In this guide, we are show how any patient who becomes the victim of an overlooked or misdiagnosed fractured radial head, could potentially be able to make a compensation claim for the harm they suffered. We also aim to demonstrate how a personal injury lawyer could assist you in making a claim for clinical negligence, if you are harmed by the acts of a medical professional.
The guide covers as many frequently asked questions, but each claim is unique and you may have specific questions about your own claim. If this is the case, one of our advisers can answer them for you. You can contact our team on 0800 652 3087, to get the assistance you need.
Choose A Section:
- A Guide To Missed Radial Head Fractures
- What Is A Missed Bone Fracture?
- Circumstances Causing The Misdiagnosis Of Breaks And Fractures
- Radial Head Fracture Causes
- Radial Head Fracture Symptoms
- Diagnosing And Treating Radial Head Fractures
- When You Could Claim For A Misdiagnosed Radial Head Fracture
- Claims For Missed Radial Head Fractures By A GP
- Claims For Missed Radial Head Fractures By A Hospital
- Explaining Your Rights As A Healthcare Patient
- Medical Misdiagnosis Claim Time Limits
- Missed Radial Head Fracture Compensation Calculator
- Making A No Win No Fee Claim For A Missed Radial Head Fracture
- Contact Medical Negligence Assist
- Supporting Resources
A Guide To Missed Radial Head Fractures
This guide to making a claim for a missed radial head fracture, aims to provide you with the kind of information and advice you need to begin making educated choices regarding your claim. We cover how this kind of negligence occurs, and how a personal injury solicitor can assist victims to make a medical negligence claim. We start with a basic overview of what missed fractures are and how they could become the basis of a compensation claim if medical negligence can be proven.
The middle part of the guide covers how and why missed radial head fractures could occur. We show how negligence can result in a fracture being misdiagnosed. We also cover some of the common causes of these fractures. We list the symptoms, explain the process of diagnosis and explain how a radial head fracture is treated and attempt to define just who could be eligible to make a compensation claim and why. The last part of this section provides a brief look at your rights as an NHS patient, and the time limits associated with this type of medical negligence claim against a responsible party.
The last part relates solely to the legal and financial considerations of making a claim. We have used the Judicial College Guidelines referred to by courts in England to value claims, and have produces a table to help you to work out the level of compensation you may be able to claim for the harm suffered. There is also information on the special damages you could be awarded to compensate you for the out of pocket expenses you incurred. To close, we provide valuable information on how using the services of a No Win No Fee solicitor can help you to make a successful medical negligence claim without facing the financial risk of doing so.
This guide could prompt further questions, or you may require clarification of one or more points covered. If this is so, you can speak to our team on the number at the top the bottom of the page. One of our advisers will be happy to explain any of the points made in this guide more fully, and also answer any questions you may have.
What Is A Missed Bone Fracture?
The logical place to start a guide to claiming for a misdiagnosed radial head fracture, is to cover the how, what and why associated with this kind of negligence. Every medical professional is expected to treat you without causing you any unnecessary harm at all times. This would include unnecessary harm caused by a fracture being overlooked, or misdiagnosed as a different injury. This is because your condition could worsen and complications may arise,because the injury goes untreated.
If it can be proven that a medical professional made a mistake during the process of diagnosis, you may have a valid basis for a negligence claim. However, the onus is on you to prove that negligence took place (more on this later in the guide). If you would like some free legal advice about starting your own claim, please call our team today.
Circumstances Causing The Misdiagnosis Of Breaks And Fractures
There are many ways that a missed fracture of the radial head can occur, other than through a misdiagnosis. There is a standard procedure that doctors diagnosing a patient with a possible fracture should follow. If they deviate from this procedure mistakes can be made. For example:
- Test results, such as an x-ray or an MRI scan can be lost, or mixed up with another patient
- The patient may be examined by an intern or a nurse if no doctor is available
- The examining doctor may not have access to the patient’s medical history
- A piece of equipment such as an x-ray machine could malfunction, causing test results to be wrong
- The patient may not exhibit symptoms serious enough to suggest a fracture, and the doctor does not perform additional tests
Each of these examples shows how medical negligence during the process of diagnosis could cause a fracture to be misdiagnosed or missed entirely. In such cases, if the patient can prove that negligence took place, they may be able to make a claim for the harm they have suffered. For more advice about this, speak to one of our advisers.
Radial Head Fracture Causes
In this section, we take a look at some of the causes of this type of fracture, which could result in a misdiagnosed fracture of the radial head. The radial bone runs from your elbow down to your wrist. The head of the radial is at the top end of the bone, situated just under the elbow joint. This specific area of the human skeleton is susceptible to damage in several ways, such as:
- Blunt force trauma, such as that which would be encountered in a road traffic accident
- Angular trauma, where the arm is bent into a position that it is not intended to sustain. For example, a person getting their arm stuck in a door and wrenching it
- Repetitive strain on the arm. For example, playing too many sports such as tennis or squash
- Traumatic accidents, such as falling from a ladder from a height
There are two main groups of radial fractures. Those that are caused by trauma and those that are caused by stress. Most trauma-related fractures will be treated at a hospital following some kind of accident. However, stress-related fractures may be examined by a GP when a patient comes in to have arm pain diagnosed. This is an important distinction, which we cover in greater detail later in this guide.
No matter whether a GP or a doctor in a hospital misdiagnoses or overlooks a fracture, the situation is the same. If the patient can prove they were harmed due to a mistake, then a valid claim may exist. Our team can tell you more about this, if you give them a call.
Radial Head Fracture Symptoms
In this section, we answer questions such as:
- Is a radial head fracture serious?
- How painful is a radial head fracture?
A radial head fracture will cause pain in the forearm. However, the level of pain can range from minor to excruciating. For people in little pain, the examining doctor may not suspect a fracture, resulting in it being overlooked. Some of the main radial head fracture symptoms that a doctor is expected to look for are:
- Some level of pain on the outer side of the elbow joint
- Swelling of the elbow, or the arm just below the elbow
- Inability to either bend or straighten the elbow, accompanied by pain when attempting to do so
- Inability to turn or twist the forearm, accompanied by pain when attempting to do so. For example, turning the hand to show the palm and then the opposite side
- Deformity of the arm, such as sticking out at the wrong angle from the elbow
These are some of the most common symptoms associated with this type of fracture. As such, a doctor should suspect that a fracture exists if they encounter symptoms such as these. If they fail to call for additional tests to confirm an initial diagnosis, then it may be possible for the injured party to make a claim. Should this be the case, you would need to prove that negligence took place. Our team can advise you how to go about this if you give them a call.
Diagnosing And Treating Radial Head Fractures
In this section, we answer questions such as:
- How long does it take for a radial head fracture to heal?
First, we need to look at how a fracture is generally diagnosed. First of all, the examining doctor will follow a similar process to the one outlined below:
- The patient will be questioned about the way the injury was caused, so that the doctor can evaluate the level of trauma involved and whether it was serious enough to cause a fracture
- The patient’s medical record will be checked to see if they have injured the same area before
- If the patient suffers from a medical condition such as osteoporosis, which could leave them vulnerable to fractures, the doctor must keep this in mind
- The diagnosing doctor should look for symptoms such as those we listed in the previous section
- If the doctor suspects a fracture, they will arrange for additional tests such as an MRI scan or an x-ray
If a fracture is diagnosed, the treatment will depend on the type of fracture sustained. Fractures can be classified as a type I fracture or a type II fracture. Type I fractures are generally quite minor in nature. Treatment will involve immobilising the elbow, and after a period of healing the commencement of radial head fracture exercises. Exercise should only be attempted once a medical professional has advised the patient that the fracture is sufficiently healed to take the strain.
Type II fractures are the more serious of the two, and require more intensive treatment which could include surgery. For example, a type II fracture will often be displaced – the ends of the break do not line up cleanly.
Surgery may be required to realign the bones, and possibly pin the fracture in place using screws, rods, plates which is a process known as reduction. There may also be a requirement to remove any chipped or flaked off bone fragments at this stage of the procedure.
Once reduction is achieved, the arm will be immobilised in a cast, and placed in a sling. This stage will last around two weeks after which time the patient may be advised to begin exercises of the elbow once the cast is ready to come off.
If a fracture is misdiagnosed as being another injury, or it is overlooked completely, then the patient will not receive the required and necessary treatment. As a result, the injury could worsen, and complication may set in. This type of negligence can harm a patient and could be the basis of a valid compensation claim.
Should this be the case and you can prove that negligence took place, you may be entitled to claim compensation from the responsible party. If you would like some free legal advice on how to begin a negligence claim, please speak to one of our advisers.
When You Could Claim For A Misdiagnosed Radial Head Fracture
To make a claim for NHS negligence, or negligence that took place at a private medical facility, you will need to prove that a medical professional made a mistake that caused you avoidable harm. Every successful personal injury claim for negligence will exhibit the following three aspects:
- A patient suffered actual physical or psychological harm due to the actions of a medical professional
- The medical professional who caused harm to the patient had a duty of care towards them, to never do them any unnecessary harm
- Had the medical professional take some kind of alternative action, they would have avoided harming the patient completely
If your own circumstances tick each of these boxes, then a medical negligence solicitor could be able to help you by processing a claim for you. If you call our team today, they can help you to get a claim started.
Claims For Missed Radial Head Fractures By A GP
A GP has a very specific primary care role within the NHS. They act as the gatekeeper to the rest of the health service. Making an initial diagnosis and treating patients with minor ailments themselves. They refer more serious medical conditions to the relevant healthcare unit for further treatment.
When a GP makes a mistake, such as misdiagnosing a radial head fracture, the patient would not be referred for treatment, and their health could suffer because as a result. The injury could worsen due to this medical malpractice, and they may well be able to make a claim if they can prove a mistake was made.
Claims For Missed Radial Head Fractures By A Hospital
If you visit a hospital after being involved in an accident, you are going to rely on the skill and professionalism of the doctors, nurses and support staff, to make sure your injury is diagnosed properly and you receive the correct treatment.
Unfortunately, mistakes can be made from time to time. When such a mistake results in a fracture being overlooked or misdiagnosed, the patient won’t receive the required and necessary treatment. Should this be the case, your health could suffer, and the injury could get a lot worse. If you can prove an error lead to you suffering harm due to the negligence of a medical professional, a personal injury lawyer could process a claim for you. Our team can advise you on how best to arrange this.
Explaining Your Rights As A Healthcare Patient
Within the NHS Constitution, we find two main clauses that have a direct effect on your ability to make a claim for a misdiagnosed radial head fracture.
Firstly, there is the official complaints procedure that the NHS defines within the constitution. Every NHS patient has the right to complain about the treatment they receive, and this is where a medical negligence claim begins, with the patient making a complaint and the NHS reviewing it.
Secondly, every NHS patient has the right to claim compensation for any harm they suffered due to medical negligence. Once the complaints procedure has been followed, you can then make a compensation claim using a personal injury lawyer. This is something we can help with, speak to an adviser for more information.
Medical Misdiagnosis Claim Time Limits
There is a general personal injury claims time limit of three years that you must begin your claim within. The time limit works like this:
- If the claimant is under the age of 18, then three years from the date of their 18th birthday. As such, the claimant has up till they turn 21 to file a medical negligence claim against the responsible party
- If the claimant is over the age of 18, then three years from the date a medical condition caused by negligence is first diagnosed. Or three years from the date the negligent act was carried out by a medical professional
Missed Radial Head Fracture Compensation Calculator
You can use a personal injury claims calculator to get a rough valuation of your claim. However, the table we provide below is based on the Judicial College Guidelines used in the UK to value injuries sustained.
|£18,020 to £36,770
|There could have been a significant levels of disability in the past, that have now lessened, or are expected to lessen in the future.
|Up to £11,820
|This would include elbow conditions such as tennis elbow. Also simple or hairline fractures, soft tissue injuries, lacerations, and all other injuries that will heal without any permanent effect on the victim.
|£90,250 to £281,520
|This would range from loss of one arm below the elbow, to both arms at the shoulder.
For a more accurate estimate, one of our personal injury solicitors can value your claim. It is also worth noting that once your claim is resolved, if successful you could receive damages such as:
- Special damages (for financial loss):
- Lowered working prospects
- Lost salary or wages
- Private medical fees
- The cost of employing a nurse
- Travel tickets, etc
- General damages (for physical harm):
- Permanent disability of some kind
- Psychological problems
- Pain and suffering
- Mental shock and trauma
- Painful treatment and a long recuperation
Making A No Win No Fee Claim For A Missed Radial Head Fracture
A lawyer working under a No Win No Fee agreement won’t collect their pre-agreed fee (success fee) until they have received a compensation payment for you. Should your claim fail, the solicitor won’t collect their fee at all making a No Win No Fee claim financially risk free.
Contact Medical Negligence Assist
If your radial head fracture was overlooked or misdiagnosed, if you suffered harm due to it, you may be in a position to make a claim. You can contact our team on 0800 652 3087. An adviser will give you some free legal advice on how to get your claim underway.
These external links could be helpful:
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Article by MW