Dental Negligence - Stupid Decisions Under The White Light
By Mumtaz Shah
Pulling the wrong tooth or operating on the wrong one can make your life a mouthless misery, simply due negligence in the duty of care. This will keep your mouth shut for a while, so the question is, is it helping?
Whether it's down to the decaying services being provided by the UK's National Health Service (NHS) or because more of us are aware of the benefits of dental surgery, what is indisputable is that there are more compensation cases for dental negligence than at any other time in our history.
So, if you have been on the wrong end of a particularly nasty piece of dental surgery recently, how would you go about making a dental negligence claim?
Dental Negligence Solicitor
Even though some experts will tell you that the standard for establishing a claim of negligence involving dental surgery is easier than in other areas of medical negligence. There are less things that can go wrong in dental surgery than in hospital surgery, this is still a very technical area of personal injury law.
As such, top of your list of priorities following the dental procedure in question should be a visit to see a dental negligence solicitor. The solicitor should then tell you whether or not you have a personal injury claim to make against the dentist who did the botch!
In the event that you cannot afford a compensation solicitor, don't worry too much about this as most dental negligence solicitors these days are more than willing to agree to work for you on a no win no fee basis.
Basically, under a no win no fee structure, you will not be liable for the cost of retaining your solicitor because, should you lose, he has agreed not to be paid, and should you win, he'll be paid by your opponent.
Establishing Who To Sue
At your preliminary meeting with your dental negligence solicitor you'll need to determine who you are going to sue. As, in the UK, we have a dual system of dental care, between the private sector and the public sector, with many dentists practicing in both. Before you can submit your dental negligence claim you need to establish whether you saw the dentist in the capacity of a patient under the NHS system, or as a private patient of the dentist.
In the event that you saw the dentist as a private patient, then in all likelihood you will not be suing the dentist for compensation, but rather the dentist's insurance company! On the other hand, if you were visiting the dentist as a patient under the NHS system, then, again, you would not be suing the dentist for negligent compensation, but the NHS itself.
Standard Of Care
Generally the accepted reasoning is that dentistry is a 'tried-and-tested' profession where things can only go wrong if the practitioner has made a mistake. Nonetheless, as with all personal injury claims in the UK, you will need to establish that the dentist owed you a duty of care and was not diligent in undertaking his duties.
In this regard, so far as dental negligence is concerned, any dental negligence claim will need to show that the dentist did not exercise the professional standards set by the British Dental Association and/or the Dental Practice Board.
It's Your Right – Claim It!
You may feel that a claim for dental negligence compensation is a little trite – after all, it's not the end of the world! However, keep in mind two factors:
• even if it is the case that the dentist pulled the wrong tooth or gave you a filling you didn't need, if you are an adult that tooth will never grow back and it has gone forever!
• dental negligence does not only cover the simple pulling of teeth, it also includes complex procedures such as root-canals and gum treatment. These procedures can not only be extremely expensive, but also extremely painful.
Beside that, if you do not retain a dental negligence solicitor and take action against a negligent dentist for dental negligence compensation, then the next person to sit in the same dentist's chair may have the same experience as the one you just had!
About the Author
It's easy to proceed with a dental negligence claim and gain maximum results without the hassle, costs and confusion. Discover the 12 revolutions of dental claims at http://www.100percent-compensation.co.uk/articles/dental-negligence.html
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