Orthopedics is the area of medicine that deals with muscles and bones. It covers a range of different areas that include musculoskeletal trauma, sports injuries, infections, and degenerative diseases.
The treatment procedures involved in orthopedics are generally high-risk, and, therefore, can have drastic consequences for the patient. Therefore orthopedic claims in the medical profession are relatively common.
Possible risks for patients include both surgical and medical errors which can have devastating consequences for patients, and this is why the law is in place to help to compensate victims should mistakes happen.
Examples of negligence within orthopedics
The area of orthopedics covers many different aspects. This means that there are many examples of medical negligence within orthopedics. Some of these include:
- An incorrect diagnosis or delay in diagnosing the cause of a medical condition
- A missed diagnosis
- Surgery is carried out on the wrong part of the body
- Leaving all or part of a surgical instrument inside the body
- Harm being caused to parts of the body around the site of the surgery
- Mistakes in interpreting CT scans, MRIs, or x-rays
- Missing post-surgery issues
- Incorrect putting in of implants
There are many ways that these issues can manifest themselves, and if you find that you have been a victim of one of these examples, it is possible that you might be able to make an orthopedic medical negligence claim.
Some of the injuries that can be caused by orthopedic medical negligence include:
- Injuries following hip, shoulder, or knee surgery
- Errors in foot and ankle surgery
- Mistakes in the treatment of ruptured Achilles tendons
- Errors in spinal surgery
- Herniated lumber disk errors
- Mistreatment of scaphoid fractures
- Misdiagnosis or mistreatment of knee ligament injury
What would happen if medical error occurred during surgery
If you are unfortunate enough to have had a medical error happen to you during surgery, you might be able to make a claim for compensation. When you are considering making a claim, you need to be able to prove three things:
1.That there was a duty of care
2.That the duty of care was breached
3.That this has caused unnecessary suffering to you
If you think that you have a case, you should get in touch with a solicitor that specialises in medical negligence claims, who you can talk with about your situation, and they will be able to advise you on whether they believe that you have a case. Medical negligence cases are usually carried out on a no-win, no-fee basis, meaning that you only pay for the solicitor’s services if you make a successful claim.
This means that a solicitor will only normally take on a case if they are confident that they – and you – will win.
Two parts make up an orthopedic medical negligence claim – general damages and special damages. General damages are awarded as compensation for the injuries that are suffered as a result of the negligence. Special damages, on the other hand, compensate you for the actual financial losses that have been incurred due to the mistake.
How long does an orthopedics negligence claim take?
If you think that you have a case of orthopedic negligence, the amount of time that it takes depends on a number of factors. These can include the level of your injuries and how easy it is to gather evidence, whether the medical professional admits that they are at fault and whether the case goes to court or can be settled beforehand.
In the UK, there is a three-year time limit on claiming compensation for a medical negligence claim. This means that from the date that the error happened – or that you became aware of the problem, you have exactly three years to commence court proceedings. For people under the age of 18, these three years begin then – essentially giving them until the age of 21.
Another exception is for people who are mentally incapacitated. The three-year time limit does not apply and there is no time limit at all placed.
How Waldrons can help with orthopedic negligence
If you believe that you have a case for an orthopedic negligence claim, get in touch with our team here at Waldon’s Solicitors. Our team of expert solicitors is on hand to discuss your case and talk you through your options and the next steps in the process.
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Last reviewed on 11/07/23 by Joseph Norton who is an Associate Director and Head of Compensation