My son recently had braces incorrectly fitted by his orthodontist; can he claim for orthodontic surgeon negligence if he’s only 15 years old?
Your son may be entitled to orthodontic surgeon negligence compensation, however he will not be able to make a claim for himself as he is only 15 years old and is still seen as a minor by UK law. In the UK minors are not permitted to advise a solicitor or initiate a claim on their own behalf. However you or another guardian without a conflict of interest may be able to represent him in a claim for compensation for orthodontic negligence as his “litigation friend”. In order to make a claim for medical or dental negligence though, your son will had to have sustained injury from this negligence. Without an injury there are no grounds for pursuing a personal injury claim. It is advisable that you contact a personal injury claims solicitor with experience in orthodontic negligence claims at the first possible opportunity as they will be able to inform you of all your options and advise you on how best to proceed.
Another option for your son in possibly claiming compensation for injury sustained from negligent orthodontic surgeon is waiting until he turns 18 years of age so that he can make a claim on his own behalf. The Statute of Limitations which was established as part of the Limitations Act in 1980 imposes a three-year time-limit for those who wish to make a personal injury claim. However with regards to child injury, this time limit will not begin until they turn the age of 18, the age that they are permitted to represent themselves in litigation. However it is still advisable to contact your solicitor, even if you are thinking of waiting till this time for your son to make a claim. It is important to find out whether or not your son definitely has a viable claim for orthodontic surgeon negligence.
Your solicitor will establish attempt to establish orthodontist negligence by submitting any evidence they have gathered, such as the relevant dental notes and dental history of your son to a panel of independent dental experts. They will examine the information provided and from this they will be able to determine whether or not the actions that your son’s orthodontist took were inappropriate and if the same outcome would have occurred were another dental professional in their place. They will tell your solicitor whether or not they consider your son’s orthodontist to have demonstrated negligence. Your solicitor will then inform you of the outcome of these proceedings and whether or not it is advisable for your son to proceed with this claim for compensation for orthodontic negligence.
The information provided here is merely general advice regarding your son’s potential claim for injury sustained from negligent orthodontic surgeon. It is not a substitute to the advice that a solicitor who has specific knowledge of his situation will be able to provide. Therefore it is advisable that you contact one as soon as possible in order to discuss your son’s orthodontic surgeon negligence claim.