If a fractured scaphoid injury is missed or misdiagnosed due to medical negligence and does not heal properly, it can cause pain and increase the risk of osteoarthritis in later life. In this guide to scaphoid fracture misdiagnosis claims, we’ll review what types of incidents could lead to a scaphoid fracture, why the injury might be missed, and when you could make a claim for compensation.
To find out more about claiming for a misdiagnosed scaphoid injury, please continue reading. Alternatively, please call 0800 6524 881 when you’re ready to begin your claim. Our team will review your claim for free and provide expert advice on your options. Where your case appears to be strong enough, we could appoint a No Win No Fee personal injury solicitor to help you claim scaphoid fracture compensation.
What Is A Scaphoid Fracture?
There are numerous small bones that are arranged together intricately to form the wrist joint. One of these bones is called the scaphoid bone. One of the most common reasons for a scaphoid injury is when someone puts their hand out to protect themselves when trying to break their fall. Falling on the outstretched hand puts tremendous force on the wrist that can result in a fracture of the scaphoid bone.
The anatomy of the wrist with its elaborate network of numerous small bones and tendons makes a fracture of the scaphoid bone very difficult to detect even with an X-Ray. Most doctors miss it either because the fracture was so tiny or because the view of the X-Ray was not correct. Whatever the reason the scaphoid fracture was not detected, it could amount to clinical negligence and you may be entitled to file a claim for scaphoid injury compensation claim.
Symptoms And Long Term Effects Of Scaphoid Injuries
Immediately after falling on your outstretched hand, pain and swelling around the wrist and tenderness in the area just below the thumb are common symptoms that you have injured and most probably fractured your scaphoid bone. The swelling is from the blood from the fractured bone filling into the wrist joint.
Most people dismiss the initial pain as a sprain. They apply a cold pack over the area and hope the injury heals by itself with time. However, the wrist heals by itself permanently in very rare cases.
In most cases, the wrist seems to get better temporarily because the pain decreases but the symptoms can resurface sharply when using the wrist to perform some chore or moving the wrist in certain directions.
In many other cases, the bone fails to heal from the outset and the injury worsens rapidly developing into what is known in medical terms as a ‘nonunion’. Gradual increase in pain when performing certain tasks is one of the most common symptoms of a nonunion of the scaphoid bone. If it is not treated on time, the nonunion can eventually lead to degenerative arthritis in the wrist joint.
Are You Eligible To Claim Compensation For A Misdiagnosed Scaphoid Fracture ?
If you have injured your wrist and fractured your scaphoid bone, you probably visited A&E, your GP, or a minor injuries unit for treatment. It may be possible to make a medical negligence claim for a misdiagnosed scaphoid fracture if:
- The medical professional who treated you misdiagnosed or missed your scaphoid injury which means they breached their duty of care towards you; and
- Any pain and suffering you suffered afterwards was caused by the misdiagnosis.
Medical negligence claims aren’t always easy to prove. For example, if your scaphoid fracture was so small that no medical professional would’ve been able to spot it, then your claim would be unlikely to succeed. However, if you weren’t sent for an X-ray or your X-ray was misread, you may have the grounds to proceed. Our advice would be to speak to our team for free legal advice to see whether you have the grounds to proceed.
How Much Compensation For A Scaphoid Fracture?
How much compensation for a scaphoid fracture you might receive isn’t a set amount and will usually be separated in to two different parts:
- General damages. This part will look at any pain, suffering and loss of amenity your injuries have caused.
- Special damages. Here you’ll claim for any costs incurred because of your injuries. Examples of special damages include medical expenses, lost earnings, travel costs and care costs.
To prove how serious your injuries are, a medical assessment might be required. If so, our solicitors can usually make local bookings so you won’t need to travel too far. You will be examined by an independent specialist who will provide a report to your solicitor explaining your prognosis.
Scaphoid Injury Compensation Amounts
In this section, we have provided a compensation calculator to show what level of compensation for general damages could be paid for a scaphoid injury. The figures we’ve used come from the Judicial College as their guidelines are used by lawyers, courts, and insurers when settling claims. While we can’t guarantee any of the figures listed, we’ve provided the estimated compensation range for certain injuries. If you call our team, they will be able to provide a more accurate estimate for you.
- £44,690 – £56,180 compensation where there’s complete loss of function of the wrist.
- £22,990 – £36,770 compensation where there’s significant and permanent disability.
- £11,820 – £22,990 compensation where there’s permanent disability but less serious than above.
- Rarely above £9,620 in compensation where recover takes longer but is likely to be a full recovery.
- £3,310 – £4,450 compensation for a minor scaphoid fracture.
Please remember that the amounts listed here are solely based on your injuries. If you’ve suffered financially because of your injuries, this could be factored into your claim as well.
Common Accidents Leading To Fractured Scaphoid Injury Claims
In this section, we’re going to look at some common accidents that can lead to a fractured scaphoid injury claim. They include:
- Tripping on a raised paving slab.
- Falling down a flight of stairs because of a faulty handrail.
- Sporting injuries during contact sports.
- Tripping over objects in a warehouse.
- Being knocked off a bicycle or motorbike.
- Falling over because a trip hazard wasn’t visible due to poor lighting.
- Where a passenger in a road traffic collision automatically puts their hands out at the time of the crash.
As you can see, there are many different scenarios in our list (and plenty that are not) that could result in a fractured scaphoid injury. Importantly, some of these could entitle you to make a wrist injury claim against somebody else if their negligence led to the accident. We are able to help if you’ve been injured in this way. However, this guide is about scaphoid injury misdiagnosis claims so we’ll concentrate on why you could claim in this scenario from here on in.
So, why could you claim against a medical professional for misdiagnosing a scaphoid injury? Well, it might be possible if:
- Your GP failed to refer you to the hospital.
- If your scaphoid fracture was missed due to not being X-rayed when you visited A&E.
- Where your X-ray was not conclusive but further tests were not performed.
- If your scaphoid fracture was not immobilised properly.
- Where you weren’t given advice on how to protect your injury while it healed.
Remember, these actions alone may not be enough for you to claim compensation. Instead, they must be the direct cause of any suffering you endure afterwards. Therefore, to help provide evidence for your claim, it is a good idea to keep a diary (with photos if necessary) of the suffering you endured and any activities you were unable to complete. Additionally, your solicitor will request copies of your medical records as further evidence to support your case.
Time Limits For Missed Scaphoid Fracture Claims
When making a compensation claim for a misdiagnosed or missed scaphoid fracture, you will need to adhere to strict time limits. The time limit in this instance is 3-years. Normally, this would begin from the date you were injured. However, in the case of a missed or misdiagnosis fracture, your limitation period would start from the date you finally found out about your injuries.
Our advice is to begin the claims process as soon as you can. By doing so, you’ll avoid missing out on compensation because of a late claim and you’ll give your solicitor time to gather evidence to support your case.
If your child has injured their scaphoid, then the 3-year time limit won’t apply until they are 18. A parent, guardian, or responsible adult is allowed to claim on the child’s behalf at any time before their 18th birthday. Where a claim isn’t made, when the child turns 18, they’ll have 3-years to make their own claim.
If you would like to check how long you have left to start your scaphoid fracture misdiagnosis claim, please contact our team today.
How Personal Injury Solicitors Can Help With Scaphoid Fracture Misdiagnosis Claims
Claiming for compensation for a misdiagnosed scaphoid fracture can be tricky and you must provide evidence to support every penny you are claiming for. If you can’t prove your case in a clear and concise way, you may not receive any compensation at all, or you might receive a reduced settlement amount.
We think that the best way to win a scaphoid fracture misdiagnosis claim is to let a specialist solicitor represent you. If you work with a solicitor from our team, they will manage the claims process for you. They’ll start by gathering evidence before filing the claim. Importantly, they will deal with any questions or objections made by the defendant on your behalf. That means you won’t face any complex legal or medical questions.
During the claims process, you’ll be kept up to date about what’s happening. You will also be able to contact your solicitor if you have any questions. Should a settlement offer be made, your solicitor will discuss it with you and advise you on whether to accept it or not.
If you are ready to start a personal injury claim with us, please feel free to call us on 0800 6524 881 for a free consultation. Remember, if your scaphoid fracture misdiagnosis claim is accepted by a solicitor, you’ll benefit from their No Win No Fee service.
Updated 12th October 2021.