Learn When You Can Claim If A Wrist Fracture Was Missed

When you visit a healthcare provider for a certain medical issue or for medical advice, you should expect to be diagnosed correctly. If an injury or illness is misdiagnosed, it could cause you to suffer further harm that could have otherwise been avoided. In this guide, we specifically discuss when you may be able to claim compensation if your wrist fracture was missed.

The first section of this guide discusses the eligibility criteria for making a medical negligence compensation claim and the duty of care owed to you by all medical professionals. Then, we look at examples of how a wrist fracture could be missed by a medical professional due to substandard duty of care and the potential consequences of a wrist fracture misdiagnosis.

Following this, we explain how compensation is calculated for successful medical negligence claims and how much compensation could potentially be awarded for a wrist fracture misdiagnosis.

At the end of our guide, you can find out how No Win No Fee agreements work and the benefits that come with claiming with a solicitor on our panel under one for your claim.

To discuss your potential medical negligence claim for a missed wrist fracture diagnosis, speak with an advisor today for free. They can offer you free advice and answer any questions you may have about the claiming process. You can connect with them today via any of the following methods:

A black elastic bandage on someone's wrist.

Jump To A Section

  1. When Can You Claim If A Wrist Fracture Was Missed?
  2. How Could Wrist Fractures Be Misdiagnosed?
  3. How To Prove A Fracture Misdiagnosis Claim
  4. What Could You Claim If Your Wrist Fracture Has Been Missed?
  5. How A No Win No Fee Solicitor Could Help You
  6. Further Guidance On Medical Negligence Claims

When Can You Claim If A Wrist Fracture Was Missed?

Medical professionals are expected to deliver the correct standard of care to all of their patients when treating them. This is known as their duty of care. If a medical professional delivers a standard of care that is below what is required of them, then this is considered a breach of their duty of care.

Sometimes, a breached duty of care can cause a patient to suffer avoidable harm. This together is known as medical negligence.

Thus, you must prove the following criteria to have a valid medical negligence claim:

  1. You were owed a duty of care from a medical professional.
  2. The medical professional breached their duty of care.
  3. As a result of the breach, you have suffered avoidable harm.

However, it is important to note that when making a claim for a missed fracture, you will only be able to claim for the unnecessary harm suffered and not the original wrist fracture.

Medical Negligence Claim Time Limits

To claim for a missed wrist fracture, you must begin legal proceedings within the medical negligence claims time limit. The standard time limit is 3 years, commencing from either the date you suffered medical negligence or the date you first became reasonably aware of the medical negligence, otherwise known as the date of knowledge. This time limit is set out in the Limitation Act 1980.

Certain exceptions apply to cases involving those under the age of 18 and those lacking the mental capacity to handle their own legal proceedings.

Our advisors can tell you more about the exceptions to the medical negligence claims limitation period and confirm the validity of your compensation claim if your wrist fracture was missed.

How Could Wrist Fractures Be Misdiagnosed?

For a wrist fracture, such as scaphoid fractures (a break in one of the small bones in the wrist) or distal radius fractures (the bone connected to the wrist joint), to have the correct diagnosis, medical professionals should listen to their patient’s symptoms and take the appropriate action. They should ask the patient questions about their symptoms and physically examine the injured area. It is also appropriate to request a scan to confirm the fracture’s nature and severity and what necessary treatment is required.

As such, here are a few examples of how a wrist fracture could be missed due to a medical professional providing substandard care:

  • You visit the Accident and Emergency department (A&E) with a broken wrist and get an X-ray. However, the fracture was missed because the scan was performed incorrectly. From this, your break is misdiagnosed as a sprain.
  • You visit your GP about your scaphoid fracture. Despite you explaining your symptoms, the doctor failed to order further testing and misdiagnosed your fracture as a strain. The scaphoid bone starts to heal in the incorrect position due to this GP misdiagnosis, which causes permanent pain and stiffness in the joint.
  • After visiting your doctor, an X-ray scan is performed. However, despite the X-ray being performed correctly, due to administrative errors, your scan was mixed up with another patient’s, meaning your wrist fracture was missed.

Talk to our advisors today to see whether you might be able to make a medical negligence claim for a missed fracture.

How Could A Wrist Fracture Misdiagnosis Affect Me?

You could suffer both short-term and lifelong effects if either your wrist fracture was missed entirely or misdiagnosed as another condition. If you receive delayed treatment, you might miss an optimal recovery and need more extensive treatment than what was originally necessary as a result.

Some effects of a wrist fracture misdiagnosis could include:

  • Permanent limited mobility of the wrist.
  • Permanent pain.
  • Decreased grip strength, which can stop you from doing sports or activities that you once used to.
  • Psychological harm due to you not being able to do activities that you once used to.
  • Arthritis.
  • Lost income if you’re unable to work.

These are only some examples of impacts which you could suffer from a wrist fracture misdiagnosis. If you have suffered avoidable harm due to a healthcare professional breaching their duty of care, you can contact our advisors to see whether you may be able to claim compensation.

An X-ray image of a hand and wrist.

How To Prove A Fracture Misdiagnosis Claim

Evidence for a medical negligence claim should prove that a medical professional caused you to suffer preventable harm by breaching their duty of care.

The below evidence could help you prove medical negligence occurred if you wish to claim compensation for a fracture misdiagnosis:

  • Copies of your medical records that show that you were not diagnosed correctly versus your newer medical records that show the extent of your wrist fracture.
  • Copies of X-ray scans.
  • Write down your symptoms in a diary and how they impact your daily life.
  • Collect contact details from potential witnesses. For example, if a family member attended your appointment and witnessed that you were misdiagnosed. They could provide a statement at a later date.

Our panel of solicitors help their claimants collect the evidence needed for their case. If you contact us, one of our advisors could potentially connect you with a solicitor on our panel if they deem you to have a valid claim.

What Could You Claim If Your Wrist Fracture Has Been Missed?

If your missed wrist fracture compensation claim is successful, you will potentially receive up to two heads of loss to from your final compensation settlement.

The first head of loss is general damages, which awards compensation for the physical and psychological effects you have experienced as a result of the medical negligence. During the calculation of general damages, some factors that will be looked at are:

  • The extent of your pain.
  • The estimated time of recovery.
  • Whether your quality of life has decreased.

Your medical evidence and the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) will also be considered during the calculation of general damages. The JCG offers guideline compensation brackets for various forms of harm.

Compensation Table

We have taken some wrist injuries and their guideline compensation brackets from the JCG (apart from the first row) to show you what could potentially be awarded in missed fracture compensation.

However, you must note that no specific amount of compensation can be guaranteed for this type of case since all claims are different.

Harm SufferedSeverityGuideline compensation bracketsNotes
Multiple serious forms of harm with substantial special damagesSeriousUp to £100,000+An award for suffering multiple forms of serious harm with substantial financial losses like medical expenses and lost earnings.
WristComplete loss of function (a)£58,110 to £73,050Where an arthrodesis is performed, for example.
Significant permanent disability (b)£29,900 to £47,810Some useful movement will remain.
Less severe (c)£15,370 to £29,900There will still be some permanent disability, such as persisting pain and stiffness.
Fracture or soft-tissue injury (d)£7,420 to £12,630Where recovery takes more than 12 months but will be largely complete minus minor symptoms.
Colles fracture (e)In the region of £9,070The fracture is uncomplicated.
Very minor (f)£4,310 to £5,790Minimally displaced fractures with a virtual full recovery within 12 months.

Special Damages

The secondary head of loss you may be awarded is special damages, which awards compensation for the financial losses you have incurred as a result of the medical negligence. A special damages payout aims to restore your financial position to what it was before you experienced the medical negligence. Here are some types of financial losses which you could potentially be reimbursed for:

  • Loss of earnings.
  • Medical expenses such as prescriptions.
  • Travel costs for appointments.

General damages will always be awarded for successful medical negligence claims; however, special damages will not. So, to maximise your chance of receiving a special damages payout, you should keep any proof you have of your financial losses, such as bank statements, payslips, receipts, and invoices.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for more information about how much compensation you could potentially be awarded after your wrist fracture was missed.

How A No Win No Fee Solicitor Could Help You

If our advisors confirm that your medical negligence claim is valid, then a No Win No Win solicitor from our panel could help you. They could help you specifically by offering their services to you through a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

While represented under a CFA, you will:

  • Not pay an upfront fee for your solicitor’s services.
  • Have no ongoing payments throughout the claims process for your solicitor’s services.
  • Not pay any fees for your solicitor’s work if your claim is unsuccessful.

Your solicitor will take a success fee from you if your claim is successful. Success fees are taken from successful claimants compensation as a legally limited percentage.

Contact Us

If your wrist fracture was missed due to a breach of duty of care by a medical professional and you have suffered avoidable harm as a result of this, please contact us. Our advisors can have a chat with you for free about your situation and what steps you could take next:

A client asking a solicitor, ‘Can I claim if my wrist fracture was missed?

Further Guidance On Medical Negligence Claims

Browse our related guides:

Additionally, these external pages might help you:

Thank you for reading our guide on when you could claim compensation if your wrist fracture was missed. If you have any persisting questions, you can contact one of our advisors.