Missed Heel Bone Fracture Compensation Claims

How To Make A Missed Heel Bone Fracture Compensation Claim

Missed heel fracture compensation claims

Missed heel fracture compensation claims

While you may assume that a medical practitioner is capable of spotting every injury/illness on the offset, this may not always be the case. In some circumstances, a healthcare professional may misdiagnose a condition or overlook an entire injury during an examination. What happens if your missed heel bone worsens as a result?

If your injuries were overlooked or misdiagnosed during a visit to the hospital, a GP, or other healthcare facility, you could have valid grounds to make a personal injury claim for medical negligence compensation. This guide covers a series of common factors associated with missed fractures, and looks at how these mistakes could seriously impact a person’s life. Furthermore, we look at how you could claim compensation if you were made to suffer further harm due to the negligence of a responsible party.

When you feel ready to begin your claim, contact us on 0800 652 3087. Our friendly advisers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and could assess your case under a free, no-obligation consultation.

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A Guide To Missed Heel Bone Fracture Compensation Claims

When we think of medical malpractice, an area which we may not recognise as negligence is a failure to correctly diagnose fractures. As the anatomy of a heel is quite complex, mistakes may often be made during the diagnosis stage. There is only a short time-frame for the correct diagnosis so an effective treatment can begin treatment. Whether your fracture of the heel bone has been misdiagnosed or missed completely, our team of experts could help you prove medical negligence on the part of a doctor or other medical professional.

In the sections below, we discuss the many ways in which broken bones may be overlooked by medical professionals, along with common signs that you may be suffering from a heel bone fracture. We also include relevant information as to how you could begin the claims process against a negligent medical professional if your case is deemed valid.

What Are Missed Fractures Or Breaks?

A missed fracture or break is a mistake made by a healthcare professional during the diagnosis of an injury. In some cases, it is possible for this to be classed as medical malpractice if the missed fractured heel is made worse as a result. A medical practitioner owes a duty of care towards their patients, regardless of what healthcare sector they are a part of. In some cases, it is possible for a doctor to miss a fractured bone in the foot as a genuine mistake.

However, it is the responsibility of healthcare providers to correctly diagnose a condition and treat the patient accordingly. When this standard is not met and the patient is made to suffer further pain, a medical negligence lawyer would assess your case before recommending on how best to proceed with a claim against the responsible party.

How Do Misdiagnosis And Missed Fractures Occur?

As will be discussed in further detail later in this guide, there are several ways in which a bone fracture may be misdiagnosed. Whether such events occur at an Accident and Emergency department (A&E), by a GP or other medical facility, our expert team of personal injury solicitors could help you make a claim for medical and/or NHS negligence if it is found that your case is valid.

A healthcare practitioner may misinterpret the injury in a number of different ways which, in turn, could lead to a misdiagnosis. For example, a doctor could misread an x-ray and fail to recognise your injury as a fracture entirely. They could assume the broken bone was just a sprain and this could cause you further damage if you continue to walk on an affect foot.

Causes Of Heel Bone Fractures

The majority of fractured heels may be the result of a traumatic event, such as falling from a height or automobile accident. However, it is possible for the causes to be far less serious than a traumatic event, such as a simple ankle sprain. In some rare cases, a small number of injuries may occur from stress, such as overuse or repetitive stress.

In the next sections, we discuss what symptoms may suggest a heel bone fracture. If you are curious about how to spot a fractured heel bone, or you are wondering “Can you walk on a fractured heel?” please continue reading.

Symptoms Of A Fractured Heel Bone

Generally speaking, symptoms associated with a fracture may include swelling, bruising, pain and an obvious deformity. For a calcaneus (heel bone) fracture additional symptoms may include:

  • Slow developing pain the general heel area
  • Swelling around the heel joint.
  • Inability to bear weight on the foot or walk on the broken heel bone

Heel Bone Fracture Diagnosis And Treatment

To diagnose your heel fracture, a healthcare professional must first differentiate your injury from several different calcaneal fractures. A fractured heel bone in the foot may or may not, involve the surrounding and subtalar joints, which means it could be more challenging to diagnose.

The most severe of calcaneus fractures will involve damage to the subtalar joint (intra-articular), and to the cartilage. How quickly this may heal entirely depends on the extent to which the calcaneus was ruptured in an accident.

To aid recovery, the patient may require surgical intervention, although it is possible for the patient to receive nonsurgical treatment. Some examples include:

  • RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation): This acronym recommends that an individual should perform a number of treatments following an accident. Rest the injury; apply Ice to reduce swelling and pain; Compress the foot in a form of elastic bandage (e.g. a compression stocking); and Elevate the foot above heart level to reduce levels of swelling
  • Immobilisation: In some cases, a cast or cast boot may be required to restrict the movement of the fractured heel. This will be at the discretion of the practitioner who is managing your case to choose the best approach for your recovery

When You Could Claim Compensation For Medical Misdiagnosis

It may be possible to claim compensation for a missed heel fracture if three basic factors can be established. These factors are:

  • The patient was owed a duty of care
  • There was a breach in this duty of care (referred to as ‘negligence’
  • The patient was made to suffer as a result of this breach

A ‘breach’ is seen as a standard of care which falls below what is reasonably expected (i.e. below minimum expectations in legislation) of a professional healthcare practitioner. In England, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is a regulatory body which upholds quality and safety provided by the NHS, local authorities, voluntary organisations and independent providers.

You can find out more about how the CQC operates on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.

It should be noted that claims for clinical negligence may differ from person to person. While your misdiagnosed fracture of the heel may appear similar to that of another claimant, every person’s circumstances are unique and therefore should not be compared to each other.

Claims For Heel Bone Fractures Misdiagnosed By A GP

When you visit a GP for advice following a fractured heel, you should expect to be treated with a reasonable standard of care. Your doctor should be competent in their ability to diagnose your injury and/or illness. If, however, they require a second opinion from another healthcare professional, you may ask  not be referred to a particular person. Although you are not entitled to insist on seeing a specific practitioner.

If your GP fails to refer you to the appropriate healthcare professional and your condition is made to worsen as a result, then it could be seen as medical negligence. As a result, both your physical and mental health could deteriorate. A doctor could fail in their duty in a number of ways which includes the following:

  • Failure to fully examine a patient
  • Overlooking symptoms
  • Misinterpretation of results
  • Neglect in referring you to the correct specialist
  • Misdiagnosis of a condition

You can read more about how to make a compensation claim for a misdiagnosed fracture of the heel against a GP in this detailed guide.

Claims For Heel Bone Fractures Misdiagnosed By A Hospital

If your fractured bone and/or broken bone is misdiagnosed by a healthcare provider at a hospital, you may be eligible to make a medical negligence claim. This could be the result of mistakes made while assessing your symptoms, or when diagnosing your condition. A common example includes when a doctor fails to diagnose your condition or recognise the full extent of your injury. If you require emergency heel fracture treatment from A&E at a hospital, you also have the right to an immediate assessment of your injury, along with an examination and treatment, all within 4 hours.

Failure to provide such services could lead to severe consequences to both your recovery from a broken heel and your future prognosis. If you feel that your heel fracture has been misdiagnosed and this was the result of third-party negligence, you should seek legal advice. A personal injury lawyer could help you secure a settlement for the harm you were caused through the negligence of a responsible party.

For more information about hospital negligence claims, click here.

What Rights Do I Have As A Patient Of The NHS?

You have the right as a patient to seek reasonable standards of treatment for a heel fracture or any injury/illness. It is important that you are aware of your rights when receiving treatment and exercise these rights when necessary. While visiting a GP or healthcare specialist for advice on a fractured bone classification, you have several rights. For example, you have the right to:

  • An immediate assessment of your injury/illness
  • Examination, treatment within 4 hours of arrival
  • The government recommended standards of healthcare
  • Complain if these standards are not upheld
  • Equal treatment regardless of gender, race, disability, age or sexual orientation
  • Register with an available GP in your area
  • Receive emergency care at any given time, whether this is through your GP, emergency ambulance service or another form of emergency healthcare department

The above list is not exhaustive and there are several other rights which you are entitled to. If you are made to suffer as a result of medical malpractice or an existing condition is worsened because of a missed heel fracture by the NHS, you could be entitled to compensation if a third-party is to blame for the harm you were caused.

Limitation Periods In Which To Claim For Medical Negligence

The personal injury time limit for many clinical negligence claims is generally 3-years from the date of the incident. Although there are certain exceptions to this rule. For example, if a psychological condition is diagnosed sometime after the accident (e.g. PTSD) then the time limit will begin from the date the condition is officially diagnosed by a recognised healthcare professional.

Another extenuating factor which may waiver this time limit is if the victim is under 18 years old. In such circumstances, a parent/guardian has up until the child’s 18th birthday to make a claim on their behalf. If no claim is made, the child then has until their 21st birthday to pursue a personal injury claim on their own accord.

To find out more information on the time limit that may apply to your medical negligence claim, please speak to one of our advisers sooner rather than later to avoid running out of time.

Calculating Compensation For A Missed Heel Bone Fracture

Are you curious about how much compensation you could be entitled to? If so, please consider the table included in this section. While an online personal injury claims calculator could provide you with a general idea of the amount you could receive, the table below demonstrates various settlement amounts for injuries that range in severity. These amounts are based on the Judicial College’s Guidelines (JC Guidelines) and are awarded as general damages. You would also be entitled to claim for any financial losses you incurred which would be awarded as special damages.

Ankle InjuryVery Severe£46,980 to £65,420This bracket is specifically limited to unusual cases. For example, a transmalleolar fracture may be considered as it will display extensive damage to the soft tissue. As a result, the sufferer’s ankle will be left deformed and at high risk of future injury. There may be a requirement for amputation below the knee.
Ankle InjurySevere£29,380 to £46,980An injury of this severity will require treatment over a lengthy period of time. This may be through plaster, pins or plates; though these will cause significant disability. Additionally, the individual may also experience regular disturbance to sleep, unsightly scarring, risk of osteoarthritis and other such residual disabilities which create a significant impact on employment.
Ankle InjuryModerate£12,900 to £24,950Any symptom which may give rise to less serious disabilities may be included within this bracket. For example, ligamentous tears and fractures are likely to give rise to such difficulties and thus significantly impact walking on uneven ground, standing or even walking for long periods of time. Again, there may be a high risk to future osteoarthritis.
Ankle InjuryModest InjuriesUp to £12,900This bracket includes injuries which are less serious, minor or simply displaced. How much may be awarded should be determined by the level of recovery that is likely to take place. For example, if a full recovery is unlikely to take place or whether symptoms may continue to exist for a long period of time. These symptoms include loss of movement, discomfort, scarring and aching.
Leg InjuryThe Most Serious Injuries Short of Amputation£90,320 to £127,530The court may rule that even though such an injury does not require amputation, the extent of such harm is similar enough to be awarded the same level of damages. For example, this could be an extensive degloving of the leg or where a fracture fails to unite and as a result, extensive bone grafting must be undertaken.
Leg InjuryVery Serious£51,460 to £85,600A very serious leg injury will lead to problems with mobility which may persist. Therefore, the individual will require crutches or mobility aids for the remainder of their life in order to walk. Further from this, cases of multiple fractures which take several years to heal will also be included within this bracket. As a result of either, the injury will lead to a serious deformity and limitation of movement.
Leg InjurySerious£36,790 to £51,460This bracket will include serious compound fractures or joint/ligament injuries which create prolonged treatment and instability. Furthermore, to justify the amounts associated with this bracket, a combination of the features stated will be necessary.
Foot InjuryAmputation of Both Feet£158,970 to £189,110Similar to below-knee amputations (or of both legs), this injury is treated similarly as both lose the ankle joint.
Foot InjuryAmputation Of One Foot£78,800 to £102,890Again, as previously stated this will be associated with the features of a below-knee injury as there is loss of the ankle joint.
Foot InjuryVery Severe£78,800 to £102,890To qualify for this bracket, the injury in question must reflect permanent or serious disability to some extent. This could be the result of a traumatic amputation of the forefoot or serious exacerbation. The heel as a result will be grossly restricted because of such a substantial portion loss of the heel.

No Win No Fee Missed Heel Bone Fracture Claims

Your medical negligence solicitor will offer to handle your personal injury claim on a No Win No Fee basis. Simply put, this financial agreement states that in the event that your legal representative fails to secure a settlement amount on your behalf, you will not be asked to pay their fees. This means that you could significantly reduce the financial risks by using the services of a No Win No Fee solicitor.

If your medical negligence solicitor is successful, an agreed percentage will be deducted from your final compensation pay-out in exchange for your solicitor’s time and services. This is known as a ‘Success Fee’.

To discuss a No Win No Fee agreement in further detail, contact an adviser through one of the contact methods below.

Contacting Our Team

It couldn’t be easier to contact our team today. If you were made to suffer because of a negligent third-party, contact our expert advisers. They possess the knowledge and capabilities to assess your claim for free under a no-obligation, consultation. Your medical negligence solicitor could start working on your case that very same day.

  • Telephone: Call us on 0800 652 3087
  • Claim Online: You can enquire online by clicking here
  • Instant Online Chat: Speak with an expert legal adviser through our online messenger

Where To Find Out More

Calcaneus (Heel Fracture)
Information and advice by the NHS on Calcaneus Heel Fractures

NHS Trust Ankle Or Foot Fracture
Patient information from the NHS on what has happened to your ankle.

How To File A Claim Against The NHS
If you have suffered from negligence at an NHS hospital, then this guide may be of use to you.

Medical Negligence Compensation Calculator
What can be claimed through a medical negligence claim and guidance on this process.

How Long Does A Medical Negligence Claim Take?
Find out how long your claim could take to come to a final conclusion.

Article by HH

Editor Honey