Typical orthopaedic claims involving fractures will involve the following steps:
- We will investigate every minute detail of your case and from there we will build your case by obtaining all of your medical records, taking full witness account from you and we will consultant the best experts in their field to give an opinion on whether negligence arose in your care or treatment.
- We will contact the relevant hospital or doctor advising them that we believe there was negligence in your care and treatment and asking them to admit liability.
- We will serve proceedings on the relevant medical institution or doctor and ensure that they reply to your claim in a timely manner with full details of any defence that they wish to make.
- We will represent your claim in the courts robustly to secure the appropriate level of compensation for your injuries.
How a claim can arise
Sometimes, despite a patient complaining of pain, a hospital can decide not to perform an x-ray or alternatively, a hospital can perform an x-ray and simply not identify the fracture on this x-ray. Both scenarios can lead to very serious complications for the patient.
A fractured bone left untreated can ultimately fuse in the incorrect position thereby causing the patient great difficulties in terms of movement and pain.
If the fractured bone should be to the neck, a failure to diagnose and treat such a fracture could ultimately cause paralysis or in the worst-case scenario death.
Blood clots are a common feature if a hip fracture is left untreated.
How to make a claim:
Failure to diagnose and treat fracture medical negligence claims are pursued through the courts, either the Circuit Court or the High Court. We must prove that the fracture treatment that you received fell below an acceptable standard of care. This is proving by obtaining the advices of an orthopaedic expert from another jurisdiction who will review your records and provide an opinion accordingly. When solid expert evidence is to hand, we then issue proceedings in the appropriate court and serve those proceedings on the health care provider.
How long does it take:
Any person who wishes to pursue a claim for medical negligence through the courts must do so within 2 years of the mistake being made or 2 years that they had knowledge that a mistake was made.
Once proceedings are issued the case can take approximately, 2-3 years to come before the courts for hearing, depending on the complexity of the case, the number of experts that are required together with the defence delivered by the healthcare provider to your claim.
Early legal assistance can be vital as the time limits for bringing an action are very strict, therefore, if you believe that you have suffered as a result of substandard medical care then you may be able to make a claim for compensation against the hospital in question and we are happy to have an initial consultation with you where we will give you an initial assessment and advise you of your options.
What level of compensation am I likely to receive?
The level of compensation payable to you is directly related to the level of injury and trauma that you suffered together with the impact that the negligent treatment has had on your quality of life. Compensation is usually broken down into two parts:
- General damages. This is compensation for the pain and suffering that you have endured to date together with the likely pain and suffering that you will endure into the future.
- Special damages. These are items of expenditure and financial loss that you have incurred up to the date of the court award and possible likely future financial losses, for example, the cost of any private treatment, medication, aids and appliances, loss of earnings to date, loss of earnings into the future, the cost of any ongoing care and treatment required.