Tongue Injury Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a tongue injury we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a tongue injury and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

In our guide to claiming tongue injury compensation:

Introduction

Tongue injuries are reasonably common, in particular those that affect the lingual nerve. This nerve is located near the sides of the tongue and is responsible for your sense of taste and touch to front two-thirds and underside.

This nerve can 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.

If you have sustained a tongue injury as a result of someone else's negligence, you may be able to make a compensation claim.

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.

What treatments are available?

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:

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. Read more about making a No win, no fee 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 . Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Can I get Legal Aid?

Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.

How can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.

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 376 1001 or arrange a callback:

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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.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

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.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make a tongue injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the tongue injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your tongue injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for a tongue injury after 3 years?

Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim tongue injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a tongue injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the 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.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

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.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

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.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Author:
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor