When you go to see a doctor after suffering an injury that might have left you with an ankle fracture, you are entitled to expect that injury to be diagnosed correctly so that you may receive effective treatment. If a doctor misdiagnoses you through incompetence and you suffer the effects of that you could have the right to claim compensation for it.
What you need in order to make an effective claim for compensation is the basic knowledge of how medical negligence claims work and a good medical negligence solicitor. AccidentClaims.co.uk can provide you with a no win no fee medical negligence lawyer to take on your case and can provide you with the knowledge you need to decide whether or not you wish to go ahead with attempting a claim. That is what this guide is for, read through it if you have suffered as a result of having a misdiagnosed ankle fracture. After you’re done you can use the contact details at the bottom of the page to reach our team and ask them for help in starting a claim.
Choose A Section
- A Guide To Lateral Malleolus Fracture Compensation Claims
- What Are Missed And Misdiagnosed Fractures?
- Causes Of Misdiagnosed Fractures
- What Could Cause A Lateral Malleolus Fracture?
- Symptoms Of Lateral Malleolus Fractures
- How Fractures Are Diagnosed And Treated
- When You Could Claim For A Medical Misdiagnosis
- Claims Where A GP Missed A Lateral Malleolus Fracture
- Claims Where A Hospital Missed A Lateral Malleolus Fracture
- What Are The NHS Responsibilities To Patients?
- Limitation Periods For Medical Negligence Claims
- Missed Lateral Malleolus Fracture Compensation Calculator
- No Win No Fee Missed Lateral Malleolus Fracture Claims
- Start Your Missed Fracture Claim
- Supporting Information
This is a guide designed to get you acquainted with the basics of what personal injury claims are and how they work. We want you to come away from this knowing what a medical negligence claim is, and when you could make one. Specifically when it comes to the misdiagnoses of a fractured ankle.
We will go over a number of important details that you need to know before deciding to attempt to find a medical negligence lawyer. Most important among these things will be the personal injury claims time limit, and our personal injury claims calculator to help you get an idea of how much compensation you may be entitled to.
You will also hopefully come away from this guide understanding the chief benefit among many others of working with AccidentClaims.co.uk, our no win no fee claims offers. Throughout this guide and in the resources section at the end, you will find links to other resources which may prove useful to you in making a medical negligence compensation claim for a misdiagnosed fracture.
Fractures give away certain signs and symptoms when they occur. Often they cause pain, sometimes the victim can feel the sensation of the bone physically snapping or fracturing. They often cause swelling and difficulty in moving the body part affected (in this instances the ankle). Although in some cases it may be obvious that a bone has been broken (such as if the bone is protruding through the skin) it is still a doctors responsibility to perform an examination to confirm the presence of a broken or fractured bone. In some cases confirming the presence of a broken bone will require an X-ray scan, in others an X-ray will be required in order to confirm the exact extent and location of the fracture.
Misdiagnosis is when the signs of a broken bone are misinterpreted as being something else, essentially the doctor gets the diagnosis of the injury wrong. So, for example, a doctor may diagnose an ankle with a Lateral Malleolus fracture as merely being a sprained ankle. In other cases a doctor may miss the symptoms that indicate a broken bone altogether, resulting in no diagnosis being given. Misdiagnoses can happen despite a doctor doing all that is expected of them, but for the purpose of this article, we are referring to cases in which a doctor misdiagnoses a broken bone through negligence. Missed or misdiagnosed fractures can delay or prevent treatment of the broken bone, leading to the condition of the bone worsening. A lack of treatment can cause the patient to require more radical treatment or prevent the injury from healing properly altogether.
Misdiagnoses can be caused by factors other than the doctor’s negligence. But for the purposes of this article, we are discussing misdiagnosis cases caused by a doctors negligence. Negligence can be caused by a doctor failing to recognise signs of a fracture in either a physical examination or in an X-ray or in failing to communicate these signs effectively to other doctors, by referring a patient to receive an X-ray for example or by failing to pass on the results of an X-Ray correctly.
Like any bone, the Lateral Malleolus bone can be broken or fractured if it is put under pressure or struck by a blow of sufficient force. Since the Lateral Malleus is located in the ankle the most common way of sustaining a broken Lateral Malleus is by twisting or rolling the ankle. This can occur through having a slip or a trip or by sustaining a sports injury.
The Lateral Malleolus is a bone in the ankle. A Lateral Malleolus fracture will cause pain and swelling in the ankle as well as making it difficult to move the ankle. You would likely find it too unbearably painful to put much weight on a foot in which the Lateral Malleolus has been broken. Pain and swelling anywhere outside of the ankle could indicate something more severe than a broken Lateral Malleolus. Particularly pain in the instep of the ankle could indicate a bimalleolar equivalent fracture, a more severe fracture which could require surgery to recover from. Fractures which do not heal properly are known as unstable ankle fractures, which can lead to the early onset of arthritis and a loss of functionality in the ankle and foot.
When you are seen by a doctor, they will look for the signs of a broken ankle by searching for some of the symptoms listed in the section above. They will do this by performing a physical examination, probably while asking you questions and asking you to attempt to move your ankle. They will almost certainly also prescribe an x-ray regardless of whether they are able to confirm that you have a broken bone in their initial examination. An X-ray will allow the doctors to receive a clear image of the bone which will display any points at which it is fractured.
The key to treating broken bones is to get the bones back into place and then immobilising the body part so as to allow them to stay in place long enough to heal. In some cases, this can be performed without surgery, by applying splints, casts or slings. In other cases in which the damage is more severe, the patient may require surgery to manipulate the bones into position and then to implant pins, wires or staple into the bones to keep them together until they heal. These implants may or may not be removed after the bones have healed depending on the extent of the damage. In very bad cases parts or sections of the bones may have to be removed as they are too badly damaged to heal back into their normal position. This can lead to shortening or deformation of the limb.
Painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication may be given to the patient in order to aid with the healing process. Most lateral malleus fractures do not require surgery and can be allowed to heal on their own by resting the ankle and avoiding putting weight on it.
A valid claim can only be made in certain circumstances. There, first of all, has to be proof that the misdiagnosis was caused by negligence, you can’t claim for a misdiagnosis if there is no indication of wrongdoing on the doctors part. The second condition is that there needs to be proof that the misdiagnosis led to actual harm on your part. If the misdiagnosis was spotted before the condition worsened, or if somehow the injury healed by itself without any health problems that would not be expected of an injury which had been dealt with normally then there would not be grounds for receiving compensation.
GP’s are expected to be able to diagnose most forms of injuries and illnesses and to refer patients on to further testing and treatment. In cases in which they find themselves unable to tell for sure what exactly the patient’s condition is then they are obliged to refer them to specialists and scans to ensure that they can be diagnosed.
If GP fails to correctly diagnose a patient, when they reasonably should have been expected to, or if they fail to refer the patient to receive an X-ray when they suspect a broken bone, then a compensation claim could be made if it subsequently led to a worsening health condition.
Hospitals are places that patients with broken bones might go if they are rushed to A&E or if they need to receive an X-ray. Both of these scenarios could potentially lead to a patient being misdiagnosed due to medical negligence.
In A&E a patient might potentially have the signs of a broken ankle missed because doctors did not perform a thorough enough examination, or because doctors allowed themselves to become preoccupied with other injuries the patient had, both of these could be considered a breach of the doctor’s duty of care.
If an X-ray is being performed in hospital negligence could lead to it being performed incorrectly, such as the wrong part of the ankle being imaged, or an image being produced which is not clear enough. Doctors may also fail to spot the signs of a broken bone indicated by the image. Doctors or admin staff responsible for passing on the results of the X-ray could potentially fail to do so correctly.
All doctors and medical professionals in both the NHS and in private healthcare practitioners have a duty of care to their patients. This means that they are obliged to provide you with reliable healthcare of a certain quality, lapses of the quality of care or mistakes are not permitted. If lapses or mistakes do occur, such as misdiagnoses, then the doctor or their hospital can be liable for any compensation that is awarded for the harm it causes.
You are entitled to be seen by a GP as long as you are registered with one. The GP, in particular, you are registered with and wish to be seen by may choose not to see you if they have to prioritise other patients or if your behaviour has given them a reason to not see you, but you will be assigned a different doctor. You have the right to request second opinions, but they may not always be granted if your doctor deems it unnecessary. You have the right to make complaints about your treatment against the NHS, you can read more about that here.
You cannot make a medical negligence claim at any time, the claim has to be started within three years of you receiving a diagnosis of the health issues stemming from the diagnosis. After this point, you will, unfortunately, lose the right to make a claim for compensation. Don’t waste any time, contact a solicitor today.
When a person claims compensation the amount they are entitled to receive must be calculated. It is calculated based on two factors, the extent of their injury and lasting disabilities, and the amount of money that the injury has cost them. In the personal injury claims calculator, we have attached displays the rough amounts at which various types of injuries associated with lateral malleolus fractures are valued.
|Most serious Achilles tendon injury||Severing of achillies tendon and muscles in the ankle. Leading pain, swelling and lack of mobility.||In the region of £36,060|
|Serious Achilles tendon injury.||Where the severing of the tendon has been repaired but residual weakness and a limp and a full recovery is unlikely.||£23,460 to £28,240|
|Moderate Achilles tendon injury||Partial rupture of the Achilles tendon||£11,820 to £19,770|
|Minor Achilles tendon injury||Minor damage to the tendon caused by a turning of the ankle.||£6,820 to £11,820|
|Amputation of one foot||Loss of one foot either through traumatic severing or through surgical amputation.||£78,800 to £102,890|
|Very severe foot injury||Foot injuries causing permanent and severe pain and disability.||£78,800 to £102,890|
|Very severe ankle injury||Injuries leading to deformity and which, if repeated, could lead to a below knee amputation being required.||£46,980 to £65,420|
|Severe ankle injuries||Injuries requiring a lengthy period of treatment, including possibly the implementation of pins into the bone. Disabilities will persist to some degree despite surgery.||£29,380 to £46,980|
|Moderate ankle injuries||Injuries similar to those above but leading to less severe disabilities.||£12,900 to £24,950|
|Modest injuries.||In which either a full recovery has been made or any persisting symptoms are relatively minor.||Up to £12,900|
An injury can cost you money in various different ways for which you could be entitled to receive compensation.
- It could cause you to have to take time off work while you recover. If it leaves you with a lasting disability you could be forced to find a new job or to be unable to work permanently.
- You could face medical expenses if, for whatever reason, there is treatment you need for your recovery that you don’t receive from the NHS.
- You could face care expenses, the costs of having people look after you and see to your personal and household needs while you recover.
- You could be forced to have adaptions made to your home to accommodate a disability.
- You could have to attend physiotherapy sessions to regain the use and strength of your ankle.
- You may face travel expenses, such as having to use public transport to get to medical appointments by getting a car adapted to your needs.
Expenses have to be calculated accurately and corroborated in order for you to be entitled to be compensated for them. Make sure you keep all paperwork and receipts from your expenses.
We can allow you to make a claim without having to pay upfront costs or risk losing money through legal fees on an unsuccessful claim. This is done by offering all our claimants no win no fee agreements, an arrangement whereby the solicitor agrees to forfeit any payment if the claim is not successful, but receives a portion of the claimant’s compensation as payment if the claim is successful.
You can begin a claim easily by calling 0800 073 8801. This will put you straight through to one of our medical negligence claims team members. They will discuss with you your circumstances and what making a compensation claim will entail. If you have grounds for a case they will offer to put you in contact with a medical negligence solicitor from our panel.