dental malpractice

The Importance of Expert Witnesses in Cases of Dental Malpractice

Proving malpractice in any medical field is an uphill battle and dental malpractice is no exception. Lance Ehrenberg, Esq, a lead attorney, focuses exclusively on dental malpractice and has a wide network of well-respected expert witnesses to call upon for support. Whatever specific injury you have suffered due to professional negligence while under a dentist’s care, we have the proper expert witness to bolster your case.

How We Prove Dental Malpractice

Proving dental malpractice involves meeting the following four legal criteria:

  1.  A doctor-patient relationship existed (elevator or cocktail party “consultations” do not count)
  2. The doctor was negligent, not meeting the normal standard of care
  3. The doctor’s negligence caused the patient’s injury 
  4. The injury resulted in specific damages (e.g. medical visits or lost income)

Much of the legwork in proving these criteria falls to our lawyer since it involves legal definitions and strategies. Dental and medical experts, however, are typically necessary as well to prove that the dentist caused your injury and/or did not live up to the normal standard of dental care.

Common Types of Dental Malpractice

Unfortunately, dental malpractice can occur at any time during diagnosis or treatment, even during a first visit in which your medical history is taken. For instance, if the dentist fails to note your allergy to a particular medication early on, that bit of negligence can cause a life-threatening emergency at some point in the future.

Dental Malpractice, like other types of medical malpractice, may take the form of:

  • Failure to diagnose (e.g. oral cancer)
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Failure to take or heed a patient’s medical history
  • Failure to refer a patient to an appropriate specialist
  • Failure to get informed consent for a treatment or procedure
  • Surgical error
  • Anesthesia error
  • Medication error
  • Sterilization failures resulting in infection

Our Dental Malpractice Attorney Will Choose the Right Expert for Your Case

Which type of expert will be helpful depends on the particular circumstances of your case. Lance Ehrenberg has a network of well-credentialed, highly respected experts to call on as needed for pertinent testimony, including all kinds of dental specialists — orthodontists, oral surgeons, periodontists, endodontists, prosthodontists — as well as orthopedists, anesthesiologists, infectious disease experts, pharmacologists, and oncologists.

New York Law Requires the Participation of an Expert to Pursue a Malpractice Case

In New York, we are legally required to obtain a certificate of merit by having an expert review the matter before we file a malpractice action. 

For this purpose, we must send your dental records and the facts of your malpractice claim to a dental/medical expert who will substantiate the fact that the action we are about to take has merit. The idea behind this is that only another doctor, not a legal representative, is able to judge duty of care by dental/medical standards.

Although there is a 90-day statute of limitations for obtaining the certificate of merit, the state will make exceptions if, for example, the defending dentist delays sending your medical records.

How an Expert Witness Can Bolster Your Case

In order to prove a dental malpractice claim, both a skilled malpractice attorney and a convincing expert are necessary. When you consult with an experienced dental malpractice attorney, he will provide you with both. Examples of what the expert’s testimony may accomplish include:

  • Identifying a detail about the case that your dentist missed
  • Explaining a procedure your condition warranted but not performed
  • Stating that your dentist failed to order a necessary diagnostic test 
  • Declaring that your dentist should have referred you to a specialist 
  • Validating your claim that you never had the opportunity to give informed consent to a risky treatment or procedure

As long as the expert we call on can testify that your dentist failed to meet the accepted standard of care, deviated from established protocol, or breached the requirement of informed consent, that expert’s testimony will go a long way to helping us prove dental negligence and malpractice.

Contact Our Experienced Dental Malpractice Attorney Today

Lance Ehrenberg, Esq knows precisely how to handle your case by bringing in top experts to persuade the court that your claim of dental malpractice is a valid one. More than that, he will fight aggressively to bring you the compensation you deserve. Call today.

About the Author
Of all the different areas in medical malpractice, it is podiatry malpractice that has had a particular interest to me. With 42 years practicing law and representing hundreds of victims of malpractice, I have created a law practice in which my clients are comfortable knowing that their case is being handled with my personal attention, in the most professional manner, and without unreasonable delays.