Broken Sternum Compensation Claims In The UK
Not being able to breathe normally is terrifying. Any injury to the lungs or chest cavity can be extremely alarming and create long-lasting problems for the sufferer. Any type of heavy impact onto the front of our body could result in cracked ribs or damage to an area called the sternum, a long bone in the centre that connects to our ribs. You might be eligible for broken sternum compensation if your injury was caused due to the lapse of the duty of care owed to you by a third party.
At UK Law we offer guidance and help to anyone thinking of starting a claim for damages for a personal injury such as this. Before you begin your claim it’s important that you feel confident the accident occurred because of negligence on the part of another. Why not:
- Call our friendly team right now on 020 3870 4868
- Email or write to us at UK Law.co.uk
- Refer to the ‘live support’ option for instant help
Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About Broken Sternum Compensation Claims
- What Is A Broken Sternum?
- What Are The Three Parts Of The Sternum?
- Broken Sternum Symptoms
- What Causes A Sternum To Pop Or Break?
- Broken Sternum Compensation Calculator
- How Are Sternal Fractures Treated?
- What Is A Misdiagnosed Sternal Fracture?
- Why Do Sternal Fractures Go Undiagnosed?
- How Long Do You Have To Claim For A Sternal Fracture?
- I Suffered A Sternal Fracture, What Should I Do?
- Claim For A Broken Sternum On A No Win No Fee Basis
- Related Guides
- FAQs People Also Ask
Any accident is traumatic, but one that was caused by the avoidable negligence of someone else is even worse. In many areas of daily life, we are owed a duty of care just as we owe others. This duty of care is in place so we look after the health and wellbeing of others. On the roads, we owe a duty of care, in the workplace our employers owe us a duty of care and when we are out in public places occupiers also owe us a duty of care.
Broken sternum compensation claims can be valid if this duty of care is not adhered to. There are various pieces of legislation that we will discuss throughout this guide that apply to certain parties with a duty of care.
If the injury was at work, your employer has a duty of care under The Health and Safety At Work etc Act 1974 they are required to provide a consistent regard to your safety and wellbeing and to conduct regular checks to uphold safety in the workplace. There are ‘reasonable’ limits to these expectations.
Likewise, the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 requires anyone who operates a service or venue that is open to the public to clearly warn about potential hazards and do their utmost to avoid accidents to visitors on their premises. The Highway Code requires all road users to exercise the same consideration by showing competency and care behind the wheel.
We explain the evidence needed to achieve a successful claim. Along the way, we will give you options about how to find legal representation you do not have to pay for upfront. We discuss how a No Win No Fee lawyer could help you. To conclude we answer some of your most pressing questions so that you leave this guide with the information you needed.
What does a broken sternum feel like? A broken sternum happens when a heavy impact or sudden, violent force cracks or shatters this bone. The sternum is a long, thin bone that runs down the centre of the chest ending just below the bottom rib. It’s connected on either side to the rib cage by quite tough cartilage.
A crack or fracture in this area can be very painful and result in a host of other medical problems such as breathing and digestion issues. If you suspect you have broken ribs and sternum fractures always seek immediate medical attention.
Anatomically, the sternum is divided into three separate parts and you can suffer a fracture at any location in this area of the chest. Briefly, they are:
- Manubrium – A square piece of bone at the top of the sternum that connects to the ribcage and the clavicle (collarbone).
- Body – which is a long piece of bone that directly adjoins to the ribs
- Xiphoid process – which is a small pointed terminus of bone at the bottom, similar to the coccyx
The sternum is part of a rigid and robust framework for the lungs and heart. In addition to this, it provides a ‘breast-plate’ like defence for the vital organs which are positioned in this area.
Broken sternum symptoms are similar in many ways to other types of fractures. After experiencing your accident, you would be immediately aware of several undeniable symptoms:
- A cracking or popping noise in the top half of the chest area
- Pain when breathing – the sternum moves continually with the motion of the lungs, so breathing would become immediately difficult and painful
- This pain would increase with speaking or coughing
- Localised, dull or sharp ache in the centre of the chest
- Discomfort when trying to move arms or carry anything (the arm muscles connect to this area)
- If the fracture is compound (i.e. exits the surface of the skin) there will be blood
- Nausea and feelings of faintness
- Difficulty standing or in certain positions
- Deformity to that area of the body, crouching over or trouble standing erect.
As the victim of an injury to this part of the body, you could suffer a combination of all these symptoms. In some cases, symptoms do not present themselves in a very obvious way. It can be possible to fracture the sternum and not be instantly aware of the damage. Also, if not properly attended to, you can suffer tissue or lung damage. Pain symptoms can continue for 8 – 12 weeks after the injury.
Despite its robust nature, the sternum can fracture under the right circumstances. A sternum fracture could happen in the following accidents;
- Falling from any height
- Landing badly after a slip or trip
- As part of a pedestrian and vehicle collision
- Or a vehicle to vehicle crash
- As the victim of violence
- High impact sports
A broken sternum can also be the result of multiple injuries and as such, your claim could include all the other harm you suffered as well. A personal injury lawyer can demonstrate how to use the legislation to form the foundation of your claim and calculate an amount that truly reflects all the injuries you’ve endured.
If your claim for fracture sternum compensation is successful you will be awarded two types of damages;
This compensation is awarded to the claimant for the pain and suffering they have experienced because of their injuries. Taken into account is any effect this has had on your quality of life. Below is a table with figures from the Judicial College Guidelines JCG. The JCG is a publication that can be used by legal professionals to help come to a figure for the suffering caused. These bracket amounts come from past court cases. They are intended to keep awards as fair and consistent as possible for personal injury claims. Below is an excerpt:
|Injury||Notes||Suggested amount of compensation|
|Traumatic injury to chest||Life-altering trauma to the chest resulting in permanent disability and reduction in life expectancy||£61,710 to
|Damage to chest and lungs||Causing continuing disability.||£29,380 to
|A single chest penetrating wound||Damage to chest tissue||£11,820 to
|Rib fractures||fractures and soft tissue injuries that heal completely||Up to £3,710|
Special damages focus on the monetary losses you’ve suffered from your injuries. This can be a remarkably wide-ranging list. For example:
- Your sternum fracture may mean that you had to miss work and lost income
- Physiotherapy may have been necessary
- Care costs are very high. Did someone need to help you cope domestically?
- Travel costs to work or hospital appointments
- Expensive painkillers or medical procedures
- Any other requirement that cost you money as a way of coping with your injuries
Pet care, modifications to your home, lost holidays -with the correct proof of these out-of-pocket expenses can be claimed. All you need are the bills, receipts and bank statements to get them included as part of your compensation claim. If successful, they can be reimbursed by the liable party that caused your accident.
You are entitled to launch a claim for broken sternum compensation independently if you wish. It’s important to note that cases such as this can be very time-consuming and rather complex. Having a solicitor on side can take the stress out of making a personal injury claim.
A No Win No Fee personal injury lawyer can help. When you work with a legal professional in this way, it’s possible to allow them to calculate all these costs on your behalf. All you need to do is provide them with the evidence. Contact us for help and advice.
What treatment you receive for your fractured sternum will all depend on how severe the actual break is. In severe cases, surgery may be required to help the bone re-connect to allow healing.
Pain can be the most challenging aspect of a fractured sternum. As you rest and heal, a dull ache that radiates from the centre of the chest can be constant and so it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider about pain control management.
All healthcare providers assume a duty of care as soon as they agree to treat a patient. Whether the provider is an NHS service or a private clinic, they have a responsibility to ensure that you receive the most appropriate level of care. The Care Quality Commission regulates and inspects health services within England. If you have been provided with substandard care through an NHS trust you can complain directly to the NHS.
If a sternal fracture is misdiagnosed it means that the fracture may have not been spotted. Should this happen you may not receive the treatment you need and in some cases, the injury may worsen.
Sternal fractures can go undiagnosed if they form part of multiple injuries. When you present yourself at the A&E or GP’s surgery with pain symptoms after an accident, it’s possible that you are hurt in more than one place. You may think the pain originates from elsewhere (this is called referred pain) or other parts may hurt so much you do not notice the dull ache in the centre of your chest. When reporting our injuries it’s important that we are as clear and thorough as we can be in describing them. We cannot reasonably expect a health provider to diagnose us properly if we fail to explain our symptoms.
However, sternal fractures can be missed for other reasons. In the thick of a typical hospital, the medical staff are extremely busy. The NHS sees millions of people every day and manages, on the whole, to deliver very good care to a bewildering array of patients on many levels. If an error occurs that results in your sternal fracture going undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, it may be because of:
- Staff fatigue
- Mixed up patient notes
- Conflicting diagnoses
- Language barriers between staff and patient
- Poor delivery of service
- Data errors
- Lack of experience with x-ray, MRI or CT scans
The results of these errors could be health problems for you in the future. Missed sternal fractures could result in disfigurement of the chest area.
In order to make a medical negligence claim for a misdiagnosis, you must prove that the doctor was negligent when treating you. Also, you must be able to show that your injury worsened more than it would have had the diagnosis happened earlier.
The timescales for starting personal injury claims for broken sternum compensation are currently:
- 3 years from the date you become aware of the injury
- 3 years from the date you became aware of the injury or that the injury was caused through negligence
If you are under the age of 18, or lack the mental capacity to run your own claim the time limits differ please call our claims team for more information.
To conclude, below is a step by step guide to cover the various aspects we’ve discussed. If you are unsure as to any points, please do not hesitate to get in touch for help:
- Have any injuries properly attended to
- Next, you can request copies of your patient notes as evidence
- Collect information from the scene of your accident. Workplace accident records, witness details and CCTV footage can all be used to support your claim
- Obtain a copy of the accident log if it happened at work
- Gather up proof of all the costs your injuries are causing. Remember, some amounts take longer to accumulate and you can only make one claim. Be sure to include everything.
With these things in place, you are ready to call our advisors. Whether it was in the workplace, in public, on the roads or at a hospital, if you were the victim of a sternal fracture that was not your fault, the other party could be liable for all your consequential costs.
With this in mind, how might a No Win No Fee service benefit you? When you call our team and discuss your case, they can advise you about eligibility and introduce you to experts in the area of No Win No Fee personal injury claims.
Furthermore, when working with a No Win No Fee personal injury solicitor there are no upfront fees to pay the solicitor, no fee while the claim progresses and no fees to pay the solicitor if the claim fails. You only pay a small amount to your lawyers if the case wins.
When a lawyer works with you under a No Win No Fee agreement, you know that they are taking the most realistic approach to your case. Because any fee they hope to derive comes only from a successful case, therefore they will give it their utmost scrutiny and attention to obtain the highest possible award. Call today to see how easy it could be to start your No Win No Fee broken sternum compensation claim.
We appreciate you taking the time to read this guide on broken sternum compensation. In addition to the highlighted links throughout this article that offer more help, below are more resources to help in other areas of personal injury claims:
- Are you a victim of dental negligence?
- Or was it an accident in a shop?
- Read here about data breach compensation
- We can help with medical negligence claims
- Lastly, help with pedestrian accident claims
If you suffered a broken sternum because of negligence, we can help. Call our friendly team right now on 020 3870 4868 or email or write to us at UK Law.co.uk. You can also refer to the ‘live support’ option for instant help
How much is a broken sternum worth?
The excerpt from the JCG above provides a guide recommendation for injuries like this. There is no ‘exact’ amount as each case will vary depending on both the medical evidence and the money used to deal with the consequences of recovery. Speak to our team for a personalised and more accurate estimate.
How serious is a broken sternum?
It all depends on how severe the fracture is.
Could I claim for a child?
Yes. A ‘litigation friend’ can represent anyone unable to fully represent themselves in court. As an adult with the child’s best interests at heart, you can undertake all the duties they are unable to.
Does a broken sternum ever heal?
In most cases, fractured sternums should make a full recovery.
Checked by EI.