By Megan Uley. Last updated 18th November 2022. This guide is intended to show people who suffered a missed fibula fracture due to negligence, how they may be in a position to make a personal injury claim for the harm they suffered. We cover many of the ways that this type of injury is missed or diagnosed incorrectly, and why this could entitle an injured party to seek compensation by filing a negligence claim.
If you have questions not covered in this guide, as no two claims are identical, you can call our team on 0800 652 3087. They can answer any questions you have, go over your claim with you, and tell you how a medical negligence solicitor could help you by processing a negligence claim on your behalf.
Choose A Section:
- A Guide To Claims For A Missed Fibula Fracture
- What Is A Fracture Misdiagnosis?
- Causes Of Fractures To Be Misdiagnosed
- Types And Causes Of Fibula Fracture
- Fractured Fibula – What Are The Symptoms?
- Diagnosis And Treatment Options For A Fractured Fibula
- When Could You Claim For The Misdiagnosis Of A Fractured Fibula?
- Misdiagnosed Fibula Fractures By A GP
- Misdiagnosed Fibula Fractures By A Hospital
- What Are My Rights Under NHS Healthcare?
- Medical Negligence Claims Time Limit
- Calculating Compensation For Missed Fibula Fractures
- Fibula Fracture – No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Claims
- Contact Our Team
- Supporting Resources
If you suffered a misdiagnosed fibula fracture, or negligence related to a specific injury, such as a missed proximal fibula fracture, this guide shows you how, if your fracture is overlooked due to a mistake made by a medical professional, you could be able to make a medical negligence claim against them.
We start this guide with a general overview of what a misdiagnosed fracture is. The middle section covers facts related to a missed fracture injury. We look at some of the causes of overlooked fractures, and we also list some of the ways that fibula fractures are caused, and the many different types of injuries they can be classified as.
You will find a list of the symptoms of a fibula fracture, to help you judge whether your injury has been overlooked. The diagnostic process is discussed, and we also cover treatment options.
The next part relates to the claims process. We examine eligibility, and try to explain how you could be entitled to make a claim against a negligent third party. We cover two specific scenarios – namely, when a GP misses a fracture and when a fracture is overlooked by a hospital. We also provide your basic rights as an NHS patient.
The last section covers key facts relating to the claims process itself. We talk about the time limit that may apply, and we have added a table that shows possible compensation amounts that could be awarded in a successful claim. This table is based on the Judicial College Guidelines used in England by the courts. We have also listed some of the damages and losses you could claim for.
We explain how a No Win No Fee claim works, and why this could be a good way for you to have your claim processed by an experienced personal injury solicitor.
If you have any questions about the process of making a claim for clinical negligence, about the contents of this guide, or related to your own claim, please call our team. An adviser will answer any questions you may have regarding your case.
What Is A Fracture Misdiagnosis?
A misdiagnosed fracture or a misdiagnosed broken bone, is an injury that has been overlooked by a medical professional during the process of diagnosing any injuries you are suffering from.
Not every case of a missed fracture is due to medical negligence. In rare cases, a fracture will not manifest any symptoms severe enough for a doctor to suspect a fracture which in short no follow-up tests are carried out and this includes X-rays.
However, there are other cases where the doctor should have suspected that the patient had suffered a fracture, and they should have scheduled additional tests to determine whether this is so. If the patient suffers harm because of a diagnostic error, and can prove that a mistake was made, they could have grounds to file a negligence claim.
Causes Of Fractures To Be Misdiagnosed
This section covers NHS negligence, and medical malpractice in a private healthcare facility. When a doctor examines a patient who has sustained a leg injury, there is a routine set of tests they can carry out to discern the extent of the injury. The purpose is to uncover potential fractures when the patient is not suffering from obvious fracture symptoms. This includes:
- Determining how the injury was caused. Questioning the patient about how the accident occurred, the kind force a leg sustained and events that took place prior to and after the accident
- If the patient had a previous leg injury, this would also be taken into consideration
- The doctor would go over the patient’s medical history to check whether they suffer from a health issue that leaves them predisposed to sustaining fractures
- They would examine the injured leg closely, and manipulate the leg to learn whether the movement is impeded
If, after this kind of examination the doctor suspects a fracture, they can call for additional tests to confirm a first diagnosis. However, if these tests are not performed when a patient is not manifesting obvious symptoms that would suggest a fracture, there is a risk that the fracture would be overlooked entirely.
Types And Causes Of Fibula Fracture
Although a broken fibula bone is not one of the most commonly missed leg injuries, from time to time it can happen. Many fractures of this type should be easy for a doctor to diagnose, for example:
- A lateral malleolus fracture is a type of fractured fibula injury where the fracture is on or very close to the ankle
- Fibular head fractures, these are located at the top of the fibula, on or close to the knee
- Avulsion fractures, these are related to the anatomy of the fibula and the way the bone is attached to ligaments. Here, a small piece of bone has been chipped away
- Stress fractures, such as a proximal fibula fracture which are caused by repetitive strain, such as playing sports or exercising
- Fibular shaft fractures occur when the middle part of the fibula receives a direct blow, or has significant blunt trauma force applied it, such as being crushed
Fractures of the lower leg can be caused in various ways with some fibula fractures being the result of the following:
- Road traffic accidents, such as car crashes, or motorcycle accidents
- Slips, trips and falls either in a public place, or on private premises
- Sports injuries, or stress fractures caused by playing an excessive amount of sports
- Accidents that result in a leg being crushed. For example, being buried under rubble should a building collapse
If you suffer a fractured fibula, and it is overlooked when you are being examined by a doctor, you could make a compensation claim for the harm you suffered. You would need to prove a mistake was made for your claim to be valid. Speak to our team for more information.
If you have suffered from a fractured fibula, you could experience various symptoms. The NHS provides some potential symptoms you may experience if you have suffered a broken bone.
They state that the three most common symptoms of a fracture are:
Some of the other potential symptoms you may experience that could indicate you have a fibula fracture include:
- Feeling pain when you put weight on the injury or when you touch it.
- You may hear a snap or grinding noise as the injury happened.
- The injured area may look deformed. For example, the bone may be poking out through the skin.
- You may also feel sick or dizzy after breaking a bone.
Contact our advisors today to find out whether you are eligible to make a medical negligence claim for the misdiagnosis of your fibula injury.
In this section, we look at the diagnosis and treatment of fibula fractures. We answer questions such as, how long does it take a fibula to heal? And, how is a broken fibula treated? Doctors have three primary tools at their disposal to help diagnose a fracture, these being:
- Physical examination (we described this routing of tests in a previous section
- X-rays to establish the extent of damage a bone
- MRI scan, which gives a deeper look at the bone structure and also the surrounding tissue
These tools should be sufficient to locate and diagnose a fractured fibula, even a tiny hairline fracture caused by stress. When a fracture is correctly diagnosed, treatment can consist of:
- Reduction – this is a term used to describe the process of setting the bones back to the required shape before they are allowed to heal. This is generally done under anaesthetic
- Immobilisation – using a cast, a surgical boot or splints, so that damages bones can heal without moving
- Surgery – using surgical pins, rods, screws, plates, etc. to fix the bone together so that it can heal properly
- Physical therapy – once the fracture has healed, the patient should start using their leg through exercise
If a mistake is made by a doctor administering any of these treatments/therapies, and this results in physical harm to a patient, providing there is evidence that a mistake took place, could be grounds to filing a negligence claim.
When Could You Claim For The Misdiagnosis Of A Fractured Fibula?
If you have suffered because a doctor missed your fibula fracture, you may be in a position to instigate a medical negligence claim against them. However, in order for your claim to be a success, your case must be deemed valid. Successful negligence claims share three things in common, these are:
- The patient suffered measurable physical harm at the hands of a medical professional
- The medical professional failed in their duty of care towards the patient, and caused them harm
- The harm the patient suffered was unnecessary, and could have been avoided had alternative action been taken
If your claim exhibits these three key points, then it could be likely that you have a valid reason to make a claim for the harm you suffered. Our team can assess your case before advising on how best to proceed with a claim against a negligent third party.
Misdiagnosed Fibula Fractures By A GP
Your GP is your first port of call when you are ill. Therefore, if a GP makes a mistake and misses a stress fracture of the fibula, then you may not receive the correct fibula fracture treatment, and your fibula fracture recovery time may be longer as a consequence.
You GP has the same duty of care towards you as any medical professional, when they fail in their duty, you may be able to file a negligence claim against them. To learn more about how the process, speak to our team today.
Misdiagnosed Fibula Fractures By A Hospital
We have looked at how medical professional in a hospital has a host of tools available to diagnose and treat a fibula fracture. Yet despite this, from time to time, mistakes still occur. If a medical professional at a hospital misses your fibula fracture due to negligence, you could have grounds to claim for missed fibula fracture compensation.
If you would like to know more about how to go about filing this type of negligence claim, please speak to one of our advisers. They will go over your claim with you, let you know whether it is valid, and offer free legal advice on how to proceed.
What Are My Rights Under NHS Healthcare?
When you visit your GP, an NHS hospital, or any other state-run medical facility, you have certain rights which are set out in the NHS constitution. These rights include access to a proper, well-defined NHS complaints procedure. Lodging a negligence complaint is the first step required should you wish to file a claim. You also have the right to claim against the NHS for any harm you suffer at the hands of one of its representatives. The NHS maintains a comprehensive public indemnity compensation fund.
Medical Negligence Claims Time Limit
If you are harmed by clinical negligence, there is a personal injury claims time limit that must be respected. These time limits are as follows:
- For adults over the age of eighteen, 3 years from the date the incident took place, or from the date a medical condition is diagnosed
- For minors under the age of 18, three years from the date of their eighteenth birthday. This means a negligence claim must be filed before they turn twenty-one
These dates can change due to specific circumstances, as such, we recommend that you contact a member of our team who can tell you more regarding the time limit associated with your specific negligence claim.
Calculating Compensation For Missed Fibula Fractures
You could use a personal injury claims calculator to get a rough estimate of how much you can claim. However, the table below is based on the Judicial College Guidelines used in England by the courts when valuing personal injury compensation awards.
|(b) Severe (i)
|All serious leg injuries that fall short of actual amputation. Some injuries could be severe enough to attract a similar level of compensation to full amputation. For example, where one leg has been significantly shortened, or the degloving of the leg.
|£96,250 to £135,920
|(b) Very serious (ii)
|Leg injuries that will result in some loss of mobility, and the requirement to use some form of walking aid such as crutches or a frame. This would likely last for the rest of the person's life.
|£54,830 to £87,890
|(b) Serious (iii)
|Leg fractures such as compound or comminuted fractures. Injuries will leave the leg permanently weakened, and cause an unstable gait.
|£39,200 to £54,830
|(b) Moderate (iv)
|Multiple fractures, as well as crush injuries, deep penetrating wounds, lacerations, etc. Injuries would take some time to heal, and would have an effect on the person's life until they have healed, such as preventing them from working.
|£27,760 to £39,200
|(c) Less serious (i)
|An incomplete recovery is made from a fracture that may result in a limp or defective gait. Or may be a significant soft tissue injury.
|£17,960 to £27,760
|(c) Less Serious (ii)
|No damage to the articular surfaces despite suffering a simple femur fracture.
|£9,110 to £14,080
|(c) Less Serious (iii)
|Soft tissue injuries or simple fractures to the fibula or tibia that cause minor symptoms.
|Up to £11,840
|(a) Severe (ii)
|A leg fracture that extends into the knee joint. This could cause constant pain with limited knee movement.
|£52,120 to £69,730
|(a) Severe (iii)
|A less severe injury that could cause pain and discomfort, as well as limited knee movement and instability.
|£26,190 to £43,460
|(b) Moderate (i)
|Torn cartilage or dislocation of the knee, which could cause minor instability and weakness.
|£14,840 to £26,190
Speak to our team if you want a more accurate estimate. If your claim is a success, you will be awarded several kinds of damages, for example:
- General damages (for pain and suffering):
- Psychological damage
- General trauma, suffering
- Long-term, painful treatment
- Stress and trauma
- Permanent disability
- Special damages (for financial loss):
- Cares costs
- Travel costs
- Loss of income
- Medical fees
- Lowered earning potential
Speak to our team to find out which kinds of damages you could be able to claim.
If a fibula break was misdiagnosed and this caused you to suffer unnecessary harm, you may be eligible to make a medical negligence claim. An experienced solicitor from our panel may be able to help you with your claim and could offer to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis.
There are different kinds of No Win No Fee agreements, one of them being a Conditional Fee Agreement. If a solicitor offers you a Conditional Fee Agreement to represent you when claiming for a fractured fibula, this could mean:
- Not having to pay any fees upfront to your solicitor for them to start working on your case. You usually also don’t have to pay them anything during your claim process.
- If your solicitor is successful with your claim, you will pay them a success fee. This is a legally capped amount taken from your compensation award.
- Alternatively, if the claim is unsuccessful, you are not obligated to pay them for their services.
Contact our advisors today if you would like more information on making a medical negligence claim for a fibula fracture with a No Win No Fee agreement.
Do you need a personal injury solicitor to help you to make a claim for a missed fibula fracture? If you do, you should speak to one of our advisers. You can contact our team on 0800 652 3087. They will answer your questions, and explain how you can begin moving your claim forward.
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Article by MW