You have always had crooked teeth ever since you were a kid. You made it a point to visit your orthodontist once you had enough money to get your teeth fixed. You searched for the best orthodontist in Providence and sought his services hoping for the best. A year into the treatment and you believe he is doing a terrible job. Can you do something about it?
The short answer is yes. You can sue your orthodontist just as you can sue any other health care professional for medical malpractice. Orthodontists are held to certain competency standards when providing treatment to their patients. And if they don’t meet these standards, patients can get compensation through their medical malpractice lawyers for any resulting injuries.
However, before you pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit against your orthodontist, you should know that you simply cannot file a lawsuit because you are unhappy with the results. Just because something went wrong during the course of your treatment and you were harmed, doesn’t mean that the orthodontist should be held liable for medical malpractice.
Most orthodontic malpractice cases in Providence require that the situation that led to the harm be closely examined. From there, the appropriate course of treatment will be examined and what the appropriate professional conduct should have been in that situation. From this information, we will determine what the orthodontist did or didn’t do in light of that standard.
In short, if your orthodontist did not provide the level of care that another orthodontist would have in a similar situation, then you may have a viable claim.
Most orthodontists, including yours, required you to fill out some paperwork before starting treatment. In those documents, there might be forms that state you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit if something goes wrong.
What is Considered Malpractice in Orthodontic Treatment?
Malpractice can happen in two ways. Your orthodontist can either fail to take appropriate action in your treatment or they can make an error in your treatment. For instance, an injury can occur with:
- Invisalign: Invisalign are invisible braces that are only suitable for certain patients. They are designed to move the teeth in certain ways and if the orthodontist uses them incorrectly, they can damage your mouth. Trying to reverse the damage caused can cost you thousands of dollars.
- Braces: Your orthodontist is required to monitor you closely. If they fail to do this or if they incorrectly apply the braces, your teeth might end up being incorrectly positioned, you may experience pain or suffer from periodontal disease. If not corrected, all these problems can eventually lead to teeth extractions, jaw problems and future orthodontic treatments, all of which cost money.
Apart from failing to meet all standards of care, your orthodontist may unfairly bill you or collect money from both you and your insurance company. If this is the case, you are entitled to damages.
Laws against Orthodontic Malpractice
The laws that govern other medical malpractice lawsuits are the same ones that govern orthodontic malpractice. You should read these facts about medical malpractice in Rhode Island. In order for you to recover damages, you must prove:
- The orthodontist owed you a duty of care. This should be fairly easy to prove because orthodontists owe duty of care by virtue of providing treatment.
- The orthodontist failed to provide the kind of treatment that any other orthodontist would have under the same circumstances.
- The orthodontist was negligent and therefore caused your injuries.
- That you are entitled to damages because you have a valid claim and all other elements of medical malpractice have been satisfied.
Liability of the Orthodontist
Your orthodontist probably required you to sign a contract before starting your treatment. What you don’t know is that the contract can limit the way in which you can recover damages if things do not go as planned. Most contracts state that certain rights to recovering damages are waived once the patient signs them and that arbitration will be necessary for the rights that aren’t waived. Such type of agreements can limit your right to file a personal injury lawsuit against your orthodontist.
Talk to a Providence Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If an orthodontist has injured you in Providence, you can talk to one of our lawyers at Kevin P Landry Law Offices by calling 401-751-0101 or by visiting our Providence offices today. All our consultations are free.