Dental Malpractice Attorney
A professional dental malpractice attorney helps patients file claims against dentists and oral surgeons whose failure to properly perform services results in personal injury to the client. The practice of dentistry is an exact science involving the anatomy and physiology of the whole body, especially the nervous and blood systems. Competent orthodontists, oral surgeons, and dentistry professionals are experts at rendering services which enhance and improve an individual's ability to look and feel better. But negligent or improper administration of orthodontic or surgical services can cause permanent injuries and disability, or long term temporary discomfort to patients. When patients experience debilitating or life threatening injuries due to practitioners negligence, it is time to contact a dental malpractice lawyer to recover financial, emotional, and physical losses.
To some people, a smile is a lifeline to a lucrative career and a means of projecting a positive image to the world. While competent dentists and oral surgeons are able to work wonders on patients with problems from crooked and yellowing teeth, to hare lips and misaligned jaws, sometimes things go wrong in the dentist's chair; and patients are left battling serious complications which affect their quality of life or an ability to earn higher income. For instance, a fashion model, a corporate account executive, actors and actresses, and other high profile professionals must meet and greet the public on a daily basis. Models must possess perfect looks in order to win assignments. Account executives must project professional appearances in order to sell products, goods and services. Poor dentistry can ruin a career, causing severe emotional distress, and costing a loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential earnings. A proficient dental malpractice attorney can help recover those losses, including the cost of correcting faulty work.
A dental malpractice lawyer may investigate and help patients file claims in cases of injuries to the mouth, including the tongue, chin, lips and jaw. Patients can experience extended numbness or loss of taste or feeling in the tongue, mouth, lips, face or chin following surgery, extractions, or fillings. Dentists and oral surgeons may injure patients by improperly administering anesthesia, especially without pre-operative tests to detect heart or lung problems. Dentists may fail to detect life threatening diseases, such as mouth and tongue cancers, periodontal disease, or abnormal growths, which can develop into more complicated and expensive problems or death. Some practitioners may prescribe and treat patients unnecessarily; extracting teeth that could be saved or prescribing expensive crowns, bridges or implants simply to increase billing. Other injuries can result from using mercury fillings, treating root canals with Sargenti Paste (N2), or causing partial or total paralysis to the face due to compressed nerves. An expert attorney can build a case against unscrupulous dentists and oral surgeons who fail to provide a high standard of care.
What are the first steps injured patients need to take? Once individuals suspect that physical ailments are a result of poor orthodontic care or oral surgery, a second opinion from a reputable licensed professional is recommended. The Bible extols the virtue of a second opinion: "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established" (Matthew 18:15-16). An authoritative report confirming the existence of negligence is the foundation from which a dental malpractice attorney can begin building a case. Facial swelling that does not go down after a reasonable amount of time; persistent pain at the site; foul smelling discharges and pus, or numbness should all be investigated. Patients should request a copy of all records from the office of the dentist suspected of malpractice. Records are legally the property of the patient and most offices should have no problem releasing X-rays, charts, and other information. Some dentists may insist on releasing records only to another practice; but patients need to be persistent in obtaining what is rightfully theirs. However, patients should be careful not to divulge an intention to pursue damages in a malpractice lawsuit. An astute malpractice attorney will advise clients to simply indicate that the records are needed for a second opinion.
A good dental malpractice lawyer will either personally conduct a preliminary review of X-rays and patient charts or engage the services of a reputable orthodontist to render a professional opinion about the extent of injury. In any case, patients will want to hire a dental malpractice attorney who is keenly familiar with orthodontics, relies on other professional practitioners, or has a track record of success in winning cases. Attorneys should be knowledgeable about the human anatomy and the effects of negligent care in order to build a rock solid case on behalf of injured clients. While the case is being investigated, patients should refrain from denigrating dentists or oral surgeons suspected of malpractice. A countersuit for defamation of character could result if accusations negatively affect a practice or professional reputation. It is best to allow a legal representative to handle all correspondence with the dentist's office or attorney. Once a dental malpractice lawyer agrees to take a patient's case, it is recommended that the patient allow the lawyer to have full rein. Engaging in antagonistic communication will only serve to complicate matters and prevent favorable outcomes; but competent, knowledgeable legal counsel can help to ensure a win.
Medical Negligence LawyerDeveloping a plan before choosing a medical negligence lawyer is important. Hiring an attorney is a daunting task, but it can be made easier after acquiring some basic knowledge about how attorneys work and about the world in which they make a living. Like almost any other process that involves hiring a person to provide a service, there are some things to look for and some things to definitely stay away from. Hopefully, retaining an attorney is something a Christian will never have to do in their lifetime. But, if they ever do find themselves in need of a legal expert, finding the right one could be the difference between success and failure. The legal system with its lawsuits, judgments, plaintiffs, defendants, and numerous other elements is intimidating and difficult enough to navigate through. For some people, just being in a courtroom as an observer can be a sobering experience. Toss in the drama and suffering that may have occurred as the result of an injury caused by medical malpractice and it can be nothing short of frightening. If a person is facing this legal giant, it might serve them well to remember what the Bible says: God didn't give people a spirit of timidity or weakness. Pray, have faith, and develop a plan based on sound research and then move forward.
Knowing where to begin looking for a good medical negligence lawyer is an important first step. This isn't as easy as it may sound. Some legal experts suggest that people should not start their search by contacting an attorney that advertises on television or in the phone book. Catchy, well designed ads don't necessarily mean the attorney is a competent medical negligence lawyer. Hiring an attorney because of a snappy jingle or photo equates more to impulse shopping than to making a sound business or financial decision. Question the priority or focus of television ads that promise huge cash settlements. Are these lawyers going to look out for their client's best interest or their bottom line? Obviously, receiving compensation to cover out-of-pocket expenses, medical bills, lost income or profits, and pain and suffering resulting from the injury is important, but the main focus should be insuring the injured party and his or her family is taken care of, not made filthy rich.
This isn't to say that a good medical negligence lawyer can't be found in the phone book or on television. Most attorneys have numbers listed in the phone book, but those aren't the best places to start looking. Talk to other people first: family, friends, and coworkers. Maybe an acquaintance has already taken a trip through the legal system and can give valuable advice or tips on a specific attorney. Use the internet as well. Blogs might even offer some good information or leads on local attorneys. But, don't be afraid to look outside the immediate area for counsel. Perhaps the most important characteristic of a medical negligence lawyer is their courtroom presence. Most people have probably seen a movie or television show set in a courtroom. And one of the attorneys is overly aggressive, bullying, and rude while using strong-arm tactics. But another lawyer in the room is calmer, persuasive, logical, and presents intelligent arguments based on the facts of the case. Which one is going to impress the judge and jury more? The answer is found in the Bible. "A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife." (Proverbs 15:18)
On the other hand, don't hire a timid attorney either. After all, there may be a time when aggressiveness is needed. A medical negligence lawyer works for the client, and the relationship must always be kept on a professional level. If it ever appears that the attorney is not acting in the client's best interest than it's time to seek out another one who will. Always get references before retaining a lawyer. Again, talk to people who might know how the attorney has done in the past. Like doctors, lawyers often have specialties: tax, bankruptcy, business, criminal, and medical law are just a few. Hire one who is qualified to handle medical cases. Don't hire a tax specialist to handle a malpractice case just because he claims he can win and is cheaper than other attorneys. There are any number of ways to find out if an attorney has handled similar cases in the past and how well he or she did on them. Word of mouth is a great start, but online law directories can also help locate appropriate representation, and they can even help with a credential check.
Basically, once retained, a medical negligence lawyer can be paid in one of two ways: hourly or by a percentage of the damages awarded to the client. Not surprisingly, determining the exact cause of a person's injury in a malpractice case can sometimes be complicated and time consuming because each case has its own unique elements. So, paying a medical negligence lawyer an hourly rate probably isn't going to be feasible. Therefore arrange contingency fees and the lawyer will take a percentage of any settlement. Legal professionals feel that working on a contingency system is good motivation and incentive for the attorney to work hard at winning the case because if he or she loses the case they don't get paid. If an attorney won't make a contingency agreement and insists on being paid an hourly rate, they may be implying that the case isn't winnable, but they will take it any way just to get a paycheck.