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Missed Or Undiagnosed Fractures

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Fractured bones can occur during trauma, such as heavy impact with an object or a fall.

Unfortunately, failing to detect abnormalities or fractures on an x-ray is a common error. Further to this, a failure to take an x-ray due to an inadequate examination, appreciation of an injury or ordering the wrong views also occurs often.

Missed or undiagnosed fractures can cause avoidable, prolonged periods of pain and suffering. In some cases, it could also lead to surgery which may not have been required if the injury has been diagnosed when you first sought medical attention.

Bones can take around 6 – 12 weeks to fully heal in adults, children’s bones tend to heal faster in comparison. If you don’t receive the correct treatment, you could develop a serious infection or a permanent deformity as the bone may begin to heal in the incorrect position. You may also develop long-term problems with your joints as a result.

If you have been discharged but continue to suffer from the below symptoms, it is advised to return to seek further medical advice as a fracture may have been missed or undiagnosed.

Missed or Undiagnosed Fractures

 

What are the symptoms of Missed or Undiagnosed Fractures?

Following trauma, it can be difficult to confirm whether the bone is fractured if the bones have not displaced. Some common symptoms of a fracture are:

  • Pain
  • Dizziness/nausea (due to shock)
  • Swelling/bruising surrounding injured area
  • Unable to weight bear or increased pain when pressure is applied to the injured area
  • Deformity (if the bones have become displaced)

How is it diagnosed?

If you believe you have suffered a fractured bone, it is best to seek medical advice. You can be examined at the Minor Injuries Unit, for smaller fractures such as fingers/toes, or the Accident and Emergency Department.

Upon your arrival, the injured area should be examined and an x-ray taken to confirm whether or not the bone is fractured and where the fracture is located. The x-ray should not only be reviewed by the radiographer, but also the orthopaedic registrar. Further scans such as MRI or CT scans may be ordered for high-risk areas.

Missed or Undiagnosed Fractures

 

How is it treated?

Treatment of a fracture depends on the location, size, and complexity of the injury.

Most simple fractures are treated conservatively, meaning that you do not require an operation. The broken bones must be properly aligned and held in place, usually with a cast, bandages or slings, so that the bone can heal in the correct position.

More complex fractures may require surgical intervention to fix the bones back into the correct position with plates and screws.

How do I make a claim?

If you feel that your diagnosis has been delayed or that your treatment has been inappropriate then you may be entitled to bring about a claim.

The team at Oakwood Solicitors will be able to give you free advice on the prospects of your case and whether you would be eligible to make a claim.

Who can bring about a claim?

The victim of the negligence can bring about a claim in their own right however it is often sadly the case that the victim is either unable to bring about a claim or has sadly passed. In such circumstances, a claim can be brought about on their behalf either by an appropriate person or litigation friend if the victim is still with us or by the executor of the estate of surviving dependant if the victim has passed.

Our specialist team will be able to discuss whether you have a right to bring about a claim so if you or a loved one has been affected do not hesitate to contact us.

How long do I have to claim?

Claims of this nature are subject to a three year limitation period. This means that claims have to be commenced within the Courts in three years of rather the date the negligent act occurred or the date you became aware that negligence had occurred. In cases involving deceased victims this limitation period commences from the date of death and in cases involving minors, the limitation period starts when they reach their 18th birthday.

The law surrounding limitation periods is complex, our specialist team will be able to advise further.

Justice Brass Statuette

 

How long will my case take to run?

Given the complexities involved in pursuing Clinical Negligence claims, they can often take 18-24 months to conclude and longer if Court proceedings have to be issued. Our investigations start by obtaining all relevant records and protocols before approaching independent medical experts for their opinion. We will provide you with regular updated on the progress of your case to ensure that you are kept up to speed.

How much is my claim worth?

It is often difficult to value clinical negligence claims at their outset given the complexities involved however we will pursue two forms of compensation for you:

  • General damages – An award of money for the pain and suffering you have endured as a result of the negligence.
  • Special damages – An award of money for all of your out of pocket expenses such as travel expenses, medication costs, loss of earnings, treatment costs both past and future. This list is not exhaustive and is very case specific.

How is my case funded?

The majority of Clinical Negligence cases are funded by a Conditional Fee Agreement, more commonly known as a “no win no fee” agreement. This means that there will be nothing to pay up front and nothing to pay if the claim has been lost. If you are successful in your claim a deduction of 25% of damages will be taken to cover the success fee and the shortfall in legal fees.

It may also be the case that an After The Event (ATE) insurance policy will be obtained to cover the costs of expensive medical reports and investigations. If an ATE insurance policy has to be obtained the cost of the same will be discussed with you at the appropriate point. The cost of the ATE insurance policy is again taken from your damages and only payable if you are successful with your claim.

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Oakwood Solicitors Ltd

 

Why use Oakwood Solicitors Ltd to make your Clinical Negligence case?

We have a dedicated team of solicitors and paralegals who have many years’ experience between them in running cases of this nature. They are highly trained to deal with all aspects of clinical negligence.

We want to ensure at Oakwood Solicitors Ltd that clients are not overwhelmed by legal jargon, medical terms that they don’t understand and to allow the claims procedure to be as transparent as possible.

WHAT TO DO NEXT

For any advice about escalating your claim, get in touch today for a free initial consultation in complete confidence. Choose one of the methods on the right-hand side of this page, or call us on 0113 200 9787 to find out how we can help you.

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Carol Cook

Head of Department - Medical Negligence

0113 200 9780

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