Broken Thumb Compensation Claims In The UK

Have you broken your thumb? Was it in an accident that was caused by someone else breaching their duty of care to you? If so, you could be entitled to broken thumb compensation. This is the case whether your injury occurred in an accident at work, a road traffic accident or an accident in a public place.

If you break or fracture your thumb, this could affect the things that you are able to do. You may need to take time off work, especially if your job involves a lot of manual handling. You may also find that you’re not able to care for yourself in the way you are used to. In addition, you may have to cancel plans like holidays or sporting events.

Broken thumb compensation

Our team of advisors is standing by to answer any questions you may have. No issue is too small. The more we know about your claim, the more we may be able to help. If you’re deemed to have a valid claim, we could connect you with a personal injury lawyer from our panel. All of the lawyers on our panel work with their clients on a No Win No fee basis. Read on for more information. Below, you’ll also find our contact details.

Get In Touch With Our Team

There are a number of ways you can get in touch with us.

  • You can call us on 020 3870 4868
  • Use the live chat function in the bottom right corner of this page
  • Fill out our online form to see if you could have a valid claim

Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About Broken Thumb Compensation Claims
  2. What Is A Broken Thumb Injury?
  3. What Are The Parts Of The Thumb?
  4. Signs And Symptoms Of A Broken Thumb Injury
  5. Risk Factors Which Could Cause Broken Thumbs
  6. Calculating Broken Thumb Compensation Claims
  7. Diagnosing And Treating Broken Thumb Injuries
  8. Missed Diagnosis Of A Broken Thumb
  9. Why Are Fractures Of The Fingers And Thumb Misdiagnosed?
  10. Is There A Time Limit For Making My Claim?
  11. I Broke Or Fractured My Thumb, What Should I Do?
  12. Claiming Broken Thumb Compensation On A No Win No Fee Basis
  13. Related Services
  14. Frequently Asked Questions About Broken Thumb Injuries

Everything You Need To Know About Broken Thumb Compensation Claims

In this guide, we will examine how a broken thumb injury could be caused by negligence. In addition, we will look at the anatomy of the thumb and how a thumb fracture could occur. We’ll also examine the symptoms that you could exhibit if you’ve fractured your thumb.

We will also examine how personal injury compensation is calculated and the types of damages that can be paid for a broken thumb caused by negligence. We will also look at how thumb fractures are diagnosed and what kind of treatment may be administered.

Furthermore, we will look at how a fracture to the thumb might be misdiagnosed and the impact that this can have. We’ll examine how a misdiagnosed thumb fracture could be the result of medical negligence.

Finally, we will examine the benefits that a No Win No Fee agreement could offer you in funding legal representation for your claim. We’ll conclude by answering some questions that we’re frequently asked about claims of this type.  

What Is A Broken Thumb Injury?

A broken thumb occurs when any of the bones that make up the thumb are broken or cracked. Fractures can vary in kind and severity, and the kind of fracture you sustain might affect the treatment you receive. 

Some common kinds of fracture include:

  • Displaced- This is where the fracture has moved out of position. This kind of fracture could pose a risk of the broken end of the bone causing internal damage.
  • Non-displaced- Non-displaced fractures are ones that don’t move out of position.
  • Open- An open fracture breaks the skin. You may be able to see bone through the wound or poking through the skin.
  • Closed- This is a fracture that doesn’t break the skin.
  • Hairline- A hairline fracture is a crack in the bone that doesn’t break the bone in two. If you suffer a hairline fracture, this might not cause you any pain; you may not even realise that you’ve broken a bone at all.

Figures below from RIDDOR show that finger and thumb injuries were the second most common upper-limb injury recorded to them in British workplaces in 2019/20.

Broken thumb compensation statistics graph

Broken thumb compensation statistics graph

What Are The Parts Of The Thumb?

The thumb is only made up of two bones, which means that there is only one joint in the thumb. The range of motion in the thumb, and the fact that the tip can touch the tips of each of the fingers, means that it is essential in being able to grasp and pick up objects.

The first metacarpal of the thumb is connected to the trapezium, which is a carpal bone that can be found in the wrist. In turn, this connects with the proximal phalanx, which connects to the distal phalanx. The distal phalanx makes up the tip of the thumb.

The thumb also contains ligaments to help aid movement. The terminal extensor tendon of the thumb is controlled by the extensor pollicis longus muscle, which is found in the forearm. The ulnar and radial collateral ligaments help the tip of the thumb remain stable when making a pinching motion.

Signs And Symptoms Of A Broken Thumb Injury

If you fracture your thumb, you may experience symptoms such as:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Stiffness
  • Difficulty moving the thumb

Some of these symptoms can be confused with suffering another thumb injury like a sprain or dislocation. You may need an X-ray to confirm whether you have actually suffered a broken thumb injury. Some other symptoms could involve:

  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • The shape of your thumb appearing visibly different or deformed 

If you sustain an open fracture, you may be able to see the bone poking through the skin. These kinds of fractures can be more at risk of infection, so you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Similarly, you may experience numbness or tingling in the affected thumb. This could indicate nerve damage, and you should get this assessed by a medical professional immediately. 

Risk Factors Which Could Cause Broken Thumbs

You may be able to claim compensation if your broken thumb injury was caused by someone breaching their duty of care to you. There are a number of situations where you’re owed a duty of care.

On the road

Car accidents can cause thumb fractures. Another vehicle may hit the front or driver’s side of the car, forcing the impact onto your thumb. You could also fracture your thumb if you are a pedestrian hit by a car and you use your hand to break your fall, or if you’re a cyclist who is knocked from your bike. All road users have a duty of care to follow the guidance set out in the Highway Code.

In the workplace

Accidents at work can also cause a fractured thumb. Broken thumb compensation can only be claimed if your injury in the workplace resulted from your employer breaching their duty of care to you. This duty of care is set out in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. For instance, part of your employer’s duty of care is providing you with proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). If they fail to do this and you break your thumb as a result, this could be considered negligence. 

In public

Slips, trips and falls can also result in a thumb fracture. People may try to break their fall onto a hard surface with their hand, putting pressure on the thumb and causing it to break. If this is in a public place, then you may be able to claim your broken thumb compensation from those in control of the area. For example, the local council may not have maintained the pavement, and there are loose pavement stones that have caused you to trip and injure yourself. The duty of care owed to you in a public place is outlined in the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957.

If you’re still not sure whether your broken thumb could make you eligible for compensation, then call our team of advisors today. A member of our claims team will be happy to help. 

Calculating Broken Thumb Compensation Claims

General Damages

If you have broken your thumb, the compensation you could receive is often made up of two main figures. These figures are known as general damages and special damages. W

General damages are awarded to compensate for the pain and suffering experienced due to your injury. The figure is calculated with the help of a publication known as the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG).

These guidelines contain an extensive list of what certain injuries could be worth in compensation. This includes a broken thumb compensation claim. The amount will differ depending on the severity of the injury, the recovery time and any permanent impact that the injury has on you.

The JCG is reviewed semi-regularly and was last reviewed in 2019. The table below lists some compensation brackets as listed in the latest edition of the guidelines.

ThumbLoss of thumb£33,330 to £51,460
ThumbVery serious injury - where the digit was severed at the base and grafted back on, leaving a deformed digit that is useless£18,390 to £32,850
ThumbSerious injury - may involve amputation of the tip of the thumb, damage to nerves or a fracture that could necessitate wire insertion£11,820 to £15,740
ThumbModerate - arthrodesis of the joints between phalanges or causing damage to tendons and/or nerves. Injuries of this nature will result in impaired sensation and cosmetic deformity£9,080 to £11,820
ThumbSevere dislocation£3,710 to £6,360
Hand, finger, and thumbMinor - includes fractures which generally have recovered in six months. Also includes scarring, tenderness and reaction to the cold even after full recoveryUp to £4,461
FingerFracture of index finger - where a fracture has quickly mended but grip remains impaired£8,550 to £11,480
FingerAmputation of little finger£8,110 to £11,490
FingerAmputation of ring and little fingersIn the region of £20,480
Wrist(b) s
Some permanent disability, but some useful movement remains
£22,990 to £36,770
Wrist(e) A Colles' fracture with no complications In the region of £6,970

Special Damages

The second part of a compensation claim is special damages. It aims to reimburse you for any financial loss or additional outgoings experienced as a direct result of your injuries. For example, this could include the cost of any treatment not covered by the NHS.

Other things that could be considered for special damages are things like loss of earnings, including future loss of earnings. If you suffer a thumb fracture, you may be unable to work for the time it takes for it to heal. Your lost wages over this period of time could be paid to you as part of your special damages.

Other things that can be included in this figure are things like damage to property and any necessary adaptations to your home. It’s important that you provide evidence as to the loss you have sustained in order for it to be included in the special damages head of your claim. 

Diagnosing And Treating Broken Thumb Injuries

If you think you may have broken your thumb, you should seek medical attention straight away. Sometimes it might be difficult for you to tell whether you have broken your thumb or just bruised or sprained it. 

An X-ray will usually be carried out to confirm that your thumb is broken. This may also be able to determine the kind of break you’re suffering from.

There are a number of things a doctor or nurse might do to treat a broken thumb. They may try to straighten it manually, and you will usually be given an anaesthetic in order to numb the pain. Alternatively, the broken thumb might be put in a splint or cast to keep it in position as the bones heal.

If the break is particularly complex, like if the thumb has been broken in multiple places, you may need surgery to position the bones so that they can heal. Pins, plates and screws might be used to hold the bones in place.

Missed Diagnosis Of A Broken Thumb

Sometimes a doctor may not notice that your thumb is broken or mistakenly diagnose it as only sprained or bruised. This could result in you not getting the treatment you need for your injuries.

Healthcare professionals have a duty of care to their patients, which means that they need to provide a minimum standard of care to everyone they treat. Sometimes, a misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis can occur even when the level of care that you receive is of an acceptable standard. In other cases, it may be a result of medical negligence, where the standard of care falls below the level expected.

To determine whether or not a medical professional was considered negligent, the courts will use something called the Bolam test. This is where a panel of medical professionals who specialise in the same field as the doctor in question are asked how they would have acted. 

If they say that they would have taken the same course of action, the doctor will not be considered negligent, even if their action caused the patient harm. However, if they say they would have acted differently, then the doctor would be considered negligent.

If you make a claim for medical negligence, you also need to demonstrate that the doctor’s actions directly caused the damage that you are claiming for. For instance, you may have experienced some pain and temporary loss of function even if the fracture was diagnosed. You will only be compensated for the part of your suffering that was caused by negligence, not by the initial injury.

Why Are Fractures Of The Fingers And Thumb Misdiagnosed?

A fracture may be missed if a doctor fails to order the proper tests to diagnose it. For instance, they may fail to arrange for an X-ray to be done when it should have been. 

A healthcare professional may also read the results of a test like this incorrectly. In some instances, the results of an X-ray may be lost completely or mixed up with those in another patient.

If you have suffered avoidable harm because of the negligence of a doctor who failed to diagnose a fracture, you may be able to claim. Contact our team today to find out more.

Is There A Time Limit For Making My Claim?

There is a 3-year time limit to starting a claim for compensation after breaking your thumb. This time limit runs either from the date the injury occurred or when you realised your injuries were due to negligence. The latter is referred to as the “date of knowledge”. 

If you do not claim within this time window, then it can be extremely difficult to pursue your claim. However, there are some instances where this time limit can function slightly differently. We’ve included some of the more common ones below.

Child Accident Claims

Claimants under 18 cannot pursue their own claim by law. Because of this, their time limit will only begin on their 18th birthday. Their claim can be pursued before they turn 18 by a litigation friend. This is a legal adult who is affiliated with the child and has their best interest in mind. A litigation friend could be a parent or guardian, but also another relative, family friend or legal representative.

Claiming on Behalf Of Those With A Reduced Mental Capacity

If the injured person lacks the mental capacity to claim themselves, their time limit will be suspended unless they regain their capacity. A litigation friend can claim on behalf of them in the meantime. If they don’t regain the mental capacity, meaning they are able to pursue their own claim, then their time limit is suspended indefinitely.

If the claimant’s mental capacity was reduced beforehand due to a mental condition, then their time limit could also be permanently suspended.

I Broke Or Fractured My Thumb, What Should I Do?

There are a number of key steps you should take if you have fractured your thumb. Initially, you should seek medical care. If you do not receive broken thumb treatment, then it could heal incorrectly, leading to long term complications. Your medical record may also provide evidence in support of your claim. 

Gathering evidence is also vital. Some forms of quality evidence are things like photographs, medical records, and witness details. However, you can still claim if there was no witness to your accident. If your injury was captured on CCTV, you have a legal right to request the footage of yourself.

You may also wish to seek legal advice. Not only will this ensure that the claims process runs as smoothly as possible, but it could also mean that you get more money from your claim. 

Claiming Broken Thumb Compensation On A No Win No Fee Basis

A No Win No Fee agreement means that you would not be asked to pay your solicitor any money if your case doesn’t succeed. You also won’t be asked to pay anything to your solicitor in order for them to begin work on your claim. 

If you win your case, your lawyer is paid via a legally capped percentage taken from your compensation. The lawyers on our panel all offer representation on a No Win No Fee basis.

If this method of funding legal representation appeals to you, then get in touch today. You can:

  • Call us on 020 3870 4868
  • Use the live chat function in the bottom right corner of this page
  • Fill out our online form to see if you could have a valid claim

Related Services

Below, we’ve included links to some additional material you may find useful.

  1. Your rights after an accident at work.
  2. How are accidents caused by inadequate training in the workplace?
  3. Information on the weight limit for manual handling.
  4. Advice regarding a broken thumb or finger from the NHS.
  5. How to request CCTV footage of yourself.
  6. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents 

Frequently Asked Questions About Broken Thumb Injuries

In this section, we have answered some of the more common questions we’re asked on this subject.

How do you know if you broke your thumb?

Symptoms of a broken thumb include pain, swelling and bruising. Some of these symptoms can be confused for more minor injuries like a sprain. It’s always best to check with a medical professional to make sure.

What happens if a broken thumb goes untreated?

It could heal incorrectly, or perhaps not at all. An untreated broken thumb could lead to permanent damage and discomfort and may cause you to develop arthritis in the thumb joint. Severe cases may lead to your thumb being amputated.

What would they do for a broken thumb?

For a broken thumb, it may be placed in a splint or cast to stop it from moving while it heals. Some cases may require surgery to line the bones back up in order to heal properly.

Could I claim if my child broke their thumb?

Yes, you can. For a child’s broken thumb, compensation can be claimed by an adult acting in the child’s best interests. They would be appointed the child’s litigation friend.

Thank you for reading our guide on claiming broken thumb compensation.

Guide by IB

Checked by NC