How To Make A Medical Negligence Claim For A Missed talus Fracture
In this online guide to making a claim for missed talus fracture compensation, we show how a personal injury lawyer can help you make a claim due to medical malpractice. We show how in some situations, you could sue the NHS for damages if a fracture is overlooked or misdiagnosed.
Because each claim tends to be unique, you may have questions about your claim that this guide does not answer. If so, you just need to give our team a call on 0800 652 3087. One of our advisers will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Choose A Section:
- A Guide To Missed talus Fracture Compensation Claims
- What Do We Mean By A Missed Fracture?
- Why Might A Fracture Be Misdiagnosed?
- How Are Talus Fractures Caused
- Signs And Symptoms Of Talus Fractures
- Diagnosing And Treating Talus Fractures
- Eligibility To Claim Compensation For An Undiagnosed Fracture
- Can I Claim If A GP Missed My Talus Fracture?
- Can I Claim If A Hospital Missed My Talus Fracture?
- What Are Basic NHS Patients Rights
- Medical Negligence Claim Limitation Period
- Calculating Compensation For A Missed Talus Fracture
- No Win No Fee Claims For A Missed Talus Fracture
- Begin a Talus Fracture Claim
- Reference Information
A Guide To Missed talus Fracture Compensation Claims
This guide focuses on NHS negligence resulting in a misdiagnosed talus fracture, but much of it could equally apply to any fracture that is overlooked or misdiagnosed by a medical professional, and could also apply to negligence that takes place in a private healthcare facility. We start the guide off with a basic overview of what a missed fracture is, and why this could result in a patient being eligible to make a claim for any harm they suffered.
The middle part looks at talus fractures in general. We discuss how fractures can be misdiagnosed or overlooked before moving on to how these fractures are commonly caused, as well as describing the symptoms, how they are diagnosed and then treated. We end this section by covering eligibility to claim, and explaining how a GP or hospital could be liable if you are harmed due to negligent diagnosis or treatment. It covers NHS patient rights and the NHS Constitution.
The last part provides facts and information about making a claim. We explain the time limit that you must respect when filing a medical negligence claim. You will find a table showing compensation amounts which are based on the Judicial College Guidelines which are used by UK courts, insurers and personal injury solicitors to value claims.You will also find a list that includes many of the commonly claimed for types of damages. Lastly, we go over what a No Win No Fee claim is, and try to show how using this kind of service can minimise the financial risks associated with filing personal injury claims.
You might have questions about the contents of this guide, your own claim, or the claims process in general. If you do, please call our team on the number down at the top of this page. An adviser will go over your claim with you, answer all of your questions, and then offer you some advice about how a personal injury solicitor can assist you further.
What Do We Mean By A Missed Fracture?
A missed fracture is an injury that has been overlooked by an examining doctor or other medical professional. It could be when a talus fracture is mistaken for another injury. There is a subtle difference here, but for the purpose of this guide, we will use them interchangeably, as the consequences are the same. A missed fracture of the talus can happen when a medical professional makes a mistake while diagnosing the injury.
There is a process that doctors should follow to ensure they don’t miss a fracture. But of course, mistakes are made from time to time. When a fracture is overlooked or misdiagnosed, the patient may go without needed treatment. This could cause the fracture to worsen, or it could cause additional complications to set in.
If a patient suffers this kind of harm, and it can be proven a mistake was made during the diagnosis, they could have the basis required to file negligence claim against the responsible party. We will look at eligibility to claim further down this guide.
Why Might A Fracture Be Misdiagnosed?
There are many ways that medical negligence can lead to a fractured talus being misdiagnosed or overlooked completely. For example, the following are all examples of negligence that could cause such an injury to be missed:
- The examining doctor fails to take the patient’s previous medical history into account
- In a busy hospital, the patient is examined by an intern of a nurse and not a doctor
- X-ray results are misinterpreted or illegible
- Test results are mixed up, or lost
All these examples could lead to a fracture being misdiagnosed or missed completely. There is a standard procedure that doctors should follow to help them discern whether or not a fracture has been sustained. If this procedure is not followed, mistakes can be made. If a patient’s injury becomes worse due to not receiving timely treatment, a negligence claim could be possible. If you have questions about how to go about making a claim, please speak to one of our advisers today.
How Are Talus Fractures Caused
No guide to claiming missed talus fracture compensation would be complete without taking a look at the way these injuries are caused. The majority of talus fractures are caused by trauma. Examples of common accidents that could produce the kind of blunt force trauma which could result in a fractured talus are:
- Road traffic accidents
- Falling from a height
- Sports injuries
- Repetitive stress of the ankle
When a doctor examines a patient with a suspected talus fracture, they should question the patient about the way their injury was caused to judge the level of trauma suffered, and to decide if it was high enough to cause a fracture. If a medical professional fails to do this, and a fracture is overlooked, you may be able to make a negligence claim against the responsible party. Call our team to learn more about this.
Signs And Symptoms Of Talus Fractures
For many people there will be no doubt that they have fractured a bone in their foot because the symptoms they suffer are very severe. The doctor will simply need to locate the site of the fracture. However, for some people, talus fracture symptoms can be quite minor and in some rare cases, non-existent. Should this be the case, a doctor will need to follow the full diagnostic process to identify the extent of the injury.
Some of the symptoms of a talus fracture are:
- Acute pain in the foot, heel or ankle
- Difficulty walking or putting weight on the foot
- Swelling or bruising
- Pins and needles or numbness
- Deformity of the foot
These symptoms can range in severity from mild to severe, depending on how bad the fracture is. For example, a hairline or stress fracture, may not exhibit as serious symptoms as a compound fracture of the talus. Any time a medical professional overlooks or misdiagnoses a fracture, if you suffer harm in a way and can prove it was the result of medical negligence, a valid claim could exist. One of our advisers can tell you more about this if you give them a call.
Diagnosing And Treating Talus Fractures
If you believe that you suffered a fractured talus, you would rely on medical professionals to take care of you, and for them to diagnose your injury accurately. In order to diagnose a fracture, the examining doctor should:
- Examine your foot, ankle and lower leg closely to look for physical signs of a fracture
- Check whether you can move your toes, and also whether you have any feeling on the bottom of your foot
- Take your pulse at places on your foot to ensure blood flow
- Check for fluid build-up and compartment syndrome
- Ask you about how the injury was caused, to judge the kind of forces and trauma involved
- Check your medical history to find out if you have damaged your foot previously, and whether you are suffering from a medical condition that could make fractures more likely
- Call for an x-ray, or if the fracture is unlikely to show up on an x-ray, an MRI scan instead
Once the examining doctor has confirmed that you do have a fractured talus, they would then ensure that the correct treatment is administered. For example, talus fracture treatment could include:
- Immobilisation, using a plaster cast or a medical boot. The foot will need to be immobilised in this way for up to 8 weeks, although the patient may be able to walk on the cast after several weeks rest
- Internal fixation and reduction, this is a surgical process used to realign the bones before they begin to knit. This could involve using surgical screws, plates, rods
- Pain management, using painkillers and alternative options such as steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Rehabilitation, involving physiotherapy and home exercise to get the patient walking and mobile again once the cast has come off
If the hospital fails to diagnose a fracture of the talus, you may not receive the correct treatment. The fracture could be exacerbated, and complications may set in. Should you suffers this kind of harm due to medical negligence during the diagnostic process, you may have a valid basis for a compensation claim. If you would like to know more about this, then please call our team today, they can help you.
Eligibility To Claim Compensation For An Undiagnosed Fracture
In this section, we explain why you could be eligible to make a medical negligence claim, if you were the victim of a misdiagnosed or overlooked broken talus. First, let us look at the duty of care that every medical professional has towards patients, and how if breached, this could be seen as medical negligence. We could say that:
- Every medical professional is expected to treat patients in a way that does them no unnecessary harm. When they do cause harm in a way that could have been avoided, they could be deemed to have broken their duty of care to the patient. Subsequently, this could be construed as clinical negligence
Therefore, if a doctor fails to diagnose your fractured talus correctly, and you suffer additional harm due to the injury becoming worse, or complications setting in, it could be seen as negligence on the part of the doctor. It means you suffered harm at the hands of a medical professional which could have been avoided had the injury been diagnosed correctly.
Can I Claim If A GP Missed My Talus Fracture?
Your GP is supposed to act as the gateway to the health service in the UK. Their job is to perform an initial diagnosis and then decide whether they can treat you themselves, or they should refer you to a specialist for treatment.
If your GP makes a mistake, and overlooks or misdiagnoses your medical condition, this could mean that you go without needed treatment which in turn, could have a detrimental effect on your health. In such cases, it could be possible for a medical negligence solicitor to process a claim for compensation on your behalf. For more information about GP claims, please speak to one of our advisers.
Can I Claim If A Hospital Missed My Talus Fracture?
In previous sections, we outlined the way that medical professionals working in a hospital diagnose an injury such as a fractured talus. We have also shown how the examining doctor can overlook or misdiagnose this type of foot injury
When you visit the hospital following an accident, the examining doctor must get the diagnosis right so that your injuries are treated properly. When the diagnosis is wrong, as with GP negligence, it could mean you don’t receive the treatment that you need. Your injuries could become worse, and your health suffer. A medical negligence lawyer may be able to help you to make a compensation claim in such circumstances. For more information, call our team today.
What Are Basic NHS Patients Rights
The NHS has produced a document, titled the NHS Constitution. This document lays out the level of service the NHS aims to provide, as well as many of the procedures the NHS follows to deal with problems, complaints, and claims against them.
As an NHS patient, you have certain rights. One of which is the right to make a complaint if you believe you have been poorly treated by a medical professional. Another, is the right to claim damages if you suffer harm at the hands of a medical professional. These two rights tie together, as you will start your negligence claim by making an official complaint before following this up with legal proceedings if you need to do so.
Medical Negligence Claim Limitation Period
You will need to begin your claim within the applicable personal injury claims time limit. In general, this time limit would be three years as explained below:
- For those over 18 years of age, three years from the date a medical condition caused by negligence is diagnosed, or from the date the negligence took place
- For those under 18 years of age, three years from their 8th birthday which means a medical negligence claim can be filed right up to the date of their 21st birthday
Calculating Compensation For A Missed Talus Fracture
It is very difficult to give an average missed fracture compensation amount, as each claim is unique. However, you could use this table below to get a rough idea of the level of compensation you might receive. It is based on the Judicial College Guidelines used in England by courts, solicitors and insurance providers.
|Ankle||Very Severe||In this category, we have extreme or unusual ankle injuries. For example, a transmalleolar fracture along with significant damage to the tissue. This would result in a deformed ankle, and mean that any future injury to the ankle would require the leg to be amputated at the knee. Arthritis could be a problem later in life.||£46,980 to £65,420|
|Ankle||Severe||In this category are all ankle injuries that would take an extended period to heal, and the ankle would be immobilised for much of this time. All ankle injuries that require the used of surgery, pins, plates, screws, etc. to treat. The victim would suffer a severe reduction in their mobility. Employment prospects could be impacted, and the victim’s life affected in other ways, such as chronic pain causing loss of sleep.||£29,380 to £46,980|
|Ankle||Moderate||Ankle fractures, soft-tissue injuries, etc. that would result in the victim suffering permanent impairment, such as difficulty walking on ground that is uneven, or difficulty walking for any distance. There could also be a risk of osteoporosis in the future.||£12,900 to £24,950|
|Ankle||Modest||In this category are less serious injuries such as minor fractures, sprains, strains, etc. The level of compensation would depend on any lingering symptoms or minor impairment such as the ankle being weakened, or significant scarring being present.||Up to £12,900|
If you want an accurate estimate, a solicitor can value your claim for you and can offer advice on the kinds of damages you could include in your claim which may include the following:
- General damages:
- Permanent impairment
- Psychological damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental shock and trauma
- Painful recovery
- Special damages:
- Lowered working potential
- Lost wages/salary
- Medical fees
- The cost of hiring a nurse/carer
- Travel costs
No Win No Fee Claims For A Missed Talus Fracture
A No Win No Fee solicitor won’t expect to be paid an upfront fee and would only take their ‘success fee’ when they have received a compensation payment on your behalf. You will not be asked to pay a fee to start your claim, or while your claim is being processed. If the claim fails, the solicitor still won’t expect you to pay their fees because they entered into a No Win No Fee agreement with you.
Begin a Talus Fracture Claim
Did you suffer a fractured talus bone and a medical professional misdiagnosed it or overlooked it? Would you like to find out whether you have a valid personal injury claim? Then contact our team on 0800 652 3087 and an adviser will be able to help you.
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Article by MW