If you are in cali, these two are well known, one was successful in getting a settlement for my case, the other was a jerk but seemed to know what he was doing still. The thing is dental malpractice attorneys are rare so I am still mentioning the jerk attorney's name, go with him if you have NO OTHER OPTION.
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One thing about suing: I know we all have been wronged and I definitely agree that you should sue these dentists for the fair price of wrong doing they have been committing. Otherwise, these jerks will just keep ruining lives.. they pull teeth and mess with your jaws which messes with your body.. as if they are surgically operating on nazi concentration camps for torture prisoners in the 1950s. They don't care for you, their only gain is for money and to buy their luxury cars and big houses.
The first step when you contact an attorney is (if he's a bad attorney he will tell you to go get an expert witness on your own, if he's a good attorney he will schedule an appt with the expert witness and go with you). My expert witness in the first appt charged me 500 dollars. This is inevitable (not the price, but getting an expert witness in the field of specialty where your damage has happened), and he will say whether "yes, this is negligence", or "no this is happenstance". If the expert says "no, this is not negligence", your chances are shot with that attorney and expert witness, however I would suggest to try again with another attorney/witness before giving up. My case the oral surgeon expert witnesss said "yes this is a clear cut negligence case", then only did my attorney commit to a contingency (where he gets a percentage of any winnings and you pay 0 till then).. HOWEVER. (read next paragraph)
SOME attorneys cleverly word it so somehow if they want to bail or if they feel there is a risk in not getting any outcome OR if they are just jerks in general, they will start haggling you for money despite saying initially they will cover your costs for the case. Make sure this is CLEAR with your attorney before you sign that "if you ar taking this on contingency , then look, I will not be able to pay anything no matter what for this case". If you are rich and/or your damage will not impact your life extremely severely/ or if you have wealthy connections and will not ever get homeless or something extremely terrible like be in debt form your injury, I recommend a) get a bigshot attorney whom you pay for the case, or b) just don't sue, because it is the worst and biggest worry and headache you will have in dealing with the politics of it all.
Now come the depositions.. you will be deposed ON video camera (especially if you have a facial injury) and they will spend hours beating you down with (mostly stupid questions). this is just to test the waters and see what kind of witness you would be on a jury trial. 10% of the time were actually about the case, the rest was about my life and just utter BS waste of time questions. You have to strive through them if you want to survive your case. There's a law that they are allowed max 7 hours and if they want more they have to get permission.. but I had more than one deposition regardless. They will try to dig up dirt on anything, your parents, your cousins, your brother, your friends, your habits, your facebook, twitter, and all social networking and online habits. My recommendation is this (read next paragraph)
If you are SUING, REMOVE YOUR FACEBOOK OR HIDE YOUR PROFILE COMMENTS, PICTURES, AND FRIENDS LIST SO THAT THIRD PARTY PEOPLE CANNOT see them, and during your case DO NOT ADD ANYONE if you decide to keep your profile instead of removing it. Same for your tweets. I went to college and I had about 700 friends.. all with faces and names available and all comments, all my pictures of me at my graduation party, and me sitting at the beach, (hey, i have pain, i look very unhealthy and super skinny in these pictures, but i gotta get house instead of crying of pain all the time, a beach calms me down..), they tried to use all that against me and tried to make it seem as if I was partying like Lil Wayne and clubbing it every night and banging girls left and right. After my first deposition... they went to extreme measures to try to get my facebook accounts from the facebook company and the twitter accounts from the company, and myspace as well, and all three companies denied them saying i have a right to my privacy and can only give it unless they get a court order. They wasted two months of my case trying to get a court order.. and the judge denied them and said i have a right of privacy to my facebook, myspace, twitter, and are irrelevant to my case. HOWEVER, if they still somehow get their hands on PUBLIC PHOTOS of you, they can misconstrue it and misuse it and bend it at their will.. which they are best at.
Don't lie during a deposition. Speak the truth, just think that God is with the truth, and if you are truthful you will win amongst these LIARS (lawyers). During video examination they may ask you to point to your injury or even trigger the injury, you have to point to it and show them but they have no right to ask you to trigger y our injury in front of the camera, and that's something your attorney will object to. Answer slowly and think before answering so that your attorney has time to object. You and your attorney have to be a TEAM. Not divided. If you start to get divided and haggle internally like I did, screw him.. go find another attorney there's a gazillion out there. That's what happened to me. First attorney starting asking me for money left and right, $30,000 then next week he raised it to $50,000, started spewing things like "ask your parents to get a lien on the house, or ask your uncles, family to help you", in which case I said "YOU TOOK this on contingency, which means i pay 0".. eventually i needed more time to find another attorney and he did not give me enough .. he was just full of politics and games. If you sense this in your attorney, LEAVE and get another attorney.
My first attorney, once i told him i couldnt get him the 50k for a "potential trial" (we were 8 months before trial.. this guy was just bs'ing and wanted to keep extra money or something.. as i found out from my 2nd attorney.. but read on), he gave me only a month to find another attorney. Finding an attorney is tough .. and it takes a good 3-4 months easy. I called several per day.. its tough for dental nerve injuries. Another stupid thing my first attorney did was, he had to notify the opposite enemy side that he's leaving my case. I'm sure they were jumping for joy in their seats.. they tried to pull another stunt. They brought up a "Motion for Summary Judgement" in an effort to dismiss my case (look up MSJ, insurance companies require their law firms to ALWAYS do it, but the fact is they scheduled it when they KNOW i was going to be attorneyless and was looking for another attorney, and the second stunt they pulled was offering 10,000 dollars to settle the case. Any amount over 10,000 dollars is when it gets reported to the dental board and they will have to start an investigation mandatory upon that dentist/oral surgeon. They WILL try to pull stunts like this when your cards are extremely down.. keep your head up high.. because for your suffering 10,000 dollars isn't worth it.. its the money they wipe their asses with.. don't take it. If its a permanent injury, ten thousand dollars is not worth it.
Also on a side note, I complained to the California Dental Board about the doctor, sent xrays, reports, injuries.. they responded 6 months later with really nothing. They are as crappy as the dental health care we have here. Don't rely on them.
Three weeks before our hearing for my attorney to be dismissed , after a gazillion calls later (note, i was following my first attorney's (who was still my attorney) advice on how to approach a new transfer attorney) and i was telling new attorneys: I need to transfer my case and yes there is cause of liability, and yes I have an expert witness ready for my case. I finally found an attorney who was willing: the new potential attorney called the expert witness, only to have the expert witness say "I can't say whether or not there is negligence involved till I receive all the medical reports , of which I have received none, and I require an additional few thousand more to do so." This pissed off my new potential attorney, and I almost lost him. I talked to the first about this and said "why have you been lying that the expert witness is not ready.. you didnt give him any records". My first and current attorney then decided to play dumb and act like he did nothing wrong, refusing to get the expert witness prepared. In the end I had to give the xpert witness money from my pocket to review my case in detail.. which should've been TAKEN CARE of by the first attorney before the case even started.
The hearing commenced and judge allowed my first attorney to be dismissed from the case, and I was given a few months extension for the MSJ and to find a new attorney. Once an attorney is dismissed from the case, you are your own attorney then till you get a new one.
The expert witness took a month to review everything.. but in the end he and my new potential attorney talked and he took the case gladly on contingency. We worked together as a team.. he gave me much more advice than my first attorney and i followed his every word.. something u should always do with your attorney.
The MSJ(Motion for Summary judgement) was lost by the defense's side which means they could not shut down my case. To sum it up, there are a lot of BS cases in the USA and as anyone has a right to sue, there can be a MSJ called and the judge can decide whether the case has no real worth or that there is no real case.. and can actually throw it out of court which means its done. But since i had an expert witness and the case was placed within 3 years I was ok. By the way, there is a STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.. which means you HAVE to sue within one year of suspecting negligence your injury, or 3 YEARS within your injury taking place (IT VARIES per state.. this is California law). Which means if you say you suspected negligence from day one, but the date of you suing is 1 years and 1 day after.. the Defendant assholes will call an MSJ and say "he suspected that his injury was one year and one day from the date of his suing.. therefore according to the statute of limitations this case can be dismissed".. and the judge has no choice but to follow the law. The judge WILL follow the law , not his best judgement in situations like these. Even if you had the worst injury and are having an eye dangling from your socket.. and you sue too late.. judge still has to throw out your case by law.
In every deposition , even after MSJ, the defense tried to get me to say I suspected the negligence of my injury over 1 year ago (i had sued 9 months after I suspected negligence, but 2 years 9 months after my injury, because hey i was waiting for my nerve injury as the doctor said it would and did not suspect any negligence till I read my reports from other doctors!), but they still tried to cook up a story that i suspected it 1 year before my suing date, heck they cooked up a bunch of other stories using bits and pieces and words form my deposition but the judge didn't buy any of their BS. Know this though, he won't buy any of your BS either.. that's why always be truthful. If you are even caught in one minor lie.. that could undermine your credibility and they will certainly bring that point to the jury trial. The defense lawyers jobs will be just that: scare you or make you lie just to make you undermine your credibility. That's the bottom line to their stupid jobs.
Then a month before my trial date there was a mediation .. but the insurance company was giving pennies so that didn't work out well. The defense attorney at that point told us himself that the insurance company was the one giving problems to dish out money but he will have to have a conference with them. The defense attorney did and gave us the numbers that the insurance company would absolutely not go over.
See, the problem in some areas .. and I think probably most of US in general, is there are a lot of suing going on.. especially for insanely dumb sh*t. This makes the real cases with the real injuries like ours another one of those "oh he's a suing guy.. he wants free money" cases. Suing has a bad rep. Even a few friends made a few comments to me that I shouldn't be suing.. its wrong.. and I easily shut their mouth by saying "you are not the one who's life has been ruined and has to suffer the rest of your life so shut your mouth , yeah? don't speak what you don't know about), then i tell them details about how its the same numbness that is temporary at the dental office.. that i have forever now.. then they understand and say "oh yes, you should sue then.. you deserve compensation for your loss". Overall, dont listen to assholes who say don't sue. If you have truly been injured and are going to be suffering for a long time then you better sue, suing is the right thing to do. If you get injured and healed up within a week then don't sue. My point though .. is how people feel in general about jury trials.. and there is a huge risk you could lose everything at the jury trial.. especially in the area you live in. For some reason, Southern California in some areas are just horrible for jury trials, and i ended up in the horrible county known for bad jury trials. If I was in northern cali I would have def. taken up a jury trial. But I didnt want to risk getting 0 for my loss and I didnt want to risk any haggles to my attorney (who knows , he could bug me to pay him all the money he spent so far in the trial.. which was probably an easy 8-9,000 dollars already and trial costs for all the expert witnesses and economists could easily take 20,000-30,000 more..) so I took the settlement money.. which was not as much as what i deserve to be honest but enough for me to eventually perhaps move on mentally and to get me out of debt for the money ive spent trying to fix this problem. It's really kind of stupid that an oral surgeon expert witness would charge an easy $4,000 - $8,000 for a few hours worth of testimony in front of the jury. They really really take advantage of the system.. its just depressing to see how these so called doctors have turned out.. just depressing for humanity. The people who are supposed to to help us are turning into the biggest crooks ever. There's no sympathy for an injured person and to offer a discount or anything for their trial.. paying the expert witness will just get me in more debt if i lose the case.
These are the times when you see who your true friends are .. and I'm telling you straight up.. its your family , your parents above all. Without their mental support through all this, I would've suicided during my case. There is no room for sympathy in this world.. be bold be strong if you are to win your case. Suing is not for the faint hearted.. even if you have a debilitating injury.
Also don't expect millions from your case.. those are pretty damn rare. Be reasonable in your expectations , if you gamble too much you could lose it all. Play your cards right or don't play it at all. It is in fact a battle, a war, a gamble to get any money from the justice system.. you are just a pawn in the battle between lawyers and the politics involved in it. You've never seen human s**m till you enter this mess, your middle school bully, in fact the al quaida (exaggerating a bit there lol) seem like angels compared to the politics and BS and the battles between lawyers and courtrooms.
My case was a total of 1.5 years with the defendant's side deciding to call a settlement a few weeks before trial. THEY WILL not back down usually before then, they WILL haggle you and your attorney till the bitter end.. even if they know their client is wrong.. they will not act like it and they will treat you like utter crud, through their games and politics, but by talk and face they will be extremely sweet.. pretending to care for you.. but they don't they only care about the interests of their insurance carrier/doctor. Don't fall for it, they are your enemy and this is your battle for your life, don't back down AT ALL. However, you have to be smart and be sweet with your words too, if you show anger and that you can easily be disturbed and let them walk over you.. you could potentially lose their case. Whenever I spoke to them, I imagined the devil's face and the devil's smile on them, and smiled and talked as normal as possible through the depositions.. if I didn't do this I would've probably punched their lights out.
Enough said.. I wanted to enlighten the details and I hope this information helps anyone who wants to sue and who truly deserves it. Please don't fake about this.. its not right for the people who truly deserve this privilege.