When you are under the care of a dentist, whether as an NHS or private patient, you are entitled to expect a certain level of service to ensure that you are well looked after. In particular, you are entitled to expect potential problems affecting your oral health to be spotted, dental treatments to only be carried out where necessary and invasive and non-invasive procedures to be undertaken skilfully and exercising appropriate caution.
Unfortunately, not every trip to the dentist goes according to plan and mistakes can be made which leave you injured, experiencing pain and discomfort or facing an uncertain future. In situations like this you may be entitled to compensation to recompense you for the harm that has been caused, to cover the cost of corrective treatment where required and to reimburse you for any financial loss you may have suffered.
Where a compensation claim may be possible, it is important that you act quickly in seeking legal advice and from a personal injury firm that specialises in dental negligence cases. A firm like Step Legal Solicitors, which has extensive experience in pursuing claims against dentists and other oral healthcare professionals, including orthodontists, radiographers and cosmetic dentistry providers.
Want to find out more? Call us now on 0800 195 6412 to arrange a free, no obligation consultation and to see if we can take on your case on a no win, no fee basis.
How we can help
Our dental negligence service offering is wide and covers a variety of claims, including:
- failure to spot the warning signs of oral cancer and to make an appropriate referral;
- failure to spot and treat gum disease (also referred to as periodontal disease);
- failure to spot and treat an abscess or other serious infection;
- mistakes made in surgery, including extraction of the wrong tooth or severing a nerve;
- mistakes made in restorative treatment, such as the poor fitting of crowns or veneers;
- mistakes made in orthodontic treatment, including the incorrect fitting of braces or failure to provide a retainer;
- inadequate oral hygiene advice;
- inadequate radiology services; and
- misdiagnosis or late diagnosis of an oral health related condition.
We may also be able to help in cases where treatment has been carried out without you providing informed consent or where a relative or loved one has died following a dental procedure or as a result of a dental error.
How long is a claim likely to take?
There are no hard and fast rules about how long a dental negligence claim will take to resolve as it will depend on the circumstances, and in particular how seriously you have been harmed, whether the failing or mistake alleged is admitted and whether a fair compensation sum can be agreed or will have to be imposed by a court.
As a general guide, you can expect a straightforward case in which negligence is admitted to be resolved within six to twelve months. However, more complicated cases or those in which liability is denied many take upwards of 18 months and in some cases more than two years to finalise.
How much compensation am I likely to receive?
The compensation you are awarded will depend on a variety of things, including the severity of the injury you have sustained and any associated psychological suffering or trauma, whether any damage caused can be undone (for example, through corrective treatment or surgery), whether the consequences of the negligence that has occurred will have any life changing effects, and any immediate or longer term financial consequences that need to be taken into account, including loss of earnings where you have been unable to work or are unlikely to be able to resume your previous trade or profession.
In minor injury cases, compensation payments may be as little as a few hundred pounds. However, in more serious cases it is possible that a payout could run into tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Is there a time limit for bringing a claim?
In most cases you will only have three years in which to bring a dental negligence claim, with the clock starting to run on this time limit from the date on which you realised that negligence may have occurred. There are exceptions to this rule which may see the time limit extended, for example where you are bringing a claim on behalf of a child under the age of 18 or someone who is mentally incapacitated, but the exceptions are few and far between so it is important that you seek advice in good time in order to prevent your claim being rejected.
Why choose Step Legal Solicitors?
As dental negligence specialists, we understand what it is like to be the victim of dental malpractice and the need for you to achieve closure in order to move on.
We are committed to getting you the compensation you deserve and to helping you access any treatments or therapies which may assist in your recovery. We will
also press hard to find out what went wrong, to secure you an apology and to ensure that lessons are learnt to prevent the same thing happening again.
In short, we are here to support you and to fight your corner so that you can emerge from what is likely to have been a deeply traumatic experience on the best terms possible.
And to make it easier for you to decide to proceed, we will undertake most dental negligence claims on a no win, no fee basis which means that there is no financial risk in pursuing a claim with us as our fees will only become payable if your claim is successful. See our costs information factsheet for more details.
Still need convincing, then why not take a look at some of our client testimonials to see what past clients of the firm think about the service they have received.
To make accessing our service as easy as possible we have step-free offices and a wheelchair friendly ground floor meeting room. We can also offer home visits within a reasonable distance where travel into the office is not possible and provide a free Polish translation service for those clients who require this.
We can help whether you are based in Crewe, Nantwich, Northwich, Macclesfield, Sandbach, Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or any other area within England or Wales.
To arrange a free, no obligation consultation, please telephone 0800 1956412 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here and ready to help.