What is Dental Negligence?
A dental negligence claim can arise in any situation where a dentist, or other dental professional, has failed to provide adequate care for their patient. In cases of dental negligence in Ireland, the legislation can cover any of the following:
- Delayed treatment leading to complications
- Poor Treatment
- Incorrect diagnosis
- Infection as a result of poor hygiene
Dental compensation can arise during elective treatment for essential work and also for cosmetic dentistry. As long as symptoms have arisen due to negligence of a healthcare professional, dental claims can arise irrespective of the procedure.
How to Prove Dental Negligence?
If there is fault, it is essential that you can establish proof in order to pursue dental compensation. Without that proof, claiming dental expenses is not going to be possible. Knowing how to prove dental negligence is pivotal to the case and that’s why experienced solicitors should be involved.
Ultimately, the issue of proof may be confirmed in a court of law but, in the initial stages of a dental negligence claim, there is a need to gather evidence. This could involve obtaining a second opinion from another dental professional who may have provided differing treatment or diagnosis.
Naturally, full details of the procedure including any paperwork will need to be submitted. Remember to keep all records and to provide an accurate description of any conversations that took place.
How to Claim for Dental Negligence?
Firstly, the claimant will need to collate all evidence in the process outlined in the previous section. Ideally, a solicitor should then be appointed in order to ensure that the matter is taken seriously by the dental practise and that they are aware that potential legal proceedings may follow.
Your solicitor will then request access to your medical records in order to pursue the dental negligence claim. Having presented the case to the dental practise, they may accept liability for their actions before looking to negotiate a settlement. The dental negligence claim can then be closed if a sum is reached that is acceptable to all parties.
If dental claims are rejected by the third party, or the negotiations on settlement fail to reach a satisfactory conclusion, then the logical follow up is to pursue court action. It can be a complex legal process and that’s why the best approach is to contact dental claims solicitors as soon as possible.
What are the Most Common Types of Dental Negligence Claims?
In the following examples dental negligence can be evident. It’s a comprehensive list but not a completely exhaustive one and you can discuss your own personal circumstances with a solicitor.
- Dental implant claims
- Dental nerve damage compensation
- Incorrect extraction
- Fractured mandible
- Dental negligence filling or nerve complications
- The onset of other conditions as a result of mis-diagnosis
Irrespective of whether your own symptoms fall inside or outside of that list, you should contact a solicitor experienced in handling dental negligence cases.
What are the Legal Time Limits for a Dental Negligence Claim?
The legal time limit to pursue dental claims in Ireland is two years. It should, however, be noted that the period starts from the date of knowledge which is the point in time where it was evident that negligence had caused issues for the patient.
In many instances, the date of knowledge will be the same as the date of the incident, but this isn’t always the case. Symptoms can take a while to become apparent in certain medical conditions so this should be kept in mind.
How much Compensation can I get for Dental Negligence?
In the event of a successful claim, the amount of dental compensation received will depend on a number of factors. It is possible to identify some averages in regards to dental negligence payouts but each case will be considered on its individual merits.
Among the factors that can influence the level of dental negligence compensation are:
- The severity of the injury and its circumstances
- Cost of upfront medical bills
- Cost of any ongoing treatment moving forward (if required)
Financial costs are very personal to the individual claimant while the nature of the injury is more generic and can be used in connection with a dental negligence compensation calculator.
At the lower end of the payout scale, loss or permanent damage to a back tooth – one that isn’t visible – may be settled for a few hundred Euros. For front teeth, this is a more serious claim as they are visible and dental claims solicitors will be looking for settlements that reach four figures.
At the more serious end of the spectrum, a fractured jaw could result in tens of thousands of Euros being paid by the responsible party. It’s important to reiterate that these are just averages and that the final figures will very much be determined by the individual circumstances.
Why Choose McGinley Solicitors?
This is a highly specialised area of medical negligence and, therefore, it makes sense to appoint a solicitor with significant experience in the area of dental claims. At McGinley Solicitors, we have been dealing with all areas of personal injury since 1988 and therefore have over 30 years of experience as dental negligence solicitors.
We provide a professional approach to your claim and we are flexible too with three offices across Dublin and Donegal where we can meet and discuss your case in greater detail. At that stage, we can look at the circumstances more closely and advise on specific details such as the chances of success and the possible levels of compensation.
For an initial consultation, please give us a call on 1890 998 969 or complete our quick and easy online contact form and we’ll get back to you.