Claim Compensation for a Failure to Diagnose a Fractured Bone

Can I Claim Compensation for a Failure to Diagnose a Fractured Bone?

Many people assume that it is always possible to claim compensation for failure to diagnose a fractured bone, as a failed diagnosis is a clear example of a medical error which should not have been allowed to occur with the range of diagnostic tests available to doctors today.

However, while it is certainly possible for a failed diagnosis of a fractured bone to form the basis of a personal injury claim, whether compensation can be recovered depends on the circumstances surrounding a misdiagnosis of a bone fracture and how the failure to diagnose the injury has affected the victim. Many factors can affect the right to claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis, which is the reason why article has been compiled. The aim is to clarify the criteria which must be satisfied before a compensation claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis can be made.

Various aspects of the claims process have been explained using specific examples, although it is not possible to cover every possible scenario under which compensation for a misdiagnosis of a fractured bone can be claimed. If you want to receive an accurate assessment of your eligibility to claim compensation when a doctor failed to diagnose a bone fracture, we advise you to contact a specialist medical negligence solicitor for a case assessment.

Medical Negligence and the Failure to Diagnose a Fractured Bone in a Foot

One of the first checks conducted by a solicitor when assessing eligibility to make a compensation claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis is whether the failed or delayed diagnosis of a fractured bone constitutes medical negligence. Doctors cannot always be expected to arrive at a correct diagnosis initially, especially if the symptoms of a fractured foot bone are not evident and if diagnostic test results show no sign of a fracture in any of the bones in the feet.

If a doctor failed to diagnose a bone fracture in a foot, and it would have been unreasonable to expect a correct diagnosis to have been made under the circumstances, the doctor will not be deemed to have been negligent. Without negligence there will not be grounds to claim compensation for failure to diagnose a fractured bone in the foot. Only when a failed diagnosis of a fractured bone resulted from the negligence of a medical professional will it be possible to claim compensation for a misdiagnosis of a fractured bone.

If a doctor or radiographer made an error which led to an incorrect fracture diagnosis which can be attributed to incompetence, poor professional performance or inexperience, it is likely that this will be classed as negligence and a claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis should be possible.

Has a Failure to Diagnose a Fractured Shinbone Caused Further Injury?

Even if a doctor failed to diagnose a bone fracture in a shinbone which can be attributed to medical negligence, it will only be possible to claim compensation for failure to diagnose a fractured bone if the patient’s health suffered as a direct consequence of the delay in diagnosis. If no further injury to the shinbone was caused, or no deterioration in health was suffered as a result of the error, there will not be grounds to make a claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis.

If the failed diagnosis of a fractured bone resulted in health complications which could have been avoided or if the recovery time has been significantly extended due to the delayed diagnosis, it should be possible for a compensation claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis to be made. Re-fracturing a partially healed shinbone would be a clear case of injury resulting from a fracture misdiagnosis and would be grounds for making a compensation claim.

Even if a claim can be made, whether it will be worthwhile taking legal action to recover compensation for a misdiagnosis of a fractured bone will depend on the degree to which pain, suffering and loss of amenity has increased.

Identifying the Third Party Responsible for a Failure to Diagnose a Fractured Finger

If a doctor failed to diagnose a bone fracture in a finger based on an x-ray analysis, and mistakes were made by the radiographer when taking x-rays of a patient, the doctor is unlikely to be deemed to have been negligent. This does not mean that it will not be possible to claim compensation for failure to diagnose a fractured bone in a finger, as compensation can be claimed for negligence by any medical professional involved in the diagnostic process.

A compensation claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis can be made for a failure to take a clear x-ray, for failing to position the patient’s hand correctly – and thus masking a finger fracture – or for confusing x-ray plates and supplying a doctor with another patients test results. In some cases negligence will be shared, such as when a second x-ray is not requested by a doctor due to unclear results or when a radiographer fails to check the doctor’s diagnosis; it is a standard hospital procedure for a radiographer to check x-rays within a couple of days and to look out for a failed diagnosis of a fractured bone.

Since the negligent third party – or third parties – must be identified before compensation for a misdiagnosis of a fractured bone can be claimed, it is vital that a full investigation of the case is conducted.

Investigating a Claim for a Failure to Diagnose a Fractured Hip

Medical negligence may appear to be clear cut; such as when a fractured hip has not been diagnosed which was clearly visible on an x-ray, but negligence must be proven before it is possible to claim compensation for the failure to diagnose a fractured bone. The circumstances under which a doctor failed to diagnose a bone fracture must be fully established, which means that all parties potentially involved in the failed diagnosis must be contacted to obtain opinions on whether mistakes were made, and how it is believed that a failed diagnosis of a fractured hip bone was made.

Two investigations must be conducted before a claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis can be initiated. One investigation is internal and is conducted by the by the HSE in state hospitals, the second should be made by an independent medical negligence solicitor. Only when both of these investigations have been completed will it be possible to establish and prove negligence, and initiate a compensation claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis.

The HSE must be notified of an undiagnosed hip fracture in writing before an investigation will be arranged, so a letter of complaint must be sent to the HSE. You should also speak to a medical negligence solicitor promptly so that the case for compensation for a misdiagnosis of a fractured bone can be investigated and evidence of medical negligence collected.

The Importance of Medical Opinion in a Claim for a Failure to Diagnose a Fractured Thumb

A solicitor may suspect a claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis is possible when a thumb bone fracture misdiagnosis has resulted from medical negligence. However even a highly experienced medical negligence solicitor cannot prove that the actions of a medical professional amounted to negligence. Negligence in a claim for having failed to diagnose a fractured bone can only be proven by a medical expert.

Consequently, before it is possible to claim compensation for failure to diagnose a fractured bone in a thumb, the case must be reviewed by a medical expert. A failed diagnosis of a fractured bone will be checked and tested to determine -‘on the balance of probabilities’ – whether a reasonably attentive doctor would have been able to diagnose the thumb fracture based on the evidence available. If any competent doctor would have failed to diagnose a bone fracture in the thumb under the same circumstances, it will not be possible to claim compensation for a misdiagnosis of a fractured bone.

Medical Consequences of a Misdiagnosis of a Fractured Rib

An additional test must be conducted by a medical expert before it is possible for a plaintiff to claim compensation for failure to diagnose a fractured bone. A fractured rib may lead to health complications being suffered even when it is correctly diagnosed. It must therefore be proven ‘on the balance of probabilities’ that the misdiagnosed rib fracture was the reason why a deterioration in health occurred before a claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis can be made.

If it can be established that health problems arose as a reasonable consequence of a failed diagnosis of a fractured bone, it will be possible for compensation to be claimed. If health problems could not have been prevented by obtaining a correct and timely diagnosis, it is not possible to claim compensation for a misdiagnosis of a fractured bone. In this scenario even though a doctor failed to diagnose a bone fracture in a rib, there were no medical consequences from this error.

Legal Procedures when Claiming for a Failure to Diagnose a Fractured Ankle

Once a compensation claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis has been assessed, and it has been proven that the reason why a doctor failed to diagnose an ankle bone fracture was due to medical negligence, the claim for a misdiagnosed ankle fracture can be initiated. A ‘Letter of Claim’ will then be drafted and sent to all negligent parties involved in the case, outlining why each is deemed liable to pay compensation for a misdiagnosis of a fractured bone in the ankle.

How the case proceeds from this point will depend on whether liability for the misdiagnosed ankle fracture is accepted. Unless there is exceptionally strong evidence to support the claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis, liability will be rejected and it will be necessary to issue court proceedings and take the claim before a judge to be decided. Court action is almost always required in order to obtain an appropriate settlement from the HSE – or an insurance company – for the failed diagnosis of a fractured bone.

The fact that litigation will almost certainly be required when you claim compensation for failure to diagnose a fractured bone in the ankle should not deter you from taking legal action. A medical negligence solicitor will take care of all aspects of the claim and will prepare the strongest possible case to be presented to the judge.

Out of Court Settlements for the Misdiagnosis of a Broken Shoulder

There are a number of reasons why the HSE – and the State Claims Agency – will not accept liability when you claim compensation for failure to diagnose a fractured bone in the shoulder. One of the main reasons is that there is little to be gained by the HSE accepting liability for the failure to diagnose a shoulder fracture.

It is rarely possible to prove with absolute certainty that a medical professional has been negligent and a health complication would have been avoided had a shoulder fracture been correctly diagnosed. When there is doubt about negligence, a defence against the claim will almost always be mounted.

In certain situations the Health Service Executive will agree to settle a compensation claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis out of court. If a doctor failed to diagnose a bone fracture due to incompetence for instance, and the value of a claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis is relatively low, it may be possible for a solicitor to negotiate a compensation settlement without litigation being necessary. This may be in the best interests of all parties, as the plaintiff will get compensation for the failed diagnosis of a fractured bone in the shoulder more quickly and the Health Service Executive will save on the legal costs of defending the claim.

Compensation Amounts for a Failure to Diagnose a Fractured Leg

Only after your right to claim compensation for failure to diagnose a fractured bone in the leg has been established can compensation amounts for a failed diagnosis of a fractured bone be accurately calculated. The case must also be reviewed by a medical professional to establish the medical facts before a solicitor can determine what can be included in a compensation claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis.

The calculation of compensation for a misdiagnosis of a fractured bone is rarely straightforward. Many aspects of a leg injury will need to be assessed; such as how the injury has affected the individual concerned, if the risk of suffering future health problems has been increased and how the prognosis for a full recovery has been affected.

If a doctor failed to diagnose a bone fracture in a leg, can all aspects of the health problems suffered be attributed to the misdiagnosis? In some cases the plaintiff may even be responsible – at least in part – for a deterioration in their own health, and this has potential to affect compensation amounts in a claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis considerably.

Contributory Negligence in Claims for a Misdiagnosis of a Fractured Arm

The contributory negligence of a plaintiff can affect the viability of a compensation claim for the failure to diagnose a fractured bone in the arm, and has the potential to reduce compensation amounts. If a doctor failed to diagnose a bone fracture, yet gave specific medical advice to a patient on treatment and this advice was ignored, a deterioration of an arm fracture may be partly attributed to the actions of the patient.

Compensation for a misdiagnosis of a fractured bone can only be recovered for the aspect of the re-injury of a fractured arm which can be directly attributed to the act of medical negligence. If it is established that an arm fracture has deteriorated due to negligence on the part of the plaintiff to a certain degree, the amount of damages that can be recovered in a compensation claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis will be reduced accordingly. Provided the failed diagnosis of a fractured bone in the arm was the primary reason for health problems being suffered, a personal injury claim will still be possible.

Timescale for Making a Diagnose Fracture Cheekbone Claim

A claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis should be made promptly after the misdiagnosis of a fractured cheekbone is discovered, when evidence of medical negligence is most recent. However, if the medical consequences of a failed diagnosis of a fractured bone are not immediately apparent, it may be wise to delay initiating the claim – under advisement from a medical negligence solicitor – until the full extent of health problems are fully understood.

However, certain restrictions do apply when delaying a claim. A compensation claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis must still be initiated within the time frame dictated by the Statute of Limitations – which is 24 months from the date of knowledge of a medical misdiagnosis.

If a doctor failed to diagnose a bone fracture in your cheek, and you are considering legal action, you should bear in mind this time restriction. You will not be able to claim compensation for a failure to diagnose a fractured bone outside of this claim window. Since it can take time to prepare and investigate a claim for compensation for a misdiagnosis of a fractured bone in the cheek, it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure your case does not become time-barred.

How to Claim for a Misdiagnosis of a Fractured Wrist on behalf of your Child

If a doctor failed to diagnose a bone fracture in the wrist when you took your child to the A&E department of a hospital, it is important to obtain legal advice about how you can claim compensation for failure to diagnose a fractured bone on behalf of your child.

The claims process is different to when a claim for a failed diagnosis of a fractured bone in the wrist is made by an adult, and additional legal procedures must to be completed. The courts need to be involved much earlier in the claim process, and will always be involved at some point in the claim; even if a settlement of compensation for a misdiagnosis of a fractured bone is offered by the Health Service Executive.

The exact procedure for making a compensation claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis on behalf of a child is beyond the scope of this article and is best explained by a medical negligence solicitor. Suffice to say that it is possible for a parent or legal guardian to make a claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis on behalf of the child by taking legal action as a ‘next friend’ for the child.

How to Start a Compensation Claim for a Bone Fracture Misdiagnosis

A considerable amount of information has been provided in this article, some of which may not be relevant to your compensation claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis. To receive specific advice relevant to your own circumstances and to find out how you can claim compensation for failure to diagnose a fractured bone we recommend speaking with a specialist medical negligence solicitor.

It is important to have eligibility to claim for a failed diagnosis of a fractured bone confirmed, and to find out provisionally how much compensation for a misdiagnosis of a fractured bone may be recovered; as this will undoubtedly influence your decision to claim for a bone fracture misdiagnosis. Once you have been made aware of your legal rights, and specific legal advice has been obtained, you can take your time to decide whether you wish to proceed with legal action against a negligent doctor or medical professional.



This is an Information site only – if you feel you have a potential claim, you should discuss your situation with a solicitor registered with the Law Society of Ireland.