Misdiagnosed wrist fracture ends carpenter’s career

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We are dealing with a clinical negligence misdiagnosis claim for a young man whose career as a carpenter has been wrecked by the failure of doctors at two hospitals to spot a complex wrist fracture.

Our client, an experienced carpenter with City & Guilds qualifications, suffered what seemed to be a straightforward broken wrist back in 2012 when the car in which he was a passenger crashed. The injury was treated as a simple fracture by surgeons at Frenchay hospital in Bristol, and the North Devon District hospital in Barnstaple, North Devon.

Unfortunately, it was not a simple fracture; there was a complex dislocation that both hospitals completely missed, despite it being clear on various X rays.

Regrettably misdiagnosis claims against health professionals are all too common, though for legal liability to be established there must be evidence that the defendant made a clear error that would not otherwise be expected in those particular circumstances.

As a result of the misdiagnosis the fracture was not treated as it should have been, leaving the client with constant pain and permanent restriction in the wrist.  He is now unable to work as a carpenter and since he is still only 30, and limited in what he can do, he has a very significant claim for future loss of earnings.  The overall value of the case is likely to exceed £350,000.

Our client approached us in 2015, after his original solicitors had settled his personal injury claim without taking into account the failures of the hospitals involved, despite being aware of them. Fortunately, he was still within the legal time limit for bringing a further claim in respect of the clinical negligence.

His case underlines how important it is for personal injury solicitors to consider the wider legal issues. It is not uncommon for injuries sustained in a accident to be aggravated or worsened by inadequate medical treatment. Sometimes such medical complications can be regarded as a natural extension of the original incident and treated as injury that ‘flows’ from that breach of duty. However in other circumstances an act of medical negligence has to be viewed as a new and entirely separate cause of action, requiring a parallel claim to me made against the health professionals involved.

In this case it is fortunate that the client consulted us when he did. Strict time limits apply to civil claims and his case against the hospitals could easily have become statute barred if it had been left much longer. That might in turn have given rise to a professional negligence claim against his previous solicitors, but luckily that problem was averted.

Our team of clinical negligence lawyers are here to help with any medical claim, including misdiagnosis cases like the one highlighted here. We operate a FREE LEGAL HELPLINE which people can call for initial legal guidance on a free of charge, no obligation basis. If it is a case where we feel we can assist we will provide you with details of the funding options open to you, including our very popular No Win – No Fee scheme. So, if you feel you have been the victim of medical negligence and would like to know where you stand then give us a call on Freephone 0808 139 1606. Alternatively you can email us at [email protected]