You or your child has crooked teeth; therefore, you seek the services of an orthodontist to give you that perfect smile. While the relationship with your orthodontist started out well, you are now starting to feel as though he or she did a terrible job – or worse, an error has led to permanently ruined teeth.
Most people associate malpractice lawsuits with physicians, but orthodontists, oral surgeons, and even dentists are also liable for their actions. You could sue an orthodontist just as you would any other medical provider – but the burden of proof is on you to show that he or she was negligent. Negligence is more than a dissatisfaction with your results: Just because your teeth are not perfect after treatment, does not mean that you can sue them. Instead, you will need to understand the elements of a true malpractice claim.
Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim
Medical malpractice claims are built upon negligence, and negligence requires four elements. These four are difficult enough to prove in a personal injury claim, but when it comes to medical malpractice,they are somewhat easier. That is because an orthodontist, like other medical professionals, has a duty of care to you as a patient. Therefore, you will need to establish what his or her duty was, and how that duty was breached.
In a lawsuit against an orthodontist, you will need to show that the orthodontist breached his or her duty of care that was owed to you – or fell below the standard that other orthodontists would have provided.
Then, you must show that this breach of duty led to your harm. Your orthodontist’s actions must have specifically caused your harm, and that harm quantifies your lawsuit. If, however, something unforeseeable happens that causes your injury and the orthodontist was not actually at-fault, then you will not have a malpractice claim against him or her.
Also, being unhappy with the cosmetic results of your care is not grounds for malpractice. Malpractice claims are based on the standard of care and a physician’s breach of that care. You must prove that you were treated negligently, and that treatment resulted in an actual injury – not a dissatisfaction.
Furthermore, your injury must result in damages – such as extra costs that you will now endure to correct your teeth, pain and suffering, time away from work, long-term pain, etc. Without damages, it is hard to prove that you have a valid claim against the orthodontist.
Speak with an Attorney
It is best to leave the assessment of your case to an attorney. An expert attorney can determine if you have a valid malpractice claim against the orthodontist. If you feel that you were injured and your orthodontist failed to provide you with the standard of care, contact a Connecticut malpractice attorney. Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule your no-obligation consultation. Call us at 866-479-7909 or contact us online to get started.