How long does a dental negligence claim take

How Long Does A Dental Negligence Claim Take?

When patients experience dental negligence understanding the timeline of a dental negligence claim is crucial for those seeking resolution and compensation. Several factors contribute to the duration of such claims. This guide aims to shed light on the general timeline of a dental negligence claim.

Initial Investigation:

The process begins with gathering evidence and conducting an initial investigation: collecting medical records, consults dental experts, and evaluates the merits of the case.

Pre-action Protocols:

Before filing a formal claim, solicitors follow pre-action protocols, which involve notifying the defendant (the dentist or dental practice) about the intended legal action. This stage allows for the exchange of information and encourages settlement discussions.

Issuing a Claim:

If an agreement cannot be reached during the pre-action phase, the solicitor may proceed to issue a formal legal claim. The time taken to file a claim varies but generally falls within a few months after completing pre-action protocols.

Defendant’s Response:

Once the claim is issued, the defendant has a limited time to respond. Their response may involve admitting liability, contesting the claim, or negotiating a settlement. This stage can extend the timeline depending on the complexity of the case and the willingness of the parties to negotiate.

Gathering Expert Opinions:

Both parties may engage independent dental experts to provide opinions on the standard of care and the alleged negligence. This process adds time to the overall duration of the claim, as scheduling expert assessments and obtaining their reports can take several months.

Settlement Negotiations or Court Proceedings:

Many dental negligence claims are resolved through negotiation without proceeding to court. If the parties reach an agreement, the case can be settled, concluding the process. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, court proceedings may be initiated, leading to a more extended legal process.

Trial and Judgment:

If the case goes to trial, the court will hear arguments from both sides, and a judgment will be delivered. The duration of the trial and the time it takes for the court to reach a decision vary. This phase can extend the overall timeline significantly.


The timeline for a dental negligence claim is influenced by various factors, including the complexity of the case, the willingness of the parties to settle, and the court’s schedule if the case goes to trial. While some claims may be resolved within a year, others could take several years to reach a conclusion.

It’s essential for individuals pursuing dental negligence claims to be patient, stay informed about the progress, and work closely with experienced solicitors who can guide them through the legal process.

If you believe you have been a victim of gross negligence, seeking legal advice is essential. Understanding your rights and having a clear picture of the evidence will empower you to take appropriate action and seek justice for any harm caused by your dentist’s actions.

Our Dental Negligence team has decades of combined experience in successfully advising and representing clients in dental negligence cases.

We are sympathetic, understanding, and are here to help you every step of the way.

Contact us today to discuss your claim.



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