The page below contains an online guide to making a compensation claim for orthopaedic medical negligence and provides information, tips and free legal advice on why you could be eligible to make a claim.
It also covers the basics of starting orthopaedic negligence claims.
Because every claim is unique, there may be unique aspects of your claim not covered in this guide. If you find this to be the case, you only need to speak to one of our claim advisers on 0800 652 3087.
They can go over the specifics of your claim with you and answer any additional questions you may have while at the same time explaining how we can provide you with a personal injury lawyer.
Select A Section:
- A Guide To Orthopaedic Medical Negligence Injury Claims
- What Is Orthopaedics And What Do Orthopaedic Doctors Do?
- What Is Negligent Orthopaedic Treatment?
- How Could You Be Harmed By Negligent Orthopaedic Treatment?
- Orthopaedic Surgery Negligence
- Missed Fractures Or Broken Bone Orthopaedics
- Negligent Orthopaedic Hip Replacement Treatments
- Mistakes In Secondary Treatments
- Orthopaedic Medical Negligence Injury Claim Time limits
- What You Could Claim If Injured Due To Orthopaedic Medical Negligence?
- No Win No Fee Orthopaedic Medical Negligence Injury Claim
- How Do I Make An Orthopaedic Medical Negligence Injury Claim
- Orthopaedic Medical Resources And Additional Guides
A Guide To Orthopaedic Medical Negligence Injury Claims
This guide provides information on how to make a compensation claim for harm suffered due to orthopaedic clinical negligence and looks at who an orthopaedic doctor is, what their responsibilities are, and the kind of injuries and medical conditions they are expected to treat.
The middle section covers specific types of negligence that can result in a patient being entitled to file a compensation claim. We cover negligence during surgery, negligence that results in a serious injury such as a fracture being overlooked, and negligence during a procedure which includes hip replacement surgery.
The last section of the guide provides key information related to the claim’s process itself. You will find a table that shows common time limits which could apply to your claim. You will also find a list of some of the types of damages you could claim for. In this part of the guide we also explain the service that we offer claimants, and how we can provide you with a personal injury solicitor who will process your medical negligence claim for you.
What Is Orthopaedics And What Do Orthopaedic Doctors Do?
An orthopaedic doctor deals with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries. This means medical conditions and injuries that relate to muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints and bones. Some orthopaedic doctors specialise in a specific type of injury or part of the body, others are general practitioners. The areas of the body covered by orthopaedics include:
- The hip and knee joints
- The foot and the ankle joint
- The shoulder and elbow joints
- The spine and neck
- The hands and wrist joint
An orthopaedic doctor will treat all patients from newborn babies to elderly people who suffered an injury, or who are suffering from a medical condition that falls within this specialisation. The bias is to try and treat musculoskeletal disorders by initially using non-invasive treatments, and only resorting to surgery in cases that cannot be treated in any other way. An orthopaedic surgeon or doctor will treat injuries and medical conditions such as:
- Bone fractures
- Sports-related injuries
- Ruptured disks and other conditions causing back pain
- Bone cancer/tumours
- Arthritis of the hands, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other hand-related conditions
- Hip dysplasia, bowed legs and club foot
- Trauma that has caused a musculoskeletal problem
- Lengthening of the limbs
- Injuries to the Achilles tendon and the heel of the foot
- General musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis
An orthopaedic doctor or surgeon specialises in this type of medical conditions and others. They undergo extensive training, and are expected to treat patients without causing unnecessary harm. But of course, mistakes are sometimes made, and negligence occurs. Should this be the case, it may be possible for a medical negligence solicitor to process a claim for the injured patient.
What Is Negligent Orthopaedic Treatment?
We covered the duties of these specialists in the previous section. Although some conditions treated by these doctors are fairly minor in nature, others are complex, often traumatic injuries. Therefore, any negligent act could result in quite severe consequences to a patient. Some of the most serious consequences of orthopaedic negligence include:
- Fractures that go undiagnosed, or are diagnosed late
- Hip operations that are performed unnecessarily, or performed badly
- Surgery to treat fractured bones that could have been treated using non-invasive methods
Every orthopaedic specialist has a duty of care towards their patients. When this duty of care is not met, this could be construed as negligence. In order for a claim to be valid, the following three statements would all need to be true:
- The orthopaedic surgeon or doctor had a clear duty of care towards a patient they were treating
- This duty of care was not met, and this resulted in the patient being physically harmed in some way
- The failure in the duty of care, and hence the harm the patient suffered, could have been avoided in some way
If you can tick all of these boxes, it could be that you have been the victim of clinical negligence. We recommend that you use the number at the end of this guide to contact our claims team. Explain your situation to them, and they will be able to tell you whether you have a potentially valid orthopaedic claim or not. If you do, they can explain how we can provide you with a team of negligence solicitors who could be able to process your claim for you.
How Could You Be Harmed By Negligent Orthopaedic Treatment?
We have already covered the kinds of negligence that can occur during orthopaedic treatment. Now it is time to look at some of the kinds of injuries that can be caused by negligence. We cover them briefly in this section, and then expand on each in their own section below. Primarily, we will be looking at:
- Injuries or medical problems caused by some kind of surgical error, while a patient is undergoing an orthopaedic surgical procedure
- Injuries that are made worse by not being treated, such as a missed fracture or a missed broken bone
- Hip replacements that were either unnecessary, or were performed badly, injuring the patient in some way
- Mistakes that are made in secondary treatment, while a patient is in recovery
No matter how you have been harmed by an orthopaedic specialist due to some kind of negligence, you could be in a position to make a compensation claim for the harm you have suffered. Talk to one of our claims’ advisers on the number below, to learn more about the process of making a claim.
Orthopaedic Surgery Negligence
Many thousands of patients each year go through some form of orthopaedic surgery successfully. Their injury or medical condition is treated, and they make a full recovery. However, a patient undergoing surgery is always placed at some level of risk which is typically dependent upon the complexity of the surgical procedure being performed. This risk is increased significantly when negligence is involved. Negligence related to surgery can include:
- Surgery that is carried out without the consent of a patient or the patient’s legal guardian
- Mistakes made by an anaesthetist that cause harm to a patient or even result in death
- Poorly performed hip replacements, causing additional medical problems for the patient
- Lax care post-operation, leading to the patient contracting an infection
- Faulty equipment in the operating theatre, causing an injury to the patient
- Surgical mistakes, such as surgery being performed on the wrong part of the body
- Permanent damage to nerves caused by negligent incisions
All of these are examples of negligent acts that could take place during a surgical procedure. In clinical negligence cases such as these, if negligence can be proven, then it could be possible for the patient to sue the responsible party for surgical negligence.
We can offer you help and advice on how to do this. Just talk to one of our claim advisers on the number below, to find out if your claim is valid, and to learn how we can provide you with a solicitor to process your claim for a surgery error for you.
Missed Fractures Or Broken Bone Orthopaedics
One of the primary responsibilities of an orthopaedics specialist, is in relation to diagnosing and treating fractured bones. In a perfect world, fractures are diagnosed and then treated using the correct procedure, and the victim makes a full recovery. But of course, mistakes can be made, and a less than perfect resolution to the health problem is the result.
Some fractures are very simple to diagnose, an example being compound fractures that involved multiple breaks of a single bone, or multiple broken bones. Certain fractures are much harder to diagnose correctly though. For example, hairline fractures can be mistaken for soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains.
It is the responsibility of the orthopaedic doctor to ensure that all necessary means are taken to diagnose a fracture. This would include sending the patient for an X-Ray, and if the results of the X-Ray are inconclusive, potentially an MRI scan as well. In a busy hospital, this process can take some time, as the patient needs to wait for their turn in the queue for these kinds of tests. Mistakes can be made during the process of diagnosis. Results can be misread, or symptoms can be overlooked.
This can mean that a fracture, even a serious one, can go undiagnosed and as a consequence the patient does not receive the treatment required. It can also mean that a fracture is diagnosed late, meaning that the patient doesn’t receive the correct treatment until much later when the mistake is uncovered. Both of these situations can lead to the patient’s injury becoming worse due to not having been treated, and the patient being exposed to unnecessary pain and suffering.
Therefore, any case of a late or misdiagnosis of a fracture could be seen as clinical negligence. It could be possible for the patient to make a compensation claim for the harm they have suffered. If you would like to learn more about the process of doing this, please speak to one of our claim experts on the number below.
A hip replacement is a fairly common procedure, especially for the elderly. Most people undergo a hip replacement and recover a decent level of mobility afterwards. However, for some people, the procedure leaves them worse off than they were before the hip replacement was performed. Due to reasons such as:
- Hip replacements that were performed unnecessarily
- Poorly fitted hip replacements, causing further health problems later on
- Hip replacements that used the wrong size of prosthetic, causing additional health issues
No matter how you have been harmed due to hip replacement negligence, you could have a valid basis for a claim if negligence can be proven. We can help you with this. Use the number below to speak to our team, and learn how to move your hip replacement negligence claim forward today.
Mistakes In Secondary Treatments
So far, we have covered negligence related to serious orthopaedic treatments involving surgery. There are many kinds of treatment that do not require surgery, that could also be applied negligently. For example:
- Plaster casts or other medical devices being fitted incorrectly, causing a person to suffer additional pain and suffering
- Pharmaceutical errors, where a patient has been prescribed the wrong medication, causing an adverse reaction or an allergic reaction
- Patients who are discharged from the hospital before they are fit to care for themselves at home
- Infections, illnesses and diseases that are contracted due to lax inpatient care, unhygienic conditions or cross infections
If you are harmed due to circumstances such as these, or any other that was caused by the negligent actions of a medical professional, you could be able to make a negligence claim.
We can provide you with a solicitor to process a claim for hospital negligence for you. Either against the NHS or a private healthcare facility. Talk to our team today on the number below, to learn more about the ways in which we can help you to get the compensation you may be entitled to.
Orthopaedic Medical Negligence Injury Claim Time limits
When an injured patient makes an orthopaedic surgery negligence claim, they must begin their claim within the personal injury time limit that applies to their own case. The most common time limits are shown in the table below.
|Circumstances of the Claim
|For symptoms that manifest immediately
|3-years from the date the injury was caused.
|For symptoms that manifest at a later date.
|3-years from the date the symptoms are diagnosed
|For people who were under 18 at the time they came to harm.
|3-years from the date of the victim’s 18 th birthday.
These are the general time limits related to personal injury claims in the UK. However, they can be affected by extenuating circumstances, and we recommend you go over the circumstances of your claim with one of our claims team, to find out just which time limit would apply.
What You Could Claim If Injured Due To Orthopaedic Medical Negligence?
When you make a successful orthopaedic injury claim you will receive a settlement that is made up of potentially several different types of damages. These damages all fit into the two general headings of special damages and general damages. For example:
- Special damages (these compensate for financial and other losses):
- The cost of hiring in-home care or home help
- Loss of your current wages or salary
- Loss of future work prospects and income
- Private medical fees you had to pay
- Travel tickets and related expenses
- General damages (these compensate for physical harm):
- General pain and suffering following the incident
- Long-term or permanent disabilities
- Psychological injuries
- Mental trauma, shock and stress
- Painful treatment and recuperation
If you talk to one of our claims team on the number below, and explain your personal injury claim to them, they will be able to give you an indication of the kinds of damages it could be possible for you to claim compensation for.
No Win No Fee Orthopaedic Medical Negligence Injury Claim
Most people will have heard the phrase, No Win No Fee. But do you know what it actually means? The official term for this kind of fee arrangement is a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). With the fee the medical negligence lawyer charges being conditional on them achieving a successful resolution to the claim.
The solicitor will not expect to receive a fee at the time they take your claim on, and they will not expect to collect ongoing fees during the time that they are processing your claim for you. If the solicitor doesn’t manage to secure you a compensation settlement, they also will not expect to collect a free. If the solicitor does receive a compensation payment for you, they will take their fee (success fee) out of this money, and then give you what is left over.
How Do I Make An Orthopaedic Medical Negligence Injury Claim
Starting a claim is a fairly straightforward process. Whether you have suffered an orthopaedic injury due to NHS negligence or negligence in a private healthcare facility. All you need to do, is speak to a member of our claims team on 0800 652 3087. You can call them any time if the day or night, as our hotline is open 24 hours a day.
One of our claim advisers will go over your claim with you, and explain your legal options to you. They will then offer you some free legal advice on the best way to proceed with your claim (if you have a valid claim). They can also explain how we can provide you with a solicitor that will process your claim for you. The solicitor will also provide other forms of assistance, such as valuing your claim and telling you how much compensation you could possibly receive. You need this accurate valuation, even if you have already tried using a personal injury claims calculator to get a rough idea of the value of your claim.
Orthopaedic Medical Resources And Additional Guides
You may find that these external links gave information that could be of use to you:
Below, you can find links to all of our medical negligence claims guides:
- A guide to medical negligence claims
- Punctured lung injuries negligence claims
- Dry needling gone wrong claims
- MRSA claims
- Acupuncture gone wrong – negligence claims
- Eye injury medical negligence
- Neurological medical negligence
- Respiratory illness clinical negligence claims
- Nerve injury caused by medical negligence – how to claim
- Spina Bifida negligence claims
- Needlestick injury claims
- How much could my medical negligence claim be worth?
- Retained placenta negligence claims
- Private healthcare medical negligence
- Facelift surgery negligence claims
- Coolsculpting and fat freezing negligence claims
- Liposuction negligence claims
- Clinical negligence in a nursing home
- How to make a claim for midwife negligence
- Carpal tunnel syndrome and medical negligence
- Medical negligence compensation calculator
- Lost medical records claims
- What is the medical negligence time limit?
- Claims for negligent cool sculpting and fat freezing
- Failure to prevent suicide – can you claim?
- Ophthalmic negligence claims
- Defective medical devices claims
- Amputation negligence
- Anaesthetic negligence claims
- A&E medical negligence
- Hip dysplasia claims
Article by MW