Missed Ulna Fracture Claims Guide

When you’re involved in an accident which results in an arm injury, one of the first things you’re likely to do is visit A&E or your GP. In many cases, they’ll look at your symptoms, work out what’s wrong and provide treatment to resolve the issue. However, in some cases, mistakes can happen. In these instances, you could end up suffering more and your injuries could get worse. Therefore, this guide looks at when you could claim compensation for a misdiagnosed ulna fracture. We’ll look at the symptoms of the injury, treatment options, and when a medical professional could be found liable for your suffering.

Missed ulna fracture compensation claims

Missed ulna fracture compensation claims

Here at Medical Negligence Assist, we believe that those who suffer due to the negligence of a medical professional should be able to claim compensation for their suffering without stressing about the costs involved. That’s why our advisers provide free legal advice about claiming. They also offer a no obligation assessment of your claim. Finally, if the claim has strong enough grounds, you could be referred to one of our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors. If you’d like to discuss your claim right away, you can call us today on 0800 652 3087 for free advice.

If you’d prefer to carry on reading and find out more about claiming for a misdiagnosed break of the ulna bone, please do so.

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A Guide To Claiming Compensation For A Missed Ulna Fracture

When you visit A&E or your GP with any type of ailment, you put your faith in the expertise of the medical professional who treats you. Therefore, if they say you’ve sprained or bruised your arm rather than broken it, you’ll probably trust what they say and follow any recommendations they make. However, if they have misdiagnosed an ulna fracture, you could end up suffering more than if they’d treated you for the correct injury at the first opportunity. In these cases, you might be able to claim compensation for your suffering.

In this guide, we’re going to cover the symptoms of an ulna fracture, the causes of a broken ulna bone, why a doctor might miss the fracture and when you could claim compensation. We’ll also look at potential compensation amounts as well as time limits for beginning your claim. We’ll try to answer as many questions as possible including:

  • How do you know if you fractured your ulna?
  • How long does an ulna fracture take to heal?
  • How long after a fracture can surgery be carried out?

Finally, we’ll review your right as a patient of the NHS by looking at their patient’s constitution.

After you’ve read our guide, we’d be happy to advise you on the claims process. Therefore, please get in touch and let us know what happened. Our advisers will let you know if you’ve got a valid claim and whether you could go on to claim compensation for your injuries.

What Is A Missed Diagnosis Of An Injury?

There are three things that need to be proven when claiming medical negligence. These are:

  • Breach of duty: This is where a medical professional performs treatment that is below the level that could be reasonably expected by a competent professional
  • You suffered as a consequence
  • Causation: This means that it can be shown that the treatment caused a condition to get worse, the patient to be made ill or to sustain an injury

When you can show the above happened, you could be eligible to claim compensation. If you’re not sure whether you can prove the misdiagnosis of a fracture was caused by inadequate treatment, a quick call to one of our advisers could help.

Why Do Missed Diagnosis Of Fractures Happen?

There are some common reasons why a fracture might be misdiagnosed. If that reason can be deemed as being through medical negligence, you could claim compensation for any suffering caused by a delay in receiving treatment. Some of the more common reasons include:

  • Failure to spot the fracture on an X-ray
  • Not asking for an X-ray because the doctor thought the symptoms pointed to another injury
  • Failure of a GP to refer the patient to a hospital specialist
  • A rushed consultation because of a busy period in A&E or staff shortages

Causes Of Broken Or Fractured Ulna Bone Injuries

A fractured ulna bone could be caused by a number of different types of accident. These include:

  • Slips, trips and falls where the hands are used to break a fall
  • Direct impact with a moving object. This could include an accident at work where machinery strikes the forearm
  • Road traffic accident and collisions

There are a number of different types of fracture that could occur including a proximal fracture, nightstick fracture, isolated fracture or an ulna styloid fracture.

Remember, in this guide, we’re not looking too closely at the cause of the fracture, we’re considering cases where a medical professional may have missed the fracture. That said, you could still be entitled to compensation from the party who caused the accident to happen in the first place. Please discuss the best method of claiming when you speak to our team.

Ulna Fracture Symptoms

Some of the most common ulna fracture symptoms include:

  • Swelling and bruising (though bruising isn’t as common as with other types of fracture)
  • A deformity of the forearm
  • Inability to rotate the arm
  • Immediate pain in the area of the fracture
  • The need to support the arm with your other arm
  • Numbness, weakness or tingling in the fingers or wrist

In the next section, we’ll look at the how the injury should be properly diagnosed and treated.

How Is An Ulna Fracture Diagnosed And Treated?

The initial stage of a broken bone diagnosis will be an assessment by a GP or doctor in a hospital. They’ll look for some of the physical symptoms listed previously as well as asking you how the injury was sustained. If they believe there’s evidence that the bone is fractured, they could refer you for an X-ray. Alternatively, a CT scan or MRI might be requested if a more detailed image is required.

Treatment will begin with painkillers being prescribed to ease the pain of the fracture. Depending on the nature of the fracture, surgery may or may not be required. The first part of the treatment process is known as reduction. This is where the bones are manipulated back in to position which typically require an anaesthetic or sedative. Then, in cases where surgery isn’t required, you’ll undergo immobilisation. This is where a splint or plaster cast is used to prevent the arm moving while it heals.

In cases where the bones have fractured in multiple places, before a cast is used, you may require surgery to realign the bones properly. This might require the use of pins, plates and screws to secure the bone in position.

When your plaster cast or splint is removed, the doctor might refer you for physiotherapy or provide you with a range of exercises to aid the full recovery of the arm.

Could I Claim Compensation If My Fracture Was Misdiagnosed?

As discussed earlier, if you’re going to claim compensation from a medical professional for a misdiagnosed ulna fracture, you’ll need to be able to show that they’ve been negligent in not spotting the fracture, and that the negligence is what’s caused you to suffer.

This means showing that the suffering caused wouldn’t have happened if they’d spotted the injury earlier. In some cases, this might be a simple case of showing that you were in pain for a longer period than you would have been if treatment had been carried out earlier. In more serious cases though, you might be able to claim for any deformity or disability that occurred because the bone fracture wasn’t treated earlier.

This is why it’s best to have a specialist medical negligence solicitor working on your case for you. It is their job to ensure enough evidence is provided to support your claim. As a solicitor is not a medical specialist, they’ll usually use independent doctors to assess what injury you initially sustained, whether it should’ve been spotted earlier and the impact of any misdiagnosis. Their report can be used in conjunction with other medical evidence to try and ensure you receive a full and fair settlement for your injuries.

Claim Compensation From A GP For A Misdiagnosed Ulna Fracture

NHS GPs often have a very limited time with each of their patients. In a 10-minute appointment they’ll usually expect to assess, diagnose and treat the condition that’s being presented to them. Amazingly, in a lot of cases, this goes to plan, and the patient goes on to recover. However, in some cases, mistakes can be made. Examples of when a GP mistake could lead to a claim include:

  • If they fail to refer you to a hospital for X-rays
  • Where they treat the condition as something else and that treatment is ineffective or causes symptoms to worsen
  • The GP provided inadequate advice on how to look after the injury

To help decide whether you could claim against your GP, please contact a member of our team today. Medical records could be used as evidence to support your claim so you may wish to request these prior to contacting us.

Claim Compensation From A Hospital For A Misdiagnosed Ulna Fracture

In a hospital scenario, there are a number of ways in which a fracture misdiagnosis could result in a compensation claim. These include:

  • Inexperienced doctors who fail to identify a potential fracture
  • Failure to send the patient for an X-ray
  • An inadequate consultation due to staff shortages or a busy emergency department
  • Failure of a doctor to ask for a second X-ray or advice from a colleague if the first was unclear

You could be entitled to compensation for any additional suffering caused by a misdiagnosed ulna fracture by hospital staff. Please call for advice from one of our specialist advisers today.

Rights Under The NHS Constitution For England

When you attend any NHS service, you have a number of rights under the NHS constitution for England. Some of those rights include:

  • The right to a GP. You can choose to register with a GP surgery if you live within their catchment area
  • A right to receive treatment from a GP. There is no right to be treated by your own GP though – any GP within the practice can see you
  • Out of hours services must be provided. This could include treatment from locums, other GPs or telephone operated services
  • You’re not entitled to home visits. They can be provided by the GP if they believe your condition warrants it though
  • There is no automatic right to a second opinion. You can ask for one, but the GP could refuse if they don’t believe there’s a valid reason for one
  • You will not be charged for GP treatment if you are an NHS patient living in the UK
  • Treatment at a hospital (other than in A&E) must be arranged by a GP. You cannot expect to be treated without a referral
  • You have the right to choose a specified consultant so long as your GP agrees they are clinically suitable
  • It’s possible that if you’re unable to receive treatment right away, you’ll be placed on a hospital waiting list. These have maximum waiting times. If your wait exceeds these, you can ask the clinical commissioning group to provide a range of alternative treatment providers

Time Limits To Make A Medical Misdiagnosis Claim

When claiming compensation for any type of injury, you need to do so within the personal injury claims time limit. In normal claims, you’ll usually have 3-years to make your claim from the date your injury occurred.

However, as we’re talking about claiming when an ulna fracture is missed, the time limit won’t begin from the date you were injured. It won’t usually begin at the date of the misdiagnosis either. In most cases of a missed orthopaedic injury, your time limit will be from the date you found out about the misdiagnosis.

If you’re unsure when your time limit begins, please contact our advisers for free advice. They’ll assess what happened with you and help calculate the date you became aware of the orthopaedic negligence.

Missed Ulna Fracture Compensation Claims

If you’re going to claim for ulna fracture that was misdiagnosed, you’ll probably want to know how much compensation you could be entitled to. In truth, every claim is unique, and as such the amount of compensation will be different in every case. Once we’ve assessed your claim, we should be able to provide you with a personal estimate. For now, though, you could look at the personal injury claims compensation table below.

The table shows figures taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a document used by courts, insurers and personal injury solicitors to help calculate compensation amounts.

Type of InjurySeverityCompensation RangeDetails
ArmSevere£36,770 to £56,180Serious fractures in one or both forearms with a significant functional or cosmetic disability.
ArmLess Severe£18,020 to £36,770Involves injuries where a significant disablity was caused but a large amount of recovery has occurred.
ArmFracture£6,190 to £18,020Simple fractures of the forearm are included in this bracket.
ElbowModerate/MinorUp to £11,820Includes simple fractures of the elbow as well as laceration injuries.
WristFractureUp to £6,970This bracket covers injuries such as an uncomplicated Colles' fracture of the wrist.
HandLess Serious£13,570 to £27,220Include severe crush injuries that result in significant funtion impairment (with or without surgery).
FingersFractureUp to £34,480These severe fractures could require partial amputations, cause deformity, grip impairment and reduced sensation.

The figures shown are for part of the claim known as general damages. These are paid to cover the pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused by your injuries. Having a specialist solicitor on your side could prove vital because the severity of your injuries needs to be proven to try and ensure you receive the correct level of compensation.

As well as special damages, your personal injury lawyer would claim for special damages too. This part of the claim covers financial losses incurred as a result of your injuries. The types of special damages that could be claimed in medical malpractice claim include:

  • Medical costs
  • Care costs
  • Travelling expenses
  • Lost income
  • Future lost income

It’s therefore important to provide your solicitor with as much information as possible to ensure you’re compensated fully. Try to keep hold of any receipts or bank statements that would help prove your losses.

No Win No Fee Claims If Your Ulna Fracture Is Misdiagnosed

When claiming for a misdiagnosed ulna fracture, it’s quite common to worry about the costs involved. To put your mind at ease, our panel of solicitors offer a No Win No Fee service for any claim they take on. Therefore, if your ulna fracture is misdiagnosed, you could claim knowing that your financial risk has been reduced and that the claim will be less stressful too.

When the solicitor agrees to take on your claim, they’ll offer you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to sign. This is your contract and it’s the legal name for No Win No Fee agreements. In the CFA you’ll find lots of information including two key statements:

  1. There are no solicitor’s fees to pay if you don’t receive compensation
  2. The success fee that you’ll pay when your claim is settled in your favour

Success fees are the method in which solicitor’s fees are paid. You don’t have to send money to pay them though. The success fee is expressed as a percentage of your compensation. It will be deducted from your compensation before the payment is sent to you.

Why not find out if you’re eligible to claim on a no win no fee basis by calling our team today?

Start Your Claim

Thanks for visiting our site and reading our guide about claiming for a misdiagnosed ulna fracture. We hope that the guide has demonstrated out expertise in making NHS negligence claims and that you’d like to begin your claim with us. If so, here are the easiest methods of contacting us:

When you call to discuss your medical negligence claim, we’ll begin by looking at the evidence you have. Our advisers will offer a free assessment of your claim and free advice about how to proceed to a claim. If they deem that you have a case which is strong enough to win compensation, they could introduce you to one of our panel of medical negligence solicitors. Any claim they agree to take on will be done so on a No Win No Fee basis. When you contact us, there will be no pressure to proceed so there’s nothing to lose.

Supporting Resources

You’ve come to the end of our guide about claiming for a missed ulna fracture. For additional support, we’ve provided some links to more guides and resources that you might find useful below.

Forearm Fractures And Manipulation – A guide from the NHS in West Suffolk regarding forearm fracture treatment.

Arm Or Wrist Fractures – This guide, also from the NHS, explains how a broken arm is diagnosed and treated.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) – The CQC inspect and rate GP surgeries, day centres and hospitals.

Misdiagnosis Claims – A guide which explains how a medical negligence lawyer could help you claim for suffering caused by a misdiagnosis.

GP Negligence Claims – Information on making medical negligence claims against GPs for a mistake which has caused you to suffer.

Hospital Negligence Claims – A similar guide that explains how to make a personal injury claim against a hospital.

Other Misdiagnosis Claim Guides

Article by BH

Editor Honey