If you suffer a broken finger, in many cases, the chance of making a full recovery could be quite high. However, a missed finger fracture could lead to additional pain and suffering for many weeks or months to come. It could also lead to deformity of the finger or reduced grip which could have an impact on your ability to work as well as you did before. Therefore, this guide sets out to explain when you could claim compensation for medical negligence leading to a misdiagnosed finger fracture. We’ll look at the symptoms of finger fractures, how they’re treated, how they could be missed and when a doctor could be liable for your suffering.
Here at Medical Negligence Assist, we believe anybody should be able to claim for negligence that causes them to suffer without worrying about the cost of doing so. That’s why we offer free legal advice about claiming. Also, our advisors can provide a no obligation assessment of any claim. Finally, if your claim has strong grounds, you could be introduced to one of our medical negligence lawyers who’ll operate on a no win no fee basis if they take on your claim.
To begin your claim today, please call our advisors on 0800 652 3087 right away. If you’d prefer to find out more about claiming for a missed finger fracture before calling, please carry on reading our guide.
Choose A Section
- A Guide To Claiming Compensation For A Missed Finger Fracture
- What Is The Misdiagnosis Of A Broken Or Fractured Bone?
- Causes Of Errors In The Diagnosis Of A Fracture
- Types And Causes Of Finger Fractures
- What Are The Symptoms Of A Fractured Or Broken Finger?
- Diagnosing And Treating Fractured Fingers
- When Are You Eligible To Claim For A Medical Misdiagnosis?
- GP Finger Fracture Misdiagnosis Claims
- Hospital Finger Fracture Misdiagnosis Claims
- Your Rights When Being Treated By The NHS
- How Long Do I Have To Claim For A Misdiagnosed Fracture?
- Missed Finger Fracture Compensation Calculator
- No Win No Fee Finger Fracture Misdiagnosis Claims
- Speak To Us About Your Claim
- Supporting Resources
A Guide To Claiming Compensation For A Missed Finger Fracture
In this guide, we want to provide you with the information to help you decide whether you could claim for a missed finger fracture. Therefore, we’re going to look at the different types of finger fracture, why they might be misdiagnosed, when a medical professional might be liable for your suffering and how much compensation you could be entitled to. Then we’ll look at how injuries should be diagnosed and the types of finger fracture treatment you might receive. Also, we’ll try to answer some common questions such as:
- Can a fracture be missed?
- What happens if you leave a broken finger untreated?
- Can broken fingers be reset?
- How long does a fractured finger take to heal?
- How do you know if you fractured your finger?
The medical negligence claims process can be quite complex. Essentially, you’re trying to prove that a medical professional has provided substandard treatment. If you’re not a medical professional or personal injury specialist yourself, this can be a very difficult task. That’s why we recommend working with solicitors who understand what’s required to prove who was liable for your suffering. Our panel of solicitor’s have years of experience in handling claims and have access to medical experts who could provide the evidence required to back up your claim.
When you’ve finished reading our guide, why not call our advisors to discuss your options. Even if you’re not sure that you have enough evidence to begin, they’ll advise you of what else you could provide to substantiate what happened. Our advice is always free and you’re under no obligation to proceed.
What Is The Misdiagnosis Of A Broken Or Fractured Bone?
Any medical professional you visit has a duty of care to ensure you receive sound medical advice and that you’re treated safely. They should use the correct procedures during your treatment and follow agreed practices where possible. Failure to do so might mean that they’ve acted negligently.
If you’ve suffered a finger fracture in an accident, then the medical professional is unlikely to have been responsible. However, if they fail to diagnose the fracture properly, and the misdiagnosis leads to additional suffering, they could be found negligent and you could be eligible to sue them for compensation.
Causes Of Errors In The Diagnosis Of A Fracture
As this guide is about claiming for a missed finger fracture, let’s look at reasons why a fracture might not be identified at the earliest opportunity. Some possible reasons include:
- GPs failing to refer you to specialist because they diagnose a different condition.
- The doctor at a hospital failing to refer you for an X-ray as they believe your symptom don’t warrant one.
- Simply failing to see the fracture on your X-ray.
- A short consultation because A&E is excessively busy or staff shortages resulting in an inadequate assessment.
While the NHS provides excellent care in many cases every day, mistakes can happen for the reasons above as well as many others. If they do, and you suffer as a result, then you could call us to discuss whether you’re eligible to claim compensation. Claims are also possible against private healthcare providers.
Types And Causes Of Finger Fractures
There are many different types of finger fracture. Here are some of the more common:
- Spiral finger fracture. These occur when the longer bones in the fingers are fractured by a twisting force.
- Avulsion finger fracture. This is where a tendon or ligament, along with a piece of the bone it’s attached to, breaks away from the main bone.
- Finger fracture of the distal phalanx. These are usually crush injuries of the bones in the fingertip.
- Middle phalanx fracture. Usually caused when the finger becomes trapped or when there is a direct impact.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Fractured Or Broken Finger?
There are a number of symptoms which could indicate that you’ve suffered a broken finger. These include:
- Mild to intense pain.
- Bruising and swelling.
- A limited range of motion.
- Tenderness in the region of the fracture.
Also, the finger can look deformed or out of position. Even if you don’t experience intense pain, the finger could still be fractured. Therefore, you might want to seek medical treatment from your GP or hospital. You could call NHS 111 for advice about what sort of treatment you’ll require.
Diagnosing And Treating Fractured Fingers
It’s important to have a potential fractured finger assessed properly by a medical professional. Even though bones can repair themselves, if they’re not assessed and treated correctly, the bone might not bond at all or, if it does, it could be misaligned and cause problems for the rest of your life.
As mentioned earlier, in the first instance a doctor will look for signs of a fractured finger such as swelling, bruising or deformity. If they believe a fracture might have occurred, they will send you for an X-ray to confirm the type of fracture and its location.
The type of treatment will depend on how serious the fracture is. Here are some of the possible treatments:
- Straightening the finger and realigning bones with a local anaesthetic to ease the pain.
- Splinting of a figure fracture might be performed to keep the finger straight while the bone is recovering. A plaster cast might be used as well.
- Antibiotics to prevent an infection if the skin was cut.
If finger fracture complications occur or the bone is fractured in multiple places, then surgery may be required. Finger fracture surgery might require the use of pins to hold bones in position while they heal.
It can take between 2 to 8 weeks for a broken finger to heal. However, complete finger fracture recovery times can be up to 4 months. Once this has occurred movement should be possible without pain or stiffness.
When Are You Eligible To Claim For A Medical Misdiagnosis?
To claim for a medical misdiagnosis, it needs to be shown that there’s been a breach of duty and also avoidable harm. This means that if a breach of duty occurs, but there’s no adverse effect on the patient, a claim wouldn’t be possible.
Breach of duty is when a medical professional, such as a doctor, nurse or surgeon, provides care which is below the standard that could be reasonably expected by a competent physician. This might mean they’ve not used the right procedure or equipment during treatment.
Avoidable harm is where the breach of duty has led to suffering which wouldn’t have happened otherwise. For instance, in the case of a broken finger, you could claim for avoidable harm if the lack of treatment mean the injury got worse and you suffered more pain as a result.
GP Finger Fracture Misdiagnosis Claims
The main reason you might claim for misdiagnosis against a GP, in terms of broken finger claims, is because they failed to refer you to a hospital for further tests. This could happen if the doctor thinks that the finger is simply strained or bruised.
Although many doctors have limited time to assess their patients and offer treatment, they still have a duty of care to provide the correct standard of treatment. Therefore, if your GP failed to send you to a hospital on one or more occasions, and it was later determined that your finger had in fact been fractured, you could make a claim against them.
This could be the case if their delay in diagnosing the condition caused your injury to get worse, the pain got worse or the delay in treatment led to some form of long-term disability.
Hospital Finger Fracture Misdiagnosis Claims
Whether you attend the hospital because you were advised to by your GP, you visited accident and emergency because you were injured or you arrived by ambulance, the doctor who treated you should perform a thorough assessment of any injuries you’ve sustained. Following that, the correct treatment should be provided to try and aid the recovery of those injuries.
Therefore, you could be eligible to claim compensation if any of the following led to further suffering:
- The doctor dismissed your injury as a strain or other minor injury.
- You weren’t sent for an X-ray.
- The X-ray was misinterpreted.
- Your doctor was too rushed to properly assess you leading to a misdiagnosis.
- Or, finally, the doctor failed to ask a colleague for a second opinion if they were unsure if a fracture was present or not.
Your Rights When Being Treated By The NHS
In England, the NHS has a constitution for patients. It provides them with a number of rights when being treated. The constitution is a fairly long document, so we’ve provided a brief overview of your rights when being treated below:
- You have the right to register with a GP if you live within their catchment area. There is a right to receive treatment, but you can’t insist on seeing your own GP.
- GPs have to provide some form of diagnostic and treatment service while they’re off duty. This is usually provided by some form of telephone call centre.
- You do not have the right to a second opinion. A doctor may ask a specialist or another GP to look at your case, but they’re not obliged to.
- Any treatment provided by GPs or hospitals is provided free of charge for UK nationals.
- You are only allowed to use a hospital for treatment if referred by a GP or medical professional. Obviously, accident and emergency treatment is excluded from this rule.
- If you require outpatient appointments, you have the right to choose a consultant to lead on your case if your GP agrees that, clinically, they are the correct choice. Services that provide cancer treatment, maternity care or mental health care are excluded from this right.
- Finally, you can expect to receive NHS services within the maximum waiting times. If a service is unable to provide treatment within that time limit, they should provide you with a list of alternative providers if you ask for them.
How Long Do I Have To Claim For A Misdiagnosed Fracture?
When you contact a medical negligence solicitor, you’ll need to do so within the personal injury claims time limit. If you fail to claim within the time limit, your case will be rejected automatically.
As an adult, personal injury claims usually have a 3-year time limit. This would normally start on the date of the accident that caused your injuries. However, as we’re talking about missed finger fracture claims, the time limit is more likely to start on the date your injuries were correctly diagnosed.
If you’d like claim on behalf of a child who’s suffered a finger bone fracture, you have until they’re 18-years old to do so. If you want them to make their own claim, then they have 3-years from their 18th birthday.
The best advice here is to begin your claim as soon as possible. That’s because, each step of the claims process takes time. If you leave the claim too late, the solicitor might not be able to take it on if they know they won’t be able to supply all of the evidence required.
Missed Finger Fracture Compensation Calculator
If you’d like to know how much compensation you could be paid for a missed finger fracture, then the personal injury claims calculator table below should help. It shows compensation amounts that could be paid for different finger injuries. The figures come from a document called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is something that insurers, courts and solicitors all use to try and determine compensation amounts.
|Fingers||Amputation||£58,100 to £85,170||Amputation of the index and middle (or ring) fingers leading to very little use and weak grip.|
|Fingers||Severe||Up to £34,480||Severe fractures of fingers which may cause deformity or require partial amputation. They could also lead to reduced grip, function and sensation.|
|Fingers||Loss||£11,420 to £17,590||Total or partial loss of the index finger. Total loss will be compensated at the higher end of the bracket.|
|Fingers||Fracture||£8,550 to £11,480||Fracture of the index finger which mends quickly but grip has remained impaired and painful.|
|Fingers||Serious||£13,970 to £15,330||Serious injuries to the ring or index fingers. Includes fractures and serious tendon injuries which cause deformity, affect dexterity and cause stiffness.|
|Fingers||Amputation||In the region of £20,480||Amputation of the little and ring fingers.|
Compensation is based on finger fracture types and their severity. Therefore, it’s important that your solicitor can prove the exact nature of your injuries. Our panel of solicitors all insist on a medical assessment by an independent doctor. These are usually carried out locally to avoid excessive travelling. When the doctor has assessed you, they’ll provide your solicitor with a report. This will detail the extent of your injuries, the impact on you and whether they’ll be any long-term suffering. This could help ensure you receive the right missed fracture compensation amount for your suffering.
No Win No Fee Finger Fracture Misdiagnosis Claims
We understand that many claimants worry about the cost of hiring a persona injury solicitor to represent them. That’s why, when our panel of solicitors offer to help with clinical negligence claims, they do so on a no win no fee basis. They do this to allow as many people to claim as possible. When hiring a solicitor on a no win no fee basis, your financial risk is reduced, and the amount of stress involved in claiming is lowered too.
The first step in medical malpractice claim is for the solicitor to assess its chances of success. If they believe your claim can be won, they could offer you a conditional fee agreement (CFA). This is your contract with them and is used to show you:
- What success fee you’ll need to pay if the solicitor wins your claim.
- That you don’t have to pay any solicitor’s fees when they fail to win you compensation.
The success fee you’ll pay is shown as a percentage of your compensation. It’s used to cover the solicitor’s fees. To make things easier, you don’t have to send the solicitor any money to pay for the success fee. They simply deduct it from the compensation. Then, the rest is sent straight to you. The typical percentage for a success fee is 25% of your compensation.
Speak To Us About Your Claim
You’ve reached the end of this guide about making a personal injury claim for a misdiagnosed finger fracture. We hope you’ve found the article useful and helpful. Furthermore, we hope you want to now begin your claim with Medical Negligence Assist. If so, you can contact us by:
- Calling our team of specialist advisors for free advice on 0800 652 3087.
- Completing our online form to request a call back at a convenient time.
- Or discussing your claim with an advisor using our online chat feature.
The claims team are available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. They’re happy to offer free advice about any form of medical negligence. Also, they can provide a no obligation assessment of your claim. If the evidence you provide shows that the claim is viable, they could introduce to a personal injury lawyer from our panel. Should they agree your claim is strong enough, they’ll work for you on a no win no fee basis.
We really appreciate you reading our guide to missed finger fracture compensation claims. To assist you some more, here are a few of our other guides as well as information form external resources too:
Broken Finger Or Thumb – This guide, from the NHS, explains the diagnosis, treatment options and recovery times for a fractured finger.
Find NHS Services – Here is a useful tool from the NHS which allows you to search for NHS services in your local area.
Broken Bone First Aid – Guidance on how to perform initial first aid for somebody with a broken bone.
NHS Negligence Claims – Information about using a medical negligence lawyer to make a claim against the NHS.
Misdiagnosis Compensation Claims – Guidance on making a medical negligence claim for suffering caused by a misdiagnosis.
Claiming For GP Mistakes – This guide explains when you could claim against a GP for mistakes such as missing the symptoms of a broken finger.
Article by Brett