If you’ve suffered an injury, the last thing you need is a misdiagnosis on top. When we present ourselves at the doctors or hospital with a broken bone, we trust that they will use their expertise and experience to properly assess our problem. If a medical professional’s substandard care causes you further suffering, you could be eligible for missed fracture compensation.
A missed bone fracture diagnosis could result in worsening your original health problem or creating new ones. You may be reading this as someone who has suffered due to an injury caused or exacerbated by a negligent misdiagnosis. This guide could help.
Our advisors are on-hand 24/7 to give no-obligation, free legal advice. They could also connect you with our panel of medical negligence solicitors if you have a favourable missed fracture compensation claim.
Why not reach out?:
- Call us on 0161 696 9685
- Contact us via our website
- Refer to the ‘live support’ option, at bottom right of this screen
Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About Missed Fracture Compensation Claims
- What Is A Missed Fracture?
- Types Of Fractures And Bone Breaks
- What Type of Fractures Can Go Undiagnosed?
- What Are The Symptoms Of A Broken Or Fractured Bone?
- Why Do Medical Professionals Fail To Diagnose Fractures?
- Missed Fracture Compensation Claims Calculator
- Correctly Diagnosing Fractured And Broken Bones
- Treating Broken And Fractured Bones
- Complications Resulting From Breaks And Fractures
- What Are My Rights When Receiving Medical Treatment?
- Medical Negligence Claim Time Limits
- I Suffered A Missed Fracture, What Should I Do?
- No Win No Fee Missed Fracture Compensation Claims
- Missed Fracture Compensation – Other Information
- FAQs About Missed Fractures
Medical professionals owe patients a duty of care. If they provide you with a standard of care that falls below the accepted levels, it would be seen as medical negligence. If you suffer an injury or your suffering is worsened because of this, you could claim.
A fracture that goes undetected can lead to a whole range of other medical problems and in severe cases could result in amputation if infection sets in. The severity of the injury is taken into account when a compensation claim is valued.
In this guide, we look at everything you should know about missed fracture compensation claims. This includes the types of damages that can be calculated and what evidence you may need to support your claim.
However, if you have any questions, why not get in touch with our advisors? They’re available 24/7 for you.
A strong enough impact on a bone can cause it to splinter and break. A fracture is a partial or complete break that may or may not exit the surface of the skin (compound fracture). Injuries of this severity may not go undetected due to the significant pain and visible symptoms.
A missed hairline or stress fracture can be far more subtle. A hairline or very thin break in the bone can go undetected as part of multiple injuries. In some cases, even the patient themselves isn’t sure where the pain originates from.
Missed fractures can happen for different reasons. Perhaps medical professionals are trying to multi-task to deliver appropriate healthcare to other parts of the body that might be injured. A fine, hairline fracture in a metatarsal bone or finger could be overlooked if there are other more pressing injuries to deal with.
It may be that a GP didn’t refer you for an X-ray because your symptoms weren’t clear, so the fracture wasn’t initially caught.
But the fact remains that healthcare providers are required to provide a certain standard of care. Failure to do so could cause you significant pain, suffering and financial loss.
For example, if your fracture symptoms were clear but the GP didn’t diagnose it or refer you for an X-ray so they could diagnose it, this could amount to negligence.
There are various types of fractures and they include:
- Stable fracture – this is when the broken ends of a bone are in alignment.
- Compound or open fracture – when the bone displaces and the skin is ruptured.
- Linear fractures – these run lengthwise down the bone.
- Compression – occurs if bones become crushed
- Oblique fracture – where the break is at an angle
- Greenstick – occurs when the bone bends and cracks but doesn’t separate completely
- Comminuted fractures are where the bone is broken in at least 2 places
- Avulsion – when the breaking bone tears a ligament with it.
Different methods of treatment exist that are appropriate to each type of fracture. For instance, non-displaced fractures can be healed with the use of casts, leg-boots or splints that tether one finger to the other or restrict movement as the bone heals. In some cases, the insertion of pins or metal rods is necessary. We look at treatments for fractures in more detail below.
Missed fractures can occur to extremities like hands, fingers, wrists, ankles and foot bones as you may mistake the pain for a different injury. With this in mind, it’s important that we are as clear as we can be when presenting health issues to our doctors. They rely on us being able to explain where and how it hurts.
A medical negligence claim for missed fracture compensation could stand a better chance if you can prove we were as forthright and clear as possible when reporting the problem.
However, it’s also important to note that if the doctor, nurse or health practitioner is poorly trained or distracted from their task, a fracture in any part of the body could go undetected.
Extremities can be prone to fracturing in ways that may not be immediately noticeable to the sufferer. It can be easy to imagine that pain in a fractured elbow actually originates further down the arm. The cause and location might be different and it can make pinpointing the exact location of injury difficult.
Some typical fractures that could be missed are:
- Missed scaphoid fracture (small bones around the wrist)
- Missed elbow fracture
- Ankle fractures
- Spinal, back or vertebrae fractures
- Skull – slight fractures may only produce a headache
- Sacral bone fractures
When a bone is broken and not attended to, it can become infected and permit an increased risk of further damage. A missed fracture can also lead to long-term issues such as the increased risk of arthritis.
According to the NHS, symptoms of a broken or fractured bone can include:
- Pain when putting weight on the bone
- Deformed injury
- Nausea and faintness (caused by the shock of breaking the bone)
- Bruising and tenderness around the broken bone
Broken bone symptoms can seem like many other health conditions or problems. Because of this, it’s possible for their effects to be minimised, disregarded or ignored by both the patient and the attending physician.
Medical professionals can miss fractures for a number of reasons including:
- Misplaced attention on another area of the body
- Referring to incorrect patient records
- Misinterpretation of symptoms
- Misinterpretation of X-rays
The above might not always be caused by substandard care on the part of the medical professional or healthcare provider. However, if they could’ve been (for example, your symptoms were misinterpreted because a medical professional failed to listen to you about them) and you consequently suffered, you could claim.
There are two potential heads of claim when you make a successful medical negligence claim. These are general damages and special damages.
General damages are compensation for your pain and suffering. Compensation can be calculated by first looking at the findings of your medical assessment and cross-referencing your injuries with those listed in a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines. This publication lists a head to toe range of injury from ‘mild to severe’ and offers potential compensation brackets for each.
They are only suggestions, not guarantees, but they allow your lawyer to consider an award amount for you that is appropriate, fair and consistent with injuries of that kind.
The compensation table below includes figures from the Guidelines.
|Chest Injuries||(g) Fractures of ribs||Up to £3,710|
|Neck Injuries||(ii) Injuries, usually involving serious fractures||£61,710 to £122,860|
|Neck Injuries||(iii) Injuries causing fractures and significant disability||£42,680 to £52,540|
|Back Injuries||(iii) Disc fractures causing chronic conditions||£36,390 to £65,440|
|Other Arm Injuries||(b) Injuries Resulting in Permanent and Substantial Disablement||£36,770 to £56,180|
|Injuries to the Elbow||(c) Moderate or Minor Injury (simple fractures)||Up to £11,820
|Hand Injuries||Severe Fractures to Fingers||Up to £34,480|
|Severe Leg Injuries||(i) Fractures have not united and extensive bone grafting has been undertaken.||£90,320 to £127,530|
|Severe Leg Injuries||(iv) Moderate (multiple fractures to a single limb)||£26,050 to £36,790|
|Ankle Injuries||(a) Very Severe (bilateral ankle fractures causing degeneration of the joints at a young age so that arthrodesis is necessary)||£46,980 to £65,420|
Special damages compensate you for the financial losses associated with your injuries. An undiagnosed fracture could result in numerous financial problems as you attempt to deal with it. With the right proof, you could claim for:
- Work that you missed and lost wages for
- Care costs if needed
- Travel expenses (to and from hospital, for example)
- Forfeited deposits for holidays, special occasions or hobbies you could not attend
- Child care arrangements
- Pet care or gardening
- Physiotherapy the NHS wasn’t able to provide
Compiling these costs can take time. Some expenses may present themselves immediately and others will grow over time.
In order to prove special damages, you should provide evidence such as payslips, bills or invoices.
When examining a patient after an accident or illness, the practitioner may use various pieces of equipment to look for problems, such as:
- CT scans
They may assess the area around the main location of injury to ensure there are no additional injuries and they may check on areas of pain that the patient notifies them of. Following the correct procedure with proper use of the appropriate technology could help avoid the risk of missing fractures.
In order to aid recovery, a medical professional might find that you should use:
- Splints – this protects the bone
- Braces – to support the bone and aid fusing
- Plaster cast – providing support and a way of immobilising the bone while it heals
- Surgically inserted metal rods or plates – to actually hold the bone pieces together, sometimes inserted for life
- Pain relief
Fractures can be serious and can cause enormous upheaval. However, if the missed diagnosis that caused you further suffering was due to medical negligence, you could claim.
When proper medical observation and care are missing, things can go wrong. Complications from fractures can be unpleasant. As the patient, you should follow the medical advice given as best you can.
If a fracture is missed, it could result in infection or misalignment of the bones as they heal. Other complications of breaks include:
Speak with our advisors today about missed fracture compensation.
When you receive health and care services, your rights include:
- Not to be discriminated against.
- The right to life
- The right to liberty
- Not to be tortured or treated in a degrading or inhuman way
- The right to respect for family and private life
You should also recieve a certain standard of care. When making a medical negligence claim, the Bolam test can be used to determine whether the medical professional failed to meet this standard. In this test, a group of similar healthcare professionals would decide. If the treatment you received is judged to be substandard, your claim could be upheld.
The medical negligence claims time limit is generally three years from the date of knowledge (when you realised that negligence at least contributed to your suffering). Alternatively, this could be the date that you suffered the injury.
If the person seeking a missed fracture compensation claim is under 18 years of age, that three year period starts from the day of their 18th birthday. Before this, a litigation friend could claim on their behalf.
For those who lack the mental capacity to claim, a litigation friend could do so for them. If the person regains mental capacity, the three-year time limit would begin from the date of recovery (if nobody has already claimed on their behalf).
You could do the following after suffering a missed fracture:
- Firstly, get your injuries attended to by seeking the appropriate medical care
- Complain to the healthcare provider involved if your suffering was caused by medical negligence
- Gather proof of all the out-of-pocket expenses associated with your injuries
- Track and monitor costs that might arise in the future
If you have a valid medical negligence claim, you could also seek free legal advice. Our advisors are available 24/7 to help you with this. What’s more, they could connect you with our panel of solicitors.
A No Win No Fee agreement is a way of funding the services of a solicitor to make a claim. If your case wins, the solicitor retains a small percentage of the compensation as their success fee. This percentage is capped by law and you’ll be aware of it before you agree to use the solicitor’s services.
If the claim loses, you wouldn’t have to pay the solicitor’s fee at all.
Why not see if you can start the process now by calling the number below and chatting over your situation with our advisors. They can advise on eligibility and possibly connect you with a medical negligence lawyer to help.
Our advisors are available 24/7 and there’s no obligation for you to proceed with the services of our panel of solicitors. To get in touch:
- Call us on 0161 696 9685
- Contact us via our website
- Refer to the ‘live support’ option, bottom right of this screen
The below resources could also be of use.
For more reading about using NHS services properly, please read here.
If you want annual report statistics on medical negligence, some are available to read at this link.
Untreated fractures – what can happen?
It’s possible for the fracture to become infected causing sepsis (blood poisoning). The bone could also misalign as it heals.
Can you sue for a missed fracture?
With evidence that proves that medical negligence caused you unnecessary suffering, you could make a missed fracture compensation claim.
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