The client contacted our Medical Negligence Solicitors as he believed there had been a delay in diagnosing and treating a scaphoid fracture on his dominant hand. This is a common injury with young men and is easily diagnosed if the correct procedure is followed by hospital staff. Our client believed that this delay in treatment lead to him developing long-term complications and was concerned about the effects on his ability to work in the future.
As a result, he was required to take antibiotics over a course of 3 months, and had to stay at hospital for much longer than expected, as well as attend numerous outpatient appointments.
After taking on this A&E Medical Negligence claim, we started our investigation by obtaining a copy of the client’s medical records. We then appointed independent medical experts in emergency medicine and hand surgery to establish whether or not the care provided was of an acceptable standard and what the extent of our client’s injury was.
The medical experts’ reports concluded that some aspects of the care administered had been negligent and substandard, and that this had resulted in a very significant delay in treating the scaphoid fracture. It was a matter of good luck that our client avoided the more serious complication of avascular necrosis was also avoided.
Once a case was established, our Medical Negligence Solicitors sent a Letter of Claim to the NHS Hospital Trust setting out the basis on which it was considered the care had been negligent. This outlined what injuries our client had sustained and the loss of earnings that had been suffered as a consequence.
Court proceedings were pursued on our client’s behalf. The defendant NHS Hospital Trust alleged that our client was a rare example of someone who did not show the usual signs of a scaphoid fracture and that an x-ray would not have shown his injury.
The Hospital Trust continued to deny liability and maintained this until late in the litigation. However, following exchange of expert medical evidence and a joint meeting between the experts, the Hospital Trust agreed to settle on the same terms we had offered approximately 18 months before, rather than risk a Trial.
Our client was awarded damages of around £20,000 in compensation for the pain and suffering he endured, as well as loss of earnings.
The £20,000 figure reflected the fact that the fracture would have been shown if an x-ray had been done at the first appointment and so the delayed healing should have been avoided. Our client was a keen surfer and his enjoyment of surfing was reduced due to cold intolerance arising from the more severe injury he sustained.
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