Q. What is a dental malpractice lawsuit?
A. A dental malpractice lawsuit is a claim made by a person who has been injured to negligence, inaction or a mistake made by a dentist. If you are injured or feel you have had negligent dental work due to failure to diagnose or treat possible precarious oral conditions, call or email our office to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Stanley Lane to see if you have a case or may be entitled to monetary damages
Q. How much does a personal injury lawyer cost?
A. Personal injury lawyers’ work on a contingency basis. This means that they only collect a fee if they are able to get money for you.
Q. What exactly do I receive money for in a dental malpractice lawsuit?
A. You can collect money for lost income, pain and suffering, dental costs and more.
Q. Is the information I provide confidential?
A. Yes, any information given to your lawyer is confidential.
Q. How long does it take if a lawsuit is filed?
A. It depends on the location within the State. One to two years would be the norm.
Q. What is necessary for review before it can be decided if there is cause for a dental malpractice lawsuit?
A. The records of the negligent dentist and all subsequent treating dentists must be received and reviewed. All x-rays before and after negligence must be obtained before any judgment can be made.
Q. What Should I Look For in Choosing an Attorney?
A. This is your case, your only case. This is just one of many cases for your attorney. You need to choose an attorney who understands that this case is important to you and has the ability, experience and desire to fight for you.
The following is a list of questions you might ask before selecting an attorney or law firm to represent you.
• Does the attorney have experience in handling dental malpractice cases?
• Is the attorney knowledgeable about the type of injury or damage involved?
• Is the attorney both a dentist and a lawyer?
• Has the attorney tried or settled any similar cases?
• How many jury trials has the attorney had?
• Is the case too large for this attorney or law firm to handle? • Is the attorney a solo practitioner, or does he or she have a law firm with other partners and associate attorneys to help prepare the case?
• How long has the attorney or law firm been in business?
• What is the attorney’s reputation in the community?
• Has the attorney ever been reprimanded or disciplined by the State Bar?
• Does the attorney keep up with recent developments in law and dentistry and trial practice by attending seminars and participating in workshops?
• Does the attorney or law firm have the financial resources to prepare and try the case?
Q. What Is My Case Worth?
A. If any attorney tells you how much your case is worth soon after your injury, you should question the attorney’s judgment. The value of a case evolves as evidence is discovered and as your conditions or symptoms change. There are many factors that go into placing the value on a case. The value of the case may be different depending on whether the case is going to settle or if the case is going to be tried.
Factors That Affect the Value of Your Case
The following are a few of the considerations that affect the value of your case.
• What is the nature of your injuries?
• What is the extent of your injuries?
• Are your injuries temporary or permanent?
• What are your functional limitations?
• What is the amount of additional dental bills?
• What is the amount of your loss of earnings?
• How clear is it that the other party was at fault?
• Is your treating dentist a specialist?
• How well will your dentist be able to communicate to the jury?
• Did you have any prior issues similar to the injuries involved in this incident?
• Did you have any pre-existing condition that made you more susceptible to injury?
• How well will your attorney be able to demonstrate your injuries and damages?
• Where will the case be tried?
• How good are the defendant’s expert witnesses?
• How good are your expert witnesses?
• How good is the defendant’s attorney?
• How good is your attorney?
• What is the amount of insurance the defendant has?
Q. What about my lost wages?
A. You are entitled to full compensation for time off work due to your injuries. Your employer’s policy regarding “sick time” may affect your right to compensation. Keep your own log of your time off work. Obtain medical statements for your time off.