A Guide to Claiming Tongue Injury Compensation
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.
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 your injury happened:
- in the last three years, and;
- someone else was to blame, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Find out whether you may have a claim with our Online Claim Checker:
What are the exceptions?
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.
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.
What if I was diagnosed months after the tongue injury?
Depending on how your tongue injury happened, the three-year time limit may only start from the date you are diagnosed and learn of the cause of your injury. In some cases, this can be months or years after the cause occurred.
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.
What can I claim for after a tongue injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?
If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.
The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.
General damages for a serious facial injury can be £24,000
For a less severe scarring, in isolation, you would typically receive £3,500.
However, if you have a serious facial injury and a less severe scarring, you would typically receive £24,000 + a reduced percentage of £3,500.
Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries.Read more about multiple injury claims
What is the average injury compensation for a tongue injury claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following a tongue injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your tongue injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
See the injury table above for some examples.
Tongue injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a tongue injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your tongue injury claim could be worth now:
How long does a tongue injury claim take?
The length of time needed to settle a tongue injury claim can vary considerably.
For example, a simple liability accepted injury claim can settle in a matter of weeks. However, if liability is denied a claim can take substantially longer. Normally an injury claim takes 4 to 9 months. To read more about how long your claim could take, see:How long will my claim take?
Will I still be able to claim for a tongue injury after the law changes in April 2020?
The law relating to personal injury claims is changing in April 2020.
You will no longer be able to claim no win, no fee compensation using a solicitor for lower value claims (under £5,000).
In addition, compensation for whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries will be reduced.
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your tongue injury claim 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.
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.
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.
Why do most solicitors charge 25%?
25% success fees are charged by most law firms as this is the maximum fee that the Ministry of Justice allows them to charge. tongue injury claims can take a solicitor hundreds of hours work and they receive nothing if the case is lost. The success fee will be subject to your individual circumstances and the actual fee may vary. Call us for more information.
How can Quittance help?
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, 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 612 7456 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
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 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 612 7456 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert