How long does my eight-year-old daughter have to claim compensation for dentist negligence where she was left traumatised after an accident caused her lose several teeth?
Because of your daughter’s age the usual time limit will not apply for when a claim for compensation for dentist negligence is made for when she lost several teeth. The UK Statute of Limitations imposes a three-year time-limit for potential claimants in the UK. This was introduced in 1980 as part of the Limitations Act so that those who wanted to pursue a claim would do so while evidence was still recent and so that those who would be considered the negligent party would not have to continually fear potential litigation.
However, because your daughter is eight years old she is still considered a minor in the UK and therefore unable to make a claim on her own behalf or permitted by UK law to advise a solicitor. Therefore, in her case the three-year time-limit for her to pursue a negligence at dentist compensation claim will not begin until she turns eighteen, which means that she has until she is 21 years old to make a claim. Nevertheless, it is still advisable that you consult a personal injury claims solicitor with knowledge of dental negligence claims at the soonest possible opportunity to discuss your daughter’s injury sustained due to dentist negligence. If you wish to initiate her claim for compensation for dentist negligence in the near future, you or another legal guardian are permitted to make a claim on her behalf as her “litigation friend”.
Even if you wish to wait until your daughter is old enough to pursue negligence at dentist compensation claim on her own behalf, it is a good idea to find out the viability of her claim. Dental negligence claims can be complicated and difficult to pursue. This is mainly due to dental negligence being difficult to establish since accidents can happen. Your daughter’s case will have to be assessed and it will have to be determined that her dental injuries could have been avoided had an alternative course of action been taken and if another competent dental professional had been involved in the procedure. Your solicitor will be able to determine whether or not negligence can be established by obtaining your daughter’s relevant dental notes and presenting them to an independent dental expert who will evaluate if your daughter’s injury was sustained due to dentist negligence or the lack of care on behalf of a dental professional.
It is advisable to make an appointment for a consultation with your solicitor at the first possible moment, especially if your daughter has been exhibiting signs of emotional trauma. It could be the case that she needs counselling to deal with the psychological injury she has sustained due to her dental negligence experience, it would also be recommended that you seek the treatment of one as soon as you can. Your solicitor will be able to advise you on all your options for your daughter’s compensation for dentist negligence claim when you meet with them and inform them of the specific details of your daughter’s situation.