Medical Negligence

£13,500 damages secured for man whose medical negligence compensation claim was closed by another firm

man-whose-fracture-went-undiagnosed-was-successfully-represented-in his-medical-negligence-compensation-claim-by-hudgell-solicitors

Helena Wood

Team Leader & Associate Chartered Legal Executive

5 min read time

A man who was awarded a £13,500 compensation settlement in a medical negligence claim has thanked Hudgell Solicitors for successfully taking on his case after another law firm told him he wouldn’t be successful.

The man, 33, had suffered a fracture to bones in the middle of his right foot in an accident but was told it was just bruised when attending at his local hospital.

In the coming weeks and months, he visited his GP on a number of occasions due to the level of pain not easing, but they relied on the information from the hospital which stated it was bruised and that he needed to walk on it to get the circulation going, referring him to physiotherapy.

As he was continuing to struggle and seeing no benefit from the sessions, the physiotherapist advised the man to go back to the hospital, and despite being sent from minor injuries to A&E, he was still not diagnosed or referred to a fracture clinic.

It was not until seeing his GP again in March 2020 – four months after his first visit to hospital – that he was referred to the Fracture Clinic, where an MRI scan confirmed his foot was broken.  He was provided with a walking boot and later had steroid injections and underwent a surgical fusion.

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Initial legal claim was dropped

The man initially sought legal advice from another firm which closed his case after their initial investigations on the basis of the fracture not being clear to the radiologist when interpreting the initial x-ray images.

However, he then turned to Hudgell Solicitors, and our team secured the £13,500 settlement from NHS Resolution, which handles compensation claims against hospital trusts. The case was successful as the hospital should have done further tests given his pain and inability to weight bear.

“It was a really frustrating time because I was in a great deal of pain, not only when trying to walk but even when sitting at home as my foot was so swollen and I had to keep it raised, “ said the man.

I kept going back to hospital to be told it was not broken and was badly bruised and swollen, and I thought it must be something more serious, but you trust the specialists to get it right.

“When it was eventually diagnosed I then faced a long wait for treatment because we had gone into the Covid lockdowns, and it could have been sorted well before then. It really impacted on my mental health because I was in so much pain for so long.

Patient should have been referred to fracture clinic

Medical negligence specialist Helena Wood led the case on his behalf, negotiating the £13,500 settlement after NHS Resolution initially offered just £1,000.

“This was an interesting case as we took on this client after another legal firm had closed his case following a review of medical records,” she said.

“It was clear there had been a delay in diagnosis and so we instructed an independent Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon to review our client’s medical records and consider the treatment he had received.

“The expert was critical that the injury took months to diagnose and agreed an earlier referral to the fracture clinic would have led to earlier diagnosis.

“The case was pursued against two hospital trusts involved in our client’s treatment, one for failing to correctly interpret the radiology, and another for failing to follow up and refer to the fracture clinic.

“It was our case that he should have been referred to the Fracture Clinic due to ongoing symptoms, despite the fracture not being obvious on the x-ray. This would have led to earlier diagnosis and treatment, and this was admitted by NHS Resolution.

“Fractures often don’t show on radiology in the first few days and can be quite subtle on x-rays, particularly a Lisfranc fracture, which our client had suffered.

“It is not always negligent not to diagnose them on the first attendance, but the extent of symptoms should be considered and if someone cannot weight bear and is in significant pain, it should be considered as a potential fracture regardless of what the initial images show.

“Due to the initial delay in diagnosis and treatment, our client suffered considerably throughout the Covid pandemic due to being in such pain and unable to weight bear or exercise, which understandably caused him to feel very isolated and depressed.

Due to the combination of the negligent delay and the delay caused by the pandemic, he has only recently undergone surgery. I was pleased to be able to help him to achieve a positive outcome to his claim after all he had been through.

The man added: “I was delighted with the support and help of Helena at Hudgells. I was disappointed when the previous firm said they couldn’t continue my case and I am glad I decided to try again. Helena helped me through every stage and her support was so important after what had happened with the previous claim. She got a great result for me.”

Scan & X-ray Errors

Scan and X-ray errors are a form of medical negligence.

Errors made interpreting X-rays and scans can result in damaging misdiagnoses or your condition being completely undiagnosed.

This can lead to the condition worsening and can have life-changing consequences. Our team of medical negligence solicitors can help you work through the details of what happened within your specific experience and identify key aspects of a potential case.

If you seek compensation for a medical negligence claim, get in touch with us today.

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Read more: Scan & X-ray error compensation claims

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