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.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a missed fracture diagnosis and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

In our guide to claiming fracture misdiagnosis compensation:

Introduction

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.

No win, no fee, no risk

'No win, no fee' means that if your fracture misdiagnosis 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 wasn't your fault, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your fracture misdiagnosis injury. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my fracture misdiagnosis 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 fracture misdiagnosis claim?

If your fracture misdiagnosis 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.

What is Legal Aid available for?

In 2000, the government abolished the right to legal aid in medical negligence cases. Depending on an individual's circumstances, Legal Aid may be available for discrimination cases, criminal cases, family mediation and court or tribunal representation.

How can Quittance help?

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, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:

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Fracture misdiagnosis FAQ's

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.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 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 held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Author:
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor