How Do I Claim Compensation For A Misdiagnosed Fibula Fracture
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
- What Are The Symptoms Of A Fractured Fibula?
- 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
- No Win No Fee Misdiagnosed Fibula Fracture Claims
- Contact Our Team
- Supporting Resources
A Guide To Claims For A Missed Fibula Fracture
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.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Fractured Fibula?
In this section, we cover the symptoms of a broken fibula and answer questions such as, how painful is a broken fibula? And, can you still walk with a broken fibula? We also go over the possible fibula fracture complications you could suffer.
In general, a person who has suffered this type injury will not be able to walk on the injured leg due to the pain they experience when they attempt to move. Typical symptoms of a broken fibula can include:
- The patient cannot put weight on the leg that has been injured
- There could be visible bruising or open wounds
- The leg could be visibly deformed
- The patient may not be able to feel their foot, or it may feel cold to the touch
- An affected leg will be tender to touch
Each of these symptoms is indicative of a fracture, and should prompt the examining doctor to call for additional tests such as an X-Ray. When a patient does not receive the proper treatment for their fracture, because of a missed diagnosis, complications could set in which may include the following:
- A neurovascular compromise
- A case of compartment syndrome
- Damage to the peroneal nerve
- An infection or gangrene
- Worsening of the fracture resulting in a delayed union, non-union, or malunion
- Loss of skin or the need for skin grafts
- The loss of the leg due to amputation
To answer the question, is a fibula fracture serious? Some of these complications can be life-threatening, or result in the patient’s quality of life being negatively affected. If the patient can prove that a mistake was made, and their fracture was missed, they may be able to claim for the harm they suffered. Our team can explain more about this, if you give them a call.
Diagnosis And Treatment Options For A Fractured Fibula
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.
|Injured leg||Severe||£90,320 to £127,530||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 victim has suffered a serious negative effect on their ability to walk, and their mobility in general.|
|Injured leg||Very serious||£51,460 to £85,600||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 victim's life. Injuries such as multiple fractures of a single bone that could take years to heal completely, and require corrective surgery. Leg injuries that have resulted in a serious deformity of the leg.|
|Injured leg||Serious||£36,790 to £51,460||All serious leg fractures such as compound or comminuted fractures. Injuries that will leave the leg permanently weakened, and cause an unstable gait. Injuries that will prevent one or both legs from carrying weight, and with the likelihood of arthritis being very high.|
|Injured leg||Moderate||£26,050 to £36,790||All fractures with complications, as well as crush injuries, deep penetrating wounds, lacerations, etc. Injuries would take some time to heal, and would have an effect on the victim’s life until they have healed, such as preventing them from working.|
|Injured leg||Less serious||Up to £26,050||All minor fractures, as well as flesh wounds such as cuts, burns, lacerations, grazes, etc. Injuries would heal eventually in time, and leave no permanent symptoms. The victim’s mobility may be affected in the short-term.|
|Injured leg||Amputation||£91,950 to £264,650||From the loss of one leg below the knee, to loss of both legs at the hip.|
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
No Win No Fee Misdiagnosed Fibula Fracture Claims
Using a No Win No Fee personal injury lawyer means you don’t pay the pre-agreed legal fees until the solicitor has received a compensation payment for you in a successful negligence claim,with the amount – the success fee – being deducted from the amount you are awarded in medical negligence compensation. You do not have to pay an upfront fee, or ongoing fees while the claim is being processed, and you won’t pay the solicitor’s fee if the claim is a failure.
Contact Our Team
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