July 20, 2012

Settlement for jockey whose fracture went unrecognised

C, a young trainee jockey, was riding out when his horse kicked him in the face. He was rushed to the local A&E where his injury was x-rayed and he was told that he had been lucky and only suffered bruising.

It was only a few weeks later that on referral to specialist facial surgeon C discovered the misdiagnosis. He had, in fact, sustained a fracture to his cheek bone, and, since it went unnoticed, his cheek bone healed in the wrong position. As a result, his jaw became misaligned and he had trouble talking and chewing food.

C had to undergo extensive additional surgery to realign his jaw. The corrective surgery was successful and C had a good functional result and a good long-term prognosis. However, due to the original failure to spot his injury C lost additional time off work and the opportunity to ride to win prize money while he recovered from the more complex repair operation.

C instructed our Clinical Negligence team before his corrective surgery. The experts consulted by our lawyers agreed that the examination given to C at the A&E was inadequate, and the staff had failed to interpret his x-ray correctly.

Although C was in pain for a relatively short time, the original error was serious as it increased C’s future risks given his profession. C received a global settlement of £7,500 which included compensation for his pain and suffering over 4 weeks and the lost racing opportunities while he was in longer recovery.

The prompt settlement allowed C to get back on his feet financially at they time, and he was soon back to competing for prize money.

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