Delayed or incorrect diagnosis can cause irreparable damage. For instance, if a dentist fails to identify gingivitis, this can cause the patient’s gum to weaken and make for unhealthy teeth. If your dental condition has been misdiagnosed and you have suffered harm as a result, our dental negligence solicitors can help you make a claim against your negligent dentist.
Your dentist’s level of skill and experience plays an important role in the quality of care they provide. If a dentist has failed to properly adhere crowns and bridges, wrongly applied veneers, or failed to adequately prepare a cavity before filling it, they may be deemed negligent. Inadequate care on the part of a dental professional can leave a patient requiring further treatment, which also means longer than necessary recovery period.
Lack of Informed Consent
Every health professional must seek the consent of a patient before carrying out any procedure. Consent involves more than just getting the patient’s signature. It also means ensuring a patient understands the risks and potential results of a procedure; it is also about making sure the patient knows about alternative therapies, if any.
Failing to seek a patient’s informed consent can be a ground for a compensation claim, particularly if the procedure does not go to plan.
If something goes wrong with the administration of local or general anaesthesia during a surgical procedure and causes harm to a patient, there may be grounds for a compensation claim.
Incorrect Surgical Procedure
Whether you are undergoing a dental implants or reconstructive surgery, you may be entitled to a dental negligence claim if you have suffered harm during the surgical procedure.
This list is not exhaustive, as there are dental negligence cases outside this framework. When you contact us, our dental negligence solicitors will let you know whether your dental professional has acted negligently.
Armed with the facts, our solicitors will let you know whether you have a good chance of making a successful dental negligence claim.
Obtaining your medical records is the first step. The dental negligence solicitor assigned to your case will write to the NHS body responsible for your care. Obtaining dental records may take a few months, but is a crucial step towards determining whether you suffered negligent treatment.
Independent Medical Opinion
Once we are able to obtain your records, they will be reviewed by an independent medical expert who will prepare a report based on these records. The report will provide a detailed assessment of your situation and let us know whether you have been a victim of dental negligence, as well as the extent of damage suffered.
We will also take relevant witness statements to establish negligence. On your part, however, evidence such as a personal diary about how your injury impacts your life, records of calls/correspondence between you and your dentist can be helpful in supporting your claim for compensation. You can count on us to support you in obtaining relevant information to create a strong and undeniable claim on your behalf. The better prepared your initial claim application is, the more likely that there will be a favourable outcome.
How Do I Make a Dental Negligence Claim Against the NHS?
Understandably, many people hesitate when it comes to taking legal action against the NHS. However, if your dentist has acted negligently, you need to keep in mind that you won’t be suing the NHS as a body, but the dentist who made the mistake.
Our dental negligence solicitors will draft a detailed “Letter of Claim” on your behalf; this letter will set out your concerns as well as what you hope to achieve. Your dentist will have four months to respond via a “Letter of Response”. If they admit liability, our solicitors will negotiate a compensation on your behalf. The compensation award you will receive will depend on the nature and severity of your injury, as well as the impact of the injury on your life.
What Can I Make Claims for After Dental Negligence?
Compensation for dental negligence involves tangible and intangible costs. While some costs like medical bills are pretty easy to calculate, others – like placing monetary value on pain and suffering – are not so simple. Compensation is divided into two parts:
General Damages: This is compensation for the direct impact of the injury, such as the pain, suffering, loss of amenity and psychological trauma.
Special Damages: This compensates for financial losses incurred as a result of dental negligence. Some examples of special damages include:
- Medical expenses – If you have paid for ongoing care following your injury, you may be able to make a compensation claim.
- Travel costs – If you have incurred out of pocket expenses due for travel for medical appointments or anything related to the negligence you suffered, you may be entitled to compensation.
- Loss of earnings – If you have cut your work hours short or missed work due to your injury, you may be entitled to a compensation. In the same vein, if the injury will likely affect your ability to work in the long-term, then you can make claims for future estimated losses.
These are the most common types of damages. If we think your case doesn’t fit into one of these, we will let you know how to go about a claim.
Keep in mind that it is impossible to determine a specific compensation amount at the start of your claim. However, our solicitors will be able to give you an idea on how much you can expect as details of your case becomes clear.
Can I Continue Dental Treatment While My Case is Ongoing?
If you have started a dental negligence claim but require dental care to treat your injury, this treatment must take priority. However, if the dental treatment you want is an elective procedure, such as having a cosmetic surgery, this may interfere with crucial evidence.
Our specialist medical negligence solicitors at nhsnegligenceclaim.com can advise you on the best steps to take when it comes to preserving vital evidence for your claim.
Is There A Time Limit for Making Dental Negligence Claims?
There is a strict three-year time limit for general medical negligence claims, and this also applies to dental treatments. You usually have three years from the date that the negligent treatment occurred or the date that you became aware that your injury was due to negligence.
Exceptions to the three-year time limit involve children under the age of 18 (the 3-year time limit begins from their 18th birthday) and those who have suffered a mental illness as a result of the treatment (the time limit begins from when they recover).
If you are unsure about the time limit for your case, our dental negligence solicitors can provide the guidance you need to make informed decisions every step of the way.
No Win No Fee Dental Negligence Claims
If we believe you have been a victim of dental negligence, our specialist solicitors will likely offer you a No Win No Fee agreement.
This agreement helps to minimise the financial risk associated with making a medical negligence claim. You would not have to pay any upfront legal fees and if your case is unsuccessful, you will not pay us anything. If your claim is successful, a success fee will be deducted from your final compensation award. This means that when our solicitors agree to work with you, they shoulder all the risks that come from pursuing a claim because they believe there is a reasonable chance of success.
You can trust us to seek the highest possible compensation for your claim, because we will not receive any payments if you are not successful.
How We Can Help with Your Dental Negligence Claim
We work with a panel of specialist solicitors who will team up with you to capture all the facts of your story. Following our free, no obligation meeting with you, our solicitors will be able to determine whether there is a good chance for success. Whatever their recommendation may be, we will furnish you with the best advice concerning your claim.
If our solicitors decide to take on your case, we will do everything possible to negotiate an out of court settlement with the alleged negligent party. If it is in your best interest to go to court, we will also advice you on the next steps. In any case, you can trust us to prioritise your interests to ensure you get justice for the mistreatment you endured at the hands of your dentist.