Can I claim for the misdiagnosis of a bone fracture on behalf of my daughter? I think that the doctors at hospital should have diagnosed a fractured collar bone from the x-ray that was taken.
When a doctor fails to correctly diagnose a broken bone or fracture from an x-ray, the patient is usually legally entitled to make a claim for the misdiagnosis of a bone fracture.
It may not always be possible for a patient to see a highly experienced doctor in an emergency room; however any doctor working in an A&E department should have enough experience to be able to identify the signs of a fractured collar bone. If there was any doubt as to the correct diagnosis, the doctor concerned should have consulted another doctor to confirm the diagnosis, referred the case to a specialist or arranged for further diagnostic tests to be conducted.
However, if a reasonably competent doctor would not have been able to correctly diagnose a fractured collar bone from the symptoms your daughter was experiencing, and an x-ray failed to show any signs of a bone fracture, it is unlikely that a claim for a failure to diagnose a bone fracture will be successful.
A claim for the misdiagnosis of a bone fracture can only be made if there was a failure in a duty of care – such as receiving a misdiagnosis – and if there was negligence. A doctor will not be deemed to have been negligent by diagnosing a fractured bone as a bone bruise, muscle or ligament injury if, under the circumstances, a perfectly reasonable diagnosis was made based on the evidence available at the time.
If the doctor failed to arrive at the correct diagnosis and the fracture could be seen on the x-ray, it should be possible to make bone fracture misdiagnosis claims, provided the fracture deteriorated as a result of the delay in diagnosis, or if your daughter suffered other health problems that would have prevented had the collarbone fracture been correctly identified at the time.
To establish this and to prove negligence of the doctor – or another medical professional such as the radiographer – you will need to engage the services of a personal injury* solicitor, as an investigation into how the bone fracture was misdiagnosed must be conducted.
Once the right to make bone fracture misdiagnosis claims has been confirmed and a medical expert has been consulted to review the case and assess your daughter’s injuries, compensation amounts can be then calculated.
Provided your daughter qualifies to make a claim for a failure to diagnose a bone fracture, you can make the claim for the misdiagnosis of a bone fracture on her behalf by taking legal action as her ‘Next Friend’. A legal minor is not permitted by law to instruct a solicitor nor to personally pursue a claim until the age of consent is reached.
To make a claim for the misdiagnosis of a bone fracture as a ‘Next Friend’ you will need to have your appointment authorised by the courts, and a solicitor will assist you with making the necessary applications.