Orthopaedic surgery negligence: do you have a claim?

Orthopaedics is a common area of medicine where medical negligence claims are brought. If you’ve recently had orthopaedic treatment and are less than happy with the result, you may be wondering if you are entitled to claim for damages.

What constitutes ‘orthopaedics’?

The field of orthopaedics includes anything to do with treatments for injuries and conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system, specifically the following:

• bones
• tendons
• joints
• muscles
• ligaments
• cartilage

Common conditions that are dealt with by orthopaedic surgeons include:

• fractures
• hip replacements
• spinal injuries
• knee replacements
• bone tumours
• bone infections
• congenital birth defects

Although the majority of treatments that are carried out are successful, all operations and procedures carry an element of risk. Errors do occur, which can have a massively detrimental effect on a patient’s life, causing pain and suffering, and even preventing them from working.

Common errors in orthopaedics

There are a number of common failings that can lead to long-term health issues for which you may be entitled to claim compensation.

1. X-rays and scans can sometimes be misread. This can lead to a delay in your treatment, potentially meaning long-term problems as conditions get worse.

2. The failure to spot a fracture during an initial consultation can lead to ongoing pain and potentially poor healing of the bone, resulting in the need for more surgery to correct the problem.

3. Poor husbandry whilst on the orthopaedic ward can result in infection post-surgery. This could potentially be life-threatening if the infection is not treated quickly enough.

4. If prosthesis is required following amputation, it must fit correctly. If the prosthetics are not fitted correctly, this can lead to pain and ongoing problems with mobility.

What can you claim compensation for?

You could suffer financially if you have been unable to work since your treatment. This applies whether you’ve had to miss work for a few months or whether you can never work again. Your claim in these circumstances would be for ‘loss of earnings’.

Psychological damages can be claimed, for example if you have suffered depression as a result of malpractice that has left you partially paralysed and requiring adaptations to your home.

You can make a claim for physical suffering if your treatment has left you in continual pain or if you suffered pain unnecessarily for a prolonged period of time, due to the practitioner’s negligence.

If any of this sounds familiar, consultation with experienced direct access barristers should be your next course of action.

Get expert legal help

If you think that you have suffered as a result of medically negligent orthopaedic treatment, a direct access barrister could help you make a successful claim. To find out how our experienced barristers could help, contact us today.

Can I make a medical negligence claim?

If you have suffered an injury at the hands of a medical professional, the consequences can be devastating. It may not only have had a drastic effect on your life but the lives of your loved ones as well.

However, you may be unsure as to whether or not you can make a claim against the person that has caused you harm. Medical negligence claims can be complicated, but this post gives a brief outline of the requirements of bringing a claim for medical negligence.

What happened to you?

Medical negligence is different from other types of personal injury claim, as there are many ways in which you or a loved one might have suffered an injury as a result of a medical professionals actions – or failure to act. For example, if you were not cared for properly in the hospital or in a care home and you suffer illness or injury as a result, you might have a claim for medical negligence.

We have experience in handling all types of medical negligence claims including; cancer misdiagnosis, wrong limb amputation claims, cerebral palsy claims, birth injury claims, care home negligence, late diagnosis claims, surgery claims, GP misdiagnosis, cosmetic surgery injuries and wrong prescription claims.

When did it happen to you?

Medical negligence claims generally have a strict time limit of three years from the date of the injury, or the date you discovered the injury. This means you should always seek specialist legal advice as soon as possible if you wish to make a claim. However, because of the complicated nature of medical negligence claims, determining when this three-year period begins can be challenging. For example, in misdiagnosis claims, you may have been wrongfully diagnosed four years ago, but the misdiagnosis only came to light 12 months ago. Generally, in these circumstances, the time restriction will begin when you discovered that you had been misdiagnosed.

Did you endure pain and suffering/ actual loss?

You can only make a claim where you have endured pain and suffering, and actually suffered loss as a result of the medical negligence. You are unlikely to be able to make a claim where the negligent treatment has not had any effect on your life. However, our direct access barristers will be best placed to discuss with you how you might have suffered loss as a result of medical negligence.

Contact our medical negligence direct Access Barristers today

To discuss your claim with our direct access barristers with complete confidentiality, call us now . We look forward to helping you get the compensation you deserve.

Photo: Valium B by orsorama licensed under Creative commons 2

What to do if you suspect medical negligence

If you feel that you’ve not received the optimum standard of care from a healthcare provider, you may have a case for medical negligence. An experienced legal firm of healthcare barristers will be able to advise you on whether you have good grounds for a claim.

Do you have grounds for a medical negligence claim?

A medical negligence action is likely to be successful if you can prove that a healthcare professional breached their duty of care to you resulting in damage or injury to your person. Common types of malpractice suits involve:

• cosmetic surgery mistakes
• surgical errors
• wrong or delayed diagnosis of serious conditions
• dental malpractice
• injury sustained during childbirth

Although many people pursue medical negligence claims in the hope of being awarded financial compensation, you could simply settle for an admission that the care you received was substandard and an apology.

In order to discern if a clinical case exists, you will need to establish the following criteria:

1. That there is a duty of care between you and your treating clinician. (This is never contested as there will always be a duty of care between healthcare professional and patient).

2. That the standard of care you received was insufficient and the duty of care has therefore been breached.

3. That as a direct consequence of the poor treatment you received, you have suffered pain, discomfort, or complications, which would not have occurred had the treatment been up to the expected standard. This is termed, ‘avoidable harm’.

What should you do if you think you have a medical negligence claim?

Medical negligence law is an extremely complex personal injury field. It’s therefore recommended that you seek advice from an experienced healthcare barrister. You’ll need to provide documentary evidence to support your claim. This evidence will include:

• written accounts of what happened, provided by you, your family, and any other witnesses involved

• access to your medical records

• details of prescriptions and receipts for any corrective medical treatment you have undergone in order to rectify the negligent treatment

• details of any loss of earnings or costs you have incurred as a result of the alleged negligence

Seek advice today

If you suspect that you have been the victim of medical negligence by a healthcare professional, you may be able to make a claim against them. Contact a healthcare barrister near you through Barristers4U for a free, no-obligation quote today.

Taking action with healthcare barristers

In the UK, we’re very lucky to have access to the National Health Service as well as private medical services. While most people receive good treatment via both private clinics and NHS providers, sometimes things do go wrong.

If a physician is negligent, for example, it can have catastrophic consequences. By failing to provide the right treatment, a doctor could potentially cause a fatality or subject a patient to additional treatment.

In some instances, this type of medical negligence can also cause patients to suffer long-term effects. Due to the severity of this, it’s important to take action if you’ve been the victim of a medical error. By seeking help from healthcare barristers, you can find out if you’ll be able to launch a medical negligence claim and, if so, what the likelihood of success is.

Obtaining compensation for medical negligence

When you take action with direct access barristers following a medical error, you may be able to obtain compensation. Whilst this won’t remedy the situation and give you back your health, it can provide practical help.

If medical negligence has left you unable to work, for example, public access barristers could help you to claim back the cost of your lost income and your future loss of earnings. While your health is always more important than your finances, money worries can cause a lot of stress.

By obtaining compensation with help from healthcare barristers, you can focus on recovery and dealing with any long-lasting symptoms, rather than worrying about your financial situation.

In addition to this, taking legal action with direct access barristers may increase awareness of medical negligence. In doing so, you could encourage healthcare providers to revise their existing regulations in order to ensure that no-one suffers in the same way you have.

Working with direct access barristers

When you take action with barristers direct, you can reduce the cost of obtaining legal assistance significantly. Rather than paying a solicitor and a barrister, you can simply talk to a public access barrister directly and obtain the help you need.

With over 1,000 experienced barristers providing direct access services, you should find it easy to access legal advice. To find out more, why not get in touch with a public access barrister today?