Should a doctor misdiagnosis fracture or inadequately treat a fracture, it can result in delayed access to correct treatment, extended recovery periods and, in some cases, life-long complications. Broken bones are commonly identified by x-ray; however, misdiagnosis can occur in a number of circumstances. While misdiagnosis is sometimes unavoidable, it is likely to be
classed as medical negligence should a doctor fail to order an x-ray to confirm their diagnosis, negligently misinterpret an x-ray that has been conducted, or fail to thoroughly
examine the patient.
How can a fracture injury be established?
While some fractures may go undetected initially if the mistake is recognised within a time frame that has not allowed greater deterioration to have occurred or caused discernible
harm to the patient, it may not be possible to claim.
For a fracture misdiagnosis claim to be successful, it must be proven that avoidable injury has occurred, and this injury must be as a result of negligent practice on the part of medical staff. This will often involve ruling out contributory negligence, meaning it must be proven that the patient themself has not furthered the injury against medical advice.
How can fracture medical negligence be established?
For it to be established that negligence has occurred, it must be proven that an average, competent medical practitioner would have positively identified the fracture, or recommended the correct treatment plan. If the average, competent doctor would be expected to have recognised the fracture this may justify the claim for misdiagnosis.
The compensation awarded for a negligently delayed fracture diagnosis will cover two different types of award – physical and emotional damage, and financial losses. An award for physical and emotional damage will seek to compensate any undue pain or suffering sustained by the victim.
Financial losses are any expenses incurred by the negligence. This can include GP visits, extra or more-invasive treatment needed as a result of the delayed diagnosis, transport, accommodation, and expenses expected to be incurred in the future such as continued physiotherapy appointments. This can also compensate any wages lost as a result of the
injury, for example, if pain or treatment has prevented the victim from working.
How long do I have to take a misdiagnosis fracture claim?
Fracture medical negligence claims must be pursued within two-years of the injury being sustained, or within two years of the victim becoming aware of the proposed negligence.
If you believe that you have suffered as a result of fracture misdiagnosis due to negligent medical care, contact our experienced solicitors today on 0749175989 or using our online
*In contentious business a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.
**This information is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. Professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this publication. No liability is accepted by McElhinney & Associates for any action taken in reliance on the information contained herein. Any and all information is subject to change.