What is Dental Negligence?
Dental Negligence refers to when a dentist or dental professional fails to provide adequate care and that standard level of care has fallen below what is considered as ‘reasonable’. Negligence in dental treatment can be traumatic and painful. If you believe that your dentist was negligent, a claim for compensation could be justified.
What Can I Claim Against my Dentist?
Claims can be made for injuries that have been directly caused, worsened, or overlooked by a dental healthcare professional (NHS or Private).
Claims can be made for accidents or oversight leading to a physical injury, harmful impact on wellbeing or financial loss. The amount of compensation you could be entitled to receive for a successful claim will vary due to a number of different factors. These include the nature of the claim, the severity of injury, the pain and suffering experienced, and the extent to which further treatment could rectify the damage caused by the negligence.
Some Common Examples of Dental Negligence include:
1. Delay or incorrect diagnosis
2. Nerve Injury (symptoms include pain in jaw, check, forehead, or eye, burning sensation in the jaw, loss of sensation, tingling the mouth or jaw, no control over saliva and tugging or pulling sensation on the tongue)
3. Cosmetic Dentistry Problems (loose crowns and braces causing severe pain and damage to teeth)
4. Restorative Dentistry Errors (causing pain and unnecessary expense)
5. Periodontal disease misdiagnosis (gum disease or gingivitis which if left untreated can lead to loss of teeth)
6. Mistakes in Treatment Leading to the Loss or Damage of Multiple Teeth
Do I have a Claim for Dental Negligence?
If a dentist has caused harm due to negligent treatment, then you may be able to make a claim for compensation against them, regardless of whether the dentist is an NHS or private sector provider.
Get in touch with us for a free initial consultation and we can talk through your individual circumstances with you. If you wish to pursue your claim, a specialised solicitor will talk you through the process and explain what should be expected.
How much does it cost to make a Claim?
The majority of our claims are funded by way of Conditional Fee Agreement, more commonly known as a ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreement. This simply means that if your claim is unsuccessful, we, as your solicitors, will not charge you anything for the work we have done in relation to your case, and you will not be required to pay for our services so long as you keep to the terms of the funding agreement.
In cases where the claim is successful, the majority of the legal costs will be recovered from the Defendant. Some of the costs are recovered from your compensation, but those costs are limited to a fixed percentage – a maximum of 25% of the compensation recovered.
However, there are alternative funding options available. Legal Expenses Insurance could also provide you with a viable way to fund your case.
We will discuss your options with you and let you know the best funding option available for your claim.
How can Waldrons Help?
Here at Waldrons Solicitors, an experienced team of lawyers are dedicated to getting the best possible outcome for you. We aim to investigate any concerns and find out exactly what has happened, with the aid of leading medical experts. We will assist you in recovering the compensation you deserve.
As well as telephone consultations, we offer in-person meetings and home visits to make this experience as stress-free as possible.
Is there a time limit for making a Dental Negligence Claim?
Yes. You should start a claim as soon as possible. Generally, you will need to start Court proceedings within three years of the negligence happening. After three years the Defendant will be able to raise ‘limitation’ as a defence to any claim, and argue that you are out of time for bringing a claim. There are some exceptions to this limit, and the best way of finding out whether you are in time to bring a claim is to speak to one of our specialist lawyers.
How long do Dental Negligence Claims take?
A claim can take anywhere between a few months and a few years to settle. This depends on the extent of injury and whether the negligence is admitted by the Defendant. A typical case usually takes between 2-3 years to finish. Bigger and more complicated claims tend to take longer. Don’t worry, we will be with you every step of the way.
Will I need to have a medical assessment if I make a dental claim?
Normally, yes. To substantiate whether there is a claim, access to the relevant medical records will be needed. The records can then be assessed by a medical expert who offers their own medical opinion in relation to the possible claim.
Can I make a complaint about the dentist when no financial compensation is needed?
Yes, you can. You can complain to find out what happened, to ask for an apology or to ask that policies or procedures are changed as a result of your experiences. If you’d like to have a copy of our template complaints letter and complaints information pack, please contact us to speak to one of the team.