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Ultimate Guide To Dental Claims

Suffering from a dental injury can be a very stressful, painful and traumatic experience. If you have suffered as a result of dental negligence, and this has caused you a physical injury, inflicted pain upon you or resulted in financial loss, it is crucial to contact a team of lawyers so that they can help you obtain the right compensation.

Dental Negligence Claims

Dental negligence covers inadequate treatment or any other injury caused by a dental health professional and includes the following:

  • Injury of a nerve
  • Any mistakes carried out during the course of treatment that might have resulted in loss or damage of a tooth or multiple teeth
  • Problems, which have occurred in the process of cosmetic dentistry
  • Delays in diagnosis or misdiagnosis for example in relation to oral cancer
  • Periodontal disease misdiagnosis
  • Any dentistry errors

Dental injury claims are slightly different from personal injury claims, as they require you to prove two separate things before you can claim compensation. Firstly, it is necessary you prove that the dental health professional has failed to carry out their responsibility and consequently they are at fault. Secondly, it is necessary to establish that through the negligence of the dental professional you are now in a position of avoidable harm.

Your dental injury lawyer will discuss each point with you, working towards ensuring that both points can both be proved.

Preparation for Dental Negligence Claims

During your consultation, your lawyer will have a discussion with you about the injury you have suffered from as well as how it has impacted your life. At this stage, it is therefore important that you provide your lawyer with all the specific details about the dental negligence.

In addition to this, your lawyer will ask you for your medical records as well as any evidence of your injury. When necessary, they might even seek expert opinion in respect of your injuries.

From all of the details, they will be in a position to develop a better understanding of your individual circumstances and advice accordingly on how to proceed with your dental injury claim to obtain the best possible outcome for you.

Dental Claims

Process of Dental Negligence Claims

Most dental negligence claims can be settled outwith court and through negotiation in respect of the compensation with the third party.  

In such scenarios, your lawyer will make contact with the third party, specifying the basis for your claim. At this stage, your lawyer will specify exactly the injuries you have suffered as a result of dental negligence as well as specify whether you have suffered any loss of earning due to the injury or incurred any other financial losses.  If the third party, either private medical practitioner or the NHS, accepts liability, negotiation in relation to the compensation claim will begin and a settlement agreement can be reached, within a reasonable period of time.

If you have also suffered any other financial losses, your lawyer will include those in the claim as well in order to make sure you are compensated for this too.

There are however claims, where it will be necessary to settle the claim and obtain compensation with the involvement of Court due to either lack of acceptance of liability or disagreement in relation to the amount of compensation. Although, most people are put off by this idea, due to time constraints or any other reason, our team of specialist lawyers at Jones Whyte will guide you through the process every step of the way, working towards obtaining the best possible outcome for you.

Time constraints

Due to the fact that there are time constraints for a compensation claim, it is necessary to seek legal advice at your earliest convenience.

You will normally have three years to begin a compensation claim from the date of the injury or from when you became aware of the fact that you have received a negligent treatment. But the earlier you start the process the better.

A lot of dental injury claims will be based on evidence ingathered as well as the recollections you have of the injury. The sooner you decide to begin the process, the more details about the injury you will be able to provide your lawyer with.

Once three years have passed, you will not be able to make a claim.

If however you are claiming on behalf of someone who does not have the legal capacity to make his or her own decisions, there will not be any time limit to make a compensation claim.

A similar principal applies to a claim which be made on behalf of a child under the age of 18. There will be no time limit for anyone under the age of 18. However, once they turn 18, the three year rule will apply.

How long does it take?

There are a number of factors, which determine how quickly your compensation claim will take to settle. Ingathering of evidence, the severity of injury sustained as well as acceptance of responsibility by the third party all contribute to the length of time it will take to settle the claim.

If a claim is reasonably straightforward it will take a few months to settle the claim. If however, the claim is more complicated, it can take up to even a few years.

During the process of a dental injury claim, it is best to ensure that you stay patient. Your lawyer will work towards ensuring that they obtained the possible claim for you. They will also ensure to provide you with updates throughout the full process of the claim and should be in a position to specify a rough estimate of how long your dental injury claim will take.

How much does it cost to make a dental negligence claim?

Whether you wish to proceed with your claim on private rate basis or no win no fee basis, at Jones Whyte, we will accommodate you in accordance with your needs and requirements.

The most common method of handling dental negligence claims in on ‘no win no fee’ basis. This therefore affords individuals a piece of mind, knowing that they do not have to pay any costs upfront. If the claim is successful, the third party will need to cover your legal costs and expenses. In some claims, there is the possibility that the remainder of the legal fees will be taken from your compensation award. This is something that your lawyer will specify to you during the process of the claim.

There is also security of not having to make any payment for any legal fees and outlays your lawyer has incurred during the process of proceeding with your claim, should it be unsuccessful.

Choosing the right lawyer to represent you

When choosing a lawyer, it is crucial to choose someone experienced, who has previously dealt with dental negligence to represent you with your claim.

At Jones Whyte, our dedicated team of lawyers have a good understanding of what you are going through. We will ingather all the relevant information and evidence about your accident, how it has affected your daily life and focus on ensuring you get the best possible outcome for you. 

To discuss your individual circumstances, please contact our team today.

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