Broken Thumb Compensation Claims In The UK

By Lewis Aaliyah. Last Updated 4th May 2023. 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. Can A Broken Thumb Cause Loss Of Amenity?
  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. Fractured Thumb – Evidence Examples
  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.

Injury Description Amount
Thumb Loss of thumb £35,520 to £54,830
Thumb Very serious injury – where the digit was severed at the base and grafted back on, leaving a deformed digit that is useless £19,600 to £35,010
Thumb Serious injury – may involve amputation of the tip of the thumb, damage to nerves or a fracture that could necessitate wire insertion £12,590 to £16,760
Thumb Moderate – 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 £9,670 to £12,590
Thumb Severe dislocation £6,340 to £7,780
Wrist (b) s
Some permanent disability, but some useful movement remains
£24,500 to £39,170
Wrist (e) A Colles’ fracture with no complications In the region of £7,430
Finger Amputation of ring and little fingers In the region of £21,810
Finger Fracture of index finger – where a fracture has quickly mended but grip remains impaired £9,110 to £12,240
Finger Amputation of little finger £8,640 to £12,240
Hand, finger, and thumb Minor – includes fractures which generally have recovered in six months. Also includes scarring, tenderness and reaction to the cold even after full recovery Up to £4,750

Special Damages For A Broken Thumb – Example Amounts

Special damages compensate for any financial losses or out-of-pocket expenses you have suffered due to your broken thumb injury.

Some examples of the financial losses that special damages could compensate you for include:

  • Medical expenses such as paying for prescriptions.
  • A loss of earnings if you’ve required time off work to recover from your injuries.
  • Travel expenses, for example, if you’ve needed to take taxis to and from medical appointments.

You will need to provide evidence of these financial losses, such as invoices, bank statements and receipts.

Get in touch with our advisors today to see whether you could make a personal injury claim if you’ve suffered a broken thumb at work, and the compensation that could be awarded for your injury.

Can A Broken Thumb Cause Loss Of Amenity?

According to the NHS, recovering from a fractured or broken thumb usually takes 6-8 weeks. However, it may take longer. Additionally, some patients find that their broken thumb takes 3-4 months before it has returned to full strength.

Under general damages, any loss of amenity caused by your injured thumb will be considered. Loss of amenity considers how your lifestyle is affected. It covers your hobbies and leisure pursuits.

For example, you may enjoy drawing but will be unable to while your injury heals. Loss of amenity considers this. However, if you make your living through drawing and can’t work, your lost income will be recovered under special damages as stated above. Additionally, loss of amenity will be valued for both temporary and permanent losses caused by your injury.

Call our advisors for a free valuation of your potential broken thumb compensation. They’ll consider loss of amenity when calculating how much your general damages will be worth. In addition, they can help value any special damages you might be able to recover.

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.

Fractured Thumb – Evidence Examples

There are several key steps you should take if you have fractured your thumb because of another party’s negligence. Initially, you should prioritise getting the medical care you require for symptoms of a broken thumb. A delay in getting appropriate treatment could stop your fractured thumb from healing correctly, leading to long term complications.

After you have received treatment, we recommend you collect evidence to support your claim. Forms of evidence that may help you to build your case may include photographs, medical records and witness statements from anyone who saw the incident that caused your injury. If your injury was captured on CCTV, you also have a legal right to request footage of yourself.

You may also wish to seek legal advice, and you can choose to hire a personal injury solicitor for support. We recommend choosing a solicitor who has previous experience in handling fracture injury claims and can guide you through the claims process.

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.

Have I Broken My Thumb?

The NHS gives helpful advice that could help you identify whether or not you have broken your thumb.

The official NHS page on a broken finger states that you may have broken your thumb if your thumb is:

  • Swollen
  • Bruised
  • Painful
  • Hard to move

It also states that it can be difficult to tell if your thumb is broken or sprained without an X-ray. You can contact your local GP for help with booking a scan of your thumb.

It is recommended to get immediate help from a medical professional if your thumb:

  • Points at an odd angle
  • Is cut, with a bone sticking out of it
  • Is blue, or numb

If you’re concerned you’ve broken your thumb, we recommend seeking professional medical help as soon as you can.

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