How To Claim Compensation For A Misdiagnosed Elbow Fracture
Almost any bone in the human body that is fractured or broken will result in some level of pain. Those that happen in joints of the body though can be even more painful and make completing everyday functions difficult. Therefore, if a medical professional is negligence and a missed elbow fracture diagnosis occurs, you could claim compensation for any additional suffering caused. Therefore, in this guide, we’ll look at the reasons why a elbow fracture could be missed, when a doctor might be liable and the amount of compensation you could claim for your suffering.
Medical Negligence Assist specialise in helping people begin all sorts of personal injury claims. Our advisors start by offering a no obligation assessment of any claim. Then they offer free legal advice about the claims process. Finally, if the case has good enough grounds, they could introduce you to one the medical negligence solicitors on our panel. Are you ready to begin your claim right away? If so, give our team a call today on 0800 652 3087.
If you’d rather find out more about claiming for a missed elbow fracture, please continue reading this helpful guide.
Choose A Section
- A Guide To Missed Elbow Fracture Compensation Claims
- What Are Misdiagnosed Fractures?
- Causes Of Misdiagnosed Fracture
- Broken And Fractured Elbow Causes
- Signs And Symptoms Of A Fractured Elbow
- How Elbow Fractures Are Diagnosed And Treated
- Could I Claim If My Injury Has Been Misdiagnosed?
- Claims For Elbow Fractures Misdiagnosed By A GP
- Claims For Elbow Fractures Misdiagnosed By A Hospital
- Your Rights As A Patient Under NHS Care
- Time Limits In Which To Claim For A Missed Elbow Fracture
- Missed Elbow Fracture Compensation Claim Calculator
- No Win No Fee Claims For A Misdiagnosed Elbow Fracture
- Speak To Our Medical Negligence Team
- Further Information
A Guide To Missed Elbow Fracture Compensation Claims
When making medical negligence claims, you’ll need to show that a medical professional has acted in a substandard way and caused you to suffer. In the case of a missed elbow fracture, it’s not enough to just show the doctor failed to spot the injury, you’ll also need to demonstrate the additional suffering their mistake caused you.
Therefore, in this guide, we’re going to be looking at the symptoms of an elbow, the anatomy of an elbow fracture and what reasons a doctor might miss the fracture. We’ll also look at the recovery time for a broken elbow.
Proving medical negligence, especially for a misdiagnosis, can be quite a complex task. Our advice is that you’ll have a much better chance of winning your claim if you have a professional medical negligence solicitor working for you. Our panel of solicitors have many years of experience in all sorts of negligence claims. They understand what’s required, and what’s not, to prove the negligence of a medical professional.
Here are some reasons we believe you should use Medical Negligence Assist to help you claim:
- Our claims line is available 24-7 so you can claim when it’s most convenient.
- The advice we provide is free and there’s no obligation to continue.
- Our panel of solicitors has up to 30 years’ experience making personal injury claims.
- They always try to work as efficiently as possible and provide you with regular updates.
- Finally, the solicitors on our panel always try to ensure your claim is settled for a full and fair amount of compensation.
What Are Misdiagnosed Fractures?
When you are treated by a medical professional, you have to put your faith in their expertise and trust they’ll treat you well. On top of your trust, they also have a duty of care to ensure the correct procedures and equipment are used, your informed of any risks and that the treatment you receive is at a level that can be reasonably expected.
Causes Of Errors In The Diagnosis Of A Fracture
When you seek the advice of a medical professional, there are a number of scenarios which could result in an error that prevents your elbow fracture being spotted. These could include:
- When a GP fails to confirm the diagnosis during the initial fracture assessment. This could mean treatment for another condition is offered and your suffering increases.
- If a hospital doctor fails to ask for X-rays as they believe your symptoms match another condition.
- When your assessment by a doctor at the hospital is rushed or cut short because the A&E department is overly busy.
- Or if the doctor fails to correctly qualify the fracture even though it’s present on the X-ray.
Claims are possible against the NHS or private healthcare companies when a misdiagnosis leads to additional suffering. If you believe your elbow fracture was missed and would like to discuss making a claim, please call our team of advisors today.
Broken And Fractured Elbow Causes
Elbows can be broken in a number of different ways and in a number of different accidents. These include:
- When falling backwards and placing your hands out behind you to break the fall.
- A direct blow to the elbow when falling from a motorcycle in a road traffic collision.
- Landing directly on the elbow in any type of fall.
- A glancing blow which catches the elbow.
While your doctor or medical professional won’t normally be responsible for the initial injury, a claim could be made against them if they fail to spot the fracture and, as a result, you go on to suffer further pain.
Signs And Symptoms Of A Fractured Elbow
Your elbow is made up of three different bones, the humerus, radius and ulna. If a fracture occurs within the elbow joint, a number of different symptoms might be visible. These can include:
- Bruising and swelling at the elbow joint.
- Stiffness of the elbow and the surrounding area.
- Extreme or severe pain.
- A snapping noise at the time of the injury occurring.
- Weakness or numbness in the wrist, arm or hand.
- An obvious and visible deformity.
How Elbow Fractures Are Diagnosed And Treated
The first step in the treatment of a broken elbow begins with an assessment by a doctor. They’ll ask about previous injuries as well as how the accident occurred. They’ll then assess the injury for physical signs of a fracture. The next step would be to scan the injury. This would usually be in the form of an X-ray but an ultrasound, MRI scan or CT scan could be used for a more detailed investigation.
Following the scan, the doctor will concentrate on the best course of action to treat the defect.
The treatment could be as simple as elevating the arm in a sling to allow it to heal naturally. But when does a fractured elbow need surgery? This is usually the case when a compound fracture is detected. A compound fracture or open fracture is where the bone has pierced the skin. Surgery may also be required for a comminuted elbow fracture occurs (where the humerus fractures into several pieces). The surgery be performed to realign the bones of the elbow. In some cases, this might require pins and plates to secure the bones so that healing can take place.
The usual recovery time for a broken elbow is around 6 weeks. In this period, a sling, plaster cast or splint might be used to reduce the amount of movement in the joint. Where a broken elbow requires hospital treatment, the injury might take a little longer to heal fully.
Could I Claim If My Injury Has Been Misdiagnosed?
The short answer to this question is generally, “Yes, you can”. However, you will need to be able to show two things:
- A breach of duty.
- The fact that avoidable harm has been caused.
The breach of duty was discussed earlier in this guide. Essentially, it happens when a medical professional provides substandard treatment or treatment below the standard that could be reasonably expected.
Avoidable harm means that, as a result of the breach of duty, the patient has gone on to suffer additional pain or inconvenience. This means that where the doctor or medical professional has been negligent but where no adverse side effects are caused, a claim may not be possible.
Claims For Elbow Fractures Misdiagnosed By A GP
When you have an injury affecting your elbow that’s not too painful, you might visit your GP rather than the accident and emergency department. While it’s true that GPs don’t have a lot of time to assess each patient, they do provide an accurate diagnosis in many cases.
However, mistakes can happen, and these could cause you to suffer. Therefore, you could claim compensation from them for the suffering their mistake caused. Generally, these mistakes are made because the doctor will diagnose a different condition.
For instance, they could suggest you’ve strained your elbow and the pain will go away if you rest it and take painkillers. However, if after that diagnosis it’s later determined that the elbow was in fact fractured, you could go on to make a claim if your injury was made worse by the lack of treatment.
Claims For Elbow Fractures Misdiagnosed By A Hospital
Hospitals, especially A&E departments, can be very busy places but they still have a duty of care towards patient safety. Whether you’re referred to the hospital by your GP, arrive by ambulance or make your own way there, you should expect to receive an accurate diagnosis and the correct treatment for any injuries. If that doesn’t happen, you might be eligible to make a claim against the hospital for your suffering.
Some scenarios which could lead to a compensation claim include:
- When your elbow fracture was missed on an X-ray.
- If you’re doctor failed to send you for an X-ray as they came to the conclusion you had another injury.
- The consultation you received was hurried due to pressures on staff to deal with a high volume of patients.
- Where the doctor failed to get a second opinion if they weren’t sure if your elbow was fractured.
Your Rights As A Patient Under NHS Care
Every patient treated by the NHS has a number of rights under their patient constitution. These rights include:
- The right to register with a GP if you live in their catchment area.
- You have a right to receive treatment when needed but you don’t have the right to ask for your own GP.
- There is no right to second opinion. However, GPs can refer you to a specialist or another GP where necessary.
- You can expect GPs to provide services while they’re off duty. This will usually be in form of telephone call centre.
- UK patients have the right to free treatment from a GP or at a hospital.
- As an outpatient, you have the right to choose your consultant so long as your referring GP agrees that your decision is clinically correct.
Time Limits In Which To Claim For A Missed Elbow Fracture
It’s really important that you begin your claim as soon as possible. Not only will it mean everything is fresh in your mind, it will also mean your solicitor can make the claim within the personal injury claims time limit. The normal time period is 3-years for adult injuries. For accident claims, this would usually begin from the date an accident occurred. However, for missed elbow fracture claims, the date begins from the date your injuries were correctly identified.
If you’re claiming for a missed elbow fracture in a child, you can do so at any point before they become 18 years old. If you don’t decide to do so, then they have 3-years from their 18th birthday to make their own claim.
Missed Elbow Fracture Compensation Claim Calculator
If you’re now considering making a claim for clinical negligence leading to a missed elbow fracture, you might want to know how much compensation you could receive. The personal injury compensation calculator table below shows example figures for different types of elbow injury. The amounts are taken from a legal document called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is used by courts, solicitors and others involved in compensation settlements to agree amounts awarded.
|Elbow||Severe||£36,770 to £51,460||Injuries that cause a severe disability.|
|Elbow||Less severe||£14,690 to £30,050||Injuries to the elbow which impair function but don't require surgery or cause a significant disability.|
|Elbow||Moderate/Minor||Up to £11,820||A lot of elbow injuries fall within this bracket such as simple fracturues, lacerations, tennis elbow. They will usually not result in permanent damage but take around 3 years to full resolve.|
|Elbow||Moderate/Minor||Up to £5,890||Injuries which take around 18 months to 2-years to fully recover.|
|Elbow||Moderate/Minor||Up to £3,310||Injuries which take around a year to fully resolve.|
These figures are for the part of the claim known as general damages. Your solicitor can actually include other elements within the claim as well. These are known as special damages. They’re awarded for financial losses linked to your injuries caused by medical negligence. The types of special damages that could be included include travelling expenses, medical costs, care costs and loss of earnings.
With regards the amounts shown, you’ll notice we’ve included a column that shows the severity of the injury. That’s important because your solicitor needs to try and prove how serious your injury was to try and ensure you receive the correct level of compensation. That’s one of the reasons our panel of solicitors use independent doctors to assess you. They’ll produce a report which shows the extent of your injuries, how you were affected by them and how you might be affected in the future. Medical assessments are usually carried out locally to prevent the need for excessive travelling.
No Win No Fee Claims For A Misdiagnosed Elbow Fracture
One thing we often hear from claimants is that they’re worried about the cost of hiring a personal injury solicitor. That’s why, if you begin a claim for a misdiagnosed elbow fracture with us, our panel of solicitors will work on a no win no fee basis if they take your case on.
The personal injury lawyer we connect you with will begin by assessing your claim. Once they’ve reviewed the evidence and looked at how you were affected, they’ll let you know if they can help or not. If they can, they’ll provide you with a conditional fee agreement (CFA).
Your CFA is a contract between you and the solicitor. The first key item you’ll find in the CFA is a statement saying that there are no solicitor’s fees payable in the event the case is lost. Another piece of information contained in the contract is the level of success fee you’ll pay if the case results in a compensation payment.
Success fees are used to pay the for the solicitor’s work and any of their fees. They’re usually expressed as a percentage of your compensation payment. In general, success fees are around 25% of the compensation payment. To save you needing to have the money to pay the fee, the solicitor will deduct the percentage from your compensation before it’s sent to you.
Speak To Our Medical Negligence Team
Thank you for taking the time to read our guide about claiming for a missed broken elbow. We really hope you’ve found the information both informative and helpful. We’d also be really pleased if you want to begin a claim with Medical Negligence Assist. If that’s the case, you can reach us in any of the following ways:
- You can call our team of specialists for free advice on 0800 652 3087.
- Or, we could give you a call back at a convenient time. To arrange this, please complete our claim form.
- Alternatively, if you prefer, you can chat online with our advisors.
We offer a 24-7 claims line to allow you to contact us whenever it’s best for you. Our advisors will begin by taking details of your claim. Then they’ll work through any supporting evidence you can supply. In cases where they believe you could be awarded compensation; you could be introduced to one of our panel of medical negligence solicitors. If they believe your claim for a misdiagnosed broken elbow is winnable, they’ll work on a no win no fee basis.
Now that you’ve reached the end of this guide about claiming for a missed elbow fracture, we’ve gathered some additional helpful resources for you and listed them below.
Caring For A Fractured Elbow (NHS) – Information and guidance covering the best ways to look after a broken elbow following treatment.
Broken Bone First Aid – This guide, from the St Johns Ambulance, provides advice on first aid treatments that can be given for broken bones.
Emergency Care – Information about the services the NHS provide in emergency situations.
Misdiagnosis Claims Explained – A guide that shows when medical malpractice, which results in a misdiagnosis, could lead to a medical negligence claim.
NHS Negligence Claims – Advice on when a medical negligence lawyer could help you claim compensation against the NHS.
Hospital Negligence Claims – Finally, this guide provides information on the type of personal injury claim that could be made against a hospital.
Article By Brett.