The Dental Expert Witness
The Dental Expert Witness occupies a unique position in the litigation process. The law and the courts give them, by virtue of their education and experience, automatic authority and credibility.
Since a legal case is essentially an in-depth examination of a series of past events, the legal process is fundamentally, unscientific, in that its subject matter is non-repeatable.
Even though law cases are not scientific in the classic sense, expert witnesses and their testimony are expected to introduce a measure of scientific method and empirical certainty into the determination of cases.
At its base level a simple and inexpensive report can indicate whether or not there is strength in the claim and assist in a decision as to where such a case may provide adequate evidence in the face of challenge and opposition. This is a cost effective approach to claims following such injuries.
In the modern era and in the popular review, science routinely holds the high ground of credence, integrity and certainty. In a car accident for instance, it may be an obvious inference for the lay-person to draw from lay- evidence, that if the cars were badly damaged, both of them were travelling at excessive speed.
However, expert accident reconstruction testimony (to cite only one example) mathematically and empirically quantifies the vehicle damage evidence. Therefore, it adds finite objectivity and academic credibility to the proof of an essential element into the determination of fault.
A Motor Vehicle Accident(MVA) may often result in whiplash type injuries which always impact upon the relationship between the skull and lower jaw. It is important to determine whether or not injury was sustained, its likely causation and rehabilitative requirements, as well as prognosis.
This is true for other injuries of the head, face and jaws although the neck and shoulders as well as ear disorders may also be affected following an injury. Dental (tooth) injuries may occur alone or in combination to those above.
When it comes to the profession of dentistry, patients have rights. One of those rights is to have their advice, treatment and care provided to a certain standard.
Patients may have cause for action when this standard has not been achieved or maintained or has been ignored by the professional responsible. At these times a patient may seek what is in effect a ‘second opinion’ although they may have repairing or restoring the failure in mind.