A Guide to Dental Negligence - Could you have a claim?
If you are unhappy with any dental work you have had, you could be entitled to make a negligence claim and receive compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced.
At Calio Claims, we have helped many people who have received substandard dental care to secure the compensation they deserve. We are here to provide you with clarity and reassurance at this confusing and challenging time.
In this guide, we provide answers to some of the most frequent questions we are asked by clients who have received poor dental treatment.
Please be aware that every case is different. If you are considering making a claim, it is important to discuss your particular situation with our dental negligence lawyers. Do not hesitate to contact us for advice and support with your case.
Dental negligence is poor dental care that results in unnecessary pain and suffering for the patient. The term ‘pain and suffering’ covers not only physical injuries but emotional harm too.
Dental professionals, like all other healthcare providers, owe their patients a duty of care. This means they must exercise reasonable skill when carrying out all dental work. If they breach that duty and cause the patient to experience pain and suffering, dental negligence has occurred.
Dental negligence not only includes incidents where your dentist has caused injury by performing a procedure incorrectly, but also where they have not dealt correctly with a condition, which gets worse as a result.
Common examples of dental negligence include:
- Delayed or incorrect diagnosis – including gum disease and oral cancer misdiagnosis
- Lack of information about procedures – for example about the risks associated with dental operations
- Removal of an incorrect tooth
- Inadequate fillings
- Cosmetic dentistry problems
- Restorative dentistry errors Mistakes made in treatment leading to damage of teeth, gums and nerves
- Mistakes made in treatment leading to damage of teeth, gums and nerves
You will have to show that your dentist did not exercise reasonable skill when performing your dental examination or procedure. Additionally, you must show that as a result of your dentist’s substandard service, you experienced pain and suffering.
Our dental negligence lawyers will request access to your dental and medical records, including notes, x-rays and the results of any other tests, to show the nature and extent of your injury. Witness statements will also be gathered where possible. Additionally, we will ask you to provide evidence of the impact the injury has had on your life, such as proof of financial loss.
We work closely with a panel of experts who provide impartial and technical input on your treatment and injury, helping us to build the strongest case possible.
Whether your dentist is an NHS or private provider, the claim process is the same. The first step you should take is to contact a personal injury solicitor with experience in dental negligence cases. At Calio Claims, we always provide an honest assessment of your case and its prospects of success, allowing you to make an informed decision on whether to make a claim.
If we believe you have a strong case and you wish to proceed, we will ask you to provide supporting evidence. Depending on the nature and value of your claim, we will recommend the best course of action for achieving maximum compensation for your injury.
Clinical negligence cases can be dealt with under a Pre-Action Protocol, which sets out the steps that should be followed before starting court proceedings – from sending a claim form to the negligent party to reaching a settlement. The Protocol encourages parties to settle disputes in a fair and timely way outside of court. At Calio Claims, we always endeavour to achieve a negotiated settlement for your dental negligence claim without the need for litigation.
However, if the other party denies liability and is unwilling to make a settlement offer, it may be appropriate to take court action. In this situation, we will issue your claim with the court and keep you informed as your case proceeds through the relevant procedure.
Local sheriff courts and the dedicated All-Scotland Sheriff Personal Injury Court deal with personal injury claims valued at £100,000 or less. Whereas, high-value claims of £100,000 or more are typically raised in the Court of Session.
The time limit for making a claim is three years from the date of the negligence. After three years have passed, you may be prevented from making a claim. This is why it is crucial to act quickly if you think you have experienced dental negligence. We can help you work out when the three-year period started.
There are some exceptions to the three-year time limit, for example in the following circumstances:
- If you are claiming compensation on behalf of a child, then there is no time limit until your child turns 16 (from the age of 16, the three-year rule applies).
- If you are claiming on behalf of someone else who does not have the mental capacity to claim for themselves, then there is no time limit for making a claim.
The length of time required to get compensation can vary significantly depending on the details of each case. Many cases can be settled within a matter of months, while some more complicated cases may take longer.
How can our dental negligence lawyers help?
Calio Claims has extensive experience in supporting clients who have suffered all types of dental injury, including severe injuries with life-altering consequences. We recently obtained £22,500 in compensation for our client following negligent dental surgery.
As experienced dental negligence lawyers, our team understands the difficulties clients go through dealing with the physical and psychological pain of dental problems as a result of negligence. We aim to remove the stress from making a personal injury claim. We will handle all the necessary steps, reassure you as your case proceeds and work with great effort to get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact our dental negligence solicitors in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee today
If you have suffered an injury from a dental procedure, harm to your overall health or financial loss as a result of a visit to your dentist, contact us to find out if you may be entitled to compensation.
We can offer to work on a no-win, no-fee basis and will discuss your fee options with you at your free initial consultation.