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Missed Fracture In A&E Claims Guide – How To Claim Compensation For A Misdiagnosed Fracture?

Missed fracture in A&E

Missed fracture in A&E

By Mark Ainsdale. Last updated 12th July 2021. Welcome to our missed fracture claims guide. This guide covers everything that you should know about making hospital missed fracture claims.

Have you been to A&E with a fractured bone injury, which the doctors missed? Unfortunately, fractured bones are not always easy to spot, whether a doctor’s negligence was to blame or not. Sometimes, they can even be mistaken for other injuries. A missed fracture in A&E can result in the injury becoming more difficult to treat or the patient developing other conditions such as osteoarthritis as a result.

If you experience a negligent missed fracture in an Accident & Emergency department, causing further unnecessary suffering, you may be eligible to make a medical negligence compensation claim. Similarly, if A&E doctors negligently missed a fracture in your child’s arm, leg or anywhere else, causing avoidable harm, you may be able to make a personal injury claim missed fracture compensation on their behalf.

The missed fracture compensation amount that you could be awarded could compensate you (or your child) for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity experienced due to your injuries.

To contact Medical Negligence Assist today, call us on 0800 652 3087 for a free consultation. If we believe you are eligible for compensation, we could provide you with a clinical negligence solicitor to handle your hospital missed fracture claim. In the meantime, please read our missed fracture claims guide to learn more.

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What Is A Missed Fracture In A&E?

Before we look at missed fracture claims, let’s look at the injury itself.

A fracture injury is a broken or cracked bone. Most people suffering from the symptoms of a bone fracture injury will go to an Accident & Emergency (A&E) department to have their injury diagnosed and treated.

Can a fracture be missed? Given how painful and debilitating a bone fracture injury can be, a fracture or broken bone could be missed. We will look at the reasons why this could happen in more detail later.

In this guide to claiming compensation for a negligently missed fracture diagnosis, we will explain how an A&E doctor could miss a fracture and what the consequences of the missed fracture could be for the patient. We will also take you through the steps of claiming compensation for the misdiagnosis of a fracture and have included a compensation calculator. So, you can estimate what missed fracture compensation amount you could receive for your misdiagnosis claims.

Common Types Of Bone Fracture

A fracture is a cracked or broken bone. The bone could be partially broken or completely broken. The bone can heal itself (knit) over time but needs to be set and held in place to ensure it heals in the correct position.

Accidents that can cause a fracture include slip trip and fall accidents, traumatic impacts, road traffic accidents, sporting injuries and violent assaults or instances of abuse. And if a doctor demonstrates negligence, any of these scenarios may result in a hospital missed fracture claim.

What are the different types of fracture?

  • Open fracture: This is where there is an open wound on the skin.
  • Displaced fracture: The bone has been displaced out of position.
  • Non-displaced fracture: The bone has not been placed out of position.

There are also different names for the types of fracture injuries that can happen to a bone:

  • Transverse fracture: A fracture that is across the bone.
  • Spiral fracture: A break line that twists around the bone.
  • Greenstick fracture: A fracture where the crack appears on just one side of the bone. Greenstick fractures are more commonly suffered by children.
  • Oblique fracture: A fracture that is angled across the bone.
  • Impacted fracture: The fragments of the bone are smashed together.
  • Comminuted fracture: A bone is shattered into two or more pieces.

Symptoms Of A Bone Fracture

Here are some common fracture symptoms. If you or your child are experiencing these symptoms after a high impact accident, visit a hospital Accident & Emergency department for immediate diagnosis and treatment.

  • If the injured person is suffering from an open fracture, the bone may be sticking out.
  • Swelling and bruising.
  • Deformity, i.e. the limb appears to be bent or misshapen in another way.
  • Extreme pain worsens when pressure is applied.
  • Inability to move the affected area.
  • If the injured person has fractured a bone in their foot, ankle, knee or leg, they cannot walk or bear weight on their foot.

You can read this NHS guide to the symptoms of broken and fractured bones to learn more.

Missed Fracture Diagnosis In A&E

There are many types of diagnostic errors which could lead to a missed fracture in an Accident & Emergency department. Unfortunately, the NHS is underfunded and understaffed, which means that doctors are under a lot of pressure at work and have very short windows of time to diagnose a patient.

Despite this enormous strain, doctors in A&E departments mustn’t make medical errors that lead to missed fractures. If a fracture is misdiagnosed and leads to a patient’s medical condition worsening or a patient experiencing complications or long term effects, this is medical negligence (also referred to as medical malpractice or clinical negligence).

A patient who has had their pre-existing medical condition worsened because of medical negligence would be eligible to make missed fracture claims for compensation.

Negligent Treatment Of A Fracture

A fracture is usually treated by reduction and immobilisation. This means setting the bone into place and applying a splint, cast, brace or sling to keep it in the correct position as it heals. In time, the patient may also be treated by a physiotherapist to help them recover from their injuries and regain mobility.

If a bone fracture is more serious, it may require surgery to repair. Some patients may require pins, metal plates, rods, or screws to be inserted surgically to hold the bone together while it heals.

Unfortunately, if a patient experiences a missed fracture in A&E, this can delay them getting the treatment they need. As a result, the patient may experience a worsening of their injuries and need surgery, which wouldn’t have been necessary had the doctors at the hospital not missed the fracture initially.

If you have had to undergo unnecessary surgery because an A&E doctor negligently missed your fracture, you could be entitled to claim compensation. Call Medical Negligence Assist to see if you could receive compensation from a hospital missed fracture claim today.

Complications Caused By A Fracture Being Misdiagnosed

If a missed fracture happens, the patient will not get the medical treatment they need. In some cases, the patient experiences unnecessary pain and stress whilst their fracture remains untreated. In other cases, the patient’s condition worsens, and they require corrective surgery that would not have been needed had they had the necessary treatment when they first went to A&E.

In more extreme cases, a missed fracture injury could lead to the patient suffering the following medical conditions. Some of these conditions are potentially life-threatening or can severely impact the person’s quality of life.

  • Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis means that the protective cartilage at the end of the bones wears down. As a result, the sufferer experiences joint problems such as pain, stiffness and problems moving the joint.
  • Acute compartment syndrome: Acute compartment syndrome is when bleeding or swelling develops within an enclosed group of muscles. If the condition is not treated immediately, the injured person may find a group of muscles is permanently damaged or may need an amputation.
  • Avascular necrosis: An untreated fracture can cut off the blood supply to the bone. If untreated, the bone can die, damaging the surrounding joints.
  • Fat embolism: A fracture may cause a bone’s fat particles to be released into the bloodstream. This creates a blockage that can be life-threatening if it cuts off a vital organ.
  • Osteomyelitis: If the fracture is untreated, there can be an influx of bacteria to the fracture site, causing the bone to become infected. If the infection is not treated, the patient can develop gangrene and have their limb removed.

If you have suffered complications because of a negligently missed fracture in an A&E department, you could be entitled to claim compensation. Contact Medical Negligence Assist today for your free consultation. If we can see that you are eligible to make a compensation claim, we will provide you with a medical negligence lawyer to handle your case.

How Commonly Do Missed Fractures In A&E Occur

A study published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found that out of  953 diagnostic error incidents in an A&E department, 79.7% were missed fractures, 77.8% of fractures were missed on an x-ray, and 13.4% were instances when the A&E doctor had not taken an x-ray.

Aware of the strain that doctors can be under, some hospitals now ensure that specialist reviews all x-rays to double-check for any misdiagnosed injuries. However, it can take up to thirty days for an x-ray to be reviewed, by which time the patient’s condition could have worsened significantly.

Could I make missed fracture claims?

If you’re unsure whether you could have grounds to make missed fracture claims after a lack of medical attention, this section can help.

To be able to make missed fracture claims, you’ll need to prove that the doctor or other medical professional that treated you failed to uphold their legal duty of care to you. This will demonstrate that you suffered due to medical negligence, by which your fracture wasn’t properly identified.

Your hospital missed fracture could mean a delay in diagnosis and subsequent treatment, which in turn, could lead to complications that could have been avoided.

Whatever your situation, if you’re unsure whether you could be entitled to compensation, please get in touch today for a consultation about your missed fracture. We work with a panel of specialist solicitors that could handle your claim on a No Win No Fee basis, so why not see what they could do for you today?

Time Limits To Make A Missed Fracture Claim Against An A&E Department

Have you experienced a missed fracture because of medical negligence? You could be able to claim missed fracture compensation for your injuries.

The medical negligence time limit is generally three years. This means that you will only have three years in which to begin your claim from the diagnosis of avoidable harm.

We recommend that you contact Medical Negligence Assist today to avoid falling outside of the medical negligence claims time limit. If you have legitimate grounds to claim compensation for a missed fracture in A&E, we can provide you with a medical negligence solicitor to handle your claim.

Calculating Compensation For Missed Fractures

If you make a successful medical negligence claim for a negligently missed fracture, you will be awarded a missed fracture compensation amount that will come in two parts. Your compensation package will include general damages and special damages.

The general damages part of your compensation package will usually be the larger of the two amounts you will be awarded. General damages will compensate you, the claimant, for the pain, suffering, and loss of amenity you have experienced due to your missed diagnosis of fractures.

If you are curious about how much compensation you might be owed, you can use our claims calculator to see approximately how much you could claim in general damages. This table does not include any special damages you could claim.

Updated July 2021.

Type Of FractureCommentsSettlement with 10% uplift
Chest Injury (G) - Rib FractureIncluding fractures of ribs or similar injuries to the soft tissues.Up to £3,710
Neck Injury - Severe (ii)Breaks and fractures included may be to the discs in the cervical spine.£61,710 to £122,860
Neck Injury - Severe (iii)Less severe levels of breaks and/ or fractures. The award includes similar types of soft tissue injury.£42,680 to £52,540
Neck Injury - Moderate (i) Moderate forms of fracture presenting immediate symptoms.£23,460 to £36,120
Back Injury - Moderate (i) Crush or compression fractures to the lumbar vertebrae spine.£26,050 to £36,390
Back Injury - Minor (i)Where a full recovery or a recovery to nuisance level takes place without surgery within about two to five years.£7,410 to £11,730
Serious Shoulder InjurySuch injuries which also feature a fractured humerus.£11,980 to £18,020
Fractured Clavicle (e) Single type of injury but compensation will depend on extent of fracture, level of disability.£4,830 to £11,490
Jaw Fracture (i) Multiple or serious fractures to the jaw.£28,610 to £42,730
Cheekbone Fractures (i)Fractures of the cheekbone which are both serious and which require surgery.£9,570 to £14,810

In addition to claiming compensation for your pain, suffering, and loss of amenity, you will also be awarded special damages. Special damages are compensation that reimburses the claimant for any expenses they have had due to their injuries or any expenses they may experience in the future.

Examples of types of special damages that are awarded include loss of income reimbursement, expenses to pay for home adaptations or mobility equipment, medical bills, travel expenses, and at-home care expenses.

To begin your clinical negligence claim for a negligently missed fracture at A&E, contact Medical Negligence Assist today. We can provide you with a medical negligence lawyer to start working on your hospital missed fracture compensation claim.

No Win No Fee Claims For Missed Fractures In A&E

At Medical Negligence Assist, our panel of solicitors offers clients the option to make a No Win No Fee claim. This means that they will start working on your medical negligence claim without charging you an upfront solicitor’s fee.

Instead, you will only be charged a solicitor’s fee if you win your claim and are awarded compensation. In the unlikely event that you do not win your claim, you will not be charged a solicitor’s fee.

What’s more, because your solicitor’s fee will be deducted from your final compensation package, you do not have to worry about finding the funds to pay your medical negligence solicitor upfront.

To learn more about making a No Win No Fee claim for medical negligence, call us today to speak to an advisor.

How To Claim Compensation With Medical Negligence Assist

Medical Negligence Assist can provide you, the client, with a medical negligence lawyer to handle your compensation claim.

Why trust Medical Negligence Assist? Our panel of medical negligence lawyers have years of experience handling clinical negligence claims, so your claim will be in safe hands.

What’s more, they know what your claim is worth and will always fight to win you the optimal amount of compensation you may receive from your hospital missed fracture claim.

Talk To Us Now

Call Medical Negligence Assist on 0800 652 3087 for your free consultation. Alternatively, use our online claims form to contact us.

One of our advisors will be happy to speak to you in-depth about your misdiagnosis experience. If we can see that you are owed missed fracture compensation, a solicitor will be assigned to your case right away.

Hospital Missed Fracture FAQs

Can you sue a hospital for missing a fracture?

You can’t sue for the fracture itself, but you can sue for the fracture being poorly treated or missed.

What happens if a fracture is missed?

This could lead to several complications. And one of these may see the area bleed or swell up, potentially damaging the muscle on a permanent basis.

Could an X-ray miss a fracture?

It is possible for a fracture to remain unnoticed on an X-ray. But if there is suspicion of a fracture after that, then further X-rays and an MRI may be necessary.

What are some examples of medical negligence?

These include misdiagnosing an injury, ignoring test results, surgery without justification, incorrect medication and a lack of aftercare.

What is considered patient neglect?

This is when the person providing care doesn’t provide the necessary treatment for the patient.

Can a fracture show up later?

Yes. It could be that the fracture isn’t noticeable for a number of weeks, if not a month.

How do you prove medical negligence?

You must prove the relationship between the doctor and yourself as the patient, as well as the doctor’s negligent actions. And those actions should cause you to suffer some harm due to poor treatment or a lack of treatment.

What are the four types of neglect?

These are physical, medical, educational and emotional neglect.

Supporting Resources

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Thank you for reading our missed fracture claims guide. We hope you now have greater knowledge about making a hospital missed fracture claim for compensation.

Written by Hana.

Edited by Lis M.