Dental Negligence Claims Guide

Whether you seek dental care privately or through the NHS, the care you receive is expected to meet a certain standard. But what happens when it doesn’t? Dental negligence can have severe and long-lasting consequences, causing both physical and mental injuries, and even affecting your finances. In this guide, we’ll explore when and how to make dental negligence claims.

The claims process can seem complex, so our guide will break it down into sections. First, we’ll discuss the eligibility criteria that your claim needs to meet in order to be valid. Then, we’ll talk about some crucial steps in the claims process, like gathering evidence and making sure you’re within the time limit.

You might be wondering how much dental negligence compensation you could receive if you make a successful claim. We’ll explain what your potential compensation payout could look like, and how each head of your claim is valued.

Finally, we’ll explain how working with a No Win No Fee solicitor could benefit your claim. There are many benefits that can come with enlisting the help of a legal professional, and our panel of solicitors have years of experience.

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We hope that our guide will answer any questions you might have about the dental negligence claims process, but if you’d like to discuss things further, get in touch with one of our helpful advisors. Contact us today by:

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Browse Our Guide

  1. When Could You Make Dental Negligence Claims?
  2. How Do I Make Dental Negligence Claims?
  3. How Much Time Do I Have To Claim Compensation?
  4. How Much Can I Claim For Dental Negligence?
  5. Why Make A Claim With A No Win No Fee Solicitor?
  6. Learn More About Making A Claim For Dental Negligence

When Could You Make Dental Negligence Claims?

Essentially, all dental negligence claims need to be able to prove that negligence occurred. But what is negligence?

For the purposes of this kind of claim, negligence occurs when a dental professional breaches their duty of care and causes you unnecessary harm.

All dentist owe their patients a duty of care. This means that the care they provide must meet a certain standard, and that they have to avoid causing unnecessary harm to their patients. For example, if a dentist were to extract the wrong tooth, this would be a breach of their duty of care and would cause you avoidable harm.

The steps that each dentist is expected to take can vary depending on their field of expertise, but the General Dental Council (GDC) provide information on basic standards and guidance.

Can I Claim Against A Private Dentist?

It doesn’t matter if you are receiving an NHS service or a private dental treatment, your dentist and dental practice owe you the same duty of care. If you’ve suffered a dental injury because your dentist breached their duty of care, then you may be able to make a claim.

How Long Does A Dental Compensation Claim Take?

Every claim is unique, and the amount of time it might take you to claim can vary depending on a number of factors, including:

  • Whether your dentist accepts liability.
  • How much evidence you have.
  • How severe the harm you suffered is.
  • Whether or not your claim goes to court.

These are just a few factors that can affect the length of your claim. Contact our team today to learn more, or keep reading to find out how to claim for dental negligence.

A blue and black xray of a human jaw and teeth

How Do I Make Dental Negligence Claims?

There are a lot of steps that you have to take to make a dental negligence claim, but one of the most important is gathering evidence.

When you make a claim for negligent treatment, it’s your responsibility to provide proof. This evidence should be able to demonstrate:

  • How your dentist breached their duty of care.
  • How severe the harm you suffered is.
  • Any financial losses caused by the negligence.
  • How your injuries will affect you in the future.

For example, to help support your claim, you could use:

  • Medical records or dental records detailing the extent of harm suffered and any additional treatment you required.
  • Witness statements from a nurse or chaperone. Only a legal professional can take these statements, so you should note down their contact information.
  • A symptoms diary, detailing both your physical and psychological symptoms.
  • Photographs of the visible harm you have suffered.
  • X-rays and scans of your teeth and jaw.

What Is The Bolam Test?

In some cases, dental negligence claims might be put to the Bolam test. In this case, a panel of dental experts will review the actions of your dentist and determine whether or not they think negligence occurred.

You don’t need to collect all of this by yourself; if you choose to work with a solicitor, they can help. Get in touch with our team today to learn more about making a compensation claim for poor dental treatment.

How Much Time Do I Have To Claim Compensation?

When making a compensation claim for negligent dental treatment, it’s crucial that you start proceedings within the time limit.

The Limitation Act 1980 outlines the time limit for dental negligence claims, which is generally three years from the date the negligence occurred or from the date your first became aware of the negligence. This is known as the date of knowledge.

However, there are some exceptions to the time limit. For example, under-18s cannot claim for themselves. Because of this, someone else can claim on their behalf as their litigation friend up until they turn eighteen. If no claim is made, the time limit starts on their 18th birthday, and they have three years to claim compensation.

The time limit is completely removed for those who lack the mental capacity to claim for themselves. A claim can still be brought forward, as a litigation friend can claim on their behalf at any time. The time limit is only reinstated if they regain the needed capacity, and in this case, it will begin on the date of their recovery.

If you’d like to find out whether or not you are within the time limit to make a dental negligence claim, contact our team today.

Extractor tools holding out a tooth

How Much Can I Claim For Dental Negligence?

How much compensation could you get for dental negligence claims? This will depend on the various factors affecting your particular case.

However, when you receive compensation, it can be split into two parts: general damages, and special damages.

The first heading, general damages, covers the pain and suffering caused by the dental negligence. It also covers loss of amenity, or loss of enjoyment. All successful claimants will receive this head of claim as part of their compensation payout.

Those who value compensation payout amounts for this head of claim can refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a document that contains a list of common injuries and illnesses, listed in varying severities, and provides guideline compensation amounts for professionals to refer to when valuing your claim.

Below, you can find some examples of these amounts. Please note, the JCG was not used for the first entry.

InjuryCompensation Bracket
Multiple Serious Injuries And Special Damages Including Lost EarningsUp to £200,000+
Severe Psychiatric Damage£66,920 to £141,240
Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder£73,050 to £122,850
Damage To TeethUp to £46,540
Damage To Teeth (i)£10,660 to £13,930
Damage To Teeth (ii)£5,310 to £9,310
Damage To Teeth (iii)£2,690 to £4,820
Damage To Teeth (iv)£1,330 to £2,080
Jaw Fractures (iii)£7,880 to £10,660

The second heading, special damages, is not awarded to all claimants. This is because it covers the financial losses caused by the dental negligence, including future losses. These losses aren’t always obvious, and for that reason, we recommend that you don’t accept a settlement without a solicitor’s advice.

Special damages could potentially help you recoup the cost of:

  • Lost earnings.
  • Childcare.
  • Housekeeping.
  • Prescriptions.
  • Further dental treatments.
  • Cosmetic aids.

When claiming special damages as part of your dental claim, you should provide evidence of the losses you are claiming for. For example, this could include payslips and invoices.

To receive a free evaluation of your claim, or to learn more about how one of the dental negligence solicitors on our panel could help you with claiming special damages as part of your settlement, you can contact our advisors.

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Why Make A Claim With A No Win No Fee Solicitor?

You don’t need to work with a solicitor on your claim, but it’s highly recommended. This is because it can come with a number of benefits. For example, when you work with a solicitor, they can help you:

  • Collect evidence.
  • Assess your losses.
  • Communicate with the defendant.
  • Navigate the court system.
  • Negotiate a settlement.
  • Understand legal jargon.

Plus, our panel of solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that, through a Conditional Fee Agreement, you can access their services without having to pay an upfront fee. You also won’t pay for their services if the claim doesn’t succeed. If it does, they’ll take a small success fee from your compensation. There is a legal cap in place that limits the percentage that can be taken as this fee.

Contact Us

Our team of advisors are here to help. If you have any questions regarding dental negligence claims, or to see if you could be eligible to work with one of the solicitors on our panel, get in touch today by:

Learn More About Making A Claim For Dental Negligence

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Thank you for reading our guide on how to make dental negligence claims. If you have suffered unnecessary harm after receiving dental surgery or treatment, you can contact our advisors to discuss your case and see how we could help.