Growth Plate Fracture Compensation Claims In The UK
Has a child of yours suffered a growth plate fracture due to negligence from another party? If so, then you may be able to claim compensation on the child’s behalf. Adults and children share many of the same risks when it comes to potential bone injuries. However, children face an additional risk through potential growth bone fractures.
Before becoming an adult, the bones of children grow and then strengthen once growing is done. The areas of active growth are known as growth plates. These plates harden into solid bone once growing stops. Before then, however, they are softer and more vulnerable to potentially fracturing. As a result, certain accidents which may cause just a joint sprain if it happens to an adult could lead to a growth plate fracture for a child. There are a wide range of different accidents which could cause a growth plate fracture.
If a child suffers a growth plate fracture and it can be proven that another party’s negligence contributed to this injury, then someone close to the child (such as a parent) could potentially claim compensation on the child’s behalf. In this guide, we’ll discuss how a growth plate fracture compensation claim may be possible and how to start one.
Get In Touch With Our Team
Looking for advice on making a growth plate fracture claim? You are welcome to contact UK Law for free specialist advice on this type of claim. You can speak to our advisors online through our live chat service, or by using our online claim form. Alternatively, you can use our call back form. You can also reach us on the phone by calling 020 3870 4868
Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About Growth Plate Fracture Compensation Claims
- What Is A Growth Plate Fracture?
- What Is A Growth Plate In Bone Anatomy?
- How Do You Know You Have Suffered This Type Of Fracture?
- Causes Of A Growth Plate Fracture
- Growth Plate Fracture Compensation Calculator
- Surgical And Non-Surgical Treatment Options
- What Is A Missed Fracture Of A Growth Plate?
- Why Is This Type Of Fracture Misdiagnosed?
- How Long After Breaking A Bone Can You Claim?
- I Broke A Bone In An Accident, What Should I Do?
- No Win No Fee Growth Plate Fracture Compensation Claims
- Contact Us For More Help
- Related Guides
- Frequently Asked Questions
Growth plate fractures are a type of bone fracture which children can potentially suffer before they reach the end of adolescence. Because of how soft growth plates are, there are a wide range of accidents that could potentially cause these to fracture. However a growth plate fracture occurs, you may be asking if it’s possible to claim compensation for such an injury.
In this guide, we’ll go into detail regarding how growth plate fractures may happen. We’ll also look at symptoms and treatment options for this injury. We will also discuss the necessary requirements to start a compensation claim for this type of injury. This includes the type of evidence needed and what time limits could apply. We will also talk about your legal options if your child’s growth plate fracture is misdiagnosed by a medical professional.
A growth plate fracture is a type of bone injury that is unique to children. They affect areas near the end of bones while they are in a growing phase. These areas are particularly vulnerable to fractures since they are much weaker than fully developed bones. They can sometimes be weaker than even the surrounding ligaments and tendons.
If a child suffers a growth plate fracture, then immediate treatment for it should be sought after. That’s because this type of fracture can affect how the affected bone will grow. If a growth plate fracture is not treated properly, then the affected bone could remain fractured and end up crooked or shorter compared to the opposing limb (angular deformity). When treated properly, growth plate fractures tend to heal without complications.
Growth plates are located in the longest bones of a child’s body. Examples include the femur (thigh bone), the metacarpal bones in the hands and the radius and ulna, which are the forearm bones.
The majority of long bones have at least two growth plates with one on each end. The growth plates are made up of cartilage which is a rubbery and flexible material.
When a child’s bones have fully grown, the growth plates harden into solid bone. The exact age when this occurs varies from child to child. For girls, it usually happens around ages 13 to 15. For boys, it’s usually around ages 15 to 17.
Growth plate fractures usually occur in bones located in the fingers, forearm or lower leg. The common symptoms of such an injury include:
- Severe and persistent pain and tenderness in the affected area.
- Inability to move the affected limb or put any weight or pressure on it.
- Swelling and warmth around the end of the affected bone, near a joint.
From the moment it occurs, a growth plate fracture is likely to cause immediate and substantial discomfort to a child. If a child is experiencing symptoms of this type of fracture, they should be looked at by medical professionals as soon as possible. It’s important to get the condition treated as soon as possible to avoid the risk of further issues with the injured bone.
Growth plates are more vulnerable to fractures compared to other areas of the bones. That’s mainly because they are much softer in comparison and therefore can’t handle as much force or pressure. Growth plate fractures are typically caused by blows to the limbs. These can occur as a result of different types of accidents, including the following:
- Falls, slips and trips.
- Twisting of a limb. This could occur for various reasons, such as a slip or while playing a contact sport or fast-moving activity.
- Repetitive actions, such as training for a sport, could cause a stress-induced fracture.
- Road traffic accidents, including car accidents and cycling accidents.
How much compensation could be offered to a child following a growth plate fracture depends on several factors. These include how severe the injury is and what impact it has had on the affected party’s life.
In the table below, you can view compensation brackets for different types of limb injuries. While the brackets do not guarantee how much you or your child could receive in compensation, they can at least give some indication of the amount which may be offered.
The compensation brackets come from the latest Judicial College guidelines. They are based on payments given out for the injuries listed in the table. Solicitors involved in a growth plate fracture compensation claim may use these guidelines to work out the value of injuries.
|Forearm Fractures||Severe||£36,770 to £56,180|
|Forearm Fractures||Less Severe||£18,020 to £36,770|
|Forearm Fractures||Simple Fracture||£6,190 to £18,020|
|Elbow Injury||Simple Fracture||Up to £11,820|
|Wrist Injury||Fracture Which Requires Long Recovery Time||Rarely exceed £9,620|
|Wrist Injury||Uncomplicated Colles' Fracture||In the region of £6,970|
|Wrist Injury||Minor Fracture||£3,310 to £4,450|
|Hand Injury||Severe Fractures to Fingers||Up to £34,480|
|Hand Injury||Fracture of Index Finger||£8,550 to £11,480|
|Hand Injury||Serious Fracture to Ring or Middle Fingers||£13,970 to £15,330|
Payments for injuries caused by a growth plate fracture is considered compensation for ‘general damages’. If an injured party is eligible to receive compensation for general damages, then they may also receive compensation for ‘special damages’. Any payments for special damages are designed to cover a victim for any financial losses they’ve suffered as a direct result of their injuries.
Examples of financial losses which could be covered by special damages include:
- Travel expenses are put towards you or your child receiving necessary treatment for a growth plate fracture.
- The cost of equipment or medication bought in order to aid with recovery.
- The cost of repairing or replacing personal items which may have been damaged in the accident that led to the growth plate fracture.
The methods for diagnosing and treating a growth plate fracture can vary depending on how severe the injury is. When someone with symptoms of this injury is at a hospital, a doctor may arrange for x-rays to take place. However, because growth plates have not yet hardened into solid bone, it can be difficult for doctors to see a fracture in this area. Therefore, an x-ray may be taken of both the injured limb and the opposing limb so a comparison can be made.
Less serious examples of a growth plate fracture may be treated with just a cast or a splint on the affected limb. The injured child will then be instructed to rest for a period of time. A few weeks after fitting a cast or splint, another x-ray may be arranged for the victim to confirm signs of bone healing.
More serious fractures which cause a growth plate to become misaligned may require surgery. It may be decided by a doctor that a child with a growth plate fracture should have regular x-rays over several years. This may be deemed necessary to check that the growth plate which suffered the fracture is still growing appropriately.
A missed fracture of a growth plate refers to any instance where a medical professional examining a patient fails to confirm this type of injury is present when it is. If a patient visits a medical professional with symptoms of a fractured growth plate, then there’s some possibility that the condition could be missed. The medical expert may fail to notice what injury is present and mistake it for a different issue.
If a fracture of a growth plate is missed, then that can have harmful consequences for the patient suffering from it. It means the condition may take longer to treat than necessary and the symptoms could possibly get worse before it’s properly treated. A growth plate fracture could create complications for the development of the bone in the affected limb if it’s not treated in good time.
If a child is examined by a hospital/medical professional to check fracture symptoms, then there are certain types of mistakes that could occur which lead to a misdiagnosis. When a medical professional is examining a patient for a possible fracture, they are responsible for prescribing any treatments to the patient and referring them for additional tests if necessary. If a medical professional or hospital skip any of the usual steps when diagnosing a patient, then this could, unfortunately, mean a fracture is misdiagnosed.
The different potential mistakes which could lead to a fracture misdiagnosis include the following:
- The symptoms may be confused for a different type of injury.
- An X-ray may not have been offered when it could have confirmed a fracture is present.
- An X-ray took place, but either it was done incorrectly or the results were misinterpreted.
- The medical professional examining you did not arrange an MRI or CT scan which could have revealed the full extent of a fracture injury.
- The diagnosis of a fracture was disrupted by a hospital administrative error.
If you or your child is affected by a growth plate fracture misdiagnosis, then you may be able to claim compensation for this. You will need proof that a hospital or medical professional which examined you or your child acted negligently and this directly caused the misdiagnosis. You can contact UK Law for free legal advice on claiming for a fracture misdiagnosis.
If you are considering starting a compensation claim for a growth plate fracture, then a time limit for starting this claim may apply. Usually, when an adult wants to start a claim for a fracture, they’ll need to start it within three years of when their injury was diagnosed. However, growth plate fractures are a fracture which affects children specifically. The rules on how time limits for claiming work differently for children.
If a child suffers a fracture, then the three-year time limit for claiming for this does not activate straight away. It will not come into play until the affected child has turned 18 years old. Before they are 18, a child can’t start a compensation claim on their own behalf. However, a parent, guardian or someone else close to the child could potentially start a claim on the child’s behalf as a representative before they reach 18. In such cases, the representative is formally known as a litigation friend.
Another circumstance where the time limit for claiming may be frozen (at least temporarily) is when the injured party lacks the mental capacity to make their own decisions. The time limit will stay frozen, even if the injured party has become an adult unless they later recover enough mental capacity to act independently. In the event this happens, the three-year time limit will start from the date it occurred. An adult victim who lacks the mental capacity to make their own decisions could possibly have a claim started on their behalf by a litigation friend.
If you or your child fractures a bone in an accident, then the first priority should be to get appropriate medical treatment for this as soon as possible. If you are considering starting a compensation claim for yourself or on behalf of your child, then it’s worth getting evidence of the medical treatment for the fracture. Potential evidence could include medical notes and discharge letters.
If you decide to move forward with a claim, then you could look at gathering other available evidence. It’s worth starting this process as soon as you can. The potential evidence which may be available will depend on the circumstances of the incident which caused the fracture injury. Potential evidence may include witness contact details, CCTV footage and photos of the accident scene.
When you’ve finished gathering the available evidence, you may then wish to get in touch with a solicitor who can support your claim. We strongly suggest choosing a solicitor who has previous experience in handling fracture injury claims.
Assuming your chosen solicitor reviews your case and is happy to support it, you can then sign an agreement with them. From this point, your solicitor will help you with all the remaining steps you need to follow to process your claim. You can contact UK Law now if you have any questions about starting a growth plate fracture compensation claim.
At UK Law, we can advise on making a growth plate fracture claim on a No Win No Fee basis. If you hire a solicitor to support your claim, then you may sign a No Win No Fee agreement with them. Such an agreement can offer several financial benefits, such as the following:
- No requirement to pay legal fees upfront to your solicitor.
- You also won’t be required to pay legal fees during the process of your claim either.
- If your claim is unsuccessful, then you still won’t be required to pay your solicitor’s legal fees. This gives your solicitor extra motivation to work hard on your case, since they face extra risk.
If you win with your No Win No Fee claim, then a small percentage of your compensation will be deducted by your solicitor. They will do this in order to cover their legal fees. However, the amount they can charge is capped by law.
You can contact UK Law today for advice on making a personal injury claim. We are happy to help if you have any queries about making a growth plate fracture claim. You can reach us through the following methods:
- Using our website’s online live chat service
- We also have a claim online form
- Also available is our call back form
- You can also call us on 020 3870 4868
For more advice on claiming compensation for fracture injuries, you can check out our other guides below:
We also have guides on other types of personal injury claims, such as the following examples:
In this final section of our growth plate fracture claims guide, we’ve answered some popularly asked questions about the topic.
How long does it take to recover from a fractured growth plate?
The amount of time it can take for a child to recover from a fractured growth plate can vary. It depends on where exactly the fracture has occurred and how severe it is.
What happens if you fracture a growth plate?
A growth plate fracture can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. It should be examined and treated by a medical professional as soon as possible. Without proper treatment, a growth plate fracture can result in a shorter or crooked limb.
How bad is a fractured growth plate?
The severity of a growth plate fracture depends on the location and type of fracture which has occurred. This type of fracture can cause a lot of discomfort. However, a full recovery is realistic if the condition is examined and treated properly as soon as possible after the fracture occurs.
Do you need a cast for a fractured growth plate?
When a child is diagnosed with a fractured growth plate, it is common that a doctor examining the condition will have a cast or splint fitted to the injured limb. This should help to protect the limb during recovery from the fracture.
Thank you for reading our guide about growth plate fracture compensation.
Checked by EI.