A guide to making a No Win No Fee teeth damage claim
While there are no official figures on how many people damage their teeth each year in the UK, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of people lose teeth or have them chipped, broken, fractured or pushed out of place as a result of an accident or dental negligence.
Claims may arise in a number of ways, including:
- Road traffic accidents and cycling accidents - if the accident was caused by the negligence of the at-fault driver, then it is likely a claim may be made.
- Slips, trips and falls or accidents in a public place - property owners and local authorities are responsible for keeping buildings, roads and pavements in a safe condition. If they do not do this, then it is likely a claim may be brought for any resulting teeth damage.
- Accidents at work - employers have a duty to protect their workers' safety in the workplace. If the teeth injury is the result of an employer failing in this duty, it is likely that a claim can be made.
- Cases of medical negligence, and particularly dental negligence.
This list is not exhaustive. Anyone who has suffered teeth damage as a result of an accident or substandard dental treatment may be eligible to make a compensation claim.
Claiming for dental damage after an accident
Determining liability for teeth damage depends on the nature of the accident and the circumstances in which the accident occurred. For example, if a tooth is chipped by flying debris from a work machine, then a claim may be brought against the employer. If teeth are lost in a school playground, then the Defendant may be the local education authority.
The injury lawyer must prove that:
- The Defendant can be held legally accountable for the accident; and
- The teeth damage resulted from the accident.
It may not be clear who is responsible for the accident. In that scenario, a claim for compensation may usually still be brought and your solicitor will gather evidence relating to the accident to establish the liable party.
Teeth damage claims and dental negligence
Dentists must perform dental treatment in a safe and professional manner, in keeping with the "Standards for Dental Professionals" issued by the General Dental Council. Where dentists deliver substandard care, a claim for compensation may be brought.
Common examples of negligent treatment include:
- Failing to diagnose or treat tooth decay or gum disease
- Wrongful removal of teeth
- Surgical error, such as the mishandling of an extraction or root canal treatment
- Injury involving crowns, implants or veneers
- Tooth whitening claims
- Damage to facial nerves or jaw during a dental procedure
- Injuries associated with the use of dental anaesthesia
- Failing to warn patients of the risks involved in dental treatment.
Dental negligence may lead to a number of diseases of the tooth, including abscesses, tooth erosion, periodontitis and impacted wisdom teeth. More serious injury, such as permanent nerve damage, is less common but can result in facial disfigurement for those affected.
Like other personal injury claims, the compensation amount is dependant on the extent of the injury. It does not matter who caused the accident or how the dental damage occurred.
As an initial step, the injury lawyer will instruct a dental expert to perform an independent dental examination. The dentist will compile a report describing the exact nature of the injuries, with a prognosis for recovery and recommendations for corrective treatment. The dental report will form the basis for any compensation claim.
What is the likely amount of compensation for a teeth damage claim?
As a general guide:
- Loss or serious damage to a molar may receive a payout of between £700 and £1,150.
- Loss or serious damage to a canine or incisor may receive a payout of between £1,400 and £2,600, reflecting the greater cosmetic value placed on the front teeth.
- The loss of two or more front teeth may result in a payout of between £2,800 and £7,500.
- A fractured jaw may receive a compensation sum of between £4,000 and £29,000.
A claim may also be made for out-of-pocket expenses such as the cost of corrective dental treatment, medical expenses, travel expenses and loss of earnings.
How does No Win, No Fee work with teeth damage injury compensation claims?
A teeth damage injury No Win, No Fee claim begins once the Claimant signs up to a Conditional Fee Agreement, also known as a "CFA", with a solicitor.
The CFA explains the work your case handler will provide, and importantly, a "success fee". The "success fee" is the amount that will be deducted from the compensation award when your solicitor wins your case.
You have no hidden costs when choosing a a Quittance personal injury lawyer. You will be able to prioritise your rest and recovery, knowing that there will be nothing whatsoever to pay at the outset.
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