Broken Wrist Compensation Claims In The UK

The human wrist is an amazing thing. The bones and muscles allow this part of our body to perform many different tasks. We can move heavy objects and carry out the most delicate procedures with the use of our wrists.  So, damage here can cause real problems. What happens if that damage was caused by someone else? In this article, we explain broken wrist compensation amounts and how you might qualify for one if a third party injured you.

Broken wrist compensation claims guide

Broken wrist compensation claims guide

Firstly, it’s quite likely a broken wrist injury compensation claim may be something you’ve never had to consider before. You might have many questions about who to make your claim against, how much you could get and what the law says about the liability of others. Whether the injury happened at:

  • An accident at work
  • In a public place
  • Caused by another road user
  • Or BY a medical professional who failed to properly treat your wrist injury

This article can provide you with the necessary information on the personal injury claim process. Our friendly team are available to discuss your case when you get in touch on 020 3870 4868 or email us at UK You can also use the ‘live support’ option, bottom right for instant chat about your claim. It’s free, there’s no obligation to claim.

Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About Broken Wrist Compensation Claims
  2. What Is A Broken Wrist Or Colles Fracture?
  3. What Are The Names Of The Wrist Bones?
  4. Signs And Symptoms Of A Broken Wrist
  5. How Do People Break Their Wrist?
  6. Calculating Broken Wrist Compensation Claims
  7. Treating And Diagnosing Wrist Fractures
  8. What Are Misdiagnosed Broken Wrist Injuries?
  9. Why Could A Broken Wrist Injury Be Misdiagnosed Or Missed?
  10. Are There Time Limits To Claim For Breaks And Fractures?
  11. I Suffered A Broken Wrist, What Should I Do?
  12. Claiming Broken Wrist Compensation On A No Win No Fee Basis
  13. References
  14. Broken Wrist Claim FAQs

Everything You Need To Know About Broken Wrist Compensation Claims

A broken wrist is rarely life-threatening and if it’s on your non-dominant hand it can often be more of an inconvenience than anything else. However, the long term pain and disruption it causes some victims can be much harder to deal with. The upheaval of trying to negotiate your life with an impaired hand can present many unforeseen problems. With an average heal time of approximately 4 – 6 weeks, it can represent a real challenge for some to cope as normal.

The household bills and child care arrangements still needed to be attended to. Shopping still needs to be carried. Personal care must be attended to. With a broken wrist of all these everyday tasks suddenly become a problem and potential expense.

In this article, we explain how the law supports your right to be protected from injury at work, in public and on the roads. We also look at the minimum standards of care that you can expect from the medical profession and how you might claim compensation if you were failed in that duty.

Our article explains how two types of damages can be used to calculate the health and financial impact on you. It goes through the eligibility criteria for claiming against a third party that owed you a duty of care. We conclude by explaining how a No Win No Fee agreement can help fund a solicitor.

Who Owes A Duty Of Care

Under certain laws, our employers, private operators and other road users do have a duty of care to ensure our safety and well being as much as they reasonably can. But we have a duty to do the same. Importantly, there are reasonable limitations to this duty on others to protect safety and wellbeing. The laws that ask compliance to this duty are:

What Is A Broken Wrist Or Colles Fracture?

When the wrist breaks it is usually because it is pushed by some force out of its normal range of motion. A sudden impact or unnatural twisting of the hand can fracture the wrist and a common injury is a Colles fracture.

A Colles fracture is a snap at the wrist in the radius which is the main bone that connects the hand to the arm. Commonly caused when we outstretch a hand to attempt to break a fall during a trip or slip, this type of injury can be particularly hazardous for the elderly. Colles Fractures can be complete breaks in the bone and result in a noticeable swelling and deformity of the normal position of the hand to the forearm.

What Are The Names Of The Wrist Bones?

The wrist contains a surprising amount of bones and when they all work in conjunction with each other, the splendid motion of a healthy wrist performs so many tasks for us. A brief description of them is helpful as a way of knowing exactly where you are harmed and how the injury you suffered caused it:

  • The Carpal bones are a cluster of 8 small pieces of bone which include the capitate, trapezoid, scaphoid,  hamate, pisiform,  trapezium, triquetrum and lunate. Each one of these bones can chip or break as part of a wrist injury, causing much pain to the wrist and hand area towards the base of the palm.
  • The ulna and radius are the two main long bones of the forearm which connect to these wrist bones.
  • Distal radius fractures mean a break at the vital connecting part between the two which can render the use of that hand very painful and problematic until it heals sufficiently for normal use again.

Signs And Symptoms Of A Broken Wrist

After you fall and outstretch your hand to break your fall, a wrist fracture can happen as you bend the hand forwards and backwards upon itself causing a break. After an injury such as this, you may experience the following instant symptoms which include:

  • Immediate localised pin the wrist area
  • Swelling and extreme tenderness
  • Noticeable deformity and misshapen angle of the wrist to arm
  • Loss of strength in that hand and arm
  • Pain when trying to rotate or move the wrist
  • Nausea and feelings of faintness

In addition to these symptoms, you can suffer a fracture where the bone actually exits the surface of the skin. Compound fractures as they are known are very serious and require immediate medical attention to stem blood loss and defend the wound from infection. Heal times from a compound fracture in the wrist can be much longer. For more information on fractures of the wrist, the NHS provides useful information which you can access here.

How Do People Break Their Wrist?

A few typical examples of how the wrist can be broken from the wide range of activities we do on a daily basis are as follows:

  • When the palm is flat against a door that pushes the wrist backwards
  • If the wrist is bent too far towards when we fall
  • Any heavy weight that pulls the hand (and therefore wrist) at an unnatural angle
  • During a road traffic accident
  • As a consequence of a violent assault
  • From a fall

It’s instinct to put out your hand to break your fall or put your hands up to deflect hazard. When we need to perform a manoeuvre such as this, we place our hands, wrist and forearms in direct danger. The NHS offers useful advice about avoiding falls (particularly for the elderly) and the Health and Safety Executive offers information on how to avoid slips or trips in the workplace. Taking care as we move around is obviously advisable as is remembering just how delicate connecting limbs can be and resisting the urge to use our anatomy like a tool.

Calculating Broken Wrist Compensation Claims

Broken wrist compensation amounts in the UK are calculated by using two types of damages – health impacts and financial impacts. When launching a personal injury claim for broken wrist compensation, if successful you will be eligible to claim both general and special damages.

Your lawyer can calculate potential compensation by cross-referring the injuries shown in your medical assessment with those listed by the Judicial College Guidelines. These amounts are suggested awards, not guarantees. But they provide a figure to acknowledge the impact of pain and suffering, mental anguish and damage to your lifestyle after the accident. A typical example:

Wrist injury severityNotesSuggested award
(a)(a) Injuries resulting in complete loss of function in the
£44,690 to £56,180
(b)(b) Injury resulting in significant permanent disability, but
where some useful movement
£22,990 to £36,770
(c)(c) Less severe injuries where these still result in some
permanent disability
£11,820 to £22,990
(d)Where recovery from fracture or soft tissue injury takes
longer but is complete, the award will rarely exceed
£8,740 ( £9,620 with 10% uplift).
Rarely exceed
(e)(e) An uncomplicated Colles fracture.In the region of
(f)(f) Very minor undisplaced or minimally displaced
£3,310 to £4,450

Special damages

As well as the general damages that can be calculated on your behalf, the financial losses that your injuries caused can also be used to reach a figure for compensation. Anything that you can prove was an actual financial impact could be considered, so with this in mind you can collect evidence of bills, statements and receipts that show:

  • Loss of income
  • Missed work opportunities
  • Care costs for anyone who needed to help you whilst you recovered
  • Travel costs
  • Medications and painkillers
  • Physiotherapy
  • Counselling
  • Missed special occasions or forfeited deposits
  • Child care provision
  • Pet care and gardening
  • Help with anything that you were able to do before yourself

The costs of these things can present a formidable barrage of additional expenses. Expenses that you could absolutely do without as you try to recover from your injuries. Special damages offer an opportunity to get them included and claimed back as part of your settlement.

Treating And Diagnosing Wrist Fractures

The pain is a fairly instant indicator that there is a problem with your wrist. As part of our anatomy required for so many micro-movements, any problem in this area is likely to make itself persistently felt. You should attend an A&E department or your GP’s surgery as soon as you can after a wrist injury.

Once you have presented your issues to a doctor, GP or nurse, they should assess you according to their own standard guidelines. You are entitled to receive

  • Free care from the NHS
  • Treatment of a good and consistent quality
  • From trained and experienced personnel
  • In a clean and purpose-appropriate location
  • In a timely fashion
  • With the proper equipment and aftercare

You have the right to complain if any of these standards are not met. To prove medical negligence you must have evidence that those you hold responsible acted in a negligent way. Causing you an injury that could have been avoided. Also, a group of peers with a similar standard must prove they would not have acted in the same way.

Your health care provider will usually use x-ray, CT or MRI scans to determine the extent of the injury. Clinical and medical negligence can happen for a variety of human error reasons. it’s essential to remember that we have a responsibility to properly report our injuries as best we can.

We can hardly expect perfect medical treatment if we do not discuss our issues as clearly with the medical staff as possible. Furthermore, a claim for medical or personal injury caused by negligence may not have a good chance of success unless you can prove you did everything to aid your own treatment. So, it’s important to follow medical advice once given it.

What Are Misdiagnosed Broken Wrist Injuries?

Under some circumstances, fractures can go undetected for quite obvious reasons and we look at them in detail below. With wrist fractures there are a lot of small bones that can chip, crack and be bumped out of perfect alignment during an accident. Therefore, misdiagnosis can happen when these fine details are missed or wrongly interpreted. Also, a common problem for misdiagnosis are fractures that crack across the actual joint, making them difficult to detect.

Intra-articular fractures are the type that can cut across a bone at the joint section, being hard to notice and causing cartilage and vein damage. Sometimes they also leave bone fragments in the joint creating long-lasting pain and problems for the sufferer. It’s in cases such as this that it’s especially important to examine x-ray and CT scans properly to ensure the injury can be given the best chance of healing.

Why Could A Broken Wrist Injury Be Misdiagnosed Or Missed?

A misdiagnosis can happen for many different reasons. Below we shall look at the causes of a missed diagnosis or incorrect diagnosis in more detail. There are some common reasons:

  • Staff fatigue (endemic in busy hospitals)
  • Lack of training
  • Language barriers between patients and doctors
  • Incorrect use of x-rays, CT and MRI scan equipment
  • Referring to the wrong patient notes
  • Interpreting the test results wrong
  • Failing to listen to the patient’s symptoms
  • Not recognising the symptoms presented
  • Failing to refer for diagnostic testing
  • The patient failing to explain their problem properly

The last point would be a fault on the part of the patient, but doctors still have a responsibility to check all injuries thoroughly. A wrist exam and x-ray would always include further parts of the arm and hand and its during the observation of these larger images that any problems should be detected.

Speak to our team if a doctor did not spot your wrist fracture and it went on to cause you harm or financial suffering.

Are There Time Limits To Claim For Breaks And Fractures?

Compensation claims for a broken wrist at work, in public or during a road traffic collision have a three-year time limit. Medical negligence claims also must be started within three years. However, very often, the injury/ illness may not always be apparent straight away. Or the fact the injury was caused through negligence may not be clear from the get-go. For that reason, the time limit will go from the date of knowledge.

You can only make one claim. Therefore it’s essential that you think about all the short and long-term consequences of the injuries. You want to include them in one comprehensive claim to give yourself the best chance of receiving the correct amount.

You can claim on behalf of someone under 18 years of age. The time limits commence from the date of their 18th birthday. Funds can be held securely until they reach the age of maturity. If you act on the part of another in a personal injury claim it’s called being a litigation friend and you can read more about how to do that here.

I Suffered A Broken Wrist, What Should I Do?

Follow these steps and you give yourself the best chance of a successful claim for broken wrist compensation caused by third-party neglect at work, in public, on the roads or due to medical negligence. Please feel free to get in touch on the number below for more information:

  • It’s important to get your injuries properly attended to first and foremost
  • Collect evidence from the scene of the accident if you can (photos, CCTV, witness statements)
  • If the accident happened at work, ensure it is properly recorded (the RIDDOR system can be used for serious injuries)
  • Arrange for a medical assessment as soon as possible
  • Use the time while you recover to think about all the ways the injuries are impacting your finances. How you can prove these losses?
  • Think about long term expenses. Have you included them all?
  • Starting a personal injury or medical negligence claim is something anyone can do. But before you attempt one independently, think about the time and complexity involved. Are you really up to it?
  • Consider reaching out to a specialist solicitor instead. A No Win No Fee lawyer could make the whole process much easier.
  • Finally, Get in touch to start the ball rolling.

Claiming Broken Wrist Compensation On A No Win No Fee Basis

A No Win No Fee agreement could help you right now. Help and advice is a phone call away. At UK Law our team can run through a brief assessment of your claim. If our advisors think you have a chance of being awarded compensation they can connect you to a panel of personal injury solicitors. When you use legal representation in this way, the only amount you ever need to pay out is a small percentage if your case wins. This amount is restricted, so you always receive the bulk of any settlement amount.

To sum up, with nothing to pay upfront to hire No Win No Fee solicitors or secure their services throughout your case and nothing to pay at all to your solicitor if your case fails this is the more affordable way to hire legal representation for many. Why not get in touch today to see what damages you could be eligible for?


Thank you for reading this guide. We hope the information has helped with your decision to commence a broken wrist compensation claim. At UK Law we can help with other types of personal injury such as:

Furthermore, you can read about arthritis in the wrist and the cost of personal care as you recover. Lastly, we offer advice about using NHS services to their best advantage.

Broken Wrist Claim FAQs

In conclusion, below are a few questions that commonly arise around the subject of broken wrist compensation claims. If you require any further information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch:

Can you sue for a missed fracture?

This depends on whether you can prove the negligence of a medical professional led to your missed fracture. Also whether you suffered further avoidable harm because of the misdiagnosis.

What happens if a fracture is missed?

The wrist may not heal correctly. You could go on to experience arthritis or other long term problems.

Can you sue a hospital for missing a fracture?

This depends on whether you can prove the negligence of a medical professional led to your missed fracture. Also whether you suffered further avoidable harm because of the misdiagnosis.

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