You are entitled to receive decent medical treatment from doctors in the UK. That includes getting the right diagnosis when you may have broken a bone. If this right is not upheld because a doctor was negligent, and you have suffered because of an undiagnosed fractured head of humerus then you could be entitled to claim compensation for medical negligence. That is where Medical Negligence Assist comes in. We are specialists in helping people to make claims for medical negligence and the effects that medical negligence has had on them. We have a panel of expert, experienced, professional medical negligence solicitors who would be happy to take on your case and give you the chance to receive compensation.
We hope this guide answers any questions and any doubts that you have about potentially making a compensation claim. If you have further questions or if you want to ask us to help you in starting a medical negligence claim then simply use the contact details at the bottom of this page to reach our medical negligence claims advice team.
Choose A Section
- A Guide To Claims For Missed Humeral Head Fractures
- What Is A Missed Humeral Head Fracture?
- Why Fractures Are Misdiagnosed
- Causes Of Humeral Head Fractures
- Symptoms Of A Fractured Humeral Head
- Diagnosing And Treating A Fractured Humeral Head
- Could I Be Eligible To Claim For A Clinical Misdiagnosis?
- Humeral Head Fractures Missed By GP’s
- Humeral Head Fractures Missed By Hospitals
- NHS Care Standards And Your Rights
- Limitation Periods To Claim For A Missed Fracture
- Calculating Missed Humeral Head Fracture Claims
- No Win No Fee Missed Humeral Head Fracture Claims
- Contact Us
Most people probably aren’t closely familiar with the process of making medical negligence claims or their rights to seek medical negligence compensation. This guide aims to help you with that if you have suffered from a misdiagnosed humeral head fracture and are wondering what to do next. The important thing to remember is that if you have suffered harm as a result of having a broken bone missed or misdiagnosed you could be entitled to seek compensation by making a medical negligence compensation claim.
This guide will cover what you need to know about when you can make a medical negligence compensation claim and how the amount of compensation you could be entitled to could be calculated. It will also explain how you could be able to make a compensation claim by making a no win no fee claim with your solicitor. For more information about making misdiagnosis compensation claims, you should read our websites general guide here.
A Missed Humeral Head fracture is just one example of the many different situations that could occur as a result of medical negligence. Doctors are bound by their duty of care to spot and correctly diagnose any health issues their patients may be suffering from, if they do not do this correctly they could allow their patients to suffer from worse health problems and cause them to require more drastic treatment. In the case of missed humeral head fractures, failing to spot or correctly diagnose them could cause the patients injury not to heal properly, potentially leaving them with lasting pain and disability.
Fractures can be missed and misdiagnosed for various reasons. The type of misdiagnoses we are talking about in this article are the ones caused by clinical negligence. Medical negligence is an instance of a medical professional failing in their duty of care to patients through making mistakes or through failing to follow the correct procedure. There are a number of ways in which medical negligence could cause a fracture to be misdiagnosed or missed.
- A failure to properly examine a patient
- A failure to properly recognise the signs uncovered in an examination
- A Failure to perform an X-ray
- A failure to perform an X-ray correctly
- A failure to correctly interpret the signs from an X-ray.
The humeral head is like any other bone in the body, it is tough, but not invincible. A blow or pressure of sufficient force can break or fracture it. Broken bones can be sustained in a car accident, in sports injuries, in violent assaults, but also as a result of mundane day-to-day injuries like slips, trips and falls. Especially if you land on an outstretched hand in an attempt to break your fall, as this can transfer the force of the impact up the bones of your arm and into the humeral head. Older people and people with diseases such as osteoarthritis or cancer can suffer from more delicate bones and can, therefore, be more in danger of suffering a broken bone in a fall or other kind of accident.
A fracture in the humeral head will produce a number of symptoms which will be apparent, if you experience any of these then you may have sustained a fractured humeral head.
- Pain in the upper arm and shoulder
- Bruising and swelling
- Being unable to move the shoulder
- The shoulder seeming deformed and out of shape
- Being unable to move or feel sensation in the arm properly
- Feeling a grinding sensation in the shoulder when you try and move your arm.
- In extreme cases of broken bones, the jagged edges of the bones may protrude from the skin of the limb involved.
A doctor will examine you looking for the signs of a broken bone that were listed in the section above. They will ask you to move your arm to see how much pain and difficulty you experience when doing so. They will touch and prod the affected area looking for any tenderness or loss of sensation. They will visually examine the area for bruising or swelling. They will ask you how you sustained the injury.
If there is any indication that a bone fracture may have occurred they should send you off for an X-ray. An X-ray will provide a clear image of the bone, displaying the spot where the fracture has occurred and where the broken pieces of the bones have gone. Once the doctors know what condition your bones are in they can begin treatment.
Treatment comes usually in two stages for bone fractures that cannot heal by themselves. Reduction and immobilisation. The reduction is the repositioning of the bones back into their proper place. In some cases this could be done by simply pushing the bones back into place by hand, in other cases, surgery will be needed in order to do this. Immobilisation is the matter of keeping the bones secured in place without moving until they have begun knitting together and have healed. Sometimes immobilisation will require a surgical procedure to implant pins, wires and bone cement in order to keep the bones together. In some cases these will be permanent, in others, there will be further surgery after the bone has healed to remove them.
After your arm has been treated, even if the bone has fully healed, it may still be weaker than it was before due to the trauma and as a result of not being moved or used for a period of up to twelve weeks. This will require the rehabilitation stage of the treatment, you will have to follow a course of exercises over the course of a number of weeks to regain the full use and strength of your arm. This will involve possibly attending a few classes as well as moving and stretching your arm regularly at home. Treatment will also likely involve a prescription of anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling and allow your bones to heal more easily, as well as painkillers to reduce your pain and discomfort during the process.
You could be eligible to claim compensation for a clinical misdiagnosis, but only under certain conditions. There must be reasonable grounds to believe that the misdiagnosis was caused by the doctor’s negligence, you would not have grounds for making a compensation claim if the doctor has demonstrably done all in their power and the misdiagnosis was not their fault.
There would also have to be medical evidence that your health condition has worsened because of the misdiagnosis. If your injury healed by itself without any complications then you would not have grounds for making a compensation claim.
GP’s are often the first medical practitioners to encounter patients when they come forward with symptoms of illnesses and injuries. It is their job to examine and asses, and if possible diagnose, what is wrong with their patients. A GP’s practice does not always have the resources necessary to confirm the exact diagnosis of all patients, so in cases where a GP is unable to be certain about what their patient’s affliction is they are required to refer the patient on to specialists or for further testing.
A GP’s negligence could cause misdiagnosis or a failure to spot a broken humerus head in a number of ways. They could fail to perform an examination properly and spot the signs of a fractured bone, they could spot the signs but mistake them for something else. They might also neglect to refer the patient on to other specialists or for X-rays. To learn more about how to make claims for negligence, you can read our guide to GP negligence claims here.
Negligence can take place in a number of different potential ways in hospitals, and you can learn more about making compensation claims for negligence that occurs in hospitals in our guide here. When it comes to diagnosing broken bones in hospitals there are a number of things that could go wrong leading to a misdiagnosis.
- An X-ray could be performed wrongly
- X-ray results could be misinterpreted
- A&E doctors examining patients might mistakenly miss signs of a humeral head fracture.
- X-ray scan results might not be passed on to the correct doctors.
The NHS and all of the doctors and staff have an obligation to provide healthcare of a certain quality, it is not permissible for any doctor or staff member to allow a patient to come to any harm as a result of failing to uphold this standard. If this does occur the doctors and staff could be considered to have violated their duty of care to their patients and the NHS could be liable for a compensation claim.
You are entitled to be seen by a doctor if you have registered with a GP’s practice, even if your own GP cannot see you a doctor can be assigned to you. GP’s have the same duty of care to ensure they provide quality care to their patients as all other medical professionals. Issues with the healthcare you received can be reported to the NHS complaints service.
There is a personal injury claims time limit; this means you need to start your claim within three years of being diagnosed with the effects of having a missed head of humerus fracture. In certain cases, there can be an appeal for the time limit to be extended owing to special circumstances, but most of the time if it has been more than three years you will not be entitled to claim compensation.
Don’t waste any time, get in touch with one of our advisors today if you have suffered from a missed head of humerus fracture
You are probably itching to know how much compensation you could be entitled to receive. Unfortunately, we can’t say for sure at this point, certain details about your circumstances need to be worked out first. One is the degree of injury you suffered and the impact and how much of an effect it will have for you in the future. This falls under general damages, the financial value assigned to the injury itself. This is valued according to the Judicial College Guidelines. You can see in the table below how these guidelines value various arm related injuries in terms of financial compensation.
|Loss of one arm at shoulder
|Loss of an arm either due to surgical or traumatic amputation.
|Not less than £128,710
|Above elbow amputation
|Amputation of the arm above the elbow
|£102,890 to £122,860
|Below elbow amputation
|Amputation below elbow
|£90,250 to £102,890
|Loss of both arms
|An amputation which would reduce an otherwise healthy person to a state of helplessness
|£225,960 to £281,520
|An injury to the arm so serious and permanent the arm might as well have been amputated
|£90,250 to £122,860
|Injuries resulting in permanent and substantial disablement
|Injuries with a lasting functional and/or cosmetic effect,
|£36,770 to £56,180
|Less Severe injury
|Where there has been significant disabilities a large recovery will have taken place or will take place in future.
|£18,020 to £36,770
|Severe Shoulder injuries
|Shoulder injuries associated with neck injuries and brachial plexus injuries
|£18,020 to £45,070
|Serious shoulder injuries
|Injuries causing sensory problems and weakness of grip, possibly permanent.
|£11,980 to £18,020
|Moderate shoulder injuries
|Limitation of movement last for up to two years.
|£7,410 to £11,980
Other factors which could be included in your compensation sum are special damages, these are the financial costs resulting from your injury. They can include things like:
- Being unable to work
- Spending money on medical care
- Spending money on physical rehabilitation
- Spending money on travelling to appointments
These costs can only be claimed back if there is proof that you spent them and can provide an exact figure, so make sure you keep a record of all your receipts, tickets and other forms of paperwork. Losses that cannot be verified in this way cannot be compensated.
Many people might be worried that by starting a medical negligence compensation claim they could be foisting a lot of debt from legal bills on themselves without a guarantee of making up the costs by receiving compensation. Don’t worry, Medical Negligence Assist can provide you with a personal injury lawyer who will provide you with a no win no fee agreement. That means that you won’t be asked to pay anything upfront, nor will you be asked to pay anything in fees if you lose your case and don’t receive any compensation. All you will be asked to pay is a share of the compensation you will receive if the claim is successful. This will be a negotiated amount, not exceeding 25%.
If you still have unanswered questions, or if you want to talk about making a claim with us, you can reach one of our advisors on 0800 652 3087. Or you can arrange for one of our advisors to call you by putting your details in this form.
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Written by Jack
Edited by LisM.