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Undiagnosed/Misdiagnosed Bone Fracture Claims

Any sort of broken or fractured bone can cause real problems if not spotted early enough and treated quickly and correctly. Some breaks may require lengthy surgery just to get at the fracture site and it may be necessary to insert and remove pins or plates which can lead to a great deal of discomfort and problems later.


Almost any bone in the body can be broken or fractured. Injuries run from the seemingly trivial broken finger or toe to the more obvious broken leg, arm or wrist. More serious breaks such as a fractured skull could lead to a brain injury.

However, unless the bone is visibly displaced, symptoms that accompany fractures such as pain, swelling and localised deformity can often be misinterpreted and misdiagnosed as a simple sprain or a strain. The best way to identify a bone fracture is through an x-ray or a CT scan.

The more common types of stable fracture involve a clean break with relatively few outward signs of injury, although a broken bone can penetrate the skin in a compound fracture. Comminuted fractures, where the bone shatters into several pieces, are frequently seen in falls from height.

Where a fracture involves a joint such as the hips, wrists, elbows, knees, thumb or fingers, there is an increased risk of developing arthritis in later years. Regardless of the severity, any type of cracked or broken bone can have a painful and ongoing impact on your health and mobility.

Whatever the cause of your broken or fractured bones or whether you have to endure the consequences of a misdiagnosed fracture, Shoosmiths' experienced national team of solicitors can help you with a claim to fund the prompt treatment, physiotherapy and rehabilitation you need.

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How do I make a bone fracture claim

Claims as a result of surgical error are fortunately relatively rare, but when they do occur it may be associated with subsequent surgeries to remove or modify previously inserted plates or screws.

The first thing to do is to contact an expert law firm like Shoosmiths which specialises in this type of work as soon as possible. Medical negligence claims are complex and often demanding and there is a time limit (usually three years) within which you can make a claim. It is important that your chosen law firm has both the expertise and established relationships with the appropriate medical experts whose evidence will be crucial to your claim.

How long will my bone fracture claim take

It is impossible to give a standard timescale in these cases. Some people may require additional surgery to correct problems arising from the initial accident. The possible health impact of all the procedures and complications you may have suffered will have to be considered as part of any settlement and that may take some time to establish.

We will need to obtain medical evidence from independent experts detailing exactly what injuries and damage you have suffered.

The way your opponent responds to your claim also influences how long things might take. Sometimes, they'll admit liability quickly on the basis of our evidence and accept our valuation. In other cases, they may require you to be assessed by their own expert and will value the case themselves.

At Shoosmiths, we need to take time to resolve your claim in your best interest. If you settle too early, you cannot re-open your claim should additional unforeseen problems arise later down the line. We will always aim to resolve your claim without undue delay and can sometimes obtain interim payments so you don’t have to wait until the end of the process before you receive some financial help.

If I have a bone fracture case

A lack of or delay in diagnosis of scaphoid fractures in particular can often require additional bone graft surgery that would not have been necessary had the fracture been diagnosed earlier.

Failures with post-operative care that lead to avoidable complications such as wound infection or sepsis could mean you would have a good case for making a claim.

More about bone fracture claims

Medical negligence claims frequently arise because fractures are missed in Accident and Emergency departments, because x-rays are misinterpreted or not taken at all.

Fractures of the scaphoid bone, one of eight small bones that make up the 'carpal bones' of the wrist are sometimes misdiagnosed. The injury usually results from a fall on an outstretched hand with the wrist extended. A cursory examination may reveal significant tenderness and there may be pain in the wrist accompanied by a decrease in grip strength.

Making a claim may be essential to make sure you do not have any financial worries, especially if you cannot work or enjoy a normal lifestyle due to your injury. If successful, your claim will ensure that you have the proper therapy and equipment to suit your needs as well as funding for comprehensive rehabilitation programmes to aid your recovery.

'Shoosmiths got me the rehab I needed and really helped with my family. They were fantastic throughout.'

Nicola Cooper, who suffered a serious brain injury after a seemingly trivial car accident.

Bone Fracture Claims

Most of our UK team are members of the Law Society Personal Injury Panel and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and have proven expertise in cases involving fractures or broken bones.

Why Shoosmiths

Who we work with

  • Brain Injury Group
  • Child Brain Injury Trust
  • Headway
  • SIA
  • Back Up
  • Macmillan
  • Danielles Flutterbyes
  • Forces
  • Bens Heroes Trust

Our accreditations

  • Accredited Personal Injury
  • Apil
  • Ama
  • Clinical Negligence
  • Legal 500
  • UK Chambers
  • The Society Of Clinical Injury Lawyers