Missed fracture compensation

Missed fracture compensation

For finding answers and getting justice

Experiencing a fracture is traumatic enough, but when it's missed or wrongly diagnosed, the pain, suffering and long-term impact can be made much worse. Medical professionals have a duty of care to correctly diagnose and treat your injuries. When they fall short, you may be able to claim compensation.

At Switalskis, we understand the stresses you're going through and we're here to help you. Our expert team of solicitors specialises in missed fracture compensation claims. We'll help you navigate the entire legal process from the initial claim through to the final settlement, acting as a trusted partner by your side.

If you've suffered unnecessary pain due to an improperly diagnosed bone fracture, we're committed to making sure that your voice is heard and that the responsible parties are held to account. Through this process, you'll be able to get the support you need to rebuild and move forward.

If you experienced harm due to a missed or misdiagnosed fracture, don't let the opportunity for justice pass you by. Reach out to Switalskis today for a free initial consultation. Our dedicated missed fracture solicitors are ready to listen, advise and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Start your undiagnosed fracture claim with Switalskis by giving us a call on 0800 1380 458, or contact us through the website.

How Switalskis can help you

At Switalskis, we bring more than just legal expertise to the table. Our dedicated solicitors have extensive experience in missed fracture compensation claims and are passionate about helping you secure the recognition and resources you deserve. We understand that navigating the legal landscape can be daunting, particularly when you're already dealing with the fallout of a missed or misdiagnosed fracture. That's why we're committed to making the process as smooth and stress-free as possible for you.

Here's what you can expect from working with Switalskis:

  • We’ll build the strongest possible case for you, based on all of the available evidence, plus testimonies from independent medical experts
  • We’ll make the process as simple as possible for you, breaking down complex terms and procedures into understandable language, and answering any questions you may have
  • We offer a range of funding options to suit your circumstances, which we can discuss with you in detail
  • We’ll always work to support you emotionally as well as legally, making sure that your case is handled in the compassionate and sensitive way it deserves

Our team consists of experienced solicitors who specialise in medical negligence claims. Several of our lawyers hold prestigious accreditations from the Law Society and the patients’ charity Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA). We’re also recognised as being among the top clinical negligence teams in England by The Legal 500 UK, the foremost legal guide for clients.

At Switalskis, we're more than just your solicitors - we're your partners in your fight for justice. Let us shoulder the legal burden so you can focus on what's truly important - your recovery and wellbeing.

Read what our clients had to say about the help they received from Switalskis

How do missed fractures happen?

Missed fractures represent a common yet significant issue in healthcare. They happen for various reasons; for example, they may be due to simple human error or system-level failures within healthcare institutions. These include:

  • Errors during the initial physical examination or assessment, where medical professionals misinterpret or fail to recognise symptoms of a broken bone. This is a particular risk if the signs are subtle, the patient is unable to communicate effectively, or there are multiple injuries diverting attention.
  • Misinterpretation of X-rays, CT scans or MRIs by radiologists or other medical professionals. This may result from a failure to identify a fracture due to its complexity or location, or the quality of the images. In some cases, the healthcare provider may mistake a fracture for another type of injury, or fail to look at the images in a timely manner, causing delays in diagnosis and treatment.
  • Administrative errors or communication failures within a healthcare team can lead to missed fractures. For instance, a fracture could be identified correctly on an X-ray, but if the results are not communicated properly to the treating doctor or the patient, appropriate treatment might be delayed.
  • Certain fractures, such as scaphoid fractures or stress fractures, can be hard to detect due to their nature. They may not be apparent on initial X-rays, and the pain can sometimes be mistaken for sprains or other less serious injuries. As such, these fractures often go undiagnosed, leading to potential complications.

Despite these challenges, medical professionals have a duty of care to their patients. If a fracture is missed due to negligence or a failure to provide an adequate standard of care, it may be grounds for a missed fracture compensation claim.

What are the consequences of a missed fracture?

A missed fracture can lead to serious physical and emotional consequences. At the most basic level, it causes delays in your treatment, which can lead to ongoing pain and discomfort, and stop you from performing regular activities, going to work or enjoying your hobbies.

Untreated fractures can also cause several serious health complications, including situations in which:

  • The broken bone fails to heal or heals in an incorrect position, resulting in chronic pain, deformity and loss of function. Often, this requires further surgery to correct the problem
  • The open fracture becomes infected
  • Nerve damage is caused to the surrounding area, leading to numbness, weakness or even paralysis
  • Missed fractures near or involving a joint result in long-term mobility issues
  • The patient develops compartment syndrome, a painful and dangerous condition caused by pressure buildup from internal bleeding or swelling of tissues. If left untreated, it can cause permanent muscle damage
  • Psychological conditions resulting from the pain, loss of mobility and lifestyle changes caused by a missed fracture that leads to depression and anxiety

The seriousness of these potential consequences underlines the importance of speaking to a medical negligence solicitor if you've suffered from a missed fracture due to medical errors.

When is a missed fracture considered medical negligence?

Medical negligence, also known as clinical negligence, occurs when a healthcare professional's standard of care falls below what is expected and consequently causes harm to a patient. In the context of missed fractures, this can happen in various ways:

  • The healthcare professional failed to appropriately assess a patient's symptoms, or did not adequately respond to their complaints of pain following an injury
  • Vital errors were made during the interpretation of the test results
  • The fracture was correctly identified, but the subsequent treatment or follow-up care was mismanaged, leading to complications or delayed healing

The key element in any medical negligence claim, including missed fracture claims, is proving that the healthcare provider's breach of duty directly caused your injury, or made it worse. As such, not every missed fracture will qualify as negligence. For example, if a fracture was not visible on initial X-rays but showed up in later examinations, it might not be seen as negligence, especially if the fracture was treated promptly once it was discovered.

In order to make a medical negligence compensation claim, you must prove that the quality of care you received fell below the necessary standard, and that you suffered harm as a direct consequence of that negligent treatment. Speak to the specialist solicitors at Switalskis and we will be able to help you prove this by gathering evidence and building the strongest possible case on your behalf.

What is the process for making a missed fracture claim?

Starting a missed fracture compensation claim might seem like a daunting task, but we’ll always aim to simplify each step so that you feel properly supported throughout. Here's a broad overview of what the missed fracture claims process involves:

Step 1: Initial consultation

Reach out to Switalskis for a free, no obligation initial consultation. During this meeting, we’ll listen to your story, understand your concerns and explain whether we think you have a strong case. If we decide to proceed, we can then discuss the next steps and the available funding options.

Step 2: Establishing your claim

We’ll gather all the relevant information we need to build your case. This will include applying for all of your medical records, including your GP records. We’ll ask you for photographs, receipts and any other documents that may support your claim. We will take a detailed witness statement to tell your version of events. We may arrange for you to be assessed by an independent medical expert to provide an unbiased view of your injuries and future prognosis. The aim will be to prove the negligence was responsible for your injury and consider the potential value of the claim.

Step 3: Notifying the defendant

Once we have supportive evidence, we’ll send a letter of claim to the doctor and/or hospital involved. This will outline details of the claim and state allegations regarding the negligent treatment.

Step 4: Defendant response

The defendant will then have four months to investigate the allegations made against them and respond to the letter of claim in a letter of response. This letter will include whether the defendant accepts they are at fault, which is called an admission of liability. If they do not accept fault, they will state this in the letter and this is called a denial of liability. We will advise you of the next steps at this stage.

Step 5: Settlement and compensation

If the defendant or medical practice has admitted fault, negotiations can start. Our missed fracture solicitors will negotiate on your behalf, using our expertise and experience to secure the highest possible compensation amount for you. At this stage, we will discuss how much compensation you may receive. This will be calculated to cover the pain and suffering caused by the missed fracture, as well as any financial losses or expenses you’ve experienced as a result.

Step 6: Court proceedings (where necessary)

Most claims will be settled through negotiation, without needing to go to court. In the rare instances where the case does go to trial, you can trust us to represent you throughout the process.

Throughout this process, we make regular communication a priority, keeping you informed and providing guidance at every stage. Our dedicated team of legal specialists is committed to making the process as smooth and worry-free as possible, allowing you to concentrate on your recovery.

What are the time limits for making a missed fracture claim?

When it comes to making a missed fracture claim, it's vital to be aware of the statutory time limit, also known as the limitation period. The general rule in England and Wales is that you have three years from the date of the negligence, or from the date when you first became aware of the negligence (known as the date of knowledge), to bring a claim. This date of knowledge is not necessarily the date the injury happened, but instead when you realised that the injury was caused by someone else's error.

For instance, if a fracture was missed at the time of an accident and only identified several months later, the three-year countdown would start from the date you became aware the fracture was missed.

There are a few exceptions to this rule:

  • Children: if the person who suffered the negligence is under 18 at the time, the three-year period doesn't start until their 18th birthday. This means they have until they turn 21 to start legal proceedings.
  • Mental capacity: if the person who suffered the negligence lacks mental capacity to make their own decisions, there may be no time limit to make a claim on their behalf.
  • Fatal cases: if you are claiming on behalf of a deceased family member who passed away due to complications arising from a missed fracture, the claim must be made within three years of the date of death, or the date of knowledge that negligence treatment caused their death.

Given the complexity of limitation periods and the potential consequences of missing these critical deadlines, we strongly recommend seeking legal advice as soon as you think you may have a claim.

How much compensation can I claim for a missed or undiagnosed fracture?

The amount of compensation you could claim for a missed or undiagnosed fracture varies greatly depending on several factors. These include the severity of the injury, the impact it has had on your quality of life, and any financial losses you've suffered due to the injury. It's difficult to provide an exact figure without understanding the individual details of your case, but we can give you an idea of how these claims are evaluated.

Compensation for missed fracture claims is divided into two main categories:

  • General damages are awarded for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity you've experienced due to the missed fracture. This considers the physical pain and emotional distress you've endured, as well as the impact on your ability to enjoy life. For instance, if you've lost the ability to take part in hobbies or activities you once enjoyed, this will be factored into your compensation.
  • Special damages compensate for specific financial losses you've experienced because of a missed or undiagnosed fracture. This can include loss of earnings if you've had to take time off work or lost your job, the cost of private medical treatment and rehabilitation, travel expenses to and from medical appointments, and the cost of any care and support you've needed at home.

In some cases, particularly severe or complicated fractures that were missed or undiagnosed can result in long-term health complications or disability. If this applies to you, the value of your missed fracture compensation claim could be considerably higher to reflect the severity of your situation and the long-term impact on your life.

How are missed fracture claims funded?

Potential costs are among the biggest concerns our clients have about claiming compensation. At Switalskis, we're committed to making the process as accessible as possible by offering various funding options to meet your needs:

  • No win, no fee agreement: also known as a conditional fee agreement (CFA), this is the most common way to fund a missed fracture compensation claim. Under a no win, no fee agreement, you won’t need to pay anything if your claim is unsuccessful. Our costs are written off. If you win your case, a percentage of your compensation will be used to cover our fees. This option allows you to pursue your claim without any financial risk, and we’ll discuss all of the potential costs with you upfront to avoid any surprises.
  • Legal expenses insurance: we will begin an insurance policy to cover you for the out-of-pocket costs we experience during the investigation. We have our own insurance provider that we use. However, you may have legal expense cover as part of your home or car insurance policy, which can also be used to fund your claim. We’ll assist you in understanding your policy and liaising with your insurer.
  • Legal aid: in very rare cases, Legal Aid may be available for clinical negligence claims, although it’s usually reserved for specific situations. Our team can guide you on whether you might be eligible.

Remember, your first consultation with our clinical negligence solicitors is free and without obligation. We'll discuss the funding options available to you and help you choose the best one for your situation.

Contact us today and let's start your journey towards recovery together. Call us today on 0800 1380 458, or get in touch via our form.

Our missed fracture claims specialists

Photo of Suzanne Munroe
Suzanne MunroeDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Sarah Walker
Sarah WalkerDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Charlotte Reeves
Charlotte ReevesDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Kay Barnes
Kay BarnesDirector and Solicitor
Photo of David Thomas
David ThomasDirector and Chartered Legal Executive
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Why Switalskis?

Navigating the aftermath of a missed fracture diagnosis can be an unexpected and challenging ordeal, putting you under a lot of emotional distress and physical pain. At Switalskis, we're here to guide you through these difficult times and make sure that the process of getting legal support does not add to this stress.

Clarity in complexity

Missed fracture claims might seem complicated and overwhelming, but with us, they don't have to be. We're committed to breaking down complex legal terms into language that's easy to understand. Our goal is to answer all your questions, simplify the process, and keep you fully informed every step of the way.

Empathy at every step

We take the time to understand your unique situation. Whether it's the pain from the injury, the stress of additional treatments or the financial burden, we’ll listen to your concerns and tailor our advice to meet both your emotional needs and legal requirements. To us, you're not just a client - you're an individual who has endured a difficult experience, and we’re right beside you, providing all the support you need.

Expertise you can trust

Dealing with a matter as personal and significant as a missed fracture claim, you need assurance that you're in skilled hands. Our team includes specialists in medical negligence, offering years of experience and an exceptional record in handling missed fracture claims. We’re fiercely dedicated to protecting your interests, and our focus is to achieve the best possible outcome for you.

Championing your rights

Our team is dedicated to upholding your rights and making sure that your voice is heard. Not only will we assist you in claiming the compensation you rightly deserve, but we'll also work to ensure that those responsible are held accountable. In doing so, your claim becomes a voice of change, helping to ensure others don’t have to go through the same experience.

We can support you in the following medical negligence situations

Missed fracture FAQs

What are the symptoms of a missed fracture?

A fracture that goes unnoticed or is initially missed can cause a number of symptoms that may be mistaken for less severe injuries. These symptoms can vary based on the location and severity of the fracture, but common signs include:

  • Continuous pain: this is one of the most telling signs of a missed fracture. While it's common to experience some pain after an injury, continuous pain that doesn't improve (or even worsens) over time could suggest a missed fracture.
  • Swelling: swelling around the injured area that doesn't subside or returns repeatedly can be a sign of a missed fracture. It's your body's way of trying to protect and heal the injured area.
  • Limited function or movement: difficulty using or moving the affected limb or joint could be a sign of a fracture. You might be unable to bear weight, move the limb freely or use the hand or foot properly.
  • Deformity: any change in the shape or appearance of the affected area could be a sign of a fracture.
  • Bruising: while bruising can happen in many types of injuries, extensive or persistent bruising could be a sign of a missed fracture.
  • Tenderness to the touch: if the injured area remains tender or painful to touch after the initial injury should have healed, it could indicate a fracture.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms following an injury and are concerned about a potential missed fracture, it's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you feel that your symptoms were not adequately addressed during your initial treatment, you may have grounds for a missed fracture compensation claim.

Can X-rays miss fractures?

While X-ray imaging is highly effective for detecting bone fractures, it is not foolproof. Certain types of fractures, especially or stress fractures, can be difficult to spot on an X-ray, particularly in the early stages. These mistakes are more likely if the X-ray is not taken from an optimal angle, or if the patient's anatomy obscures the fracture.

Another common situation is a missed scaphoid fracture. The scaphoid is a small bone in the wrist, and fractures here can often be challenging to detect on initial X-rays. The problem is that if a scaphoid fracture is not treated promptly, it can lead to complications such as non-union (where the bone doesn't heal), osteonecrosis (death of the bone tissue), and arthritis.

Radiologists and other medical professionals are trained to read and interpret X-rays carefully, but mistakes can still happen. Sometimes, the signs of a fracture can be subtle, or the fracture can be mistaken for a variation in a person's bone structure. Additionally, the pressure in emergency departments and radiology units can contribute to errors in reading X-rays.

If a fracture is missed in an X-ray and this leads to a delay in treatment, causing further complications or harm, it may be considered a case of medical negligence.

What are the potential long-term health consequences of a missed fracture?

A missed or undiagnosed fracture can have serious long-term implications for a person's health and overall wellbeing. Here are a few potential complications and issues that may arise:

  • Delayed healing: without appropriate treatment, fractures take significantly longer to heal, and in some cases may not heal correctly at all. This extended healing process can impact a person's ability to return to their normal life and work, affecting their overall quality of life.
  • Malunion: this is when a fracture heals at the wrong angle, or in the wrong position. This can cause deformity that limits function and mobility, and corrective surgery may be needed to fix it.
  • Non-union: a non-union occurs when the fracture doesn't heal at all, leaving the person with chronic pain and disability. This often requires surgical intervention to repair.
  • Arthritis: improperly healed fractures, particularly in joints, can lead to the development of post-traumatic arthritis, a painful condition that can severely limit mobility.
  • Chronic pain: persistent discomfort and pain can stem from fractures that haven't healed properly. This pain can become chronic, impacting a person's everyday life and psychological wellbeing.
  • Decreased mobility: depending on the location of the fracture, a person may experience reduced mobility, which can affect their ability to perform routine tasks, work or participate in activities they enjoy.
  • Psychological impact: a lengthy recovery period, coupled with chronic pain and limited mobility, can have a profound effect on a person's mental health, leading to conditions such as depression or anxiety.

If you're dealing with these or other long-term health consequences as a result of a missed fracture, Switalskis' medical negligence solicitors are here to help. We can guide you through the process of claiming missed fracture compensation, offering support, empathy and expert legal advice every step of the way.

Find out how Switalskis can help you

If negligent treatment caused you to suffer negative health consequences due to a misdiagnosed fracture, call Switalskis today for tailored legal advice. We're here to help you make your compensation claim and provide the support you need during your recovery.

Call us on 0800 1380 458 , or contact us through our website to find out more about how to make a missed fracture compensation claim.

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