Valuing dental negligence claims
Produced in partnership with Mike Hill of Trinity Chambers
Valuing dental negligence claims

The following PI & Clinical Negligence guidance note Produced in partnership with Mike Hill of Trinity Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Valuing dental negligence claims
  • General damages
  • Special damages

NOTE: On 15 July 2019 the Lord Chancellor announced that the discount rate would change to minus 0.25%. The new discount rate came into effect on 5 August 2019.

General damages

General damages reflect the pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused by the negligence. In dental claims the general damages will also reflect the need to undergo remedial dentistry.

The starting point is the Judicial College Guidelines or JCG (formerly the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines). Damage to teeth is found under Facial Injuries, '(A) Skeletal Injuries' and there is some broad but limited guidance. The preamble specifically sets out that the extent and/or degree of discomfort of the remedial treatment is important in valuing the damages. Difficulty in eating is also specifically mentioned as a factor. In addition, the preamble says that awards can be greater when the injury is caused by or results in protracted dentistry. The overall effect of the preamble is that the Guideline brackets tend to be less prescriptive than in other kinds of injury.

There are four traditional brackets which are a little oddly worded. For example the bracket for back teeth refers only to loss or damage; for front teeth the bracket refers to serious damage. A new bracket was introduced in a previous edition of the Guidelines, without a paragraph number to take