How To Make An Orthopaedic Injury Claim – Compensation For Orthopaedic Negligence

Orthopaedic injury claim guide

Orthopaedic injury claim guide

By Fern Easton. Last Updated 5th March 2021. Welcome to our guide on making an orthopaedic injury claim. Have you suffered an orthopaedic injury such as a break, fracture, dislocation, impingement, strain, or hernia? If the orthopaedic injury was caused through no fault of your own, you could make an orthopaedic injury claim for compensation. Similarly, if you have had an orthopaedic injury worsened because of medical negligence, then you could also be owed compensation for the suffering, pain and loss of amenity it has caused, as well as for any expenses you’ve incurred or the cost of any specialist treatment.

Accident Claims UK will provide you with an excellent personal injury lawyer to handle your claim. Our solicitors have up to three decades of experience handling accident claims and an excellent track record of winning cases. They will always push to win the best possible settlement, so your claim won’t be undervalued. We can also offer you the option of entering into a No Win No Fee Agreement, which ensures you have the most financial protection possible.

To begin your claim, get in touch today on 0800 073 8801. One of our helpful advisors will have a chat with you about your accident and will determine whether or not you have grounds to make a claim.

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A Guide To Orthopaedic Injury Claims

If you have suffered an orthopaedic injury as a result of an accident caused by negligence, you could seek compensation. Similarly, if you have been harmed because of a mistake made by a doctor or surgeon whilst you were having treatment for an orthopaedic injury, you may be able to make a medical negligence claim for compensation. 

In the sections below, we will explain what an orthopaedic injury is and what types of orthopaedic injury exist. We will also look at what medical errors or types of surgical negligence can result in a patient’s existing injury being worsened. We will also guide you through the process of making an orthopaedic injury claim and will help you to estimate the amount of compensation you could claim using our personal injury claims calculator.

Read on to find out more, or begin your claim now by contacting Accident Claims UK using our online claims form, or call us for your free orthopaedic accident claims consultation.

What Is An Orthopaedic Injury

An orthopaedic injury is one that affects the musculoskeletal system, which includes the bones, spinal column, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Orthopaedic injuries are often caused by trauma resulting from the likes of a slip, trip or fall, an accident at work, being assaulted, or a road traffic accident. Globally, orthopaedic injuries account for 25% of healthcare expenditure. In the UK, hip fractures are the cause of 700,000 hospital admissions each year. Because orthopaedic injuries can cause long-lasting pain and mobility issues, compensation payouts can be high.

Types Of Orthopaedic Injuries

As mentioned above, the musculoskeletal system is made up of many parts, and unsurprisingly, many types of injuries can be sustained, such as:

  • Breaks
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations
  • Hernia (sports hernia)
  • Impingement
  • Sprains

Orthopaedic injuries can also happen because of medical negligence that can occur during surgery or other d orthopaedic treatment, such as physiotherapy.

Medical errors can also happen during orthopaedic surgery, which can lead to the patient suffering further injuries such as an infection or nerve damage.

How Are Orthopaedic Injuries Treated?

There are two types of treatment for orthopaedic injuries. The first type of injury is trauma and orthopaedics. This deals with orthopaedic injuries that were caused by traumatic accidents. The second kind is the treatment of congenital or degenerative conditions such as arthritis. 

What treatments can be used for orthopaedic injuries? Well, they can range from having broken limbs put in casts to having a hip replacement. Let’s look at some examples of treatment for traumatic orthopaedic injury.

  • Corrective surgery: examples of corrective surgery could include kneecap realignment.
  • Bone fracture repair: broken and fractured bones are often treated by keeping the bone in place, for example, by keeping the bone in a cast or a splint, whilst it repairs itself. However, severe fractures and breaks may need surgery to repair. This is done by inserting rods, pins, screws or plates to hold the bone together whilst it heals. A bone graft may also be used if the bone has been shattered.
  • Joint Arthroscopy: this is a form of keyhole surgery. A camera (arthroscope) is inserted into a small incision. It can be used to look for and diagnose damage to the joints or soft tissues. If necessary, keyhole surgery can then be carried out.
  • Arthroplasty: arthroplasty is an operation that involves replacing a joint with an artificial joint; it can be used to treat conditions such as arthritis or osteoarthritis.

What Mistakes Could Be Made In Orthopaedic Surgery?

Many types of orthopaedic injuries need to be treated in many different ways. This means there are many examples of medical negligence and surgical negligence that can worsen an orthopaedic injury or create new injuries and illnesses. Below are some examples of surgical negligence errors which can occur:

  • Wrong-site surgery, where the wrong part of the body is operated on unnecessarily.
  • Negligence in surgery, leading to the patient contracting a postoperative infection.
  • Negligence in surgery, causing nerve injuries and/or nerve damage. Similarly, a surgeon accidentally slicing through soft tissues can cause injuries.
  • A surgeon inserting the incorrect size of the prosthesis during surgery.
  • A foreign body being left inside the patient, which will require further surgery to remove.
  • Damage during keyhole surgery.

We will now look at two other types of clinical negligence that can result in orthopaedic claims.

Missed Fractures During Treatment

Fractures are diagnosed by taking an x-ray. The vast majority of orthopaedic surgeons will evaluate fractures properly. However, there have been instances where missed fracture negligence has occurred. This means that the fracture was not seen during the diagnostic process. As a result, the fracture will go untreated, and the person may suffer ongoing pain or mobility problems. In the instance of a spinal column fracture, the patient may suffer from irreversible paralysis.

Orthopaedic injury and medical negligence statistics

Breaking or suffering another kind of injury to a bone can be a stressful experience. You may already be wondering what to expect at your first orthopaedic appointment in the UK, and nobody wants to be in a position where they need to make a claim for medical negligence. NHS Resolution, formerly the NHS Litigation Authority, is responsible for handling claims against the NHS, including clinical and non-clinical claims. Within this, the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts is the scheme responsible for settling claims made against NHS bodies where the incident in question occurred after April 1995. The graph below shows that the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts has the largest value of any of the indemnity schemes across NHS Resolution.

Clinical negligence claims statistics graph

Clinical negligence claims statistics graph.

Statistics released by NHS Resolution show that in the year 2019/20, they received over 11,000 clinical negligence claims, which was an increase of 9.3% on the previous year. 15,550 claims were settled in 2019/20, including cases where damages have been agreed upon, but costs have not yet been settled.

Although NHS Resolution doesn’t release data on claims of specific injury kinds, a study from the Royal College of Surgeons England analysed 216 claims against the NHS relating to hip fractures in a 10 year period. They found that 20% of the claims made from 2011-2015 were related to delays in treatment. Failure to interpret or carry out x-rays accounted for 17.2% of claims, where medical error or inadequate care resulted in 16.4% of claims.

[Source: https://publishing.rcseng.ac.uk/doi/pdf/10.1308/rcsann.2016.0277]

Hip Replacement Orthopaedic Negligence

What medical complications could you experience as a result of negligence in hip surgery? Surgical negligence in hip replacement operations can include the surgeon accidentally mutilating the patient, causing soft tissue and bone damage. Symptoms could include difficulty walking, swelling, a foot drop, numbness and pseudotumors around the hip. 

Because medical practitioners such as surgeons, doctors, nurses and anaesthetists have a duty of care to provide you with proper standards of care. If you experience an injury, illness, or the worsening of your pre-existing medical complaint, the hospital or medical organisation that the doctor or surgeon works for could be held liable for your injuries.

Although this personal injury claims guide has focused on orthopaedic injuries that were worsened by medical negligence, this isn’t the only type of orthopaedic claim that can be made. If you’ve endured another type of orthopaedic injury that occurred because of the negligence on the part of another party that owed you a duty of care, then you could seek compensation. This can include a claim for an accident in a shop, a claim for an accident in a restaurant, a claim for an accident at work, or a claim for a road traffic accident. We will now look at how to claim compensation in more detail and advise you on how to begin your claim.

Orthopaedic Injury Claims Compensation Calculator

If you make a successful medical negligence claim or personal injury claim for an orthopaedic injury, your claim may be awarded in two parts. The primary part of your claim will be general damages. General damages compensate the claimant for the suffering, pain and loss of amenity experienced as a result of their injuries. More serious and debilitating injuries are awarded higher amounts of compensation. Claimants can also be awarded special damages to reimburse them for any out of pocket expenses that they may experience. We will look at what special damages you could claim below.

To estimate how much money could be able to claim in orthopaedic negligence compensation, you can use our personal injury claims calculator. This can estimate approximate amounts of compensation you could claim in general damages according to the type and severity of the injury that you have experienced. The personal injury claims calculator does not include special damages you could claim.

Type Of InjurySeverity Of The InjuryCommentsSettlement with 10% Uplift
Le Fort fractures of frontal facial bonesSingle levelLe Fort Fractures of Frontal Facial Bones£22,350 - £34,480
Multiple fractures of facial bonesSingle levelThe injury may involve some permanent level of facial deformity.£13,970 - £22,470
Cheekbone fractureLevel (i)This is a serious fracture which requires surgery and which leaves you with lasting consequences.£9,570 - £14,810
Jaw fracturesLevel (i)Multiple or serious fractures which require treatment over a long time. There may be a risk of arthritis in the future.£28,610 - £42,730
Chest injuryLevel (g)Fracture of the ribs or a soft tissue injury lasting a few weeks.Up to £3,710
Neck injurySeriousSerious fractures of the neck or similar levels of soft tissue injuries.£61,710 - £122,860
Back injuryModerateThis could present as a compression or crush fracture to the back, or a similar level of soft tissue injury.£36,390 - £65,440
Shoulder injurySeriousSuch injuries could present as a fractured humerus or other type of injury to the shoulder.£11,980 - £18,020
Clavicle fractureSingle levelHow much compensation you could be awarded would be based on the severity of your fracture.£4,830 - £11,490
Pelvic or hip injuriesSevereThere could be an extensive fracture of the hips or the pelvis.£73,580 - £122,860

Special Damages Which You May Be Compensated For

Another reason why people make orthopaedic injury claims is for special damages. Special damages reimburse the claimant for any expenses that they may have incurred or will incur in the future because of their injuries. This can make a big difference to the injured person’s quality of life. For example, if you have experienced a debilitating injury due to negligent orthopaedic surgery, which requires an expensive operation to fix and physiotherapy to help you recover, you could claim the medical expenses needed to fund your treatment. Similarly, if the injuries have left you with a disability, you can claim special damages to pay for any home adaptations, car adaptations or mobility equipment you are now in need of. Let’s look at some common special damages claims that people make:

  • Medical expenses: the likes of the cost of an operation, medication, physiotherapy or any other type of medical treatment can be recovered.
  • Travel expenses: this can include the cost of taking a taxi to the hospital, hospital parking or seeking alternative transport if you were temporarily unable to drive.
  • Mobility equipment expenses: this can pay for a wheelchair, crutches, or anything you may need to stabilise your injured limb.
  • Home adaptation or car adaptation expenses, including adapting your bathroom or installing a stairlift.
  • At home care expenses: this could include funds to pay for a professional carer, if needed, or to compensate a friend or family member who looked after you after your injuries.

Whether it’s a broken bone, fractured bone, impingement, hernia, sports hernia, sprain, dislocation, or an injury that was caused by medical negligence, you could be entitled to make an orthopaedic injury claim for compensation. Call Accident Claims UK to speak to an advisor now and see how much you could claim.

No Win No Fee Orthopaedic Injury Claims

At Accident Claims UK, we believe that everyone should be entitled to pursue a personal injury claim if they’ve been injured through no fault of their own. That’s why all of our clients are given the option to enter into a No Win No Fee Agreement. Should your claim be unsuccessful, your solicitors won’t seek any payment from you for their fees. If you do win, your solicitor will charge you a success fee, which will be deducted from your compensation. This fee is capped at 25%. 

Call Accident Claims UK to see if you can make a no win no fee personal injury claim for compensation. We can explain the benefits of making a no win no fee claim for an orthopaedic injury and answer any questions you may have as well.

Why Choose Accident Claims UK?

Accident Claims UK is a well-respected personal injury firm that handles compensation claims across the country. Our solicitors have up to 30 years of experience handling personal injury cases and will always push to get you as much compensation as possible. And they’ll be on hand whenever you have a query or would like an update on the progress of your case.

Start An Orthopaedic Injury Claim

To begin your orthopaedic claim for compensation, call Accident Claims UK to see if you have legitimate grounds to claim compensation. One of our advisors will speak to you in-depth about your accident or medical negligence experience, and if they can see that you have legitimate grounds to claim, we will connect you with an excellent personal injury lawyer to handle your claim. Call now to start your claim and see how much compensation you could be owed.

Supporting Information

In the following resources, you could find out more about similar and related types of medical negligence claims.

Surgical Negligence Claim Guide – How To Claim Compensation For A Surgical Negligence Injury
In this guide, we look at how you could claim compensation if you have been harmed by surgical negligence.

How To Make A Hospital Negligence Claim – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?
In this guide, we look at how to make a compensation claim if harmed by medical negligence whilst under the care of a private or NHS hospital.

Clinical & Medical Negligence Claims Guide – How To Claim Compensation
There are numerous different circumstances in which clinical or medical negligence could lead to a patient being harmed; in this guide, you could find out how to claim compensation.

External Guides

In addition to the information and resources presented in this guide, you can find out more about Orthopaedics, surgery and Orthopaedic medicine.

A Guide To Trauma And Orthopaedic Services From Guy’s And St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust
In this guide from the Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Trust, you can learn more about services provided under this branch of medicine.

An NHS Guide For Doctors On Practising Trauma And Orthopaedic Surgery
This NHS guide focuses on providing information for medical practitioners in the areas of Orthopaedics and Orthopaedic Surgery.

Thank you for reading our guide on how to make an orthopaedic injury claim.

Written by HC

Edited by REB