield steep compensation to the successful plaintiff.
If you believe you’ve been wronged by your dentist, the first step is to find a qualified dental malpractice attorney who can help you determine whether or not you have a viable dental malpractice case. Any good attorney will resist pursuing a lawsuit if the case has no chance of winning or if the case isn’t serious enough to make for a legal case.
The Requirements for a Dental Malpractice Case
With unhappy dental patients who might bring unsubstantiated or false claims against their dentist in hopes of striking it big with favorable, significant compensation, there are certain requirements a dental malpractice claim must satisfy before it can be taken to court. These requirements are:
- There must be evidence of a patient-dentist relationship
- the appropriate standard of care under the circumstance was not followed or carried out
- The breach in the standard of care caused harm to the patient
- The harm caused significant financial, physical and psychological harm to the patient
Not one, but all four of these requirements must be met.
What to Look for in a Good Dental Malpractice Attorney
When it looks like you have a viable case, it’s now time to find a good dental malpractice attorney. As mentioned before, a good attorney is key to giving you a chance to win your dental malpractice case. In addition to an attorney’s skill, knowledge and experience, the best attorney for your case will also be one you have confidence in and a good, close relationship with. In other words you need to find a dental malpractice attorney that is compatible and with whom you will get along great with.
Whether this is your first dental malpractice suit or not, below are some of the characteristics of a qualified dental malpractice attorney you should look for:
Expertise. This is probably the first quality people look for when looking for an attorney. While young, aspiring attorneys may have rigor, drive and energy and may offer cheaper services to gain a client base, they are more prone to mistakes and blunders that can make or break your case. Veteran attorneys with many years of expertise will less likely to be caught off-guard and have a more thorough routine that helps them keep ahead of the proceeding. ,
Compatibility. Court cases, especial dental malpractice ones can take many months and even a few years to get resolved. During this extended period of time you will be regularly meeting with or talking to your attorney. These interactions will be useful if you and your attorney are compatible. Besides being compatible in terms of personality, try to choose an attorney who works and operates like you do. For instance, if you’re always wanting to know what’s next or up head in your court proceeding horizon, you shouldn’t work with a young attorney who procrastinates and frantically turns documents shortly before a case.
Trustworthiness. Your attorneys what to expect during a court case as well as what documents and evidence need to be collected and the timeframe for submitting them. They live and breathe law. You don’t. In fact, you likely don’t really know what is going on. You simply do what your attorney says. This makes it important to have an attorney who is trustworthy. An attorney with whom you doubt or don’t will make your case harder, more expensive and stressful and potentially longer. A dental malpractice attorney who can’t be trusted will quickly lose clients to either another attorney or their client may mistakenly attempt to represent him or herself during the remainder of their case.
Open communication. You want justice and you’re paying a lot for the services of a dental malpractice attorney. You expect him or her to not only do their job well and fight hard for you, but to also keep you informed throughout the entire lawsuit. A qualified dental malpractice attorney will have regular communication with their client to discuss development, the status of the legal proceedings, deadlines for various documentation and suggestions on what steps to take next. You’re not an attorney so you shouldn’t be left in the dark wondering how your case is going or what the attorney is doing.
When choosing the right attorney for your dental malpractice case, one should look at the attorney’s expertise, level of open communication, trustworthiness and compatibility. Before you pursue a dental malpractice case, you should be sure to check and see if you have a viable case in the first place.
At Chinese and Reilly Attorneys at Law, our attorneys have many years of experience in dental malpractice cases and we will work closely with you every step of the way throughout your legal proceeding. If you or anyone you know is suffering from a dental mistake, contact us today to schedule an appointment.