Ouch! Personal Injury Caused By Dental Negligence
Let’s face it, you would search far and wide to find an individual who claimed they enjoyed going to the dentist. Most people either put off visiting the dentist for as long as they can, or reluctantly slink into a dental chair once a year, and pray that there will be no need for the dreaded drill to be turned on.
When Dental Work Goes Wrong
We do not often think about the risks we take when obtaining dental treatment. However, as a case from earlier this year highlights, the type of personal injury that can be caused if a dental practitioner is negligent can be life-changing.
In September 2011, an aspiring model was put under general anaesthetic in Birmingham City Hospital in order to have three teeth removed. She woke up from procedure in agony, and after demanding an explanation from staff, discovered she had received a large burn on the side of her mouth as a result of the operation. The hospital admitted responsibility for the injury after it was found that similar incidents had happened before. The young woman is awaiting settlement for lost earnings and further treatment to correct the scarring. Unfortunately, her dreams of a successful modelling career have been dashed.
Other types of injuries that can be caused by dental negligence include:
- Failure to diagnose or properly treat gum disease
- Failure to explain the risks involved in a particular procedure, or discuss all treatment options available to the patient
- Complications caused by badly fitted crowns, or negligence in other cosmetic procedures
- Sub-standard root canal work
If you receive an injury due to the negligence of your dental practitioner, you may have a right to claim for compensation. It is important to remember that dental practitioners take out professional indemnity insurance to cover any claims for damages. If you have suffered damage due to negligent dental treatment that requires you to spend additional money on fixing the original work, then it is fair and reasonable that the professional responsible for the original situation foot the bill via their insurance.
Proving Dental Negligence
To prove dental negligence, you must firstly show that the dental practitioner owed you a duty of care. If they have taken you on as a client, then this is usually proof enough that they in fact owed you a duty. Secondly, the victim must show, on the balance of probabilities, that the dental practitioner breached his or her duty of care to you, and that given a similar set of circumstances, another practitioner would have acted differently. Often, this second point requires expert testimony to be given in court.
Is No Win No Fee Available for Dental Negligence Claims?
It is possible to bring a dental claim using a no win no fee basis. This can save you a lot of anxiety as you can have the confidence to bring a claim for compensation, knowing that you will not be required to pay legal costs of you are unsuccessful.
To enquire about making a claim for negligent treatment by a dental practitioner, contact our office today. Our experienced solicitors will take the time to listen to your situation and advise you as to whether or not you have a viable claim.