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Scaphoid fracture

Claiming Compensation For A Scaphoid Fracture (Broken Wrist)23rd Sep 2020

by Lydia Barnett on 23rd Sep 2020

Contact Lydia Barnett

Two Ways To Claim Compensation

Breaking the scaphoid bone in your wrist can be very serious. It can result in permanent injuries that could mean loss of livelihood/earnings. For that reason, damages can top £100,000.

We recommend claiming on a No Win No Fee basis so there is no financial risk to you. You can:

What if you have two possible cases? Which defendant(s) do you sue? Either? Both? (And if so, who first?)

This can be a complex issue. It is possible to run personal injury and medical negligence claims at the same time. But it is likely that we would pursue the personal injury claim first.

We would pursue a clinical negligence claim in addition only if there has been grossly unsatisfactory medical treatment or if the defendant raises it when defending the personal injury claim.

Book A Free Chat With A Personal Injury Lawyer

Book A Free Chat With A Medical Negligence Solicitor

Why Are Compensation Payments For Scaphoid Fractures Higher?

Damages of £30,000 to £100,000+ are not uncommon for a scaphoid fracture.

Higher end payouts of £100,000+ are comparable with the compensation for more severe conditions such as Cauda Equina Syndrome (compression of nerves at the base of the spine).

But scaphoid fractures are much more common because they often occur as a result of a fall. The victim instinctively reaches out to break their fall but ends up breaking their wrist. Find out more here about claiming for slips, trips and falls.

Scaphoid fractures might be common but they should not be underestimated. They are painful, debilitating and potentially life-changing. They can stop you from doing manual work and can result in a serious loss of earnings because they take so long to heal. You may even have to retrain and do a completely different type of job.

Many of those who suffer scaphoid fractures are young people. Often they are injured while playing sports. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists may suffer scaphoid fractures in road accidents.

And if the injury isn’t diagnosed and treated promptly, the bones don’t heal properly – resulting in the need for repair surgery.  

Younger people tend to receive higher damages because they have longer to live with the effects of their injuries. The court is also more likely to award special damages.

Scaphoid injuries can take up to six months to heal – longer if further operations are needed to put right the errors.

Why Do Hospitals Make Mistakes?

Scaphoid fractures can be difficult to diagnose. The symptoms can be mistaken for a sprained wrist – especially if there is no significant bruising or swelling.

You may be suffering considerable pain, especially when you try to move your wrist or your thumb, or when you try to grasp or pinch something. But the visible signs of an injury may be less pronounced.

If you’re a pedestrian, cyclist or motorcyclist, a scaphoid fracture may be just one of a number of injuries you sustained in your road accident. You may have suffered head, brain or spinal injuries. Doctors will concentrate on those injuries first – so the scaphoid fracture may not get the full attention that it requires (especially if it appears to ‘heal’). 

Did your doctor(s) fail to X-ray your wrist? They would have had the option to order Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Computerised Tomography (CT) scans…but did they? Could one of these scans have helped them to diagnose your condition sooner and save you from all the added pain, injury and long-term consequences of your fracture? 

Did The Hospital Fail To Treat You Properly?

To treat a scaphoid fracture correctly, the doctors must put your wrist in a cast within six weeks of the initial injury. If not, the break may not heal properly, resulting in a non-union. There are two types of non-union:

  • The two sections of bone fail to heal together.
  • The lower half of the fractured bone loses its blood supply and dies (avascular necrosis). If left untreated the condition will worsen and the bone will collapse. The scaphoid may also lose its smooth shape, leading to arthritis.

Putting the damage right could mean inserting pins in the wrist in one or more repair surgery operations. And any operation carries a risk of possible nerve damage, bleeding or infection.

Were the doctors slow to diagnose your injury? Did they misdiagnose your condition? Did they fail to spot complications? Did they fail to put a cast on your wrist? Did they use the wrong kind of cast or splint? Did they apply it badly? Have you had to undergo repair surgery as a result?

If you’ve suffered a scaphoid injury, you will know that recovery can take a long time. Is it taking too long because the clinicians made mistakes early on?

Get More Information

Contact us to find out more about scaphoid fractures and the No Win No Fee claims process:

This document is not intended to constitute and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice on any specific matter. No liability for the accuracy of the content of this document, or the consequences of relying on it, is assumed by the author. If you seek further information, please contact Managing Partner Neil Andrews at Coles Miller Solicitors LLP.