How To Claim Compensation For A Missed Sacral Fracture
A sacral fracture occurs when the sacrum bone breaks. As well as the pain and suffering caused by the fracture, nerve damage associated with the injury could lead to other ongoing symptoms. In this guide, we’re going to look at when you could claim compensation for a missed sacrum fracture. We’ll look at the potential problems caused by a misdiagnosis, how they could happen and what level of compensation could be claimed as a result.
The team of advisers at Medical Negligence Assist can help you claim compensation for a fractured sacrum if you suffered harm through the negligence of a medical professional. They offer free legal advice about claiming as well as a no obligation assessment of your case. When they believe your negligence claim has is valid and strong enough to be won, they would refer you to a No Win No Fee personal injury solicitor from our panel.
To discuss your broken sacrum claim today, you can call 0800 652 3087. However, if you’d rather find out more about when you could claim for a misdiagnosed sacrum fracture, please continue reading.
Choose A Section
- A Guide On Missed Sacrum Fracture Claims
- What Are Missed Fractures?
- Why Fractures Go Undiagnosed
- Causes Of A Fractured Or Broken Sacrum
- Sacral Fracture Symptoms
- Diagnosing And Treating Broken Or Fractured Sacrums
- Eligibility To Claim Clinical Negligence Compensation
- Missed Sacral Fracture Clinical Negligence Claims Against GP’s
- Missed Sacral Fracture Clinical Negligence Claims Against Hospitals
- Your Rights When Under The Care Of The NHS
- Limitation Periods In Which To Make A Clinical Negligence Claim
- Missed Sacral Fracture Compensation Calculator
- No Win No Fee Missed Sacral Fracture Claims
- Begin A Sacral Fracture Claim
- Supporting Resources
A Guide On Missed Sacrum Fracture Claims
When a personal injury claim is made, it’s usually aimed at the person or company whose negligence caused the accident in which an injury was sustained. However, in this guide, we’re looking at claims against medical professionals who’ve failed to spot a sacral fracture. We’ll discuss why it could happen, and what problems may be caused as result.
As medical negligence claims can be tricky to prove and require complex medical evidence, we advise that you use a solicitor who specialises in medical malpractices cases. They have the experience and knowledge required to ensure the right evidence is gathered and would try to secure a fair level of missed sacrum fracture compensation for you. We’ll look at what needs to be proven in medical negligence claims later in the guide.
We’ll also try to answer some of the common questions frequently asked about a fractured sacrum:
- How long does it take to recover from a fractured sacrum?
- Can you walk with a sacral fracture?
- Is a sacral fracture serious?
We’provide advice on sacrum fracture symptoms, why a fracture might be misdiagnosed, and the responsible party you could claim against.
We cover claims against the NHS but it’s important to note that all medical professionals have the same duty of care towards a patient’s safety. Therefore, you could claim for a missed sacrum fracture against a private healthcare provider as long as you can prove medical negligence.
Even though we provide plenty of information about the claims process, if you have any questions after you’ve read this guide, please contact us and our advisers will happily provide answers to any queries you may still have.
What Are Missed Fractures?
The sacrum bone is a large triangular bone situated between the base of the spine and the coccyx (tailbone). It’s made up of the sacral vertebrae which is formed by fusion to the sacral vertebrae.
Generally, a missed fracture is one that’s either not spotted on an X-ray or one which is diagnosed as something else meaning an X-ray has not been carried out. The problem that can occur with some misdiagnosed fractures is that parts of an affected bone might not align properly. As a result, the bones may not fuse correctly and could cause further problems in the future. Should this be the case, you could be entitled to seek compensation by filing a missed sacrum fracture claim against the negligent medical professional in question.
Why Fractures Go Undiagnosed
When you’re involved in an accident and suffer an injury, you’ll typically visit the Accident and Emergency department at your local hospital, or you may go to your GP’s surgery. The medical professionals who assess your injuries will have been through years of training so they’re able to diagnose many different injuries or illnesses. While medical professionals provide a correct diagnosis on many occasions, doctors do sometimes make mistakes.
Here are some reasons why a misdiagnosed sacral fracture could happen:
- On some occasions, the A&E department can be very busy due to a high number of patients or low staff numbers. In either case, consultations might be rushed, and mistakes could be made
- In some cases, a fracture might be difficult to identify because it does not clearly show up on an X-ray
- A patient might not get an X-ray if the doctor who assesses them believes the symptoms suggest that they’re suffering with a different problem
- Finally, a doctor will less experience might fail to consult with a colleague if the results of an X-ray are unclear
If it can be shown that a sacrum fracture was misdiagnosed and that caused you to suffer in some way, you may be entitled to seek compensation from the medical professional who treated you, or the hospital they worked at.
Causes Of A Fractured Or Broken Sacrum
A sacral fracture is usually caused by an accident involving some form of impact to the lower back. It could be a slip, trip or fall, a road traffic accident or a workplace accident where a collision occurs.
There are a number of ways in which the risk of a sacral fracture can be increased. These include:
- Some medicine such as steroids
- Old age
- Bone diseases such as Paget disease, osteoporosis or bone cancer
Sacral Fracture Symptoms
There are a number of symptoms that could indicate a fractured sacrum bone. Here are some examples:
- Swelling or bruising in the sacral region
- Pain in the groin and the front of your thigh
- Lower back, hip or buttock pain
- Problems with the bladder, bowel or sexual function
- Weakness in the lower limbs
As these symptoms could indicate a fracture of the sacrum, a doctor could be found liable for a misdiagnosis if they fail to request an X-ray and it’s later found that a fracture was the cause of the symptoms.
Diagnosing And Treating Broken Or Fractured Sacrums
When a doctor has assessed you, if they spot any of the symptoms shown in the previous section, a scan would be required to confirm their initial diagnosis. In most cases an X-ray would be performed. In other cases, a CT scan or MRI scan might be used to get a clearer picture which would establish the sacrum bone has been fractured.
When the fracture has been diagnosed, the doctor will decide on the course of treatment. If it’s a mild fracture, rest might be all that’s required to allow the bone to heal. Painkillers could be used to ease the pain while healing occurs.
In more serious fractures, surgery may be required to help affected bones heal. This would require the use of pins, plates and screws to secure the bones in place during the healing process. Other surgery may be required if nerve damage has caused problems with bowel, bladder or sexual function.
After the bones begin to heal, you may be given exercises. It is possible to walk with a sacrum fracture, but you may be provided with a mobility aid to assist you for a while. This could include crutches or a zimmer frame. The time taken for a simple sacrum fracture to heal is around 6 to 8 weeks. More complex fractures can take up to 12 weeks.
Eligibility To Claim Clinical Negligence Compensation
We now look at what needs to be proven when making a medical negligence claim against a responsible party. In general, you’ll need to show:
- That a medical professional such as a doctor, surgeon, nurse or GP has provided care which falls below the level that could be reasonably expected by a competent professional. This is known as breach of duty
- Then you’ll need to show that you experienced additional pain or suffering due to a medical professional’s negligence
- Finally, you’ll need to demonstrate that the pain and suffering was caused by the breach of duty rather than any underlying condition. Legally, this is called causation
Proving that a medical professional caused you to suffer through substandard treatment can be tricky. Our panel of solicitors could make things easier for you by using their experience and legal expertise to present enough evidence so they are able to secure the right level of compensation for the harm you suffered through the negligence of a medical professional.
Missed Sacral Fracture Clinical Negligence Claims Against GP’s
The main way a GP could cause you to suffer would be because they fail to refer you to a hospital for X-rays. This may happen if a doctor assesses as suffering from a different condition which could include a pulled muscle, bruising or a strain rather than suspecting your symptoms were linked to a fracture sacrum. If that misdiagnosis causes you to suffer more pain, or leads to longer-term problems because the injury doesn’t heal properly, you could be entitled to claim compensation from the GP in question by filing a medical negligence claim against them.
Missed Sacral Fracture Clinical Negligence Claims Against Hospitals
The medical professionals who work in a hospital environment have a duty of care to provide the correct level of care towards patients. Therefore, if they fail to diagnose something as serious as a bone fracture which causes you to suffer more than you needed to, then compensation could be claimed from the responsible party.
Some reasons why a doctor in a hospital might miss a fracture include:
- Where the doctor fails to request an X-ray because they believe the symptoms point to another injury
- If the A&E department is overly busy and staff rush consultations to try and reduce waiting times
- When the fracture isn’t identified on the X-ray because it’s obscured or difficult to see
To begin a claim for medical negligence against a hospital, please get in touch with our team by calling the number at the top of the screen. The advice we offer is free and you’ll be under no obligation to proceed should you choose not to.
Your Rights When Under The Care Of The NHS
According to the NHS constitution for patients in England, there are a number of things you are entitled to and some you are not. These include:
- The right to register with a GP surgery when you live within their area
- A right to receive free treatment for NHS patients living in the UK
- You’re not entitled to ask for treatment from a specific GP, any within your practice could treat you
- GP practices have to provide an out of hours service. This could be a locum, another GP or a telephone-based service
- There’s no right to a second opinion. You can ask for one, but your GP can refuse. If they agree, they’ll arrange another GP or specialist to assess your case
- You are only entitled to hospital treatment if referred by your GP (except for some services like A&E)
- There are maximum waiting times for hospital treatment. You’re entitled to ask the local commissioning group for a list of alternative providers if your treatment is delayed
- If you are referred for treatment at a hospital, you’re entitled to ask for a specific consultant. Your GP will need to agree that they are clinically suitable to treat you
Limitation Periods In Which To Make A Clinical Negligence Claim
When claiming for a missed sacral fracture, you’ll need to ensure you do so within the personal injury claims time limit. For adults, under normal circumstances, the time limit is 3-years.
The time limit, in cases where a sacrum fracture is missed, would begin from the date when the mistake was identified, and the correct injury was diagnosed.
When claiming on behalf of a child, you can begin the claim at any point before they turn 18. If you decide not to, then when your child turns 18, they’ll have 3-years to make the claim themselves. In short, they would have up till they are 21 to file a medical negligence claim against the party responsible.
Missed Sacral Fracture Compensation Calculator
When a personal injury lawyer begins a compensation claim, they will include ‘general damages’ as well as ‘special damages’. General damages are paid as compensation to cover the suffering (pain and loss of amenity) caused by your injuries. While we can’t tell you exactly how much compensation you could be entitled to in this guide, we can provide the personal injury claims compensation table below. It contains details of payments that could be made as general damages compensation for specific injuries.
|Injury Type||How Severe?||Range of Compensation||Further Information|
|Back||Severe||£85,470 to £151,070||Includes severe injuries to the spinal cord and nerve roots leading to severe pain, a disability and significant impact on bowel, bladder and sexual function.|
|Back||Moderate||£26,050 to £36,390||Includes crush or compression fractures of the lumbar vertebrae causing a risk of future osteoarthritis.|
|Back||Moderate||£11,730 to £26,050||Includes injuries such as prolapsed discs that require a laminectomy.|
|Back||Minor||£7,410 to £11,730||Where full recovery occurs within two to five years without the need for surgery. Include fractures and soft tissue injuries.|
|Back||Minor||£2,330 to £7,410||Where full recovery occurs within three months to two years without the need for surgery. Include fractures and soft tissue injuries.|
|Back||Minor||Up to £2,300||Where full recovery occurs within three months without the need for surgery. Include fractures and soft tissue injuries.|
The important thing to note here is that compensation is awarded based on the severity of the injury. Therefore, your solicitor will need to provide as much evidence as possible to demonstrate the extent of the damage you were caused through medical negligence. Our panel use independent doctors to assess your injuries. Their reports show what injuries you suffered, what effect they had on you and what impact they could have on you in the future.
The other part of a personal injury claim, special damages, is used to cover financial losses caused by your injuries. These include:
- Lost income – where you claim back the net income you lose because of time off work due to medical appointments or recovery time
- Future loss of earnings – to cover any potential future lost income because of long-term injuries
- Care costs – used to claim back carer’s fees or the time of a family member who looked after you
- Medical expenses – where the cost of prescriptions or over the counter medication could be claimed back
- Travelling costs – including parking costs or fuel costs linked to medical appointments
To help justify a special damages claim, we advise that you retain all receipts and bank statements that could help prove your losses. Also, you could keep a diary of spending to help explain how an expense was linked to your injuries.
No Win No Fee Missed Sacral Fracture Claims
Something that nearly always concerns claimants when they get in touch with us is the cost of making a medical negligence claim. We can ease those worries by letting you know that the solicitors on our panel all offer to work on a No Win No Fee basis for any claim they agree to take on.
The process of claiming begins when the solicitor reviews your claim. They need to do this to make sure there’s a chance it could be won. If they believe the case is strong and agree to take on your claim, they’ll offer you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to sign. This legal document acts as your contract.
Within the CFA there is information about the success fee you’ll pay if your missed sacrum fracture claim is won. This is a percentage of your compensation that’s used to cover the solicitor’s fees.
The CFA will also clearly state that the solicitor’s fees only have to be paid when compensation is won. If that happens, the success fee will be deducted before the compensation is sent on to you.
Begin A Sacral Fracture Claim
If you’ve read this guide on claiming for a missed sacrum fracture and would like to use Medical Negligence Assist to file your claim, there are a few method options in contacting us. These are:
- Calling our advisers on 0800 652 3087 today for free claims advice
- Connecting to an adviser via our live chat facility
- Or you can ask for an agent to call you back by filling in this online form
Whichever method you choose, our advisers will start by reviewing your claim and the evidence you have to support it. They’ll offer free advice and answer any questions you might have. If they think your claim has a chance of being won, they could refer it to one of our panel of medical negligence solicitors. If they agree to take your claim on, it’ll be on a No Win No Fee basis. Our claims line is open 24-hours a day, 7-days a week which means you can begin your claim when it’s most convenient.
In this final section of our guide about claiming for a missed sacrum fracture, we’ve decided to provide you with links to some of our other relevant guides as well as some external resources. If there’s any other information you require, please contact an adviser, they’ll be happy to help.
Spinal Injuries – Information from the NHS about different types of spinal damage and how they can be treated.
Aspire – A UK charity who aim to support those with a spinal injury.
The Care Quality Commission – The CQC inspect doctor surgeries and hospitals then provide reports and inspection scores about their level of service.
What Is Medical Negligence – A guide that explains in more detail what medical or clinical negligence is and when you might be able to hire a medical negligence lawyer to help you claim.
Claims Against A Hospital – This guide looks at ways in which negligence in a hospital could cause you to suffer and when a personal injury solicitor could claim compensation for you.
NHS Compensation – In this guide, we look specifically at claims for suffering caused by NHS negligence.
Article by NH