Medical Malpractice - Failure to Diagnose Broken Neck

Christopher Lynn Patterson

Case Conclusion Date:January 1, 2013

Practice Area:Medical Malpractice

Outcome:Six Figure Settlement

Description:Our elderly client was injured in a one car accident. When she was transported to a local hospital, the on duty radiologist missed a severe neck fracture when reviewing her CT scan. She was sent home with pain medicine and diagnosed with a simple neck sprain. Unbeknownst to her, she had actually suffered what doctors commonly refer to as a "hangman's fracture" - a significant and often fatal break in the upper neck. Due to her ongoing pain and frequent return visits to her primary care doctor, follow-up CT scans were ordered and the break was identified. Unfortunately, though, the month long delay in diagnosing her broken neck caused the bones in her neck to shift and made the resulting surgery and hospital stay much more serious and disabling than it should have been. After being contacted by the client, we immediately arranged to have the original CT scans reviewed by multiple radiologists, who confirmed our belief that medical malpractice occurred. After persuading our client's treating physician to cooperate with our efforts to establish damages, we pursued a claim against the negligent doctor and ultimately obtained a six figure settlement. In fact, after sitting down and making our case to the defense attorneys who'd been hired to handle the claim, we were able to conclude a settlement without even having to file a lawsuit - much to the relief of our client.