If your orthodontic treatment just finished and you are unhappy with the result, there is a possibility that you could sue the orthodontist for the outcome. However, there are a couple key considerations before you schedule a consultation with an attorney. First, the orthodontist must have committed an error or oversight that another qualified orthodontist in the same set of circumstances would not have.
Second, an unexpected outcome doesn’t automatically mean that the orthodontist made a mistake. There are always risks with any kind of medical treatment, and it’s important to review any contracts you signed to see if you have waived certain rights in seeking restitution for treatment gone wrong.
If you can prove the following elements were true in regards to your orthodontist treatment, then you may receive a substantial amount in monetary compensation for what you have endured.
4 Elements of Malpractice Cases
There are four elements that must be true and proven by the plaintiff if they are to win their orthodontist malpractice case. If you aren’t sure whether you have a strong case against the orthodontist who treated you, then you should consult with an attorney first. The more information you bring to your attorney, the better they can assess whether these four elements apply:
- You and the orthodontist had a patient-doctor relationship, and he or she had a duty of care to provide you with a certain standard of treatment.
- The orthodontist breached this duty of care through failing to give you the kind of treatment that another, reasonably competent orthodontist would have in those circumstances.
- The orthodontist breached this duty of care and caused injuries that wouldn’t have resulted if the orthodontist had done his or her job correctly.
- The patient suffered injury and quantifiable losses because of the orthodontist’s breach of duty.
As stated above, your orthodontist may have had you sign an agreement prior to starting treatment. Unfortunately, many of us just sign documents without taking a closer look because we want to trust the person who is providing treatment. Then if something goes wrong, we may regret not having read through every line to fully understand what we were agreeing to. Many health-related contracts have clauses that waive the patient’s rights to compensation if they agree to receive a medical service or treatment. Have your attorney read over the contract you signed if the orthodontist required that of you when beginning care.
In the contract it may state that if there is a dispute, that must be resolved with arbitration. This can limit the patient’s right to file a lawsuit for injury compensation. Arbitration is a method of resolving disagreements outside of the courtroom. An arbitrator reviews the evidence presented by both sides and then makes a decision. You may not be permitted to file a civil lawsuit against the orthodontist, where a court judge would have decided the outcome instead.
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