Dental law has become a quickly growing law specialty in both the United States and Canada in recent years. Many lawyers and law firms now provide legal expertise and legal assistance to the dental community.
Dental professionals often hire lawyers, such as Lichtblau Law Office for advice about purchasing or selling their dental practices, and preparing, negotiating, and finalizing agreements, among other reasons.
Finding the perfect dental lawyer is now easier than ever, with various websites and search options.
Where to Find a Dental Lawyer
Dental law offices can be found in most major cities in both Canada and the United States. For example, a variety of dental lawyers are available in Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, and Montreal.
In the United States, many more can be found in New York City, Miami, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Los Angeles, among others.
In addition, a variety of offices can also be found in smaller towns and suburbs as well.
What to Look for in a Dental Lawyer
Good dental layers should be up to date with dental professional standards, certifications, and requirements. For example, in Ontario, dental lawyers need to be familiar with the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO) guidelines. The RCDSO is the governing body for dental professionals and regulates the profession. It is important to note that each province has different regulations.
In the United States, each state has different regulations as well. For example, in California, dental professionals are regulated under the Dental Practice Act.
Ensure that the lawyer tailors their representation to the particular needs of a dental professional.
Dental Law Services
Dental law services can be divided into a variety of categories.
- Commercial Litigation and Debt Recovery – Commercial litigations and debt recovery are some of the most important parts of dental law. At times, there arises a need to collect outstanding debts from clients. In addition, there may also be contract disputes with suppliers, partners,
Shareholders, or employees, as well as landlord-tenant issues.
- Business and Taxation Law – One of the main parts of business law that a dental lawyer can help with is incorporation. Incorporating a dental practice can lead to lower tax rates, income splitting opportunities, lifetime capital gains exemptions, and protection from personal liability in areas not covered by insurance. In addition to incorporation, dental lawyers can also assist dental professionals with commercial leasing, practice start-ups, tax planning, employment agreements, shareholder agreements, partner agreements, and succession planning. They may also deal with partnership disputes and separations.
- Business Transactions – At times, a dental lawyer is required for the purchase of equipment or associate buy-ins. This also covers buying a dental practice and real estate transactions as well. Someone to explain all the risks of each transaction is crucial.
- Commercial Leasing – Understanding the lease of a rental property is very important. Experienced dental lawyers will help review and negotiate office leases. A dental lawyer should be consulted before signing the lease to make sure that it is fair and all important aspects are covered.
- Employment Law – At times, dental professionals may need help with associate employment relationships matters, such as those involving orthodontists, dental assistants, and secretaries. Dental lawyers can also deal with independent contractor agreements as well.
- Estate and Succession Planning– Planning for the future is important in any business. Dental lawyers can create a comprehensive estate plan, trust, wills, powers of attorney, and more in the event of one’s death.
- Dental Records – Regarding dental records, dental professionals are required to keep records to provide superior dental service and reduce the risk of potential negligence claims. In the case of inaccurate or incomplete records, and resulting injury, a dental lawyer may be required.
Types of Dental Negligence Claims
At times, a dental attorney may be needed to deal with dental negligence claims.
- Dental Injuries – are injuries or trauma to the teeth, gums, face, or jaw. This also includes nerve injuries as well.
- Failure to Diagnose – occurs when a dental professional misdiagnosis or misses a dental condition, resulting in further treatment that could have been avoided.
- Failure to Obtain Consent – occurs when a dental professional does not do their duty of care to obtain consent from a patient for their treatment.
- Failure to Treat – occurs if the appropriate steps to treat a problem are not taken and the patient’s condition worsens.
A frequent claim that is often seen is a dental negligence claim for dental implants. This is often a complicated and invasive procedure, and at times, mistakes can be made. Dental lawyers can help in this situation.
Dental law is an important, but often overlooked area of law that has increased in popularity. Various dental law professionals are available in all areas. Do not hesitate to contact me today.