Fracture Misdiagnosis Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a missed fracture diagnosis, we can help.
If your injuries were caused by the negligence of a doctor, nurse, midwife or other medical professional, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a specialist clinical negligence solicitor.
Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove the negligence happened. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses.
We can help you make a medical negligence claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
In this article
A fracture is a serious injury that should be treated as a priority medical event. Despite this, missed diagnosis of fracture is one of the leading causes of complaint against Accident and Emergency Departments across the UK.
If not dealt with correctly, fractures can have severe and long-term consequences. Missed diagnosis of fracture can cause the bone to degenerate further or lead to complications such as osteoarthritis or infection.
In many cases, the outcome for the patient will be significantly worse than if the fracture had been identified when the patient first sought medical attention.
If you have been harmed by a missed fracture diagnosis, you may be eligible to make a clinical and medical negligence claim.
How might a fracture be missed?
A missed diagnosis, or misdiagnosis, occurs whenever a doctor fails to identify the fracture. Misdiagnosis can occur for a number of reasons, including:
- Doctors failing to investigate the symptoms of a fracture
- Inexperienced doctors failing to request an x-ray
- GP negligence, for example, where the doctors misidentifies the fracture as a pulled muscle or sprain
- Lack of swelling and other symptoms in certain types of fracture, such as a scaphoid fracture, such that the doctor fails to spot the problem
- The x-ray being taken from the wrong angle so the fracture is not seen
- Misinterpretation of x-ray results
- The x-ray not being passed on to the medical team for further action.
What are the consequences of a missed fracture?
Without timely treatment, the fracture may fail to knit together or heal in the wrong position. In the short term, the patient is likely to experience additional pain. The delay in diagnosis may also result in the treatment becoming more complicated than it would have been had the fracture been spotted when the patient first visited their doctor.
Missed fractures can also lead to serious long-term problems including reduced range of movement and an increased risk of the patient developing osteoarthritis in the affected area.
These complications can have ramifications for a person's mobility and their ability to work, drive or enjoy hobbies. Loss of earnings and loss of amenity are frequently assessed as part of a missed diagnosis of fracture compensation claim.
Making a missed diagnosis of fracture claim
To make a successful claim, the injury lawyer will need to establish negligence on the part of the medical team.
Breach of duty occurs whenever the medical professional failed to act reasonably in assessing the injury, by reference to the actions that a competent doctor in the same field might reasonably be expected to have taken.
The injury lawyer must also demonstrate that the missed or late diagnosis of the fracture caused the patient further pain or injury.
As an initial step, the injury lawyer will commission an independent medical examination to assess the impact of the missed diagnosis and determine whether further suffering could have been avoided. The medical report will form the basis of the compensation claim.
Regrettably, not all cases of missed fracture diagnosis will be eligible for a compensation claim. For example, if the mistake was discovered before the patient suffered any damage as a result of the missed diagnosis, then it is unlikely that a claim may be made. An injury solicitor will be able to assess whether or not your potential claim is likely to succeed.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.
Less than 5% of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.
Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.
No win, no fee, no risk
'No win, no fee' means that if your injury claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay your solicitor any money. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is a legal contract between you (the 'claimant') and your solicitor.
No win, no fee guarantee
If you have been injured and it was not your fault, we can help you make a no win, no fee injury compensation claim.
What do I pay if I win my injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, once your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my injury claim?
If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Is there a penalty if I withdraw?
Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.
Is there a catch?
The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) sets out the terms between you and your solicitor., No Win No Fee is a regulated activity and as such there should be no nasty surprises in the agreement. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you read the agreement carefully and ask any questions if you are unsure.
How we can help you
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning medical negligence claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open:
- 8am to 9pm weekdays
- 9am to 6pm on Saturday
- 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday
Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
I need the money now - what are my options?
If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.