Missed Pelvic Fracture Compensation Claims

How To Make A Medical Negligence Claim For A Missed Pelvic Fracture

Missed pelvic fracture compensation claims

Missed pelvic fracture compensation claims

Did you receive a substandard of treatment from a healthcare professional? Was your pelvic fracture misdiagnosed and made worse as a result? If so, you could make a personal injury claim for medical negligence.

At Medical Negligence Assist, our team of expert solicitors have up to thirty years’ experience in representing victims of third-party negligence. A medical negligence solicitor from our panel could guide you through the claims process and help you secure a settlement for your damages.

If you would like to discuss your claim, have any queries, no matter how small, or you feel ready to begin your claim, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 652 3087. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with an adviser waiting to take your call. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to all our potential claimants.

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A Guide To Missed Pelvic Fracture Compensation Claims

If you suspect a bone somewhere in your body is fractured, your immediate thought may be to seek medical attention in order to treat your injury as soon as possible. While many of us trust a medical professional to accurately diagnose a condition, sometimes mistakes happen.

A delay in treatment could lead to serious repercussions, or may have lifelong consequences. Occasionally, such mistakes could even lead to death. This is because for some injuries there is only a short window for treatment to take place.

Whether a medical professional failed to spot vital pelvic fracture or there was a misdiagnosis of your condition which caused you to suffer further harm, a medical negligence lawyer could help you file a medical negligence claim against the party responsible. The sort of injury that could be missed could include the following:

  • Fractured tailbone
  • Fractured ilium
  • Bladder injury
  • Fractured sacrum

This guide provides useful information regarding misdiagnosed pelvic fractures symptoms, common causes and treatment. We look at the circumstances medical malpractice may arise, and cover what rights you have as a patient. You will also find impartial advice on how to file a personal injury claim against a hospital, GP or NHS site due to medical negligence.

What Is A Misdiagnosed Pelvic Fracture?

A fractured pubis is a break to the pelvis which may incorporate one or more areas. This includes the tailbone, sacrum and hip bones (ischium, pubis and ilium). A misdiagnosed pelvic fracture, however, is where a healthcare provider is negligent in their actions and fails to notice symptoms of the condition. A medical practitioner owes their patients a duty of care to correctly diagnose and treat a condition. If they fail to do so, or ignore key pelvic fracture symptoms, then this could be seen as clinical negligence.

If an act of negligence on the part of a healthcare practitioner leads to further harm, a personal injury solicitor could help to seek compensation by filing a medical negligence claim against the responsible party.

How Are Fractures Misdiagnosed?

There are many ways in which fractures could be misdiagnosed or missed completely. A common example of such occurrences may happen when a patient has multiple injuries and thus the fracture is overshadowed by those which are more obvious. Furthermore,  a fracture of any kind could be missed at various stages of a medical assessment, including as early as in the Accident & Emergency (A&E) department. A fracture could also be misdiagnosed if:

  • The practitioner assessing your injury fails to recognise it as a fracture
  • Imaging from an MRI, X-ray or of the likes is misinterpreted
  • A fracture is confused with a sprain
  • The X-ray or MRI itself is carried out incorrectly

What Are The Causes Of Pelvic Fractures?

As the anatomy of the hip is large and complex, a wide variety of injuries could be suffered at any one time. As such, these injuries may be the result of a number of accidents. However, this type of injury is more commonly associated with an incident involving some kind of heavy impact to the hip joint and pelvic region.

It is possible for such fractures to be the result of something as simple as the loss of control of the hip or leg, especially for elderly victims of a fractured pelvis. In addition to this, a fracture could also occur because of the following:

  • Weaker bones
  • Falls from height
  • Pre-existing conditions (E.g. Osteoporosis)
  • Over-extension
  • Crush injuries
  • Road traffic accidents
  • High-force-high-speed accidents
  • Slips and trips

It should be noted that this list is not exhaustive. If you suffered a fractured hip following an accident that is not listed above, you could be entitled to seek compensation. For more information about osteoporosis, please click here.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Pelvic Fracture?

Some fractures of the pelvic region may encompass more than one bone, which could result in more serious repercussions for the victim. Aside from general pain, tenderness and swelling, there are several symptoms associated with a pelvic fracture, many of which are subject to the injury type itself.

Below are common symptoms associated with two common pelvic fractures: Stable and Unstable fractures.

Stable Fractures

  • Pain present while sitting or having a bowel movement
  • Visible signs of bleeding
  • A tender lump in the groin or perineum
  • Bruising in the small of the back
  • Blood in urine

Unstable Fractures

As with those listed under “stable fractures”, there is likely to be continuous, heavy bleeding that could cause a drop in blood pressure due to the level of blood loss. Those who experience such fractures may also experience symptoms of feeling unwell (e.g. pale and clammy).

Diagnosis And Treatment For Fractured Pelvis

Because the pelvis incorporates a ring of bones, a forceful impact/trauma could result in a number of different injuries. What injury this might be would depend on both the severity and direction of the trauma suffered. As such, there are two main types of pelvic fractures: Stable, Unstable which are then split into two subcategories: Open and Closed fractures.

A Stable fracture will usually affect one bone, where the broken bones properly line up and the ring of the pelvis still retaining its shape. Whereas an Unstable fracture is likely to occur when the pelvic region suffers two or more breaks to the ring. This causes the ends of the broken bones to move apart and thus cause damage directly to the internal organs. As such, these injuries are more susceptible to bleeding than Stable fractures.

Whether a fracture is Stable and Unstable, the injury will then be further categorised into two subdivisions: Open and Closed fractures. The more serious of the two, an Open fracture could be vulnerable to infection, which may already be contaminated by the open wound itself.

A Closed fracture, however, is a fracture where the broken bones are not visible, nor do they break the skin surface.

To diagnose such conditions, it is likely an X-ray will be performed to assess the extent of the injury. Although this cannot provide extensive details of any damage to the organs, an X-ray can highlight a series of fractures from a number of different angles.

A doctor may also refer the injured person for a computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance image (MRI) scan, ultrasound scan or radioisotope bone scan.

If you have a stable, unstable, open or closed fracture, you will likely require sufficient treatment to help stabilise the pelvis and prevent further blood loss. To necessitate such a recovery, the pelvis will need to be kept as stable as possible using a pelvic binder, sheet or external fixation.

An external fixation involves using long screws and an external frame to hold the fractured bones together. Following surgical intervention, regular public rami fracture rehabilitation may also be necessary to help strengthen muscles, joint mobility and improve balance and bear weight.

Eligibility To Claim Compensation For A Missed Pelvic Fracture

In order to make a valid claim for compensation following a misdiagnosed pelvic fracture, the following must apply:

  • You were owed a duty of care by the healthcare professional in question
  • Your practitioner failed to meet this duty of care
  • You were made to suffer as a result of this breach

All healthcare professionals owe a duty of care to their patients to uphold reasonable standards of care while treating them, anything less than this standard could be seen as a substandard and thus a breach in their responsibility.

You can find more information about the responsibility held by those who work in the healthcare sector on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.

Claims Against GP’s For Missed Pelvic Fractures

You should expect to be treated with a reasonable standard of care during your visit to a GP or other healthcare practitioner. As a professional, your GP is expected to possess the capabilities of diagnosing your condition or, at least, to refer you to another expert for a second opinion. Although you do not have the right to insist on a particular practitioner for a second opinion, you do have the right not to be seen by a particular medical professional.

While clinical negligence could arise in a range of different settings, the risk of such an occurrence is heightened when a GP fails to:

  • Fully examine a patient
  • Spot symptoms
  • Refer said patient to the correct specialist
  • Diagnose a condition correctly

There are severe consequences associated with misdiagnosis, many of which could affect your ability to recover from your condition, or even return back to work. If you would like to read more about how to pursue a personal injury claim for GP negligence, please click here to read our detailed guide.

Claims Against Hospital’s Missed Pelvic Fractures

Your first point of contact following an accident may be a visit to a hospital for any potential injuries to be diagnosed. If a doctor or other medical professional was negligent during this assessment and misdiagnosed your pelvic fracture, it could be seen as an act of negligence. As such, any harm you are made to suffer because of this mistake could thus be reasonable grounds to pursue a hospital negligence compensation claim upon.

If during your time in a hospital you are not treated equally or, for example, your injury is not assessed within the first 4 hours of your arrival,  this may be seen as a breach in the duty of care owed to you. To find out more, please contact one of our advisers today.

Your Rights As A Patient Under NHS Care

As a patient in NHS care, you have a many rights. One of the most basic and fundamental of these rights, is your entitlement to reasonable standards of care including during a diagnosis.  In addition to this, you also have the right to:

  • At least the minimum standards as recommended by Government legislation
  • To be treated equally regardless of gender, disability, race, age or sexual orientation
  • Register with any GP that is available in your area
  • Immediate assessment of your condition
  • An examination and treatment, discharge or admittance within the first 4 hours of arrival
  • Make a complaint if you feel these standards were not upheld

Further to the rights listed above, there are additional rights which you are entitled to exercise during your time in an NHS establishment. If the said establishment fails to uphold these rights, it could be classified as NHS negligence.

Time Limits In Which To Claim For A Missed Pelvic Fracture

A personal injury claim for a missed pelvic fracture is not dissimilar to other medical negligence claims. If you were made to suffer avoidable harm as a result of a misdiagnosed pelvic fracture, or your condition worsened as a result, you could be entitled to compensation. In order to conduct a valid case, your claim must be made within the applicable personal injury claims time limit.

This time limit is 3-years for many medical malpractice claims, although there are some circumstances which may override this restriction. For example, if the injured person is under the age of 18, then a claim could be filed on their behalf by a parent or guardian. If no claim is made before the victim turns 18, they will have up until their 21st birthday to pursue a claim for medical negligence compensation.

Missed Pelvic Fracture Compensation Calculator

While a monetary value cannot undo pain and suffering, it can help relieve areas of your life which may have been directly affected by a missed public ramus fracture. In the table below, you will find potential compensation amounts that may be awarded in a successful medical negligence claim. These are based on the Judicial College’s Guidelines (JCG). The amount you may receive would depend on the severity of your injury and how it impacts your future life. Although it should be noted that as each case is unique, your final settlement amount may differ to those listed below. It is also worth noting the amounts provided are for general damages and that you would also receive special damages for the financial losses incurred.

Pelvis And Hip InjurySevere£73,580 to £122,860An extensive fracture of the pelvis will also involve additional injuries. For example, there may also be a dislocation of the lower back joint, rupture of the bladder or a spondylolisthesis hip injury which causes intolerable pain. The individual will require spinal fusion in order to necessitate recovery, though inevitably there will be substantial disabilities which result from this injury.
Pelvis And Hip InjuryModerate£24,950 to £36,770Although there may be no major permanent disability or future risk of such, there will be significant damage to the pelvis and/or hip.
Pelvis And Hip InjuryLesser Injuries£3,710 to £11,820In spite of significant damage to the pelvis and/or hip region, there will be little or no risk of residual disability. A full recovery could be made within two years.
Neck InjurySevereIn the region of £139,210Any injury included within this bracket will be associated with cases of permanent spastic quadriparesis or incomplete paraplegia. In addition to this, the injured person will have little to no movement in their neck despite wearing a collar for a number of years, 24 hours a day. They will also suffer severe, intractable headaches.
Neck InjuryModerate£23,460 to £36,120A moderate neck injury may necessitate spinal fusion in order to initiate recovery. For example, these injuries may include fractures, dislocations and chronic conditions which tend to infer symptoms to other parts of the anatomy. The injured person will be left markedly impaired as a result.
Neck InjuryMinor£4,080 to £7,410A full recovery may take place over a 1 to 2 year period, although this is not guaranteed. Any injuries associated with exacerbation or short-term acceleration injuries, again with a recovery time of 1-2 years, may also be included in this bracket.
Back InjurySevere£85,470 to £151,070The most severe of cases associated with this bracket will involve significant damage to the nerve roots, spinal cord and back as a whole. This will, therefore, lead to a combination of very serious consequences which are uncommonly found in back injury cases. Furthermore, the injured person will experience a significant impairment to their bladder, bowel and sexual function.
Back InjuryModerate£26,050 to £36,390A compression/crush fracture that holds a substantial risk of osteoarthritis is just one example of what may constitute as a moderate back injury. Though the residual disability will be of slightly less severity than the symptoms in the above bracket, the injured person will still experience traumatic symptoms and constant pain/discomfort.
Back InjuryMinor£7,410 to £11,730Although no surgical intervention will be required, a full-recovery or at least recovery to a nuisance level may be possible over a two to five-year period. In addition to this, this bracket may be awarded to shorter-term acceleration and/or exacerbation injuries.

No Win No Fee Missed Pelvic Fracture Compensation Claims

Our panel of medical negligence solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis. Also known as Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), this form of financial agreement states that your legal representative will only charge you for their services if they are successful in securing a settlement amount on your behalf. This fee will be automatically deducted from your final compensation amount.

If for one reason or another your solicitor is unable to successfully secure a monetary value for you, you will not have to pay the fee. This means that the financial risks associated with conducting a personal injury claim are significantly reduced in comparison to pursuing a claim on your own accord. Further from this, there are no hidden costs or up-front fees required to begin your claim either.

For more information about how this claims process works, please speak with an adviser from our expert team.

Contact Medical Negligence Assist

If you feel ready to begin your claim or you would like further advice regarding medical negligence claims, then do not hesitate to call. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition to this, you can also get in touch with us by:

  • Online: Complete an online enquiry form to start your claim
  • Telephone: Call us on 0800 652 3087
  • Live Chat: You can connect with a helpful advisor through our live online chat

We’ll begin by assessing your circumstances under a no-obligation consultation. We offer this to every potential claimant, so you understand where you stand legally and whether you are eligible for compensation. What’s more, they could also provide you with a centralised estimation of your potential damages which may be more accurate than relying on an online personal injury claims calculator.

Supporting Resources

Clinical Practice Guideline
Pelvic and Acetabular fracture management guidelines

NHS Patient Advice
Pubic rami fracture injury advice and suitable exercises to help aid recovery.

Cerebral Palsy Negligence Claims
How to make a claim for cerebral palsy caused by medical negligence.

Missed Elbow Fracture Claims
You could make a No Win No Fee compensation claim for a missed elbow fracture.

Compensation Claims For Missed Scaphoid Fractures
How to begin your compensation claim for a misdiagnosed scaphoid fracture.

Article by HH

Editor Honey