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Is it possible for my twelve year old daughter to obtain compensation for having the wrong tooth extracted?

It may be possible for your twelve year old daughter to claim compensation for having the wrong tooth extracted; however the process of pursuing a compensation claim for a child is different to when an adult is making a claim. This is due to the fact that people under eighteen in Ireland are considered to be minors and minors are not permitted by Irish law to make a claim on their own behalf or advise a solicitor. Therefore, if you would like for your daughter to receive compensation for the extraction of the wrong tooth, you or another legal guardian will have to represent her in her claim as her “next friend”. As a next friend you would have to advise a solicitor on her behalf and also accept any financial liability if your claim is ultimately unsuccessful.

With pursuing a child injury claim, there is also the option of waiting till a child turns eighteen to make a claim on their own account. Because minors are not allowed to make a claim for themselves, the usual two year time limit imposed by the Irish Statute of Limitations will not apply in the same way. The time limit will not begin on the day that your daughter’s incorrect tooth was extracted, but on the day that she turns eighteen, meaning that she will have up until her twentieth birthday to make a claim for compensation for having the wrong tooth extracted.

Nevertheless, it always advisable to see a medical negligence claims solicitor at the first possible moment in order to find out the viability of a claim. It is also wiser to pursue a claim while there is still recent evidence available. It will also be necessary to find out who the negligent party was that was responsible for your daughter’s extraction of the wrong tooth. Although this negligent party may seem clear, it is not always necessarily the dental surgeon who is responsible for such errors. This instance of negligence could have been due to wrong information being provided to your daughter’s dental surgeon because of an administrational error, or because of a mistake made by a dental assistant. Your solicitor will try to establish the negligent party by presenting your daughter’s dental notes to an independent dental expert for examination. Based on what this expert concludes, the solicitor will decide whether or not to proceed with your daughter’s claim.

There will be a number of factors taken into account when determining how much compensation for when the incorrect tooth was extracted your daughter should be eligible to receive. Her age, sex and her general state of dental health prior to the extraction will be accounted for. Furthermore, they will also assess the pain and suffering she has endured and will endure because of necessary future dental treatments and the impact this has had – and will have – on her quality of life. Through the area of medical negligence claim known as special damages, she should be compensated for the medical expenses already has incurred and will incur to rectify her wrong tooth being extracted. If she has suffered emotionally or has had to make any non-financial changes to her life, this will be accounted for as part of the area of claim referred to legally as general damages.

The information provided here regarding how to claim compensation for having the wrong tooth extracted on a child’s behalf and how the value of such a claim may be calculated is merely general advice. It is not a substitute to specific legal advice obtained from a solicitor. Therefore it is advisable that you discuss your daughter’s claim with a medical negligence claims solicitor at the first possible moment.