How Much Could I Claim For A Misdiagnosed Buckle Fracture?
A buckle fracture is a fairly common injury in children while they’re bones are still growing. It is also known as a torus fracture or incomplete fracture. This type of fracture can result in a lot of pain but can also be treated quite easily if diagnosed properly.
However, in some cases, the fracture can be missed. Therefore, in this guide, we look at when compensation might be claimed for a missed buckle fracture. We’ll look at why a fracture might be missed, who could be held responsible, and what the implications of the misdiagnosis might mean.
Medical Negligence Assist are specialists in helping with clinical malpractice cases. Our team provides free legal advice on how to make a claim and they also offer a no obligation assessment of any type of claim. If a claim looks like it could lead to a successful compensation payment, we would introduce you to one of our panel of solicitors. Should they decide to take your claim forward, they’ll work on a No Win No Fee basis.
If you would like to begin your claim right away, we can be contacted on 0800 652 3087. Alternatively, to find out more about claiming for a missed buckle fracture, please carry on reading.
Choose A Section
- A Guide On Missed Buckle Fracture Claims
- What Is A Misdiagnosed Buckle Fracture?
- Causes Of Fractures Being Misdiagnosed
- Causes Of Buckle Fractures
- Buckle Fracture Symptoms
- Buckle Fracture Treatment And Diagnosis
- Could I Claim For My Undiagnosed Fracture?
- Buckle Fractures Missed By GP’s
- Buckle Fractures Missed By Hospitals
- NHS Patients Rights
- Time Limits In Which To Claim For Clinical Negligence
- Missed Buckle Fracture Compensation Calculator
- No Win No Fee Claims For Missed Buckle Fractures
- Talk To Our Team
A Guide On Missed Buckle Fracture Claims
A buckle fracture can occur in most bones in a child. This is because their bones are softer and more flexible. As a result, one side on the bone can buckle without negatively impacting the other side. In this guide, we do not focus on any specific buckle fracture you may be able claim if you, or your child, suffered avoidable suffering because any of the following were missed:
- Buckle fracture at the wrist
- Clavicle (collarbone) buckle fracture
- A finger buckle fracture
- Tibia buckle fractures
- Toe buckle fractures
- Buckle fracture in the arm
- A buckle fracture of the foot
In this guide, we’ll look at the causes of a buckle fracture, what treatment can be performed on them, and when you might be entitled to claim compensation because a medical professional failed to diagnose the fracture due to negligence.
Importantly, we’re not talking about claiming against the person who caused the accident to occur (although that could be possible), we’re discussing medical negligence which caused additional suffering because the fracture was misdiagnosed. Therefore, we’ll explain more about medical negligence later in the guide.
As this type of fracture is common in children, it’s worth pointing out that parents can represent their child and claim on their behalf. When you become a ‘litigation friend’, you can work with a solicitor to claim compensation on your child’s behalf. If the claim is settled, a local court will ensure the compensation amount is fair and place the medical negligence compensation awarded into a trust fund. As a parent or guardian, you can begin this process at any time before the child turns 18 years of age.
What Is A Misdiagnosed Buckle Fracture?
As mentioned above, there are many different types of buckle fractures you could sustain. A misdiagnosed buckle fracture happens when a medical professional, such as GP, paediatrician or doctor in A&E assesses the injury and then diagnoses it as something else. They might suggest the fracture is in fact a bruise, a sprain or something similar. If they do determine that the fracture is something else, it could mean that you suffer additional pain, or the fracture doesn’t heal properly. If this happens, it could cause further complications later in life.
Causes Of Fractures Being Misdiagnosed
It’s important to note that there may be many valid reasons why a buckle fracture could be missed. When claiming for compensation, we need to make it clear that you’ll only be able to claim if avoidable suffering was caused by negligence on the part of a medical professional. We’ll review this in more detail later on.
Here are some scenarios which could cause a fracture to be missed.
- When your GP decides that the injury isn’t a fracture and fails to send you for further diagnostic tests
- If a consultation in A&E is rushed and does not conduct an examination thoroughly
- When a child doesn’t communicate their symptoms properly
- If an X-ray is taken but the results are unclear
Causes Of Buckle Fractures
There are many different accidents which could result in you suffering a buckle fracture. Some of these include:
- Trips and falls
- Falling from height – such as climbing frame accidents or tree climbing accidents
- Road traffic accidents
- Sporting accidents
Another risk factor that could increase the chance of a buckle fracture, particularly in adults, is if the victim suffers from osteoporosis. Therefore, this is something a medical professional must consider when assessing a patient.
Buckle Fracture Symptoms
Buckle fractures are described as stable fractures, which means they can be less painful than unstable fractures. Here are some of the potential symptoms of a buckle fracture:
- Swelling and tenderness at the site of the fracture
- Difficulty in moving the limb which has been fractured
- Acute pain in some cases
- An abnormality of the limb affected severe cases
- Trouble bearing weight if the leg is fractured
Buckle Fracture Treatment And Diagnosis
The initial assessment of any potential injury will usually be carried out by your GP. Alternatively, if you head straight to A&E, your injury would be assessed by a triage nurse or doctor. In either case, they’ll begin by carrying out a physical examination and look for the symptoms listed above. They should also try to find out more about how the accident happened. If a fracture is suspected, an X-ray would typically be ordered to determine the site of any fracture and its severity.
In cases where a buckle fracture is diagnosed, and the bones are aligned correctly, the treatment will consist of a splint or cast being used to restrict movement to allow the bone to heal. In some cases, where fractures are more complicated, surgery may be required to realign the bones before healing can take place. This could involve the use of pins, screws or thread to hold the bone fragments in place.
In normal circumstances, the splint would be removed after 3 weeks. The bone might be a little stiff for a while and pain relief may be prescribed. It’s also possible that you’ll be provided with some exercises to reduce stiffness in the affected limb.
Could I Claim For My Undiagnosed Fracture?
We mentioned earlier that for a missed buckle fracture claim to be valid, you’d need to prove that any suffering was avoidable and that it was caused by the negligence of a medical professional. As such, in clinical negligence claims, you’ll need to show that:
- A breach of duty took place. This is where a medical professional performs treatment below the standard that could be reasonably expected of a competent professional in the same situation
- That you suffered additional pain or complications
- And that the pain and suffering was as a result of the breach of duty (known legally as causation)
Therefore, a claim could be possible if all of the above statements are true. If the misdiagnosed buckle fracture was unavoidable, then a claim wouldn’t be possible even if it caused you to suffer.
Proving medical negligence can be quite tricky because complex medical evidence would be needed to substantiate your claim. That’s why we advise that you have a specialist on your side. Our panel of solicitors have worked on medical negligence claims for many years. They know what evidence is required, and what’s not, and could help ensure you receive the correct level of medical negligence compensation for the pain and suffering you were caused.
Buckle Fractures Missed By GP’s
When you visit your GP, you expect them to be able to diagnose what’s wrong and provide a necessary treatment. Some GPs have a very limited amount of time with each patient but manage to provide a successful assessment and treatment for an ailment or injury. Sometimes, though, mistakes do happen.
The main cause of a missed buckle fracture could occur as a result of GP negligence, is when they fail to spot the symptoms and treat the injury as something different. This means your injury might not heal correctly, and you could end up suffering until a correct diagnosis is made.
Buckle Fractures Missed By Hospitals
In the same way as your GP, any doctor, nurse or paediatrician who assesses injuries in a hospital environment would need to look for the symptoms discussed earlier. If they fail to spot the symptoms, you could end up suffering more than necessary, and a compensation claim might be possible. Some reasons why a doctor or other medical professional in a hospital might misdiagnose a buckle fracture include:
- Failure to ask for an X-ray because they diagnose the injury as something else
- Missing the symptoms of a fracture because they department is overly busy, and they rush the consultation
- Or where the X-ray is unclear, and they fail to ask for a second opinion or order a different type of scan
While NHS hospitals often manage to successfully treat a lot of patients, if negligence occurs which causes you to suffer, you could be eligible to sue the hospital. Please get in touch with an adviser today for a free assessment of your claim.
NHS Patients Rights
Any NHS patient has a number of rights under the NHS constitution for England. There are also a number of things listed in the constitution which you’re not entitled to. Here’s a brief overview of the constitution:
- There is a right to register at your local GP surgery
- You have the right to be treated there. However, you can’t expect to be treated by your GP, any within the practice could treat you
- NHS patients living in the UK can expect free treatment
- Off-duty GP’s need to provide an out of our service. A locum or telephone-based service might be provided
- You have no automatic right to a second opinion. You may receive one though if a doctor agrees to it
- Home visits are not an entitlement either. GPs can arrange one if they believe your condition warrants one
- You can only receive hospital treatment if referred by a GP (emergency treatment is excluded here)
- If you require hospital treatment, there are maximum waiting times. If you are on the waiting list for too long, you’re entitled to ask the Clinical Commission Group (CCG) for a list of alternative providers
- Finally, you are entitled to ask for a specific consultant to treat you if your GP agrees that they are medically suitable
Time Limits In Which To Claim For Clinical Negligence
In the UK, there are time limits for making any type of compensation claim. In most cases, the personal injury claims time limit is 3 years which starts from the time an incident occurs. In a normal medical negligence claim, this would start from the date that the medical negligence occurred. However, as we’re talking about a misdiagnosis claim, the time limit might start at a later date.
For instance, if a misdiagnosis took place but you didn’t find out about it until a later date, an example being if the missed buckle fracture showed up at a second or third appointment, then the time limit would begin from the date you were made aware of the injury.
When you’re claiming on behalf of your child, the 3-year time limit doesn’t apply. You can claim at any point before a child turns 18 years of age. If you don’t, when your child becomes an adult at their 18th birthday, they have 3-years to make their own claim which means they must do so before they turn 21 years of age.
Missed Buckle Fracture Compensation Calculator
If you’re reading this guide because you want to know how much medical negligence compensation you may be awarded, then the personal injury claims compensation table below could help. While every case is different because each claimant will have suffered in different ways, the table does give an idea of how much compensation could be paid for different injuries.
The figures shown are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a document that solicitors, insurers and courts use to try and ensure the right level of compensation is awarded to injured parties.
|Injury Type||How Severe?||Range of Compensation||Further Information|
|Back||Minor||Up to £2,300||Back injuries such as soft tissue damage or fractures where healing occurs, without any surgery within 3 months.|
|Shoulder||Fracture||£4,830 to £11,490||This bracket covers the fracture of the clavicle (collarbone). The amount paid will depend on the extent of the fracture and whether it's permanent or temporary.|
|Arm||Serious||£36,770 to £56,180||Serious fractures of the forearm (one or both), causing a cosemtic or functional disability.|
|Arm||Fracture||£6,190 to £18,020||This bracket is for simple fractures of the forearm.|
|Wrist||Fracture||In the region of £6,970||Compensation that could be awarded for an uncomplicated Colle's fracture.|
|Leg||Moderate||£26,050 to £36,790||Comlicated or multiple of the leg or severe crushing injuries.|
|Leg||Less serious||£16,860 to £26,050||Fractures where recovery has occurred but has left the claimant with metal implant which could result in a permanent limp or defective gait.|
|Leg||Fracture||Up to £11,110||Simple fractures of the Fibula or Tibula.|
As you’ll see, the amount of compensation paid is based on the severity of your injury. Therefore, your solicitor will need to provide enough evidence to ensure it’s clear exactly how you suffered. Our panel of solicitors always ask for a medical assessment to be performed by an independent doctor. This provides a report, which can be used as evidence, which details how you were injured, what impact it caused and if there could be any long-term effects.
The table above shows compensation amounts that cover general damages (pain and suffering caused by your injuries). Another part of any personal injury claim is for financial losses caused by the injury. This is known as special damages. Some examples of special damages include:
- Lost income – where you claim for salary you’ve lost due to time off work linked to your injuries
- Future loss of earnings – which could compensate you if your injuries are likely to affect your ability to work in the long-term
- Care costs – used to cover the cost or time of anybody who looked after you while recovering
- Medical expenses – which could be used to claim back prescription or treatment costs
- Travelling expenses – you could claim back fuel and parking costs linked with GP or hospital appointments
No Win No Fee Claims For Missed Buckle Fractures
There are many people who might be put off from claiming because they worry about how much a personal injury lawyer would cost them. We understand this which is why our panel of solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis for any claim they take on. They do so to help reduce the financial risks involved with claiming.
As the solicitor risks not being paid, they’ll always assess a claim before agreeing to take it forward. If they decide to work on your case, then they’ll offer you a Conditional Fee Agreement to sign (or CFA). This is the legal terminology for a No Win No Fee agreement and it’s the contract between you and the personal injury solicitor who acts on your behalf.
When you read through the CFA, you’ll notice two key statements:
- One which explains that there are no solicitor’s fees to pay unless you receive compensation.
- And another which tells you the level of success that is paid when the claim is won – the ‘success fee’
A success fee is a percentage of your compensation that’s deducted before you’re paid. It’s used to cover the cost of the solicitor’s fees.
Talk To Our Team
If you’ve found this guide about claiming for a misdiagnosed buckle fracture useful, we hope you’d now like to begin a claim with Medical Negligence Assist. If that’s the case, we can be contacted using the following methods:
- You can call a specialist adviser for free advice on 0800 652 3087
- If you prefer, you can discuss an undiagnosed fracture over live chat
- Or, if you would like us to call you back, please complete our online enquiry form.
You can begin a claim any time you like as our claims line is open 7 days a week, 24-hours a day. We’ll always start by reviewing your claim in a no obligation assessment. Following that, we’ll offer advice about your options and, if your claim has the potential to lead to compensation, we could introduce you to one of our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors.
Thanks for reading our guide on claiming for a missed buckle fracture. If you need any further information, please get in touch with our team. For now, here are a few more of our guides as well as some external links which could prove useful.
Buckle Fractures – Information from the NHS about what to do following treatment for a buckle fracture.
Broken Arm Injuries – This guide explains how broken arms and wrists are caused, diagnosed and treated.
The Care Quality Commission – The CQC are an independent organisation who inspect and report on the level of care by hospitals and GP surgeries.
Claiming For A Misdiagnosis – This guide explains when a medical negligence lawyer could make a claim for a misdiagnosis.
Hospital Medical Negligence Claims – Information on claiming for NHS negligence (or private healthcare negligence) that’s happened in a hospital.
Claims Against Your GP – This guide provides guidance on when a personal injury solicitor could make a claim because you’ve suffered as a result of GP negligence
Article by BH