In this guide, we will answer the question, “If a dentist is negligent, who is liable?”. Dentist’s owe a duty of care to their patients. If this is breached, and you sustain avoidable harm as a result, it may be possible to make a dental negligence claim. We discuss the criteria that need to be met in order to do so, as well as the evidence you could gather to prove liability.
Dental negligence can have an impact both to your physical and mental health and to your finances. We’ll discuss how compensation could be calculated following a successful claim and what could be included in your payout to address the way you have been affected.
Following this, our guide will detail the importance of evidence when making a claim for dental negligence. We’ll also discuss how a No Win No Fee solicitor could help you seek compensation.
To learn more, contact our team today. They can provide helpful information about the dental negligence claims process and can answer your questions. They can also evaluate your claim for free and may connect you with a solicitor from our panel. To get in touch:
Browse Our Guide
- If A Dentist Is Negligent, Who Is Liable And Can You Claim?
- Examples Of Dentist Negligence
- How Much Compensation Could You Receive If A Dentist Is Negligent?
- Potential Evidence That Could Help You Claim Compensation For Dental Negligence
- Claim For Dental Negligence Using No Win No Fee Solicitors
- Read More About What To Do If A Dentist Is Negligent
You might be wondering, “If a dentist is negligent, who is liable?”. Your dentist owes you a duty of care. This means that the care they provide must meet a minimum standard. The General Dental Council (GDC) is the statutory regulator of over 114,000 members of the dental team across the UK. They set standards for the dental team.
If your dentist failed to provide care that met the correct standard, and you suffered avoidable harm as a result, you may wonder whether you could claim for dental negligence.
In order to make a dental negligence claim, you must be able to evidence that:
- You were owed a duty of care
- This duty was breached
- You suffered avoidable harm as a result
If your case meets these three criteria, then you may be able to make a claim. However, this does not mean that your dentist is individually liable. In fact, if a dentist is negligent and you have enough evidence to make a claim, this claim would be made against the hospital, dental practice, or NHS trust that your dentist is employed by.
Read on to learn more about dental negligence claims. Or, contact our team of advisors to find out if your case could be valid.
There are many ways a patient could experience avoidable harm when being treated by a dentist. For example:
- Your dentist spots clear signs of oral cancer or sees these signs on a scan, but does not refer you for further treatment or investigation. This allows the cancer to worsen, causing you harm.
- Your dentist removes a healthy tooth and leaves a damaged or diseased tooth in error.
- The use of an unclean needle or poor hygiene practices cause an injection site for local anaesthetic to become infected.
As we mentioned in the section above, it’s important to remember that you may not always be able to make a claim. In order to form the basis of a valid claim, you must be able to prove not only that your dentist provided a substandard level of care, but that you suffered avoidable harm as a result.
To find out if a solicitor from our panel could help you if a dentist is negligent, contact our team today.
You might be wondering how much dental negligence compensation you could receive if your claim succeeds. If you receive a compensation payout, it could contain up to two different heads of claim.
The first is general damages, which covers the pain and suffering that you experience if a dentist is negligent. All successful claimants will receive this head of claim. When solicitors calculate this area of compensation, they may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG).
The JCG is a text that illustrates guideline compensation brackets for a number of different injuries and illnesses. You can find some examples of these in the table below. Please use this as a guide only though because settlements differ depending on several factors.
|Harm||Guideline Compensation Bracket||Notes|
|Very Severe Facial Disfigurement||£29,780 to £97,330||Very disfiguring cosmetic effect and severe psychological reaction.|
|Less Severe Facial Disfigurement||£17,960 to £48,420||Substantial disfigurement and a significant psychological reaction.|
|Damage to Teeth||Up to £38,130||Chronic and significant tooth pain, such as from an abscess that has been left untreated. This lasts for a number of years.|
|Damage to Teeth (i)||£8,730 to £11,410||Loss of or damage to several of the front teeth.|
|Damage to Teeth (ii)||£4,350 to £7,630||Serious damage or loss of two of the front teeth.|
|Damage to Teeth (iii)||£2,200 to £3,950||One front tooth is lost or seriously damaged.|
|Damage to Teeth (iv)||£1,090 to £1,710||This figure is per tooth, and regards loss of or damage to back teeth.|
|Fractures of Jaws (ii)||£17,960 to £30,490||A serious fracture that has permanent consequences, such as issues with opening the mouth or where there is paraesthesia in the jaw area.|
|Fractures of Jaws (iii)||£6,460 to £8,730||A simple fracture that sees a complete recovery despite the need for immobilisation.|
Claiming Financial Losses If A Dentist Is Negligent And You Are Harmed
Special damages are the second head of claim. This head addresses the financial impacts of the dental negligence. For example, under this heading, you could claim back the cost of:
- Dentures and cosmetic aids
- Over-the-counter medications
- Lost earnings
To learn more about claiming compensation if a dentist is negligent, contact our team of advisors. They can provide further information and answer any questions you might have about the claims process.
When asking the question ‘If a dentist is negligent, who is liable?’, evidence can prove useful. Evidence strengthens your claim by illustrating who is liable for the avoidable harm you suffered, how it happened, and how severely you were affected.
Some examples of evidence that could help strengthen your claim if a dentist is negligent include:
- Photographs: Pictures of the any visible harm, such as a missing tooth, scarring or an infected site, could be used to illustrate the severity of the harm you suffered.
- Medical records: Your medical and dental records can show the treatment you received and the medications prescribed to you. It can also show any future corrective treatment that was needed. This can include scans and X-rays of your teeth and mouth.
- Contact information of witnesses: You can keep hold of contact information from anyone who attended appointments with you as they could provide a statement later on.
These are just a few examples of evidence that you could collect. If you choose to work with a solicitor, they could also help you. A solicitor can take statements from witnesses and also help you find other relevant evidence to strengthen your claim.
To learn more about collecting evidence to prove a dental negligence compensation claim, contact our team today.
A solicitor from our panel could help you make a dental negligence claim on a No Win No Fee basis. They do this by offering their services under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). When you work with a solicitor under this kind of agreement, you do not need to pay a fee in order for them to start work on your claim. Similarly, you won’t pay any fees for them to continue their services, nor will you pay a fee for their work if your claim does not succeed.
If your claim does succeed, then a small percentage of your compensation will be deducted as your solicitor’s success fee. However, this percentage has a legislative cap. This cap allows you to keep the majority of what you receive.
If you would like to find out if a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel could help you, get in touch. Our team of advisors are here to help. They can offer a free consultation, and during this consultation, they can evaluate the validity of your claim and answer any questions you might have. If they find that you could have a chance for compensation, they may pass you over to a solicitor from our panel. To start your free consultation:
We also offer guides relating to medical negligence claims:
- Learn how to claim for medication errors and find out more about making a medical negligence compensation claim.
- Get help with missed fracture compensation claims and find out how much compensation you could potentially receive.
- Find out how to claim for an operation gone wrong and get more information on medical negligence.
Or, for external resources:
- NHS – What If My Dental Treatment Goes Wrong?
- General Dental Council – Raising Concerns About Dental Treatment
- GOV – Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
Thank you for reading our guide answering the question ‘If a dentist is negligent, who is liable?’ and when you could make a dental negligence claim. If you have any other questions, call an advisor on the number above.
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