A member asked over 7 years ago

Dental trauma

When I was in year 5 it was compulsory to play sport at my school.
The sport game we had to play ended in my adult front tooth being knocked out.
It got put back in, but discovered when I went for braces just after I finished high school that it actually caught an infection in the roots.
After thousands of dollars that my parents had spent to try save it, it became apparent I had to lose the tooth, as it would fall out anyway. I am now left with a massive hole in the front of my mouth where my tooth used to be, and the implant cost a lot. is it possible to sue the school so they cover the expenses of a new tooth, and possibly reimburse my parents, or has it been too long since it happened?

Law Advisor Research Team
Researchers at LawAdvisor

Hi there. It sounds like your claim may relate to alleged negligence by the school or the dental practice that reinserted your tooth, which resulted in you suffering personal injury. This would ordinarily mean you have a right to sue the wrongdoer for compensation, but this right is subject to strict time limits. The rules about time limits for legal proceedings are complicated, so you should seek professional advice.

For personal injury claims in NSW, legal proceedings must generally be commenced within 3 years from the date that you acquired the right to sue – this is usually the date of injury. It is possible to extend this time limit by up to 5 years if a court believes that it would be just and reasonable to grant an extension. Whether you are eligible for an extension depends on the length and reason for the delay, the time you became aware of your injury and its full extent, and whether a potential defendant would be unfairly prejudiced by the extension.

In addition to this extension, there is limited scope to seek a further discretionary extension from a court if you were unaware of your injury or the nature, extent or cause of the injury when the original time limit expired. You would need to apply for this further extension within 3 years of discovering the true nature or extent of your injury. The length of the extension is at the court’s discretion.

If you acquired the injury before 1 September 1990, the rules are slightly different. The general time limit is 6 years, but this may be extended by a court if you did not become aware of material facts about your case (including the true nature and extent of your injury) until after the 6 year time limit ended.

Suggested way forward

The rules about time limits for commencing legal proceedings are complicated. You would benefit from speaking to a personal injury lawyer to determine if you have a cause of action against the school or dental practice. By pressing the “Consult a Lawyer” button, LawAdvisor can help you search for experienced lawyers and obtain fee proposals for their services. Costs for legal advice and representation will vary between providers based on experience and the scope of services.

Answered over 7 years ago   Legal disclaimer

Ari Katsoulas
Barrister at Ari Katsoulas

In the above circumstances, a prospective plaintiff may have a cause of action against either or both of the negligent parties (i.e. the school and/or the dentist.) Given the narrative, a limitations period issue may arise (i.e. your action is out of time or too late to sue someone for). Whether that can be overcome depends on what injuries were suffered and when.

-This is not legal advice and is only a guide. If you wish to obtain legal advice from me you may retain my professional services.-

Liability limited under a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

Answered over 7 years ago   Legal disclaimer


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