Missed Scaphoid Fracture Compensation Claims UK

If you’ve injured your wrist, which is where the scaphoid is located, you may seek medical attention. You have the right to expect the minimum standard of care when you seek treatment from a medical professional. However, sometimes the level of care you receive falls below the expected standard, causing you more pain and suffering than if you had received an appropriate level of care. In this article, we look at how a medical professional might neglect the duty of care they owe you and how this could result in a missed scaphoid fracture.

Missed scaphoid fracture compensation claims guide

Missed scaphoid fracture compensation claims guide

You may mistakenly believe that you cannot claim against the NHS for medical negligence, but this isn’t the case. Whether you’ve been provided substandard care by a private healthcare provider or an NHS doctor, if you can show that this caused you to suffer more than you would have if you’d received the correct care, then you may be able to claim.

It’s important to note that not every instance of misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose happens because a doctor was negligent. Sometimes, a doctor or healthcare provider can fail to diagnose a scaphoid fracture, or misdiagnose it as something else, while still administering a level of care expected of their profession.

At UK Law.co.uk we could help you start your claim today. You can speak to our friendly team who can discuss your eligibility for a missed scaphoid fracture compensation claim and connect you with a personal injury lawyer from our panel. Simply:

  • Call on 020 3870 4868
  • Email us or write to UK Law.co.uk
  • For instant help, use the ‘live support’ option bottom right of this screen

Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About Missed Scaphoid Fracture Compensation Claims
  2. What Is A Missed Scaphoid Fracture?
  3. How Do Scaphoid Fractures Happen?
  4. Scaphoid Fracture Symptoms
  5. Causes Of Missed Fracture Diagnosis
  6. Missed Scaphoid Fracture Compensation Claims Calculator
  7. Diagnosis And Treatment Of Scaphoid Fractures
  8. Scaphoid Fractures Missed By A GP
  9. Scaphoid Fractures Missed By A Hospital
  10. NHS Patients Rights
  11. What Is The Limitation Period For Medical Negligence Claims?
  12. I Suffered A Missed Scaphoid Fracture, What Should I Do?
  13. Claim For A Missed Scaphoid On A No Win No Fee Basis
  14. Other Information
  15. FAQs About Missed Fracture Claims

Everything You Need To Know About Missed Scaphoid Fracture Compensation Claims

In this guide, we’ll examine how a scaphoid fracture can occur and the reasons that a medical professional might fail to diagnose a fracture of this nature. We will also examine the treatment that may be administered after a scaphoid fracture.

In addition, this guide will explain what kinds of damages a claim for compensation consists of. We’ll examine what each of these kinds of damages cover and how they are calculated. We will also look at the kind of evidence that is required to support each of these damages.

Furthermore, we’ll examine how a number of different healthcare providers can cause a scaphoid fracture to be missed, including GPs and hospitals. We will also look at the rights that NHS patients have when receiving care for illness or injury.

In addition, we will examine the limitation period for a claim of this nature and how it might be affected. We’ll look at the steps you should take after your scaphoid fracture has been missed. Finally, we’ll answer some questions that we’re commonly asked about missed scaphoid fractures.

What Is A Missed Scaphoid Fracture?

A scaphoid fracture can cause a great deal of pain and inconvenience. And if a scaphoid fracture is not spotted and treated by a healthcare professional, it could result in long-term implications that impact your quality of life.

For instance, if a fractured bone is left to heal without medical treatment, this could result in deformity or the bone not setting correctly, causing ongoing pain and discomfort.

It’s important to note that just because your fracture was missed or misdiagnosed, this does not mean that the healthcare professional who treated you was negligent. Sometimes, complications can arise even if the doctor was adhering to the standards expected of their profession. To determine whether negligence occurred or not, the courts will usually administer something called the Bolam test.

Bolam Test

The Bolam test involves asking a panel of the healthcare professional’s peers (other healthcare providers who specialise in the same field) how they would have acted when presented with the information that was available. In some cases, they may confirm that they would have acted in the same way as the doctor in question. If this is the case, then the doctor will not be considered negligent, even if they missed or misdiagnosed a scaphoid fracture.

If the panel of peers confirm that they would have acted differently, however, then the doctor would be considered negligent. Provided the injured person can prove that they were made to suffer more than they would have if the injury were properly diagnosed, they may be able to claim.

How Do Scaphoid Fractures Happen?

The scaphoid is a small bone in the wrist that connects to the radius. It’s part of a group of small bones which include the carpals and together they provide your wrist with a full range of motion. Scaphoid fractures can occur for a number of reasons, including:

  • You attempt to break your fall with an outstretched hand, causing the force of the fall to impact your wrist
  • Something heavy hits or drops on your wrist at a high speed
  • Repeated tasks can wear on the scaphoid bone, weakening it and causing stress fractures

If your scaphoid fracture occurred because you were involved in an accident in which someone owed you a duty of care that was breached, you may be able to make a personal injury claim for the injury itself. You’re owed a duty of care in a number of different places, such as on the road, in a public place and while in the workplace.

However, even if you were liable for the accident that caused your scaphoid fracture, you may still be able to claim if it was missed or misdiagnosed. This is the case provided that you can show the doctor acted negligently and that their negligence directly caused you to suffer more than you would have if you’d received a proper diagnosis.

Speak to our team for more information about claiming for a scaphoid fracture. Otherwise, read on for more information on symptoms of a scaphoid fracture.

Scaphoid Fracture Symptoms

As is the case with many fractures, there are some typical symptoms that may present themselves immediately after fracture:

  • Redness and swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Pain in the wrist and up the arm
  • Inability to straighten or move the wrist or bear any weight
  • Nausea
  • Dull, aching and persistent pain

In some cases, you may experience a tingling or numbness in the affected wrist. If this is the case, you should seek immediate medical attention by visiting your local A&E department. This could be an indicator of nerve damage.

Causes Of Missed Fracture Diagnosis

A scaphoid fracture could be missed or misdiagnosed for a number of reasons. Usually, an X-ray or other diagnostic test will be needed to confirm whether a fracture is present. If the correct diagnostic tests aren’t performed, this could lead to the fracture being missed. This could occur if the healthcare provider saw the symptoms that you were presenting and attributed them to another injury like a strain or sprain.

In addition, a healthcare provider may fail to interpret the results of a diagnostic test correctly. This could also lead to them failing to diagnose the injury and administer the correct treatment. In some cases, the results of an X-ray or MRI scan might be mislaid, meaning that the healthcare professional does not receive them and cannot base a diagnosis on them.

Sometimes, a missed or misdiagnosed fracture might occur because of circumstances that are not related to medical negligence. For instance, you may not be exhibiting typical symptoms of a scaphoid fracture, meaning that your doctor would not be expected to order the appropriate diagnostic tests. Whether or not they acted negligently in failing to do this would be considered under the Bolam Test.

Missed Scaphoid Fracture Compensation Claims Calculator

Scaphoid fracture compensation can be made up of two heads of claim, known as general and special damages. General damages are the part of your compensation paid to acknowledge the pain and suffering your misdiagnosis have caused you. The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) is a publication that offers guideline award amounts for a whole range of bodily and mental injuries.

It’s important to note that the general damages head of your claim will not cover you for all the pain and suffering that you’ve experienced because of your broken scaphoid. This is because this kind of injury would have caused pain and suffering even if it had been correctly diagnosed. You will only be compensated for the additional pain and suffering caused by the misdiagnosis.

When you attend an independent medical assessment (which a solicitor can arrange) the report will be used with the help of the JCG to value your claim. An example of some values included in the JCG is below:

Injury Notes How much?
Wrist (a) Injuries in this bracket will result in a complete loss of wrist function £44,690 to £56,180
Wrist (b) Injuries in this bracket will result in a significant disability of a permanent nature; however, some useful movement will remain £22,990 to £36,770
Wrist (c) Injuries in this bracket will be less severe than in (b) but there will still be some permanent disability. £11,820 to £22,990
Wrist (d) In instances where a fracture or soft tissue injury takes longer to heal but recovery is complete Rarely exceed
Wrist (e) An uncomplicated Colles’ fracture In the region of
Wrist (f) This bracket will be appropriate for injuries like minor undisplaced or minimally displaced fractures where a full or virtual recovery occurs within 12 months £3,310 to £4,450

Special damages

The next head of compensation that can be claimed is special damages. These aim to compensate you for any financial loss or expenses that you’ve incurred because of your injuries. Special damages can include:

  • Missed wages from lost work
  • Travel costs to and from hospital or appointments with your solicitor
  • Care costs if someone needed to help you with domestic tasks
  • Physiotherapy
  • Counselling and remedial treatments
  • Child care costs
  • Modifications to utensils or home in any way
  • Pet care, gardening
  • Damage to hobbies or recreational activities
  • Lost deposits from special occasions or holidays you had to miss.

As with general damages, special damages will only be considered when they result from the misdiagnosis of your injury and not the injury itself. For instance, you may have had to take 4 months off work because of complications arising from your missed scaphoid fracture, where if the fracture had been spotted you would have only needed 2 months off work. Special damages will only compensate you for the additional 2 months of lost earnings and not the full 4 that you experienced.

Contact our team now if you are out of pocket because a medical professional’s negligence caused your fracture to be missed or misdiagnosed. A medical negligence solicitor could help you claim the compensation you’re entitled to.

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Scaphoid Fractures

When diagnosing fractures it’s common to rely on a number of different diagnostic tests. These can include:

Once it’s been determined that your scaphoid is fractured, there are a number of ways that your injury could be treated. The treatment you receive will depend on the severity and type of the injury.

In simple, non-displaced fractures, the bones will not have moved out of alignment. In these kinds of fractures, your doctor may immobilise the site of the injury with a splint or cast so that the bones can heal in position. Sometimes, if the fracture is slightly displaced, they may move your bones back into position with manual manipulation. You will be given painkillers when this happens so you won’t feel any pain.

If your fracture is more serious then you may require surgery in order for it to heal. This involves pins, screws or plates being inserted into the bone to keep them in position as they heal.

Scaphoid Fractures Missed By A GP

Sometimes, a scaphoid fracture may cause pain without any noticeable deformity or limitation in movement. Because of this, the injured person may assume that their wrist is sprained rather than fractured, and seek medical attention from their GP as opposed to a hospital.

Your GP may fail to listen to the symptoms of your injury, meaning that they don’t think that further diagnostic tests are necessary because they haven’t taken in all the information you have given. Alternatively, an administrative error may mean that they refer you to the hospital for an X-ray, but that this referral is lost, meaning that your fracture is diagnosed later than it should have been.

Scaphoid Fractures Missed By A Hospital

If you attend A&E after suffering from a scaphoid fracture, it’s reasonable to expect that you would receive a minimum standard of care. But this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, A&E staff can breach their duty of care which results in your fracture being missed or misdiagnosed, resulting in further injury.

Like in GP surgeries, a member of staff at an A&E department may fail to recognise the symptoms of a fractured scaphoid which should prompt them to arrange an X-ray. If the Bolam test determines that a panel of the doctor’s peers would have ordered the diagnostic test when presented with the same evidence, failure to arrange for an X-ray to be performed could be considered negligent.

Furthermore, the correct diagnostic test could be arranged and performed, but the results of the test aren’t interpreted properly. This could cause a delay in treating your scaphoid fracture, resulting in you experiencing more pain than you would have if the results of the X-ray were read properly.

For more information on the things that can constitute medical negligence in a hospital setting, get in touch with our team. Or you can read on to find out more about your rights as a patient of the NHS.

NHS Patients Rights

Your rights as an NHS patient are included in the NHS Constitution for England. It contains information on the principles of the NHS and advises you on how to make a complaint about the care you have received.

As a patient of the NHS, you have the right to:

The NHS is also guided by seven “key principles” included in the constitution. These are:

  • Providing a comprehensive service that is available to everyone
  • Allowing access to services based on clinical need and not an ability to pay
  • Aspiration to the highest standards of excellence and professionalism
  • Putting the patient at the heart of everything the NHS does
  • Working in partnership with other organisations to benefit patients and communities
  • Providing the best value for taxpayers’ money
  • Accountability to patients, communities and the public at large.

If you have been denied any of the rights owed to you as a patient of the NHS, then this could result in a scaphoid fracture being missed. In turn, this could lead you to experience pain and suffering that you wouldn’t have if you’d received the proper treatment. Get in touch with our team for more information on your rights as an NHS patient and how these can be breached.

What Is The Limitation Period For Medical Negligence Claims?

There is generally a three-year time limit from the date to making a medical negligence claim. This can run from the date that the negligence occurred, or when you became aware that you were suffering adverse effects as the result of medical negligence. The latter is referred to as the “date of knowledge”.

If the injuries were sustained by someone under the age of 18, the three-year timescale starts from the date of their 18th birthday. Up until this point, a litigation friend can claim on behalf of them. This is someone appointed to pursue a claim on the child’s behalf.

Similarly, if someone lacks the mental capacity to claim themselves then a litigation friend can claim for them. If they regain their mental capacity, the three-year limit starts. Otherwise, it’s suspended indefinitely.

I Suffered A Missed Scaphoid Fracture, What Should I Do?

When you have suffered from a missed scaphoid fracture, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. This ensures that the diagnosis and treatment you’re currently receiving is appropriate for your injury. Furthermore, it may provide some insight into how much extra treatment you could require as a result of negligence.

The NHS constitution includes information on how you can make a complaint about the care you have received from the NHS. There’s no obligation for you to make a complaint before starting legal action; however, you may find it useful to do so as it could give you an insight into what went wrong with your care.

You will need to collect evidence as to the impact your misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis has caused you. You should record your recovery and make a note of any appointments you need to attend. It may also be of use to you to collect evidence of any financial impact of the negligent care you received as they may be able to be included in the special damages head of your claim.

Finally, you may wish to seek legal representation. While not a legal requirement, you may find that you feel more comfortable navigating your medical negligence claim with the guidance of a solicitor.

Claim For A Missed Scaphoid On A No Win No Fee Basis

When you fund legal representation on a No Win No Fee basis, there are several advantages. Notably, you won’t be asked to pay your solicitor anything in order for them to start working on your claim, or while it’s ongoing. You also won’t be asked to pay them anything if they don’t win your case.

If your case is successful, your solicitor’s fees will be covered by a “success fee” deducted from your compensation award. This is legally capped and you will always receive the majority of the compensation you’re awarded.

If you’d like to know more about launching a medical negligence claim, why not speak to our team today? If they feel your claim has a good chance of success, they could connect you with a lawyer from our panel.

Other Information

Thank you for reading this guide on compensation for a missed scaphoid fracture. At UK Law we can assist with a number of different claims for injury caused by negligence. For instance, you may want to claim for dental negligence because you received dental care that fell below the expected standard and were injured as a result. Or perhaps you underwent an operation gone wrong that resulted in you suffering more than would be expected. Maybe you were administered first aid by someone who neglected their duty of care to you, causing your condition to worsen.

The Care Quality Commission regulate health and social care in England. They ensure that people receive high-quality care from health and social care services. Here, you can provide feedback on care and check whether a healthcare provider is registered with them.

Physiotherapy may be useful in helping you regain the full range of motion in your wrist after a missed scaphoid fracture. The NHS has a tool for finding physiotherapy services in your area.

You may need a cast or a splint to help your fractured scaphoid heal. This guide on how to care for a plaster cast could be of use to you.

If you have any more questions or would like to start a claim, you can get in touch with us by:

FAQs About Missed Fracture Claims

Can you sue for a missed fracture?

Yes. If you can prove that the care you received fell below an acceptable standard, and you suffered as a direct result of your missed fracture, you could claim compensation. However, a missed fracture alone is not always an example of medical negligence.

What happens if a fracture is missed?

Issues such as arthritis and sepsis can occur if your fracture is left to heal alone. Also, you can suffer non-aligned bone fusing which can lead to deformed wrists and lifelong pain.

Thank you for reading our guide on missed scaphoid fracture claims.

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