A cervical neck fracture is a serious condition that can have a catastrophic impact on a patient and their family. The fracture is a result of a break in the cervical vertebrae that affects its continuity. If specific cervical neck vertebrae are fractured, paralysis can occur, including paraplegia and quadriplegia.
How Are Neck Fractures Diagnosed?
A neck fracture is diagnosed through x-rays, CT scans, or other imaging equipment. Unfortunately, doctors can misread or misinterpret x-rays, leading to a misdiagnosis. This can be due to insufficient training or experience on the doctor’s part. In other cases, doctors fail to order the appropriate imaging studies and diagnostic tests because they mistook the cervical neck fracture for a less serious injury.
However, not all adverse outcomes are considered medical malpractice. For a patient to have a valid medical malpractice claim, they must be able to show that they were injured by the negligence of a physician. Negligence occurs when your doctor fails to provide the level of care that a reasonably competent medical professional in the same specialty would have provided in the same situation. In order to win a medical malpractice case, the following elements must be established:
- Duty: The presence of a doctor/patient relationship is usually sufficient to show that the doctor owed a duty to the patient.
- Breach: This requires demonstrating that the physician was deficient in his or her treatment by deviating from the standard of care that another doctor in the same specialty would have used under the same circumstances.
- Causation: This requires showing that the injury was a direct result of the doctor’s negligence (i.e., the patient was injured due to a failure to diagnose a neck fracture).
- Damages: This element requires showing that the patient suffered a significant injury as a result of the physician’s negligence.
Any individual that has suffered a neck injury, through a misdiagnosis often deal with considerable ongoing pain and suffering. A doctor’s failure to properly diagnose a neck fracture can often lead to permanent mobility issues, a re-fracture of the vertebrae, a bone heals incompletely, and even ongoing pain and suffering.
What Kind Of Expenses Are Associated With Neck Fractures?
These things can be extremely costly to treat and manage. Once medical malpractice is established, you may be able to recover a number of expenses, including but not limited to medical costs, pain and suffering, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, the cost of future care, and compensation for any other losses stemming from the malpractice.
In order to determine whether there was negligence for the misdiagnosis, you will need an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to review your medical records and talk to you about what happened. Then if he or she believes that negligence occurred that attorney will consult with experts in the same specialty as the doctor to confirm whether the doctor deviated from the standard of care in their treatment.
The Thistle Law Firm is experienced in handling neck fracture misdiagnosis injuries. If you believe that you were injured following such a misdiagnosis and caused a delay in treatment, the attorneys at the Thistle Law Firm are here to take your call and answer your questions at 215-525-6824.