Broken Wrist Compensation Claims In The UK

By Lewis Aaliyah. Last Updated 26th May 2023. 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. Am I Eligible To Claim Broken Wrist Compensation
  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. Broken Wrist Compensation – Evidence Examples
  12. Claiming Broken Wrist Compensation On A No Win No Fee Basis
  13. References
  14. Broken Wrist Claim FAQs

Am I Eligible To Claim Broken Wrist Compensation?

To be eligible to make a personal injury claim for compensation for a broken wrist, you will need to prove the following:

  1. You were owed a duty of care by a relevant third party.
  2. This third party breached their duty of care.
  3. Due to this, you suffered an injury. A breach of duty of care that results in injury is known as negligence.

There are various instances where you are owed a duty of care. These include:

  • In the workplace – The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 states that your employer owes you a duty of care. Per this duty, they must take reasonable steps to ensure your safety while you are at work and performing work-related duties.
  • In a public place – The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 states that those in control of a public space owe a duty of care. Per this duty, they must take all the necessary steps to ensure your reasonable safety whilst you are using that public space for its intended purpose.
  • On the road – Road users owe one another a duty of care under the Road Traffic Act 1988. Per their duty of care, they must navigate the roads in a way that avoids causing harm to themselves or others. Additionally, they must follow the rules set out in the Highway Code to promote road safety.

If you can prove negligence occurred, you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim for broken wrist compensation.

Contact our advisors today to discuss your potential broken wrist claim and receive free advice.

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

You may have viewed a wrist injury compensation calculator to gain a general idea of how much compensation for a broken wrist you could get. However, wrist injury compensation amounts vary between claims. For example, some claimants may suffer long-term effects of a broken wrist. Typically, this will result in a larger payout than a simple fracture that heals relatively quickly.

If you are successful, your compensation will include general damages. This seeks to compensate you for the pain and suffering caused by your wrist injury. Additionally, it could consider the physical long-term effects of a broken wrist on your daily activities.

Legal professionals estimate pain and suffering values using compensation brackets from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Our table below contains figures from the 16th edition. Do not take the table as a guarantee of what you could claim.

Wrist injury severityNotesSuggested award
(a)(a) Injuries resulting in complete loss of function in the
£47,620 to £59,860
(b)(b) Injury resulting in significant permanent disability, but
where some useful movement
£24,500 to £39,170
(c)(c) Less severe injuries where these still result in some
permanent disability
£12,590 to £24,500
(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).
£6,060 to £10,350
(e)(e) An uncomplicated Colles fracture.In the region of £7,430
(f)(f) Very minor undisplaced or minimally displaced
£3,530 to £4,740

Broken Wrist Settlement Value – Other Amounts

The broken wrist settlement value may also be dependent on any special damages you could be compensated for. This head of claim relates to any out-of-pocket expenses or financial losses you have incurred as a result of your broken wrist injury.

Examples of financial harm that might be accounted for in your personal injury compensation award, include:

  • A loss of earnings, which could be the result of taking time off work to recover from your injuries. A wage slip may be used to prove this loss.
  • Any prescription expenses that you have paid for because you needed medication to alleviate symptoms of your injuries. A receipt of this expense can be used as evidence.
  • Care costs if you require a carer to help you with daily activities whilst you recover. Keep hold of any invoices from your care provider to prove this cost.

If you would like clarification on the average settlement for your broken wrist claim, a personal injury lawyer from our panel could assess any general or special damages you might be awarded. Get in touch for more information.

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.

Broken Wrist Compensation – Evidence Examples

In order to be eligible for broken wrist compensation, you’ll need evidence to support your claim. It is unlikely that you’ll be awarded personal injury compensation if your claim isn’t backed by evidence.

The following evidence may come in handy when claiming for a broken wrist:

  • Medical records, such as notes from your doctor or a medical professional, can prove the extent of your injuries, including the long-term effects of a broken wrist.
  • The contact details of any witnesses who can corroborate your version of events.
  • If the accident occurred in a place where there is CCTV, the footage could be requested.
  • Photographs of your injury can prove that you have broken your wrist.

An injury lawyer from our panel could help you gather evidence. If you would like an estimate of your claim, you could potentially use our online wrist injury compensation calculator. Alternatively, speak to our advisors for more information. They are available to speak to 24/7.

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.

What is the average time off work with a broken wrist?

The NHS tells us that a broken wrist will typically need 6-8 weeks to heal, though this may not always be the case. Some more serious injuries may take longer to heal.

The recovery period is not the only consideration when it comes to how long you’ll need off work. In some places of employment, you may still be able to work even with a broken wrist. Some less physical jobs may still be possible to perform even with a wrist fracture.

How much compensation you get for a wrist injury could be affected if you have needed time off work and lost out on earnings. Get in touch today to find out how much compensation for a broken wrist you could receive.

Please speak to an adviser for more information about compensation.

Writer FE

Checked by EI.