By Daniel Boimler. Last Updated 14th September 2022. A missed hip fracture is a very serious medical situation. Hip fractures can be serious injuries with severe implications for a person’s health and mobility. Hip fractures require urgent treatment, if a hip fracture is missed, then a patient could potentially be in serious danger. In some circumstances, failure to spot the signs of a fractured hip and diagnose it correctly could occur as a result of medical negligence.
It is not acceptable for you to be put in danger or for your health to suffer as a result of medical negligence. Medical Negligence Assist works with experts in helping people make these types of personal injury claims. We have written up this guide to inform you about how medical negligence claims work and how you could make a no win no fee medical negligence claim with our panel of medical negligence lawyers.
- A Guide To Claiming For The Missed Diagnosis Of A Hip Fracture
- What Is A Missed Diagnosis Of A Hip Fracture?
- Causes Of Breaks And Fractures Being Misdiagnosed
- Causes Of Broken And Fractured Hips
- Symptoms Of A Fractured Hip
- Diagnosis, Treatment And Prevention Of Hip Fractures
- When You Could Claim Compensation For A Missed Fracture Diagnosis?
- Missed Hip Fracture Claims Against GP’s
- Missed Hip Fracture Claims Against Hospital’s
- Your Rights As An NHS Patient
- Misdiagnosed Fracture Compensation Claim Time Limits
- Missed Hip Fracture Compensation Calculator
- No Win No Fee Claims For A Missed Hip Fracture
- Talk To Medical Negligence Assist
- Supporting Resources
In this guide, you will read information about how exactly a serious injury such as a fractured hip could be missed by doctors as a result of medical negligence. Using links to other handy resources; we will also explain what the symptoms of a fractured hip are, how you can spot one, and what the proper procedure for diagnosing and treating a fractured hip is. We also will outline some important points about what your rights are as an NHS patient; especially in regards to the quality of care, you are entitled to receive from a doctor and from the NHS as a whole.
We are also going to break down the key points of how a personal injury claim works, such as, how your compensation is calculated, what kind of damages you could claim compensation for and how a no win no fee claim can benefit you as opposed to using other means of funding your claim. We will point out how beneficial to you it will be to work with Medical Negligence Assist and our panel of personal injury solicitors. In the final parts of this article, you will find our contact details and some links to other pages on our website which you may find useful as well as other outside resources which can be useful to someone who has recently suffered from medical negligence or from a fractured hip.
It is possible that if a doctor fails to uphold the standards of medical care expected of them, they could fail to diagnose a hip fracture. A hip fracture could be misdiagnosed in a number of ways.
- A hip fracture could be missed entirely
- A hip fracture could be identified in the wrong place.
- Only part of a hip fracture might be spotted, with the full extent of the fracture not being spotted.
It is not acceptable for a doctor to miss the signs of a fractured hip by failing to carry out the proper steps to diagnose their patient’s injury.
It is not acceptable for any health problem, especially one as potentially serious as a fractured hip, to be missed or misdiagnosed. The level of training and professionalism expected of a doctor and hospital staff should prevent such an incident from occurring. Here are some of the ways that a misdiagnosis of a hip fracture might occur:
- A doctor not referring a patient to receive a scan
- A fracture not being spotted on a scan
- The wrong type of scan being performed
- The results of a scan not being passed on properly.
Hip fractures are usually caused by falls, this method of breaking or fracturing a hip is much more common amongst older people, particularly among people over the age of eighty, although any blow or injury with sufficient force could potentially cause a fractured hip. Older people, who may be less steady on their feet or have poorer eyesight can have a fall as a result of a slip, trip or fall. Other people might suffer broken hips as a result of sports injuries or car accidents.
One other reason why older people are more at risk of broken hips is that they can develop more delicate bones as they age. Women are also somewhat at more risk. Sometimes hip fractures can be caused by illnesses that weaken the bones, such as bone cancer.
There are a few tell-tale signs of a broken hip to look out for if you have recently suffered from a fall or other severe accident and you are wondering “How do you know if you have fractured your hip?”
- Not being able to put weight on your leg or stand on it.
- Swelling and bruising around the hip
- Apparent shortness of the leg compared to the other one.
- Your leg pointing outwards
- Being unable or finding it difficult to move the leg
Note that you might still have a broken hip even if you are still able to walk as not all hip fractures prevent the victim from walking. You will probably find it useful to read more information on hip fracture injuries on the NHS website here.
A doctor or paramedic will firstly asses your temperature, how much pain you are in and whether or not you are dehydrated if you are seen for a possible broken hip. They will want to know what kind of injury you have suffered and how it happened.
Determining exactly whether or not you have a hip fracture and to what extent will require one of a number of imaging scan processes at a hospitals disposal. This could be an X-ray or a CT-Scan. If it has been confirmed that you have suffered a fractured or broken hip, then surgery within 48 hours will most probably be the only next option. Exactly what form of surgery this will be will depend on the exact nature of your hip fracture and your own personal health status.
Preventing hip fractures can be as simple to taking steps to reduce the danger of suffering a slip, trip or fall. If you are elderly, or if you suffer from a disability or pre-existing injury which would make you unsteady on your feet, then you should strongly consider using a walking stick or other walking aid. Keep your home clear of tripping hazards, and make sure that you deal with issues such as loose steps on your stairs or loose carpeting. There are also exercises you can use to improve your balance.
In order to have grounds for making a claim for a missed hip fracture, there need to be two conditions met. There first needs to be proof that the medical attention and treatment you received was sub-par, below the standard and quality expected of medical professionals. There secondly needs to be proof that it was this failure to provide adequate medical care which caused you to suffer from an illness or injury. If your doctor does everything correctly in their power but is unable to resolve your health problem, or if they fail to meet their duty of care but you suffer no consequences from it, then you would not be likely to be eligible to make a personal injury claim.
Broken Hip – How Do I Prove It Was Caused By Medical Negligence?
Even if undiagnosed, hip fracture symptoms can be painful and have an impact on your life. However, the ailment will need to be diagnosed before you can claim. You can then present documents confirming your diagnosis, and this can help support your claim. You have the right to request your medical records at any time.
We have included some other examples of evidence that could help you when making a claim:
- Medical documents – Your files will contain information on your diagnosis, including details of any broken hip treatment.
- Witness statements – A loved one or even a friend may have been with you during a medical consultation where an act of negligence took place, for example. They may be willing to submit a written account of the occurrence.
If medical negligence has resulted in you sustaining a broken hip, a pay out could be owed to you. For more examples of evidence you could present, get in touch with our advisors today.
A GP is not likely to be your first point of call if you have had a severe accident and you suspect a fractured hip. However, if you do attend a GP’s surgery in regards to hip pain due to an accident they may suspect a fractured hip and refer you to the hospital for a series of tests. Failures to be referred for diagnostic testing could seriously impact your ability to receive treatment and recover from your injury. For more information consider getting in touch with our medical negligence claims team to see if you could be entitled to claim compensation.
It is likely that if you suffer an accident that could cause a hip fracture you will be taken straight to a hospital. It is here that you will receive your diagnosis of a broken hip and begin treatment. Your fractured hip could possibly be misdiagnosed by the doctors in A&E, potentially leading to a serious injury receiving insufficient attention or treatment.
Alternatively, you could go to a hospital in order to receive an imaging scan (an X-ray, a CT scan or an MRI scan). There is a possibility that this procedure could be carried out incorrectly, or that the results could be passed on or written down incorrectly, leading to a misdiagnosis and the prescription of inappropriate treatment. For more information about how hospital negligence can cause misdiagnosis and justify making a medical negligence compensation claim, click here.
If there has been a failure to diagnose a broken or fractured hip while you were in a hospital, call our team to find out if we can help you make a personal injury claim.
You have various rights as a patient when using the NHS and its services and when seeing a GP.
When it comes to registering with a GP you have the right to choose which GP you wish to register with from the GP’s who’s catchment area you live in. However, GP’s have the right not to have you registered as one of their patients if they have reasonable grounds to do so, for example, if you have engaged in abusive behaviour towards them or other patients and staff. However, patients cannot be denied treatment or access to a GP on the grounds of their race, gender, sexual orientation and so on.
You have a right to be treated at the GP’s surgery where you are registered, although not necessarily by the GP you are registered with. You can request a home visit by a GP, but they are not obligated to visit you at your home unless they feel it is medically necessary, however, if you subsequently become seriously ill after the request for a home visit is denied then a complaint and potentially a personal injury compensation claim could be made.
You have a right to ask your GP to arrange for a second opinion, however a GP may deny this if they feel that it is not medically necessary. If a GP is not able to form a diagnosis on their own then they are obligated to refer you to the appropriate specialist. Not doing so could constitute a breach of their duty of care to their patient.
You have the right to make a complaint to the NHS complaints service if you feel that you did not receive the level of professional care that you should have done, you are also entitled to receive an acknowledgement of your complaint within three days.
There is a time limit for making medical negligence claims as well as other types of personal injury claims. That time limit is three years generally but there are exceptions. That means that you have a three-year window of opportunity to begin a compensation claim from the date on which you became aware that the medical negligence caused you avoidable harm.
If you have had a hip injury misdiagnosed or missed at any point within the last three years then you could still be eligible to begin a claim by contacting our medical negligence claims team.
Compensation can be awarded based on two factors, general damages and special damages. General damages refer to the injury or illness itself and the degree of pain and harm to your health it has caused, and special damages refer to the financial costs and losses associated with the injury or illness you have suffered.
General damages compensation is calculated according to guidelines set out by the Judicial College, these guidelines set broad outlines for the financial value of varying injuries and illnesses. The more serious an injury is, the more compensation will be awarded. Factors such as the degree of pain, impact on social and working life and any lasting disabilities or health issues are among the factors included in this calculation. You can see how a range of injuries is valued according to these calculations in this table.
|Amputation above the knee of one leg. Degree of compensation depends on the degree of phantom pain, the success of prosthetic's and the risk of developing arthritis.
|£201,490 to £270,100
|Amputation below the knee of one leg, degree of compensation depends on degree of phantom pain, success of prosthesis, and the risk of developing arthritis.
|£97,980 to £132,990
|Severe leg injury (i)
|The most serious form of injury short of amputation, where there has been shortening of the leg.
|£96,250 to £135,920
|Severe leg injury (ii)
|Injuries leading to permanent mobility issues and requiring the use of mobility aids (i.e. crutches).
|£54,830 to £87,890
|Severe leg injury (iii)
|Injuries resulting in instability, prolonged treatment, prolonged periods of non-weight bearing, scarring and the likelihood of arthritis.
|£39,200 to £54,830
|Moderate leg injury
|Complicated or multiple fractures or crushing injuries. Compensation will depend on impact on employment, risk of further degeneration and limitation of movement.
|£27,760 to £39,200
|Less serious leg injuries (i)
|Fractures which have an incomplete recovery. With impaired movements, and loss of sensation.
|£17,960 to £27,760
|Severe injuries to pelvis and hips (i)
|Severe fractures causing extreme pain, residual disability and loss of bowel and sexual control and function.
|£78,400 to £130,930
|Severe injuries to pelvis and hips (ii)
|Injuries which would fit inot the category above but are somewhat less severe.
|£61,910 to £78,400
|Severe injuries to pelvis and hips (iii)
|Less severe pelvis or hip fractures that may neccesitate further surgery, such as the implantation of an artificial hip, in the future.
|£39,170 to £52,500
Special damages are the sum of the financial expenditure and losses which you have incurred as a result of the injury for which you are entitled to compensation. These include things like:
- Medical expenses
- Care expenses
- Travel expenses
- Lost income from time taken off work or unemployment.
Make sure you keep hold of all paperwork, tickets, receipts or contracts associated with any of your expenses related to your illness. This will allow the damages you have incurred to be calculated and will also serve as proof.
To ensure that you have only your own health and recovery to worry about, our panel of solicitors are happy to offer you a no win no fee claim agreement for your claim. That’s because a no win no fee agreement doesn’t require you to make any payment to your personal injury solicitor until or unless you have been awarded compensation. If or when you are awarded compensation a maximum of a 25% share of that compensation will be used to pay your solicitor.
Your first step towards receiving compensation can begin by having a phone conversation about your situation with one of Medical Negligence Assist’s personal injury claims team members. They can answer any questions you have and point you in the direction of one of the personal injury solicitors we work with in making personal injury claims.
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Written by Jack
Edited by LisM.