A Guide to Claiming Tongue Injury Compensation
Updated: Sep 2, 2019
In the following article we set out what you need to know about making a successful tongue injury compensation claim.
The lingual nerve is located near the sides of the tongue and is responsible for senses of taste and touch to its front two-thirds and underside.
It may sustain accidental damage as a result of surgical treatments to the mouth, particularly during the extraction of lower wisdom teeth. It may also suffer injury during surgery for facial deformity or as a result of facial fractures.
Although 90% of injuries are temporary and resolve with 8 weeks, if the symptoms last longer than 6 months they may be considered permanent.
Do I have a tongue injury claim?
You should be eligible to make a tongue injury claim if the injury happened:
- in the last three years and;
- someone else was to blame.
Even if these two points don't apply to you, a claim may still be possible.
Get impartial advice on whether you have a claim - speak to one of our experts on 0800 612 7456.
A short call will confirm whether you have a claim. We will never put you under pressure to start a claim.
Alternatively you can try our Online Claim Checker.
What if it was a criminal incident?
If your Tongue Injury injury resulted from a criminal incident, you can pursue a claim via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA must receive your application within 2 years of the Incident Date.
What if a child was injured?
The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.
A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start a tongue injury claim on their own behalf.
The amount of money you could claim for your tongue injury will depend on:
- the extent of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your tongue injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
This calculation will factor in general damages and special damages.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
See a list of what you can claim for:
Examples of special damages include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
Find out what your claim could be worth now
Assessing a claim's value at the outset can be complicated.
If you would like a FREE claim estimate with no obligation to start a claim, call 0800 612 7456.
Alternatively, our compensation calculator will give you an instant estimate of what your claim is worth.
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your tongue injury case from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
What are the symptoms?
A patient whose lingual nerve has been damaged may experience symptoms which include:
- Anaesthesia - a numbing sensation of the tongue;
- Paresthesia - tingling in the mouth;
- Dysesthesia - burning pain of the tongue or mouth.
These abnormal sensations or pain may cause difficulty with speech and mastication (chewing) as well as altered taste perception.
Is there any treatment?
A course of steroids or anti-inflammatory tablets and pain killers may help ease the symptoms, but surgery may also be required.
Claiming against a surgeon or dentist
Injuries such as these may affect a claimant's quality of life. As well as physical issues such as pain and the loss of taste, if his speech is affected he may be reluctant to socialise, leading to emotional problems.
If it can be demonstrated that the injury could have been avoided, and therefore the surgeon was negligent in his treatment of the claimant, it may be possible to claim for special damages to cover the cost of any treatment and loss of earnings, and general damages for pain and suffering and loss of amenity.
Cancer of the Tongue
The tongue may sustain injury when a person accidentally bites his own tongue, or burns it by drinking or eating overheated foodstuffs. These injuries generally heal quickly, but where a sore or lump fails to heal it may be a symptom of tongue cancer.
Diagnosis and treatment
If a person's GP suspects that his patient may have tongue cancer he should refer him to an oral specialist.
Diagnosis is confirmed through a biopsy of the lump and any tumour should be treated by radiotherapy and/or surgery. Both treatments may have significant side effects, affecting swallowing and speech. Radiotherapy may also interfere with the salivary glands and this may result in tooth decay.
Failure to diagnose
If diagnosis is delayed a cancer may progress to a more advanced stage and may spread to other parts of the body.
Delays in diagnosis may arise from a GP's negligence in not thoroughly examine a patient or refer a patient to a specialist for further investigation.
An oral specialist may also misinterpret investigations and consequently fail to correctly diagnose. This may also lead to unnecessary surgery being performed on a non-cancerous tongue.
As misdiagnosis can be very serious it may be possible to succeed in a medical negligence claim if it can be demonstrated that the delay affected the outcome of the claimant's future health.
How did your injury occur?
The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:
If you are thinking of making a work accident or injury claim, there are some key points to be aware of:
In a road accident
If you are thinking of making a road accident claim, there are some key points to be aware of:
In a public place (e.g. supermarket, pavement)
If you have been injured in a public place, there are some key points you need to be aware of:
According to the latest figures published in 2019, there were over 17,000 clinical negligence claims in the year 2016-17. This increase is largely down to an overstretched NHS.
If you are thinking of making a medical negligence claim, there are some key points to be aware of:
Other claim types
Find details on another type of claim:
How does no win, no fee work?
No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you anything at all if your tongue injury claim is unsuccessful. 'No win, no fee' is also known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA'.
No win, no fee guarantee
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is no financial risk in making a tongue injury claim - even if you don't win your claim.
What do I pay if I win my tongue injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my tongue injury claim?
If your tongue injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees .
How can Quittance help?
Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims. Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:Call me back
No Win, No Fee
to start a claim
Tongue Injury FAQ's
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?
You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long will my claim take?
The length of time needed to secure compensation can vary considerably.
For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.
Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.
Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:
Personal injury claim type
Estimated claim duration*
4 to 9 months
6 to 9 months
12 to 36 months
12 to 18 months
6 to 9 months
3 to 4 months**
12 to 18 months**
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.
Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
Can I get an interim compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim interim compensation payments.
An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.
Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert