Medical negligence and misconduct including cases of misdiagnosis, carelessness, and inattentiveness can not only occur in a hospital setting but also in a private dental clinic. Patients usually have to pay huge amounts of money for even a single procedure like getting braces for correcting the bite; and if these expenses go to waste, the patient is left with feelings of hopelessness and despair. The situation can turn even worse when the negligence has life threatening consequences. While in dentistry life threatening or fatal cases are extremely rare, there can be cases of negligence involving certain procedures like tooth extraction, treatment of periodontal disease, root canal, and anaesthesia complications that can lead to dire consequences. It is therefore important to understand these cases of inattentiveness and inaccuracy so that you can file a claim to receive some sort of compensation.
Different Cases of Dental Negligence
When it comes to dental procedures, there can be many instances against which a person or their family may wish to file a compensation claim. These cases include;
- Tools and equipment errors
- Misdiagnosis and delay
- Mismanagement of infections during and after surgery
- Incomplete treatment
- Extraction of wrong tooth or errors with wisdom tooth extraction
- Errors with orthopaedic treatment
- Fitting errors for dental crowns and bridges
- Delay in treatment for appendectomy
Diagnosis and treatment of oral cancer is also included in dental negligence and misdiagnosis and delay for this type of disorder can be life threatening. Patients should be aware of their rights when it comes to receiving proper treatment and a flawless oral surgery so that if they face such carelessness on part of the dentist, they could bring the matter to court.
Dental negligence claims in England fall under the broader group of claims known as personal injury claims. If you want to get more information regarding the rules and regulations and a patient’s rights that apply to this type of legal procedure, you can refer to personal injury negligence cases. When you decide to file a claim, you need to provide adequate evidence to support your allegation and if you fail to come up with proof of negligence, there would not be any compensation for your loss.
Filing a Dental Negligence Claim
Most of the dental procedures including surgeries are quite costly especially the ones involving orthodontics or straightening of teeth. It is simply not acceptable to spend such a huge amount of money on one of these procedures only to find out that the disorder is incurable or that further surgery is required to achieve the desired results. The dentist must be able to draw a diagnosis right in the beginning and give you an estimate of costs required for a certain dental procedure. If, however, he or she fails to provide proper treatment within that budget, you as a patient become eligible to file a dental negligence claim.
While negligence complaints can be directly made to the doctor or hospital management involved, when it comes to a claim it is not possible to directly approach your dentist and ask him or her to give you compensation in the form of money. Since it is purely a legal case, you need the help of a specialised solicitor to guide you through the entire process. There are certain steps that need to be completed before you finally become entitled to receive compensation for your loss. The solicitor fights your case on a no-win-no-fee basis, which means you will not pay any fee to the lawyer in case you’re unsuccessful in retrieving your expenses.
Free legal advice is also available for patients or their family members who have absolutely no idea how to go about filing a compensation claim. In fact, this is provided as an assessment of your case in order to determine if you’re eligible for filing a claim or not. Sometimes a complaint is sufficient to achieve your goals and the hospital staff is prompt in responding to your protest. In such a case, if you’re satisfied with their response, there is no need to file a claim. However, if these efforts are not being enough, you have a right to approach the court of law in order to use your legal rights as a patient.