How to Make a Dental Negligence Claim in Ireland
Dental Negligence is a specialised area of personal injury law.
Dental Negligence Claims are legal claims made by patients who have suffered an injury through the negligent act or omission of a Dental professional, a dental professional, private hospitals and/or the HSE.
A Dental Negligence Claim may arise out of, for example, birth injuries, birth mismanagement, or a cancer misdiagnosis.
Dental Negligence Claims can be brought against any discipline in the Dental profession.
What Counts As Dental Negligence?
In any Dental procedure, mistakes can, on occasion, be made. If you have suffered an injury because of a mistake made by a Dental professional this may be Dental Negligence.
The following things have to be proven for a Dental Negligence Claim to be successful:
- There was negligence, i.e. that no other Dentist, acting reasonably, would have done what this Dentist did if faced with the same set of circumstances;
- There is an injury arising out of the negligent act;
- Causation, i.e. the negligence caused the injury or the outcome would have been different if the negligence had not occurred.
Steps To Making a Dental Negligence Claim In Ireland
Step 1: Act Quickly
There is a set period of time in which a Dental negligence claim can be made. The Statute of Limitations states that you must make a claim within two years of the injury. There is some exceptions to this, including if you did not know a wrong had been committed until a later date (the date of knowledge), then the time limit will run from the date you discovered this wrong. The other exception is in relation to Minors (those under 18 years of age) wherein, they have until the eve of their 20th birthday to take a case. Further, if a person is suffering from an intellectual disability, then it might be the case that the Statute of Limitations does not apply, and a claim can be brought by that person, even if the injury offered more than two years previous.
In all cases it is necessary to act quickly. The Courts have the power to stop a case from proceeding even if it is brought within the time limit, if it can be shown that the delay has caused prejudice to the Dentist.
Even if you are not sure about the strength of your claim, you should make contact with a solicitor for advice. At Cantillons Solicitors, we understand that your injury and associated suffering may mean you want to recover before claiming. However, making contact with your Dental Negligence Solicitor early will ensure you have the right advice on time and that you fall safely within the requisite time limits.
Step 2: Keep All Records
Part of the investigation into your Dental Negligence Claim will involve reviewing all of your Dental records. In order to do this, your Dental Negligence Solicitor will need to see all of the Dental records.
If you do not have paperwork or records, do not worry. Your Dental Negligence Solicitor will assist in the retrieval of all related records, and review them for you.
If at all possible, try to keep receipts, bills, invoices and records that are related to the procedure/injury. These could include, for example, the cost of physiotherapy which was necessitated because of the injury. Or perhaps you have been unable to work and have lost earnings. In that instance, keep your pay slips. If, for example, you required any changes in your home to make it more adaptable for your daily living post injury, keep the receipts arising from that work.
Step 3: Choose a Dental Negligence Solicitor
Dental Negligence is a specialist area of the law that not all Solicitors practice in. For a Dental Negligence Claim, you will require a solicitor experienced in this area. When choosing a Dental Negligence Solicitor for your claim, take the time to check their experience before committing.
It will be necessary to work closely with your Dental Negligence Solicitor during your case. For this reason, it is important that you feel comfortable with your Solicitor and that you trust them.
For your initial meeting with your Solicitor, prepare some questions in advance. Ask about the Solicitor’s fees, resources and successful Dental negligence cases they have had.
When you first meet, your Solicitor will need to establish key facts around which to build your Dental Negligence case. You might be asked about your job, earnings and interests, as well as about the injury. They will also ask for as much detail as you can give them about the incident that led to your injury.
At Cantillons Solicitors, we are experienced listeners and put our clients care first. We understand the emotional and physical discomfort that comes with injury and illness. As well as the added stress that a legal case can bring. We ask that all our clients just focus on recovery, and leave the worry about the case to us.
Step 4: Trust The Process
With the right solicitor at your side, you will understand the process of a Dental Negligence Claim as it proceeds. At Cantillons Solicitors, we advise our clients from the start that their case may or may not go to Court. Most Dental Negligence cases are settled before Court.
When a Claimant/Plaintiff is invited to settlement negotiations, it often means that compensation may be offered to the client. If a settlement is offered then your Dental Negligence Solicitor will discuss it with you.
There are pros and cons to accepting a settlement. Your solicitor will ensure that you understand them fully and give you time to decide. In some instances, you may wish to proceed to trial, which your solicitor will prepare you for and guide you through each step of the lead up to the trial.
Contact Our Dental Negligence Solicitors in Cork
If you are looking for a Dental Negligence Solicitor, please contact Cantillons Solicitors using the contact form below, call us on +353 (0)21 4275673 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Our offices are located at 39 South Mall, Cork. We do, however, represent clients from all over Ireland. Should you be unable to attend our offices, we are more than happy to travel to you, or conduct the meeting on Zoom.