If we take a trip to the hospital or we see a medical professional in any capacity, we would expect them to effectively diagnose us and then prescribe the correct treatment. However, there could be cases whereby illnesses and injuries could go undiagnosed. If this occurs, it could result in the condition getting worse, causing further pain and injury, or requiring more invasive treatment. In some cases, it could lead to a poorer prognosis than we would have otherwise been given. If this is something that has happened to you because you have suffered a missed foot fracture, you could be entitled to compensation for the harm you’ve suffered because of your negligent misdiagnosed fracture.
We could help you begin a compensation claim for a missed fracture of the foot. Our free advice line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and you can reach us on 0800 652 3087. However, we would recommend that you continue reading the below advice first, as you could find some useful information that could help you if you have been the victim of a negligent missed foot fracture.
Choose A Section
- A Guide To Making A Missed Foot Fracture Compensation Claim
- What Is The Misdiagnosis Of A Break Or Fracture?
- What Could Cause The Misdiagnosis Of A Fracture?
- Causes Of A Fractured Foot
- Foot Fracture Symptoms
- Foot Fracture Diagnosis And Treatment
- Eligibility To Claim For A Missed Foot Fracture
- Could I Claim For A Foot Fracture Missed By A GP?
- Could I Claim For A Foot Fracture Missed By A Hospital?
- What Are Your Rights When Under NHS Care?
- Time Limits To Claim For A Misdiagnosed Foot Fracture
- Missed Foot Fracture Compensation Calculator
- No Win No Fee Claims For A Misdiagnosed Foot Fracture
- Talk To Medical Negligence Assist
- Supporting Resources
Unfortunately, there could be a number of instances whereby illnesses and injuries could have been missed by medical professionals. This could happen while in A&E or even during a scheduled doctor’s appointment. If a medical professional fails to take the right action in ordering diagnostic tests, does not evaluate an X-ray correctly or makes another diagnostic error, they could miss out on key findings. This is something that could happen due to the increased strain that is being placed on workers in the NHS. As hours get longer and demand increases, mistakes could happen.
If you have been the victim of a negligent missed foot fracture, and have suffered avoidable harm because of this misdiagnosis, you could be entitled to compensation. This guide aims to reveal everything you may need to know about the claims process, as well as revealing why such incidents could occur.
A misdiagnosis of a foot fracture describes a situation whereby your doctor incorrectly diagnoses your condition, in this case, a fracture of the foot. For example, in the case of a missed compound fracture, a medical professional could have not noticed your fracture altogether. Or, another example could be that a medical professional mistakes the fracture as something else, meaning you would not get the right treatment and the issue could become worse. This could be referred to as a misdiagnosed foot fracture. In the case of fractures, the first scenario could be more likely. This is because some types of fractures could be difficult to detect when looking at an X-ray, and this could lead to them being missed altogether.
You may be wondering how a medical professional could manage to miss a foot fracture. There are a number of different situations that could result in an instance like this happening.
One reason why a medical professional may be unable to detect some fractures is that certain kinds of breaks could be more challenging to diagnose. For example, hairline fractures could be difficult to detect if an X-Ray is not clear enough or is not reviewed carefully. For this reason, hairline fractures could be one of the most commonly missed foot fractures. Hairline fractures are where the bone breaks, yet the fragments do not move. As a consequence, this could appear as a very light line on an X-ray, and it is possible that your medical professional could overlook this, leading to a missed foot fracture.
This is not the only reason that a medical professional could misdiagnose a fracture. There are a number of other potential scenarios. For example, the doctor handling your injury could have failed to request an X-ray. An X-ray may not have been offered because the description of what happened and the symptoms experienced were not consistent for a fracture injury, and so the medical professional could have decided not to order an X-ray . If so, in some cases, foot fractures could be misdiagnosed as ankle sprains or other more minor injuries.
Another way in which your fractured bone in your foot could have been misdiagnosed could be if the view taken on the X-ray was not appropriate for the potential fracture, meaning the fracture was not seen. There could also be cases whereby the report that includes the X-ray results has not been passed onto the doctor, meaning there was no further action taken. These are just a few examples of possible scenarios. If your fracture was overlooked, causing you harm, and you believe negligence was involved, there could be a chance you could seek missed foot fracture compensation.
There are many bones in the foot, all of which can be broken if they experience trauma by blunt force or stress. There are many different situations that could result in someone experiencing a broken foot. Some common foot fracture causes could include:
- Overuse – one reason why some people could experience fractures in a foot is because of overuse. A foot stress fracture could be considered common and would usually be to your feet’s weight-bearing bones. Small cracks could be caused over time through overuse or repetitive force, for example, running long distances. A missed stress fracture to the foot could lead you to believe you could carry on training as normal, which could make the injury worse. Fractures could also happen with the normal use of a bone that has been weakened because of a condition like osteoporosis.
- Missteps – Sometimes simply putting your foot down wrong could cause a broken bone. A toe could end up being broken because you have stubbed it on furniture, for instance.
- Impact due to a heavyweight – Another common cause of a fracture could be from the impact of dropping something heavy on your foot.
- Falls – Falling and tripping could also break bones in your feet. Plus, landing on your feet once you have jumped down from just a slight height could also result in this sort of accident.
- Car accidents – In car accidents, crushing injuries could be considered common, and these could also result in breaks.
If you’re wondering ‘What does a foot fracture feel like’, there are a number of different foot fracture symptoms that you could experience, depending on how severe the fracture is and whereabouts in the foot it occurs. As stated by the NHS, there are three common signs of a broken bone. These are as follows: deformity, swelling, and pain. However, it could sometimes be hard to know whether a bone is broken if it has not been displaced. (A displaced fracture would be one where the bone fragments have moved out of their natural position). However, even if you cannot visibly see that a bone is broken, there are a number of other different symptoms of a foot fracture that you could be experiencing that could be related to a broken bone. These could include:
- The injured part of your foot may look deformed. The broken bone could poke through the skin if you have had a severe break. This is known as an open fracture.
- You could feel pain when you move your foot, press it, touch it, or put weight on the injury.
- There could also be tenderness, bruising, or swelling around the area that is injured.
- You may feel a snap or hear a snap, or there could be a grinding noise when the injury happens.
When diagnosing whether or not you have a foot fracture, your doctor should ask about any symptoms that you might have, as well as assessing you to see if there are any signs of a fracture, including assessing whether your foot looks misshapen or you have any tenderness or swelling. They should also ask how you have injured yourself, as well as asking about your medical history.
An X-ray could be considered a common diagnostic aid to determine whether or not you have a fracture. Sometimes, once you have had your X-ray, you may need to have another type of scan, such as a CT scan or an MRI scan, which could result in more detailed images of the bone.
In terms of foot fracture treatment, there are a number of options that could be possible. While surgery could be a possibility, it may not be a necessity. When you first see the doctor, you should be given painkillers and a splint could be applied to the area that has been affected in order to protect it and prevent it from moving. When treating a fracture, the aim is to first move it back into the original position, which is known as reduction, and then to stop it from moving until foot fracture recovery is complete, which is known as immobilisation. However, sometimes, in order to get the bones back into position, screws, pins, plates might be required, and you would have to undergo surgery for this kind of fix.
There could be a window of opportunity to treat some foot fracture types to ensure optimal recovery. If your foot fracture is not diagnosed quickly, it could start to heal and this could cause foot fracture complications.
There are many different ways in which you could sustain a foot fracture. This can be anything from car crashes, to workplace accidents, to bike incidents, to slips and trips, to sporting activities and overuse. What matters is whether negligence led to your fracture being missed and this caused you to suffer harm. You need to show that the harm you suffered was avoidable and if your fracture had not been missed, you would not have suffered as you did.
If you have visited your GP with an injury, and there are signs that you may have suffered a fracture, the GP should refer you for further investigation and treatment. If your doctor has not done so, when it would have been appropriate for them to send you to the local hospital or treatment centre for an X-ray, then your foot fracture could go undiagnosed. If you could prove that you had clear symptoms that could have indicated a fracture, and your GP was negligent in not sending you to have these symptoms investigated further, causing you harm, you may be eligible to claim compensation for the harm that you’ve suffered.
Not only could GPs be held responsible if a foot fracture has been negligently missed but you could find yourself making a claim against a hospital for a negligent misdiagnosed fracture. This could be because there has been an error in the diagnostic process. It could also be a fault of the A&E department or another department within the hospital. When a medical mistake like this has occurred, and harm has been suffered because of clinical negligence, those affected could consider making missed foot fracture compensation claims.
There are a number of different rights you are entitled to under NHS care. This includes your right to a GP, meaning you have a right to register with a GP in your local area. You also have a right to treatment. If you require emergency assistance, a GP must provide this, even if you are not registered with the GP in question. There are also rules in place regarding the standard of care you are entitled to under the NHS. If these standards are not met, and you are harmed because of this, this could be classed as medical negligence.
Another factor to consider when it comes to assessing your eligibility to claim for a missed broken foot would be the personal injury claims time limit. If you were under the age of 18-years-old when the negligent missed foot fracture incident happened, you would usually have a three-year period starting from the date of your 18th birthday to make a claim. Adults have a three year limitation period that starts either on the day of the medical malpractice or the day it was discovered that the negligence had caused you harm. Some exceptions could apply to certain cases though. If you would like to know more about these, please do get in touch.
Court proceedings must be issued within the limitation period applicable to your claim. However, we would suggest that you consider making a claim earlier rather than later if you are eligible to do so. The details of the negligence or your injury may not stay fresh in your mind over time and collecting evidence may also be more difficult once time has passed. For example, if you took details of people that had witnessed the negligence, and they changed their phone number or moved house within the 3 years following the incident, you may have trouble getting back in touch with them in order for them to provide a witness statement.
If you want to make a claim for missed foot fracture compensation, you may not be aware that a number of different factors that could need to be considered when determining the amount that you will receive. Firstly, your injuries and the severity of them would be considered. Factors such as how the misdiagnosis has made the symptoms worse and the impact this will have on your life could be assessed. You could also claim for any out-of-pocket expenses/losses you have incurred as well. This could be anything from paying for your prescriptions to covering your loss of income while you have been off work. To help you get a better understanding of the sort of payout you could be looking at, we have sourced figures from the Judicial College Guidelines, which help give some clarity on the matter, rather than providing a personal injury claims calculator. Please do remember, however, that all figures below are approximate guidelines.
|Modest foot injuries||In this category, you will find injuries such as ruptured ligaments and metatarsal fractures. There will be continual symptoms.||Up to £12,900|
|Straightforward foot injuries||This relates to causes of straightforward fractures whereby a full or almost full recovery would be made.||£5,980 or less|
|Moderate foot injuries||If you have experienced a displaced metatarsal fracture, which has caused continuing symptoms and permanent deformity, you could be entitled to a payout in this bracket. There may be a risk of future surgery and/or long-term osteoarthritis.||£12,900 to £23,460|
|Severe foot injuries||This payment bracket refers to causes whereby there have been fractures of both feet or heels, which has caused significant restriction on mobility or permanent and considerable pain. Examples include injuries resulting in ulceration, osteoporosis, heel fusion, extensive surgery, or severe degloving, as well as any other type of disability that stops the person from wearing ordinary shoes. This will also be applicable if you have experienced drop foot deformity that requires a brace.||£39,390 to £65,710|
Another important factor to take into account when considering making a missed foot fracture claim is choosing a medical negligence lawyer. If you were to take a look on the Internet you would see that there are lots of different options to choose from. One thing to consider is choosing medical negligence lawyers that work to a No Win No Fee payment agreement, or a Conditional Fee Agreement, as it could be called. This could be beneficial for you because you would only need to pay legal fees as a percentage of your payout if your case is a success. This would also negate the need to pay the lawyer upfront. The maximum that would be taken by the solicitor from your missed foot fracture compensation would be 25%. If compensation is not awarded, you will not need to pay your medical negligence solicitor this percentage.
We hope that this guide has helped you to get a better understanding of missed foot fractures and what you could do if you experience harm because of a missed fracture in your foot. If you would like more information on your eligibility to claim, or advice on getting started with a claim, or how to find a solicitor, you can reach our friendly team on 0800 652 3087. This line is open seven days a week, 24 hours per day. You can also request a call back via our website or you can use the live chat feature. We look forward to hearing from you.
Claim Against A Private Hospital – You could find lots of useful information about these types of cases in our guide.
Misdiagnosis Negligence – In this guide, we take a look at misdiagnosis negligence claims in general. This guide could provide some useful advice for you.
Hospital Negligence – If you believe that the hospital is to blame for the injury you have sustained, why not check out this link for some helpful guidance.
Advice After A Foot Fracture – If you have experienced a foot fracture, you could take a look here to find out some great care advice.
Metatarsal Fractures – This page provides some useful information regarding metatarsal fractures in particular.
Written by Jo
Edited by LisM.