If a tongue injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward

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.

You can make a No Win, No Fee compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

Nearly 6,000 people a year suffer tongue injuries, you are not alone

According to 2021-22 NHS data, 5,992 patients were admitted to hospital in the period with tongue injuries and disease (digital.nhs.uk).

Tongue injuries, particularly to the lingual nerve on the sides of the tongue, are common. This nerve controls taste and touch in the front two-thirds and underside of the tongue. It can be damaged during mouth surgery, especially when removing lower wisdom teeth, or in surgeries for facial deformities and facial fractures.

Most tongue injuries heal within 8 weeks, but if symptoms persist beyond 6 months, the injury may be permanent.

If your tongue injury is due to someone else's negligence, you can claim compensation. A personal injury solicitor will guide you through the claim process, assisting you until you receive the necessary compensation.

Am I eligible for tongue injury compensation?

You should be entitled to tongue injury compensation if your injury resulted from the negligence or actions of another person or organisation, or from an accident that was not your fault.

Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Or you can call 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor. Find out in minutes if you have a claim.

What if I was partly to blame?

Liability for an accident often involves fault on both sides.

In our recent 2024 Personal Injury Claimant Survey, 13.99% of respondents thought they could be partially to blame for their accident.

Even if you partly caused the accident or your injuries (refered to as 'contributory negligence'), you may still be entitled to make a claim. These claims can often be settled on the basis of a split liability agreement.

Read more:

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

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

In most cases, you have up to 3 years from the date of your accident or injury to start a claim.

For an injured child, the three-year limitation period begins on their 18th birthday, giving them until they are 21 to start a claim.

How much compensation can I claim for a tongue injury?

The amount of money you could claim for a tongue injury will depend on:

  • the severity 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 injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

Tongue injury compensation calculator

Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.

Updated June 2024 Compensation Calculator v3.04

Claiming compensation for psychological injuries

Psychiatric harm is less obvious than physical injury, but the consequences can be just as difficult to deal with.

According to our 2024 Personal Injury Claimant Survey shows that 29.03% of potential claimants sustained a psychological injury, 70.97% of which related to a physical injury.

Tongue injuries can cause apprehension and anxiety about eating, speaking, and can impact social interactions.

Psychiatric harm is less obvious than physical injury, but the consequences can be just as difficult to deal with.

Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College (judiciary.uk) and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred because of your accident. In addition to paying for lost wages and business losses if self-employed, special damages can cover any care costs and medical procedures you need, such as pain medication, antibiotics and cleaning the wound.

Read more:

A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

Tongue injury 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.

A course of steroids or anti-inflammatory tablets and pain killers may help ease the symptoms, but surgery may also be required.

Can I claim compensation if I bit my tongue in an accident?

Yes, depending on the severity of the injury. Minor tongue injuries that quickly heal are unlikely to lead to a successful claim on their own, but if you suffered a serious injury, or with long-term symptoms, you can usually claim for compensation.

Can I claim compensation from a surgeon or dentist?

Usually, yes. Serious tongue injuries may significantly affect a claimant's quality of life. As well as physical issues such as pain and the loss of taste, if the claimant's speech is affected, they may be reluctant to socialise, leading to isolation and psychological harm.

If it can be demonstrated that your injury could have been avoided, and/or your surgeon was negligent in their treatment, it may be possible to claim for special damages to cover the cost of future treatment (such as for speech therapy) and loss of earnings, and general damages for pain and suffering and loss of amenity.

Tongue injury diagnosis and treatment

If a person's GP suspects that their patient may have a more serious condition, such as tongue cancer, they should refer the patient 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.

For more advice and support, visit: Tongue cancer (cancerresearch.co.uk).

Can I claim for failure to diagnose or misdiagnosed tongue cancer?

If diagnosis is delayed, the 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.

Cancer misdiagnosis can often be very serious. You can make a medical negligence claim if it can be demonstrated that the delay affected the likely outcome of treatment or your ongoing quality of life.

Read more:

Cancer misdiagnosis compensation

What happened?

Claiming compensation for a tongue injury is dependent on how your injury occurred. Click the icons below for more detail:

No win, no fee tongue injury compensation claims

With no win, no fee, you can claim tongue injury compensation without financial risk. If your claim isn't successful, you pay nothing. If you win, you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

Find out more about how no win, no fee claims work

Get expert advice now

Interested in talking to an injury specialist about your claim?

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  • No obligation to claim

Call 0800 376 1001

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Source: (reviewed: 11/12/2023)

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher