Undiagnosed Wrist Fracture Leads To Medical Negligence Claim


The Law Of… X-raying Suspected Breakages

An undiagnosed wrist fracture led to one Simpson Millar client seeking justice. Victoria Clark, a Medical Negligence Solicitor with Simpson Millar, details a claim that resulted in a successful settlement.

Fall From A Ladder

It was a Wednesday like any other when Simpson Millar's client, who wishes to remain anonymous, suffered a fall. He was up a ladder at the time and the resulting impact with the floor led to him injuring both his head and wrist.

Attending his local Urgent Care Centre, our client was examined and sent on his way without treatment. What should have been a reasonably straightforward resolution to an accident in the home became more complex due to a mistake made by the medical professional responsible for administering his care.

Undiagnosed Wrist Fracture

The Urgent Care Centre failed to X-ray the client's wrist, which meant he suffered a great deal of pain and discomfort. Returning to the centre, he was finally X-rayed and it was subsequently discovered that he had suffered a fracture to his right wrist.

The delay in getting the broken bone diagnosed and treated subjected the client to otherwise avoidable pain and inconvenience, for which he decided to seek legal redress.

Alleged Medical Negligence

With Simpson Millar taking on the claim and Victoria Clark handling it, the hospital trust in charge of the Urgent Care Centre was sent a Letter of Claim.

The letter alleged the following medical negligence:

  • The hospital trust had failed to appropriately assess the injury
  • The hospital trust had failed to perform an X-ray.

It went on to claim that the delay in an effective diagnosis had caused the client unnecessary pain and suffering, along with loss of amenity. The latter meant that the undetected fracture prevented him from doing certain everyday activities.

Breach Of Duty Of Care

The hospital trust responded to the Letter of Claim and admitted a breach of duty of care, in that the wrist should have been X-rayed during the first visit. It also admitted the causation of unnecessary pain and suffering and loss of amenity to the point of correct diagnosis and treatment, with no long term after effects.

An offer in full and final settlement was made by the Defendant, which, following Victoria's advice, the client accepted.

Victoria Clark comments:

"When things go wrong, it is important that patients have the opportunity to seek legal redress. Fortunately, in the grander scheme of things, instances of medical negligence are relatively rare, but everybody has a right to seek justice if they have been injured as a result of substandard care."

"In this particular case, the damage sustained as a result of the negligence may appear relatively minor, as the extent of the injury would have been the same if it had been diagnosed on initial presentation. But that does not take anything away from the unnecessary pain the client experienced during the intervening period, which is what the claim was settled on."

"The hospital trust breached a duty of care to its patient by sending him home without an X-ray. That is unforgiveable and could have led to a more serious outcome. Thankfully it did not and hopefully the resulting claim has encouraged the trust to take steps to ensure a mistake like this does not happen again."

If you have suffered an injury due to medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. To discuss your case, contact our Medical Negligence Department today.

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