Broken Collarbone Compensation Claims In The UK
Have you sustained a broken collarbone? Was it caused by an accident resulting from the negligence of someone who owed you a duty of care? If so, you could be entitled to compensation.
A broken clavicle can be caused by a variety of things. Furthermore, an injury of this nature can severely limit the things you’re able to do while you recover. Whether your collarbone fracture took place in a road traffic accident, workplace accident, or an accident in a public place, you could be owed compensation for your suffering provided it resulted from a breach of duty of care.
Broken Collarbone Compensation Claims In The UK
The process of making a personal injury claim can be daunting. However, this article has been written to simplify the steps you’ll need to take. If you have any questions whilst reading, then get in touch with our advisors. They are ready and waiting to address your issues and queries. The more information they have regarding your potential personal injury claim, the more accurately they will be able to assist you.
If it’s deemed you could have a valid claim, you could be connected with a personal injury lawyer. They can offer representation on a No Win No Fee basis. If this method of making a claim for broken collarbone compensation appeals to you, then read on for more information. Below, you’ll also find our contact details.
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- Call us on 020 3870 4868
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Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About Broken Collarbone Compensation Claims
- What Is A Broken Collarbone?
- What Are The Parts Of The Clavicle?
- Signs Of A Broken Collarbone
- Causes And Risk Factors Leading To Collarbone Fractures
- Broken Collarbone Compensation Calculator
- Diagnosis & Treatment For Collarbone Fractures
- Misdiagnosis Of A Broken Collarbone
- Causes And Effects Of Fractures Being Misdiagnosed
- Could I Claim For An Injury After Three Years?
- I Suffered A Broken Collarbone, What Should I Do?
- No Win No Fee Broken Collarbone Compensation Claims In The UK
- Related Services
- FAQs About Break And Fracture Claims
In this guide, we will look at the process of claiming for a broken collarbone injury. To begin, we will look at what a broken collarbone is and the kind of accident that might lead to an injury of this nature.
We will then go on to examine the signs that might indicate you’ve fractured your collarbone. We’ll also look at the kinds of accidents that might cause you to sustain an injury of this nature and how they might result from a breach of duty of care.
This guide will continue by looking at the different kinds of damages that are available when you make a claim for a collarbone fracture. Furthermore, we will look at the kind of treatment available for an injury of this nature.
In addition, we will look at how collarbones might be misdiagnosed and the issues that this can cause. We’ll examine how you can tell whether your misdiagnosis was the result of medical negligence and, if so, how you may be able to claim.
To summarise, we will examine the benefits of a No Win No Fee agreement in funding legal representation when making a claim. We will conclude by providing you with some useful external resources and answering some questions we’re often asked about claiming for a broken collarbone.
A broken collarbone can also be referred to as a broken clavicle. There are two clavicles in the human body, and they can break independently of one another. They can also break with other parts of the shoulder, such as the shoulder blade (scapula). Clavicle fractures can occur due to high-impact collisions such as road traffic accidents or even contact sports like rugby.
Someone might fracture their clavicle after a fall. Even if the collarbone is not the main site of the impact with the ground, its interaction with the arm can also cause a fractured clavicle as the individual attempts to break their fall with an outstretched hand.
According to the NHS, 30% of people over the age of 60 will experience a fall at least once a year. This rises to over 50% when talking about those over the age of 80. Older people with osteoporosis (a condition that weakens the bones) might be more likely to suffer a fracture after a fall.
Whilst all of these falls may not result in a broken collarbone, the age of the fallen individual can increase this likelihood. Overall, only around 5% of falls will result in a fracture and hospitalisation. However, the severity of a fracture can drastically impact recovery time and the person’s quality of life.
The clavicle is 1 of the 2 bones that makes up the “shoulder girdle”. This is what attaches the arm to the body on either side. The other bone is the shoulder blade or scapula. One of the purposes of the collar bone itself is to protect the underlying nerves and blood vessels. So, a clavicle fracture can also result in deeper-lying damage too.
Collarbones are relatively long. Because of this, they can sometimes be unofficially referred to as being made up of three thirds; the medial end, the lateral end and the shaft. Any of these parts of the collarbone can be injured.
If you think you have suffered a broken collarbone, the symptoms can be quite painful. If you have broken your collarbone, you could experience:
- Visible bruising
- Numbness or pins and needles (you may feel this in the arm rather than the clavicle if you’ve suffered nerve injury)
- Pain, an inability to move your shoulder
- Swelling or tenderness near the affected area
- Bleeding if the bone has pierced through the skin (this is known as a compound or “open” fracture)
- Your arm slumping forward due to the loss of support from the collarbone
- Hearing or feeling a grinding or snapping during the impact
You could experience any of these symptoms to varying degrees. In the event that you’re unsure if you have a clavicle fracture, then it’s always best to be checked over by a medical professional. If you suffer from a clavicle fracture and it’s not treated soon enough, then it could start to heal on its own, which could cause you problems further down the line.
Following a diagnosis, you may want to seek legal advice to help you get more money from your claim. Our experienced advisors are waiting to take your call.
Slips, Trips and Falls
Slips, trips and falls might result in you fracturing your clavicle as you land. Direct impact to the arm and shoulder as you hit the ground can lead to collarbone fractures.
If this took place in the workplace due to unsafe conditions, then you could make a claim against your employer due to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. This Act says that they need to do all they can to ensure your health and safety while at work. For instance, if you were given no safety shoes despite needing them to do your role safely, and you slipped and injured yourself as a result, you may be able to claim.
If you trip over in a public place, then you may be able to claim if you can show that the person in control of the space breached the duty of care they have towards you. This duty is outlined in the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1974.
For example, if you slip on a wet floor in a shopping centre, then the owner of the building could have breached their duty of care if they failed to clean or signpost it within a reasonable timeframe. In this case, you may be able to claim for your injuries.
Road Traffic Accidents
A broken bone can also be sustained in a road traffic accident. Due to the angle of a seat belt in a standard car, the force applied to the clavicle during a collision with another vehicle can cause it to break.
If the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, then you could make a claim against the driver whose fault it was. For instance, they may have hit the back of your car after failing to maintain a safe stopping distance. The third-party driver would be found at fault if they failed to adhere to the duty of care set out in the Highway Code.
When claiming for a broken collarbone, the compensation is often made up of 2 main figures. These figures are known as general damages and special damages.
General damages are the figure awarded to you to address the pain and suffering experienced as a result of your injuries. They are calculated with the help of a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). These guidelines contain an extensive list of injuries, as well as the amount that they could be worth in compensation.
These amounts can vary depending on the severity of the injury and the recovery time. Any last damage or symptoms are also taken into account. The JCG is reviewed semi-regularly and was last updated in 2019.
Below, we’ve included some of the more relevant figures from the latest edition of the JCG. As you can see, it’s not just physical injuries that can be claimed for. Mental injuries are also eligible for compensation.
|Clavicle||Level of award will depend on the extent of disability, residual symptoms and how long it will take to recover from, if at all||£4,830 to £11,490|
|Shoulder||Severe - often associated with neck injuries and involving damage to the brachial plexus, can result in significant disability||£18,020 to £45,070|
|Shoulder||Moderate - frozen shoulder resulting in limited movement and discomfort, symptoms will persist for about two years||£7,410 to £11,980|
|Shoulder||Minor - (i) soft tissue injury to shoulder with considerable pain but almost complete recovery in less than two years||£4,080 to £7,410|
|Shoulder||Minor - (ii) soft tissue injury to shoulder with considerable pain but a recovery that is almost complete within a year||£2,300 to £4,080|
|Shoulder||Minor - (iii) soft tissue injury to shoulder with considerable pain but almost complete recovery within three months||Up to £2,300|
|Neck||Severe (iii)- injuries causing fractures or dislocations that lead to chronic conditions and significant permanent disability||£42,680 to £52,540|
|Neck||Minor - (iii) where recovery is complete within 3 months||Up to £2,300|
|Psychiatric damage||(d) Less Severe - level of award takes into account the length of the period of disability and to what extent the person’s daily activities were affected||£1,440 to £5,500|
|Post-traumatic stress disorder||Moderate - cases where the injured person will have almost completely recovered and any lasting effects will not result in grossly disabling effects||£7,680 to £21,730|
|Post-traumatic stress disorder||Less severe - a full recovery will have been made within one to two years and only minor symptoms will persist in the long-term||£3,710 to £7,680|
Special damages are the second kind of damages that can be included in a compensation claim. They are paid to compensate you for any additional costs and outgoings caused by your injury. It is to reimburse you for any money you have had to spend for treatment, aftercare, transport or any other costs that you wouldn’t have had to pay if it wasn’t for your injuries.
For example, if your injury causes you to miss time at work, then you could lose out on wages. If this is the case, then this loss could be eligible for inclusion in your special damages figure. This is known as a loss of earnings payment. Some other things that can be included are:
- Damage to property – for example, if you broke your mobile phone in the accident in which you were injured.
- Medical expenses – the cost of any medication, prescriptions or treatment that you can’t get on the NHS
- Loss of deposits for plans- for example, the cost of a pre-arranged holiday you can no longer take
It’s really important that you keep hold of any evidence of things you would like to claim in special damages. Without proof, it can be really difficult for something to be included in the special damages head of your claim. If you’re unsure what could constitute a special damages figure, then reach out today for more information.
You need to be aware of the signs of a broken collarbone. If you think you have a broken collarbone, then treatment may be required. An X-ray to confirm your diagnosis will likely be performed to confirm the injury you’ve sustained. If the X-ray does show a fracture of the clavicle, then there are a few options regarding treatment.
If your injury is severe enough, surgery may be required. This involves inserting metal plates and screws into the fractured collarbone to help keep it in place, so it heals in position. This may be performed if the fracture is displaced, which means that the two ends of the bone are no longer in position with one another.
However, collarbone fracture treatment may also just consist of limiting the movement of the affected arm by placing it in a sling. Some fractures will not cause the clavicle to be displaced and will heal with minimal intervention.
This is not to say that if you have a clavicle fracture that treatment should be avoided. You will likely need at least a check over by a medical professional and a written prescription for pain management. An uncomplicated broken collarbone can take 6-8 weeks to heal, but more complex fractures may take longer.
The misdiagnosis of a broken bone is when you seek medical attention for a fractured collarbone, but the medical professional who treats you either fails to notice the fracture or mistakenly diagnoses it as something else. If in misdiagnosing your fracture, the doctor has failed to deliver the standard of care expected of their profession, they could be considered negligent, and you may be able to make a medical negligence claim.
To prove medical negligence, the court will administer something called the Bolam test. In the Bolam test, a panel of the medical professional’s peers will be asked if they would have done the same thing when presented with the same information. If they confirm that they would have acted in the same way, then the doctor will not be considered negligent.
However, if they confirm that they would have acted differently, then the medical professional could be considered negligent. However, just because a doctor is considered negligent doesn’t mean that you will be entitled to compensation. In order to be awarded a settlement, you will need to prove that the suffering you experienced was greater than the suffering you would have experienced if the injury was correctly diagnosed.
There are a number of ways that a fracture may be missed or not correctly diagnosed. These include:
- Failure to carry out X-rays. Sometimes, the symptoms of a fracture may be missed, meaning that the proper diagnostic tests are not ordered. This could lead to the fracture being missed.
- X-rays or tests are misinterpreted. You may have had an X-ray performed on the injured area that shows a fracture, but the results of the X-ray are interpreted incorrectly.
- Human error. An administrative error could lead to the results of an X-ray that indicate a fracture being misplaced.
It’s important to note that just because your fracture was missed or misdiagnosed does not mean that your doctor acted negligently. It is possible for a doctor to miss or misdiagnose a fracture while adhering to the standards of their profession, and if this is the case, you would not be able to claim.
The Limitation Act 1980 states that you generally have a 3-year time limit to start a claim. This can be either from the date of the accident or the “date of knowledge”. This is the date you became aware that your injuries were caused by negligence.
However, there are some circumstances where this time limit can be suspended, extended, or even put on hold indefinitely. We’ve listed some examples below.
Child Accident Claims
To pursue your own personal injury claim, you must be at least 18 years old. Before then, their claim can only be made for them by a litigation friend. This is a legal adult who must have the child’s best interests at heart.
The litigation friend will not receive compensation if the case is successful. Instead, it will be paid into a secured bank account that the child claimant will be able to access from the 18th birthday.
If no claim is made by the time the child turns 18, they can claim on their own behalf. The 3-year time period begins again on their 18 birthday, so they have until they turn 21 to start their own claim.
Claiming On Behalf Of Those With A Reduced Mental Capacity
If the injured person lacks the mental capacity to make a claim, then someone else can claim on behalf of them as a litigation friend. If the injured person regains their mental capacity, the time limit begins and they have 3 years to start their own claim. Otherwise, the time limit is indefinitely suspended.
Immediately following a broken collarbone, you should seek medical attention. The sooner you manage to do so, the better chance you give yourself of making a complete recovery. Not only that, but the medical records generated as a result will prove very useful as evidence during your claim
Other forms of evidence will also need to be gathered. This could include things like photographs, witness details and even CCTV footage if your injury took place in a public place. You have a legal right to request any CCTV footage of yourself.
You’ll also need legal advice to help you work out your next steps. While not a legal requirement, the support and guidance of a solicitor could help you get more money from your claim. Our advisors are here and waiting to help you with your potential personal injury claim. If your claim has a good chance of success, they could connect you with a lawyer from our panel.
All of the solicitors on our panel can offer representation on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that should your claim be unsuccessful, you will not be responsible for paying your solicitor’s costs. If the case is successful, then the lawyer will be paid via a small, legally capped percentage of the compensation payout.
If you feel this method of pursuing your claim could benefit you, then get in touch with our advisors today. You can speak to us by:
- Calling us on 020 3870 4868
- Speaking to us using the live chat feature in the bottom right corner
- Filling out our online form on our website to see if you could have a claim
We’ve included some links to additional material you might find useful.
- Our guide on how to make an accident at work claim.
- How to report a doctor for medical negligence.
- More information on slip, trip and fall accident claims.
- Broken collarbone – NHS advice.
- How to request CCTV footage of yourself.
- More details regarding what a litigation friend is.
In this final section, we have answered some of the more common questions that we’re asked on this topic.
How much is a broken collarbone worth?
The amount you receive in compensation for a broken collarbone will vary depending on a number of factors. For instance, you may receive more compensation for a serious injury that causes you a great deal of pain and suffering than for a minor injury.
How serious is a broken collarbone?
If left untreated, then collarbone injuries can lead to long term or even permanent pain or discomfort. They can even affect adjacent body parts such as the shoulder blade. If they aren’t properly treated, they could cause serious, long-lasting disabilities.
Could I claim if my child was injured?
Yes. An adult acting as a litigation friend can make a claim on their behalf. The payout would be paid into a secured bank account until the child is 18 years old.
What if there is no evidence of my accident?
Simply having a broken collarbone is very unlikely to earn you any compensation. You must be able to prove that your injury was sustained due to the negligence of someone who owed you a duty of care. If you have no proof of this, you will find it incredibly difficult to make a successful claim.
Thank you for reading our guide on claiming for a broken collarbone.