Dental negligence claim specialists.  No-win no-fee dental negligence solicitors.

 

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0330 088 2869

No-win no-fee dental negligence solicitors.

 
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Claim for dental compensation with no-win no-fee dental negligence solicitors.

Specialist no-win no-fee
dental negligence solicitors.

See if you are eligible to make a claim, call us now:

0330 088 2869

Frequently Asked Questions

When will the hospital or doctor know about my claim?

When our Panel Solicitor first applies for your copy medical records, they have to give the doctor or Hospital brief details of the nature of your claim.

Should I make a complaint about my medical treatment?

You can make a complaint about your dental treatment instead of, or before, taking legal action in relation to your medical treatment. You do not usually need a solicitor to help you with this – your local ICAS can provide help and support through the process.

Further details of the NHS complaints procedure, including the various time limits and free support which you can get for this sort of complaint is set out in in the NHS choices website. There is an NHS complaints procedure which involves making a written complaint within six months of the incident and you should expect to receive a full response within 20 working days of receipt of your complaint.

There are two further tiers to this procedure involving an Independent Review and ultimately reference to the Ombudsman.

However, this process can take up a lot of time and you may still be dissatisfied with the formal response to such a complaint about errors in your dental treatment.

Will the claim affect my medical treatment? Will I be struck off my dentist's list?

It should not affect your treatment, or lead to your being asked to leave your dentists surgery. You have a right to make a claim for dental negligence.

If, during the process of the claim you are asked to leave, you should complain about this to the Primary Trust and surgery itself with the help of ICAS so that the issue can be resolved as quickly as possible and you can promptly receive any ongoing dental treatment you require through a new dental surgery.

How long do I have to bring a claim? Is there a time limit?

Claims usually have to be issued in the court within 3 years from the date of the allegedly negligent medical treatment, but it can be 3 years from the date you first became aware, or ought reasonably to have been aware, that you might have been injured as a result of negligent treatment. By bringing a claim we mean issuing proceedings in Court. Failure to do so within the three-year time limit is likely to result in your claim being statute-barred (out of time).

There are exceptions:

  • The three-year limit does not apply to children or adults with mental difficulties.
  • Children have until 3 years after their 18th birthday in which to bring a claim. They must issue before their 21st birthday. A claim can be brought on their behalf, before they reach 18 years of age, by a litigation friend (normally a parent).
  • For anyone with learning difficulties or mental illness, there is no time limit. A claim for them has to be brought on their behalf by a litigation friend.
  • The courts have discretion to extend any time limits, but they do not allow many claims to be brought out of time. You should pursue your claim within the above time limits if at all possible, and the sooner you begin your investigation the better.
  • You may not know until a later date that you have been injured. In certain limited circumstances, it is possible to argue that the three years does not run until you have knowledge of your injury. If you think this may apply to you then let us know.
  • It is also possible to obtain permission from the Court to bring a claim that is out of time. However, the Court exercises this discretion sparingly and it is always better to bring a claim within the three-year period than to leave it in the hope that the Court will allow you to bring a claim out of time. This is a complicated area and if it applies to your claim we will let you know whether there is anything that you can do.

Our Panel Solicitor will tell you what the time limit for your claim is. Because of these time limits, it is important to get specialist legal advice as soon as possible. Three years can sound like a long time, but in terms of a compensation claim, the sooner you begin the better.

Can I obtain compensation through the NHS complaints procedure?

No, the complaints procedure is not presently designed to award compensation to the complainant. If you are seeking financial compensation, you will need to consult a Solicitor and make a claim for damages for negligence in dental treatment through the Courts.

If I decide to take legal proceedings, how will the claim be funded?

There are various ways of funding a clinical negligence claim. You may be entitled to a Legal Services Commission Public Funding Certificate. Public Funding is both means and merits tested. You will have the opportunity to speak to a member of your chosen solicitors Clinical Negligence Team, to see whether you may qualify for this type of funding.

Alternatively your claim may be suitable for 'no win, no fee*' funding and again you should speak to one of the members of our team for further details. We also provide a series of packaged products aimed to suit your financial means.

What do I need to prove to win my case?

Your solicitor will arrange a medical examination with an independent doctor or dentist. This appointment will be local to your home so you will not have to travel very far to attend. In terms of the treatment you received the courts will be need to assess breach of duty and causation:

Breach of Duty

In order to prove that you have been afforded sub-standard and negligent treatment, you must be able to show that the dental treatment you received fell below a reasonable standard of care you would have expected to receive from a reasonably competent dentist in his or her field at the time of treatment. If the medical evidence shows that the dentist acted in a way which was unacceptable to a responsible body of medical practitioners in the same field of medicine, this will be a valid defence and your claim for dental negligence is more likely to succeed.

Causation

You then need to prove that the failings in your medical treatment have caused you to suffer an injury, on the balance of probabilities (i.e. more likely than not), and that you are due compensation for those injuries.

Is it possible to get a fair hearing? Don't all medical practitioners close ranks?

If you have genuinely received treatment of a poor standard then nowadays it is usually possible to identify an independent expert in the appropriate field (dental treatment in this case) who will be prepared to say that in his view, your care was sub-standard and you have suffered dental negligence. In recent years, more doctors have come to realise that 'closing ranks' is simply likely to bring their profession into disrepute. Expert witnesses are required under the Civil Procedure Rules to be impartial and have a duty to the Court rather than to the party who instructs them, so it should be possible to obtain a genuinely independent and impartial view.

How long does a dental negligence claim normally take?

This will entirely depend upon the particular facts of your claim. A solicitor will be able to advise you more accurately in relation to the timescale for your own claim. This depends on several factors such as whether:

  • Liability (fault) is disputed;
  • You need further treatment to improve your condition;
  • The medical expert is able to give us a final prognosis;
  • We are able to agree any settlement proposals;
  • It is necessary to go to trial to ask the Court to decide any issues e.g. liability, causation, or the value of the claim.

The majority of the simplest cases can be dealt with within 18-24 months, but complicated dental negligence claims take longer. Nevertheless, it is now rare for any new case to take longer than 3 years to resolve.

How much compensation will I receive?

This will depend upon the particular facts of your dental negligence claim.

'Compensation' is made up of 2 elements:

  1. General damages – compensation for your pain, suffering and effects upon your everyday life. This is valued by looking at the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines and the amounts of money awarded in previously decided cases with similar facts.
  2. Special damages – your financial losses, both in the past and the future. Detailed evidence and documentary proof is needed to support any claims for financial losses.

Each case depends upon its own particular circumstances and a figure will either be agreed upon or decided by the Court.

Before our Panel Solicitors can let you have any reliable indication of how much you are likely to receive they will need to obtain a medical report. This will set out your injuries and give full details of the treatment you have received and the long-term prognosis. Once our Panel Solicitors have that report we will be able to advise you on how much your claim is worth.

Factors which can be taken into account in assessing the amount of compensation:

  • We can include a claim for loss of earnings or other income, travel expenses, medical treatment and any other losses or expenses we can show were caused by the medical accident.
  • You will be entitled to receive interest on your losses and expenses, to compensate you for any delay in payment.
  • Future Loss can also be taken into account. Depending upon how serious your injury is we may be able to pursue a claim for continuing future loss. For example, you may be unable to earn as much as you did before the accident or if you will find it harder to find a job because of your injury. You may need help with personal and household tasks or need special equipment or transport.

These are matters that we shall investigate more carefully with you after we have a clear medical prognosis

All "compensation" must be proved to be a result of the allegedly negligent dental treatment. If the link cannot be proved, then no damages will be awarded by the court. The burden of proof is upon you as a Claimant to prove each and every aspect of your claim, including your entitlement to general and special damages.

What can Dental Accident Helpline offer me?

Our qualified consultants can guide you through the whole process form beginning to end. Also Dental Accident helpline work on a no win-no fee principle meaning you do not have to provide funds at the outset.

To get you started our specialist clinical dental negligence Solicitors offer claimants an initial free consultation over the telephone (0330 088 2869) or via email to discuss your potential claim in detail.

How long will my dental negligence claim take to resolve?

This depends upon whether the Defendant admits or denies liability. It will take approximately a month to gather your medical records together, and a further week to draft your letter of claim, which is then sent out to you for your approval, to ensure that all of the details are correct.

The Defendant then has three months under the court rules to either admit liability for you dental claim, or deny liability giving their reasons for doing so. It is after the expiry of this three month time limit that we will know whether your dental claim is admitted or denied.

Dental claims which are admitted at this stage can settle relatively quickly. If your claim is denied at this stage, then we must consider issuing court proceedings, once all of the relevant medical evidence has been obtained.

How much compensation will I get for my dental injuries?

We do not know the answer to this question until the Solicitor representing you has received your medical report. Dental injures are difficult to work out, as each person is different, as is each case. Our Panel Solicitors try to treat each dental case individually. As a general rule of thumb, the longer you take to recover from any incident, the higher any award for damages will be. The Solicitor representing you should however at a fairly early stage be able to advise you upon the amount (quantum) of your claim.

Can I claim for other expenses incurred?

Yes, but only expenses properly and reasonably incurred, and incurred due to the defendant's negligence. Other common heads of special damages are loss of earnings, traveling expenses, and future and past treatment costs.

Will I have to attend for a medical examination?

This depends upon whether the defendant admits or denies liability. It is fairly likely that you will have to attend a suitable expert for a medical examination, as your own doctor or dentist will only be concerned in getting you better. For the purposes of your dental negligence claim, we always instruct an expert to provide a detailed medical report setting out your injuries and giving a prognosis for our recovery, and this is how your compensation is valued by the representing Solicitor. You own doctor or dentist will not be considered to be "independent" for the purposes of your dental claim.

Will I have to go to Court?

Many people look forward to going and having "their day" in court. If your Solicitor has to issue proceedings, then there are a number of procedural steps and a court timetable that they have to adhere to before any trial date is set. Most cases settle outside of the court, and only a very small minority ever get to the trial stage.

 

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Dental Negligence Claims Dental Compensation GPlus Square

0330 088 2869

Broadway House
208 Broadway
Bexleyheath
Kent
DA6 7BG

About Us

The Dental Accident Helpline provides specialist high quality legal representation for dental patients wishing to claim dental negligence compensation.