Missed Wrist Fracture Claims Guide – How To Claim Compensation For A Misdiagnosed Wrist Fracture?

If you take a trip to see the GP or head to the Accident and Emergency Department, you would expect the medical professional that you see to be able to accurately diagnose the illness or injury that is causing symptoms. While this is usually what happens, there could be, unfortunately, cases whereby people could have their injury or illness misdiagnosed or missed altogether. If this occurs, it could cause the injury to get worse because it may not be treated in the correct manner. This guide focuses specifically on a missed or misdiagnosed fracture of the wrist, but there are many other fractures that could be misdiagnosed too. If you have had a broken wrist misdiagnosed due to medical negligence and this has caused avoidable harm, you could be eligible to make a claim for missed wrist fracture compensation, either on your own or with the help of a personal injury lawyer.

Missed wrist fracture compensation claims

Missed wrist fracture compensation claims

Here at Medical Negligence Assist, we have created this guide to give you advice on your missed broken wrist claim. We also have a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week advice line available, so you could call us to ask any questions you may have and receive guidance on beginning a claim for a missed fracture of the wrist. The number you need is 0800 652 3087. Before you call, however, we would recommend that you continue reading first, as you may find some information that could assist you when it comes to making a claim for a missed or misdiagnosed fracture of the wrist.

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A Guide To Compensation Claims For A Missed Wrist Fracture

Sustaining a fracture to the wrist could be very painful, but if a  GP or other medical professional has failed to realise that your wrist was fractured, you may have suffered further pain and injury, and your wrist fracture recovery may be longer and more complicated. If you could prove that medical negligence has caused you to suffer this kind of harm, you may be able to claim compensation for the extra pain and suffering you’ve experienced.

There are a number of different reasons why a medical professional may not pick up on the fracture you have sustained, and we will explore these scenarios in further detail within this guide, as well as providing you with lots of other useful pieces of information on these sorts of cases, as well as how to go about making a missed broken wrist claim and how to find an appropriate medical negligence solicitor to help you. After all, there could be a chance that you may be able to proceed with a medical negligence claim if you have been the victim of a missed wrist fracture that has caused you avoidable harm and using the services of a personal injury solicitor could help take some of the stress out of making a claim.

What Is A Missed Fracture?

A missed fracture could occur when a medical professional has failed to diagnose you with a fracture when you have one. A scenario would be where the fracture has been missed altogether. However, there are also cases whereby the fracture could have been mistaken as something else, such as a sprain. In such a scenario, the doctor could end up treating you or giving you advice for a condition you don’t even have. This could result in your fracture injury becoming worse, causing further symptoms and pain, and affecting the length and extent of your recovery.

There are many bones within the wrist that could be broken. Your wrist is made up of the scaphoid bone, the hamate bone, the lunate and the triquetrum bone, trapezium bone, the trapezoid, the capitate and the pisiform. Breaking any of these bones could cause issues with the movement of the wrist, and could affect the hand and the arm too.

Why Fractures May Be Misdiagnosed

You may be wondering why your wrist fracture has not been noticed by the medical professional that you saw, especially if you had clear wrist fracture symptoms. There are various reasons this could happen. One reason why some fractures could go undetected by medical professionals is that some wrist fracture types could be challenging to diagnose. For instance, it could be quite difficult to spot a hairline fracture. This is the sort of fracture that occurs when the bone breaks, yet the fragments do not move out of position. Hairline fractures could be very difficult to see on an X-ray if you are not looking closely, as they might only appear as a very small line. The medical professional looking at your X-ray could overlook this and, therefore, may not realise that your wrist has fractured.

In addition to this, there could be other reasons that a missed or misdiagnosed wrist fracture could occur. The medical professional could have taken the X-ray incorrectly, and it might not show the part of the wrist that it should, or it may not have been taken at the angle it should. Or, your fracture could have been missed because someone working in the hospital may have failed to pass the X-ray onto the doctor for their analysis. Another reason could be that the doctor handling your case may have failed to request an X-ray, to begin with. These are just some of the different reasons why fractures go undiagnosed. If such a situation has happened to you, or if your wrist fracture has been missed due to a form of negligence by a medical professional, you may be able to make a claim for clinical negligence compensation with a personal injury solicitor if you have suffered avoidable harm because of this.

Causes Of Different Types Of Wrist Fracture

There are a number of different reasons why someone could end up sustaining a broken wrist. For example, some people may sustain this type of injury after being involved in a motor vehicle crash.

People could also suffer wrist injuries due to sporting accidents, in contact sports especially. There are a number of different sporting activities that increase your risk of suffering from a wrist fracture. This includes jumping on a trampoline, in-line skating, snowboarding, skiing, hockey, horseback riding, rugby, and football, especially when played on artificial turf.

Wrist fractures could also happen when you fall onto an outstretched hand, in a slip, trip or fall accident. You could also sustain a wrist fracture due to overuse, or because the wrist has been subjected to blunt force trauma in a workplace accident.

Whatever the reason for your wrist fracture, not getting the correct diagnosis and wrist fracture treatment could mean you suffer a longer recovery, more invasive treatment or you may end up with incomplete recovery.

Wrist Fracture Symptoms

There are a number of different symptoms and signs that could be associated with a broken wrist. Wrist fracture symptoms:

  • Evident deformity, for example, a bent/buckled wrist
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Severe pain that could get worse when moving your wrist or hand, as well as when squeezing or gripping

The severity of wrist breaks could range dramatically. In some cases, a simple fracture could be fixed within a few weeks, but if the wrist bones break into many different pieces, which often demand surgical repair, your recovery could take longer.

How Fractures Are Treated And Diagnosed

When it comes to determining whether or not you have a wrist fracture, there could be a number of different questions your doctor may ask you. They could ask about the symptoms you are experiencing and the accident you have had that caused your injury and they would also need to examine the area to see if they could spot any obvious signs of injury. This could include assessing any swelling or tenderness, as well as checking if your wrist looks misshapen.

In many cases, an X-ray could be requested to take a picture of the bones in your wrist to see if you have a wrist fracture. In some cases, however, it may be that an MRI scan or CT scan could be requested. This could be the case if a doctor feels that more detailed images of the fracture could be required.

What about the treatment options that are available to you if you have a wrist fracture? There are various options that may be possible, and these would depend on the severity and nature of the fracture. Surgery is sometimes needed, but this is not always the case. The treatment that you could need would involve moving the wrist back into the original position (if required) and then stopping it from moving as much as possible until it has been fully healed. Your doctor should explain to you the treatment you are going to require and why he or she believes it would be the best choice for you. Treatment could include an operation where the wrist bones are manipulated back into position and could sometimes involve strengthening the joint with pins and wires. Or, you may just need a plaster cast or splint.

If you suffer missed wrist fracture symptoms, and it is found that you have suffered a misdiagnosed broken wrist, you may have missed the window of opportunity for optimum recovery. If this is the case, you could suffer more pain, and you may need more invasive treatment to fix your misdiagnosed fracture of the wrist.  This may impact your ability to attend work, which could impact you financially. Lost wages could be recompensed within a misdiagnosed wrist fracture settlement, however.

Are You Eligible To Make A Misdiagnosed Wrist Fracture Compensation Claim?

If you have suffered a missed wrist fracture, you may want to know whether or not you could be entitled to fracture misdiagnosis compensation. There are a number of different factors that would need to be considered when determining whether or not this is the case. The first factor that would be taken into account is responsibility. After all, if you are fully to blame for your missed wrist fracture, for example, because you did not seek medical attention for your injury at all, you would not be entitled to receive misdiagnosed wrist fracture compensation as you didn’t give a medical professional the chance to look at your injury. To be eligible for compensation, you must show that a broken wrist was misdiagnosed due to medical negligence and this has caused avoidable harm

Aside from proving that a medical professional is at fault for what has happened to you to be eligible to claim, you need to launch a medical negligence claim within the personal injury claims time limit that applies to your case. For the vast majority of medical malpractice cases, the time limit would be 3 years. This would either be three years from the date of the negligence or the date it was discovered to have caused you harm. There are some exceptions to this, though, and we will take a look at time limits in more depth in one of the upcoming sections.

Wrist Fractures Missed By GPs

When you visit the GP with regards to an injury, if they cannot accurately diagnose it by themselves, they should refer you for further tests or for a second opinion. In the case of a possible wrist fracture, they should consider sending you for an X-ray at a clinic or hospital, or at least to see another doctor. If a GP misdiagnosed your fracture as they were negligent and passes your injury off as a sprain, for example, even if you showed clear signs that you could have suffered a fracture, then you may not get the right treatment for your fracture, and it could start to heal improperly, causing you more issues with recovery.

If you visited your GP with a wrist injury, and you feel that your treatment could have been negligent as they missed a wrist fracture, causing you harm, then you could be eligible to launch a compensation claim against them.

Wrist Fractures Missed By Hospitals

If you present at a hospital with a wrist injury, you would usually be sent to A&E or a minor injury unit for examination, diagnosis and treatment. If something goes wrong within the diagnostic process, then your wrist fracture could be missed, and this could mean you do not receive the right treatment for your wrist fracture. Some reasons that a hospital could have missed a fracture of your wrist could include:

  • The medical professional you saw did not order the right tests
  • The medical professional you saw did not examine you properly
  • The X-ray was not taken at the right angle to show your injury
  • The X-ray was not clear
  • The X-ray was not examined properly by a medical professional diagnosing you
  • The doctor sent you home without examining the X-ray

These are just a few ways in which a wrist fracture could be missed in a hospital. If negligence by a medical professional at A&E or elsewhere in the hospital caused you to suffer a missed fracture and this led to you suffering avoidable harm, then you could be eligible for compensation.

What Are The NHS Responsibilities To You As A Patient?

Under the NHS, you have certain rights. You have a right to receive NHS services without charge. The NHS cannot refuse access to their services without reasonable cause. You also have a right to professional standards of care from the NHS. The staff that care for you must be appropriately qualified and experienced, that meets the required quality and safety standards. You also have the right to refuse or accept treatment offered to you. You also have a right to treatments and medicines recommended by NICE – the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, if the doctor that is treating you believes that they are appropriate for you. You also have a right to complain about the NHS treatment, care or services.

Medical Negligence And Misdiagnosis Claim Time Limits

There are time limits in which someone could claim compensation and as we already mentioned above, the usual time limit for launching a misdiagnosed fracture to the wrist claim would be three years from the date of discovery of harm. However, there are some exceptions. Please take a look at the table below for clarification. If you’re not sure which time limit fits your case, then you may wish to call us for clarification.

Person ClaimingSituationTime Limit
Adult (Negligence happened when the claimant was 18+)Negligence was discovered to have caused harm right away3 years from date of negligent incident
Adult (Negligence happened when the claimant was 18+)Negligence was discovered to have caused harm some weeks/months after treatment, for example.3 years from the date of discovery
AdultNegligence happened and was discovered when they were a child3 years from date of 18th birthday
AdultNegligence happened when they were a child and was discovered when they were an adult3 years from date of discovery

Calculating Compensation For A Missed Wrist Fracture

One thing that you may want to know when making a claim is how much you could be entitled to. Of course, without knowing the specifics regarding your case, it would be impossible to give you an accurate figure regarding the amount of money you may receive. However, in the table below we have sourced figures from the Judicial College Guidelines, which help give some clarity on approximate payout brackets, as opposed to providing a personal injury claims calculator. Before we look at these figures, let us provide some perspective regarding how the payout could be calculated. There are a number of different factors that could be considered here. Firstly, the injury itself would be taken into account. This may not only relate to the severity of your injury now but also your prognosis for the future. Factors such as the symptoms you are experiencing and how the misdiagnosis has made the injury worse will also be taken into account. Aside from the medical point of view, your compensation could also cover any costs you have been subjected to as a direct consequence of the misdiagnosis. After all, there could be a number of expenses associated with an injury, from prescription costs to the cost of missing work if you are not paid while you are off. These are all the sorts of things you may be able to claim for.

Very minor wrist injuriesMinimally displaced or very minor undisplaced fractures fall into this category. The individual will typically require a bandage or plaster to be applied for a number of weeks. Within 12 months or so, a full recovery should be made.£3,310 - £4,450
Colles’ fractureThis payout bracket relates to uncomplicated Colles’ fractures.Around £6,970
Wrist InjuriesIn these cases, the recovery from the wrist fracture is going to take a bit longer. However, a complete recovery should be made. Up to £9,620
Wrist InjuriesThis relates to less severe injuries where there is still a level of permanent disability, for instance, a degree of persisting stiffness and pain. £11,820 - £22,990
Wrist InjuriesThis type of injury is when there is permanent disability, yet some useful movement still remains.£22,990 - £36,770
Wrist InjuriesInjuries whereby function in the wrist has been completely lost.£44,690 - £56,180

No Win No Fee Misdiagnosed Wrist Fracture Compensation Claims

One thing you may wish to consider when making a missed or misdiagnosed wrist fracture compensation claim would be whether or not you would like a lawyer to help you. If it is the thought of paying upfront for legal services that could be putting you off, you may be glad to learn that if you chose to work with a No Win No Fee lawyer for your case, you would not have to pay them until your claim was settled. These claims are documented in a Conditional Fee Agreement, which is a document you would have to sign to agree to pay your lawyer a success fee at the end of your claim, once your payout came through. The success fee would be detailed as a percentage of your total compensation payout, and could not be over 25% of your payout, as there is a government cap that prevents a lawyer from asking for any more than this. If your lawyer did not manage to achieve a compensation payout for you, then you would not have to pay the success fee, as long as your claim was a valid one.

Talk To Our Team

We hope that you have found this information about making a missed wrist fracture claim and the steps that you could take should you find yourself in this sort of situation useful. If you have any further questions or you want to make a personal injury claim today please do not hesitate to give us a call for guidance and support. You could reach our professional and friendly team by dialling 0800 652 3087. This line is open 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Alternatively, you could request a call back via our site, or you could drop us a message about your misdiagnosed fracture using the live chat feature. We look forward to hearing from you.

Where To Learn More

Claim Against A GP – If you believe that your GP is at fault and this is why you have experienced a missed wrist fracture, this guide has some useful advice that could help you.

Misdiagnosis Negligence – In this guide, we have provided a comprehensive overview of misdiagnosis negligence.

Hospital Negligence – If you have suffered a misdiagnosis of a wrist fracture while in hospital or at A&E, you could find some helpful information in this guide.

Knowing If You Have A Broken Bone – If you think that you have broken one of your bones but you are not quite sure, you could use this link from the NHS to try and determine if your bone could be broken.

Advice After A Wrist Fracture – If you think you may have suffered a wrist fracture, this NHS page could offer some useful information.

NICE Information On Fracture Assessment – You can find information on the NICE guidelines for fracture management and assessment here.

More Misdiagnosis Claim Guides

Written by Jo

Edited by LisM