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Orthopaedic injuries can have a long-term and catastrophic impact on your life. If you have suffered an orthopaedic injury due to medical negligence, you may be entitled to orthopaedic negligence claims.
Orthopaedics is a branch of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, correction and treatment of patients with musculoskeletal deformities. This simply means medical care involving the bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Orthopaedic surgery covers a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions and requires the knowledge and experience of doctors and surgeons. In the vast majority of cases, these procedures are successful. Sometimes, however, mistakes can and do happen – before, during or even after the surgery – and this can significantly affect your recovery and wellbeing.
What is Orthopaedic Negligence?
Orthopaedic negligence is when avoidable mistakes are made by a medical practitioner which causes harm to a patient. Orthopaedic negligence can take different forms:
- Incorrect advice before and/or after surgery;
- Inadequate assessment prior to surgery;
- Incorrect treatment procedures like using a partial knee replacement where full replacement is required;
However, negligence on its own is not enough to make orthopaedic claims, as not all negligent actions result in injuries and not all injuries are a result of medical error. At Medical Negligence Direct, the panel of specialist solicitors we work with can evaluate your case and determine whether negligence, causation and damages exist and if there is reason for a valid claim.
Our solicitors have represented those who have been victims of:
- Foot and ankle surgery errors
The human foot is a complex mechanical structure, comprising numerous bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and other tissues. This means that people with foot problems may receive a range of surgical treatments – realignment, fusion, pins and plates – depending on the issue. While most foot and ankle surgeries go on as planned and produce the desired outcome, things occasionally go wrong.
Commonly missed foot and ankle fractures include lateral process of the talus, Lisfranc, and the anterior process of the calcaneum. When things go wrong, revision surgery may be required to correct the problem; worse still, a patient could suffer lifelong disability. Other instances such as, diabetes misdiagnosis and poorly controlled diabetes have also been seen to be associated with some of the adverse outcomes of foot and ankle surgeries.
- Achilles tendon rupture errors
The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body and lies at the back of the lower leg. Although the Achilles tendon can withstand great physical impact from jumping and running, it is vulnerable to injury and can rupture when stretched beyond its capacity.
Although it is possible for an individual to manifest no signs of an Achilles tendon rupture, most people experience sudden pain in the back of the leg, with a ‘pop’; there may also be swelling near the heel and the person may be unable to push off the injured leg when walking or bend it downward. In rare cases where a person does not manifest telltale signs of Achilles tendon rupture, a medical professional should rely on the patient’s history, examine the patient and perform heel raise exercises while standing on one leg.
If your health practitioner has failed to carry out necessary tests and/or failed to ask the right questions about your condition, they may be deemed negligent and you may be entitled to orthopaedic negligence claims.
- Hip, knee and shoulder surgery errors
Hip replacement surgery is a procedure that involves the surgical removal of a damaged and painful hip joint and replacement with an artificial one (also known as prosthesis). Knee replacement surgery – also known as knee arthroplasty – is the surgical removal of a diseased, damaged our worn knee with an artificial joint. Shoulder replacement surgery involves the removal of damaged parts of the shoulder and replacement with artificial parts.
While these procedures can be performed safely and without any issues, they come with a level of risk. Sometimes despite the best efforts of a medical professional, things can still go wrong. As is the case with any surgical procedure, it is the duty of your doctor to inform you about all the risks and explain any available options for your treatment.
If your surgeon or medical practitioner makes a mistake that could have been avoided and you have suffered harm as a result, you may be entitled to orthopaedic negligence claims. You should seek specialist advice from our medical negligence experts to discuss your chances of making a claim for surgeon negligence.
- Spinal surgery errors
Spinal surgery can be required for a number of reasons, which includes removing tumours, spinal stabilisation, and relieving compression on the spinal cord. Although spinal surgery can be performed by orthopaedic and neurosurgeons, orthopaedic surgery focuses on the bones of the spinal column while neurosurgery focuses on the central nervous system.
While most spinal surgeries are successful, mistakes happen from time to time. For instance, Cauda Equina Syndrome has been reported as a resulting postoperative complication/ surgical error following spinal stenosis decompression. In such instances, our experts will be more than happy to assist you to make a claim for Cauda Equina Syndrome Negligence.
More examples of spinal surgery negligence include failing to receive informed patient consent, failing to image properly, misplaced screws, operating on the wrong side or level, failing to operate on time, and inadequate surgery.
If your medical professional has made a mistake during your hip, knee and spine implants, or any other form of orthopaedic procedure, you can make a claim.
Making Orthopaedic Negligence Claims
If you have suffered a trauma, missed fracture or any other form of injury and you think this is a result of orthopaedic negligence, our experienced solicitors can help you make a claim for orthopaedic injury compensation. When you get in touch with us, we will offer a free, no obligation consultation; during this meeting, one of our orthopaedic negligence claims experts will listen to your case and determine whether you have grounds for a valid claim.
You can also make orthopaedic claims on behalf of a loved one (e.g. a child under 18) or a person who has passed away as a result of orthopaedic negligence. To support your claim, our medical negligence claims solicitors will obtain relevant evidence, which may include requesting for your medical and even financial records, alongside witness statements. This will help us verify the nature of care you received, determine whether reasonable steps were taken to prevent your injury as well as the impact it had on your physical and emotional wellbeing.
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What Can I Claim for Orthopaedic Claims?
When making orthopaedic surgery claims or medical negligence claims in general, it isn’t out of place to want to know how much you may receive as compensation. While it is impossible to determine the exact compensation amount you may be awarded, our solicitors can give you a rough idea of what to expect. However, you can make compensation claims for:
This is compensation for the impact of the injury you have suffered. It is calculated based on the nature and severity of your injury and, expectedly, more serious injuries will attract larger compensation amounts.
This is compensation for actual out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the incident. Common examples of special damages include cost of medical care, travel costs, loss of earnings, and cost of childcare.
If you have incurred any expenses as a result of injury due to medical negligence, do well to keep the receipts or any proof you have, as this will come in handy when making your claim.
Time Limits for Making Orthopaedic Negligence Claims
There is a strict three-year time limit for all medical negligence claims, including orthopaedic claims. This time limit starts from the date of the incident. Therefore, if you suffered harm due to orthopaedic negligence on 5th January 2018, you have until 4th January 2021 to issue court proceedings.
However, there are times when it may not be possible to determine the exact date of negligence, i.e. injuries did not manifest suddenly, which means you can’t pinpoint an incident date. In this case, you will have three years from the date of your diagnosis; that is, the date you became aware your injury was due to orthopaedic negligence.
No Win No Fee Orthopaedic Negligence Claims
The panel of experienced solicitors we work with at Medical Negligence Direct will likely offer a No Win No Fee agreement if they believe you have a good chance of a successful claim. The medical negligence No Win No Fee UK service has a number of key benefits:
- No upfront costs
Funding is usually a big hurdle for people who have suffered injuries due to medical negligence; in fact, a mere consultation with a specialist solicitor can be really expensive. With a No Win No Fee service, you will not have to pay any solicitor fees to get your case started.
- Minimises risks
A No Win No Fee agreement eliminates the financial risks involved in pursuing a medical negligence claim. Many persons worry about the cost of hiring a specialist solicitor as there is no guarantee of success. With a No Win No Fee service, you won’t have to pay any legal fees until your claim comes to an end. If you do not win, you won’t have to pay a penny.
In fact, your solicitor will feel the direct impact of the outcome of your case, as we will not receive the success fee (0-25% of your final compensation) if your claim is unsuccessful. This means we will give your case the level of attention and expertise it deserves.
How Medical Negligence Direct Can Help
Choosing a solicitor for your claim is one of the most important decisions you will be making, as it can play a major part in getting you the compensation you deserve. When you first contact Medical Negligence Direct, our solicitors will ask about your experience. We will listen carefully to your concerns, then conduct investigations to determine whether you have grounds for orthopaedic injury compensation.
In general, we aim to prove that you suffered an injury and then establish that your injury was due to medical negligence. We may make arrangements for an independent medical expert to help us establish this.
If you are looking to pursue a claim – whether this be for unnecessary surgery compensation or any other form of compensation stemming from orthopaedic negligence – give us a call today on 0800 644 4240. You may also fill our claims assessment form and one of our solicitors will call you at your earliest convenience. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.