Claim for a Misdiagnosis of a Fracture

Can a claim for a misdiagnosis of a fracture be made against a doctor in a hospital? I fractured my leg but the doctor failed to spot it on the x-ray.

Although the misdiagnosis of a bone injury may be classed as medical negligence, you will only be entitled to make a claim for a misdiagnosis of a fracture if your health has deteriorated as a result of the failure to diagnose your condition.

If the severity of the fracture has increased due to the misdiagnosis – and this could have been prevented had the correct treatment been provided quickly – you should be entitled to make a claim for a misdiagnosed bone fracture. However, whether it will be worth your while to make a legal claim for misdiagnosed bone fracture compensation will depend on the how much loss of amenity you have suffered, how long the healing process will have been extended and if any health complications have developed which could have been avoided were it not for the delay in receiving treatment.

Although a fractured bone should have been identified by the doctor from the x-ray, certain types of fractures can be difficult diagnose, especially small cracks such as stress fractures. Even highly experienced doctors may not be able to identify a small bone fracture from an x-ray until the fracture has started to heal, although other diagnostic tests can be arranged to facilitate a diagnosis. The question which must therefore be answered before misdiagnosed bone fracture compensation can be claimed is whether the failure to diagnose your condition constituted negligence.

This means that your case will need to be assessed by a medical expert to establish whether the doctor who misdiagnosed your condition from the x-ray was incompetent or made a serious error of judgement. If it can be established that a competent doctor of the same standing would not have been able to diagnose the fracture in your bone from the same x-ray under the same circumstances, it is unlikely that you would be entitled to claim for a misdiagnosed bone fracture.

It is therefore important that you seek legal advice from a personal injury solicitor who specialises in medical negligence claims to discuss claiming compensation for the misdiagnosis of a fracture to find out if you have a valid claim. You will need to explain about your visit to the doctor, what diagnosis was given and if any other medical tests other than the x-ray were conducted.

You will also need to explain about the deterioration in your condition, and based on this information your solicitor should be able to advise you if it is likely to be worth your while to make a claim. If you stand to recover a significant level of compensation for the misdiagnosis of a fracture, a solicitor will contact the doctor and the hospital to determine whether the misdiagnosis constituted negligence, and after evidence of negligence has been collected and the case has been evaluated by a medical expert in the field, contact can be made with the doctor’s insurance company to negotiate a settlement for the misdiagnosis. Should this not be possible, proceedings can be issued and the claim for a misdiagnosis of a fracture will be taken to court to be resolved.