Tongue Injury Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a tongue injury, we can help.
If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses.
We can help you make a personal injury compensation claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
In this article
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.
Do I have an injury claim?
You should be eligible to make an injury claim if your injury happened:
- in the last 3 years, and;
- someone else was to blame, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Claim eligibility - Common questions
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 an injury claim on their own behalf.
What if I want to make a multi-party or group claim?
A multi-party claim (sometimes referred to as a 'group claim' or a 'class action') brought by a group of people who have sustained the same or similar injuries due to the negligence of the same defendant. How you start a multi-party claim will depend on the circumstances and we recommend you speak to a solicitor for more information.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.
Less than 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 decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.
Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.
How does no win, no fee work?
No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you anything at all if your 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 an 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 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 injury claim?
If your 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.
Is there a penalty if I withdraw?
Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.
How we can help you
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
- 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday
Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
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 feel I was partly responsible for my accident?
Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.
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 do I have to make an injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for an 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 injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
I need the money now - what are my options?
If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.