Calculating Compensation For A Broken Elbow

If you have suffered an elbow fracture due to the negligence of someone who owed you a duty of care, you could be entitled to compensation. In order to claim, you need to be able to prove that the accident was caused by a breach of duty of care owed to you. 

elbow fracture

Elbow fracture

Coping with a broken or fractured elbow may be difficult. The elbow is a joint that allows the lower part of the arm to move around. Injury to it may limit your range of motion.

If you suffer damage to your elbow, it can impact your ability to work, which may result in a loss of earnings. Furthermore, you may be unable to do the things you usually do in daily life, like dress yourself or prepare food.

If you’re deemed to have a valid claim by one of our advisors, then we could connect you with an experienced personal injury lawyer. The lawyers on our panel offer representation on a No Win No Fee basis.

The more we know about how your injury was sustained and its severity, the more accurately we will be able to estimate the compensation you could receive. For more information, read on. Below, you’ll also find our contact information.

Get In Touch With Our Team

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

Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About Elbow Fracture Compensation Claims
  2. What Is An Elbow Fracture?
  3. Anatomy Of The Elbow Joint
  4. Signs Of A Broken Elbow Injury
  5. Causes Of Olecranon Elbow Fractures
  6. Calculating Elbow Fracture Compensation Claims
  7. Elbow Fracture Treatment Options
  8. Can I Get Compensation For A Missed Elbow Fracture?
  9. Why Broken Elbow Injuries May Be Misdiagnosed
  10. How Long After Elbow Fracture Could You Start A Claim?
  11. What Should You Do If You Broke Or Fractured Your Elbow?
  12. How To Claim Elbow Fracture Compensation On A No Win No Fee Basis
  13. Related Guides
  14. FAQs On Elbow Fracture Compensation Claims

Everything You Need To Know About Elbow Fracture Compensation Claims

A fractured elbow can vary in severity. Simple elbow fractures may not cause you any long-term repercussions. However, some elbow fractures are serious enough to cause permanent restrictions in mobility and continuing functional disability. 

Whether the injury is sustained in an accident at work, a road traffic accident or an accident in a public place, you could still be eligible to claim compensation. The location of the accident is not what’s important; it’s whether or not you can prove the injury was caused by the negligence of someone who had a duty to ensure your safety.

Sometimes, you may suffer a fracture injury in an accident that was not caused by the negligence of a third party. You may seek medical attention and have your fractured elbow missed or misdiagnosed. In this case, you may be able to make a medical negligence claim.

To do this, you will need to show that the doctor who misdiagnosed you didn’t adhere to the standards of their profession and that their misdiagnosis caused you to suffer more than you would have if you’d received an accurate diagnosis. We will look at how this can be done in greater detail further on in the article. 

What Is An Elbow Fracture?

Falls can cause you to sustain a wide range of injuries, including a fractured elbow. In the elderly population especially, falls can badly damage some parts of the body. Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens the bones, making them more likely to break. It develops over time and is a normal part of ageing, but it can make you more likely to break or fracture a bone. 

NHS statistics show that after the age of 80, you have around a 50% chance of falling at least once per year. Whether at home or out and about, falls can result in serious damage that can take much longer to recover from the older you get. Falling onto the elbow can cause an elbow fracture.


Anatomy Of The Elbow Joint

The elbow joint is made up of 3 bones. The upper arm bone (humerus) is connected to both of the bones in the forearm. These bones are called the radius and the ulna. The ulna on the outside of the forearm, on the side of the little finger. The radius is on the inside, in line with the thumb. The radius is what breaks in a radial fracture.

The three bones interact to form the joint and enable you to bend your elbow, as well as turn your forearm to a “palm-up” or “palm-down” position. As well as this, the elbow is held together by ligaments, tendons, and muscles. 

One kind of elbow injury you can sustain is called an olecranon fracture. This is when you suffer a break to the part of the ulna that “cups” the humerus and creates a hinge so the elbow can move. The actual bone that breaks is the tip of the ulna.

You may also suffer from a radial head fracture, which is where the part of the radius that joins the elbow is broken. In some cases, this may be a small hairline fracture or crack on the bone. In other cases, the bone may split in two, and the fracture may be displaced, meaning that the bones are no longer in alignment. Fractures of this nature might require surgery in order to heal.

Signs Of A Broken Elbow Injury

Broken bone symptoms can include:

  • Pain in the affected area
  • Swelling
  • Deformity in the affected area
  • Swelling and tenderness
  • Bruising

In some cases, a broken elbow could result in an open wound or bone poking through the skin. This will usually only be the case in serious fractures.

Any of these symptoms following an accident need to be investigated by a medical professional, and you should seek medical advice. Failure to do so could result in your injury worsening over time. 

Causes Of Olecranon Elbow Fractures

Slips, trips and falls are possible causes of suffering an olecranon fracture. Depending on the angle of your fall, your elbow could be one of the first things to hit the ground. 

For instance, you may be involved in an accident at work where you slipped and fell on a wet floor that wasn’t signposted; this could be considered a breach of the duty of care set out in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1957. If you fractured your elbow as a result, you might be able to claim.

If the same scenario took place in a public place like a supermarket, your claim would be against the owner of the building or business. The person in control of a public space is the “occupier” and has a duty of care to ensure your safety according to the Occupier’s Liability Act 1957

It’s also possible to sustain an elbow fracture like an olecranon or radial fracture due to a car accident. If the accident was caused by another driver breaching their duty of care to you, you might be able to claim. In the event you’re hit by an uninsured driver, you can still claim through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB.).

If you’re still unsure whether the accident that caused your injuries was the result of a breach of duty of care, making you eligible to claim, then get in touch with us today. We will be able to clear the matter up for you.

Calculating Elbow Fracture Compensation Claims

When calculating compensation for a fractured elbow, there are two main figures that a claim for compensation might consist of. These figures are called general damages and special damages. 

General damages will be awarded to you to account for the pain and suffering caused by their injuries. The amount is worked out with the help of a publication that is updated semi-regularly called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG).

These guidelines are made up of an extensive list of injuries and guideline compensation brackets for them. If you’ve suffered a broken elbow, the recovery time and severity of the injury can affect the amount you are awarded. The JCG was last updated in 2019. 

In addition to the figures in the JCG, you’ll be invited to a medical appointment to help value your claim. Here, an independent expert will confirm that your injuries resulted from the accident you were involved in. They will also detail their findings and prognosis in a report which will be used with the help of the JCG in order to value your claim.

Below, we’ve included a table that includes some examples of potential payments for certain injuries.

Shoulder(b) Serious - Injuries in this bracket may include a dislocated shoulder which causes pain in the neck and shoulder, pain in the elbow. It could also included cases where the humerus has been fractured, restricting shoulder movement.£11,980 to £18,020
ArmLoss of both arms£223,960 to £281,520
Arm(b) Loss of one arm - amputation below the elbow. The top end of this bracket will be appropriate in cases where the injured person experiences severe pain £90,250 to £102,890
ElbowAn injury of this nature is likely to severely restrict motion in the elbow. £36,770 to £51,460
ElbowLess severe - causing impaired function but not requiring surgery. Injuries in this bracket will not result in significant disability.£14,690 to £30,050
ElbowModerate or Minor- This bracket will be appropriate for simple fractures to the elbow which don't result in permanent damage or impairment of function. Up to £11,820
Psychiatric DamageSevere - In cases within this bracket, the injured person will have marked problems with a number of factors including work, education and relationships. £51,460 to £108,620
Psychiatric DamageLess severe - level of award takes into consideration the duration of the period of disability and the extent their daily activities were affected, including sleep£1,440 to £5,500
ScarringA single, noticeable scar, or several superficial scars with some minor cosmetic deficit£2,220 to £7,350

Special damages

Special damages can be awarded to you to reimburse you for any financial loss you have experienced due to your injuries. This can be things like loss of earnings due to an absence from work, the cost of treatment not available on the NHS or care costs if you’ve been unable to look after yourself. 

There is a wide range of things that can be covered by special damages that we haven’t mentioned. For more information on what else could be included in a special damages payment, get in touch with our team of knowledgeable advisors.

Elbow Fracture Treatment Options

There are a few different elbow fracture types. For example, you could have a hairline fracture in your elbow. This means that the bone is still in one piece.  You could also have a more complicated fracture involving more than one bone.

If you’ve suffered a radial head fracture, then this will usually not be treated with a plaster cast. You may be given exercises to keep your elbow moving as it heals. 

You may also be given a sling to support your arm as it heals. Most fractures heal within six to twelve weeks, but it can sometimes take longer for the symptoms of your injury to settle.

An elbow fracture may be able to heal without much intervention. Some injuries,  however, may require your doctor to move the bones back into position so that they can heal. You should be given painkillers during a procedure such as this.

Failing this, you may have to be put asleep using a general anaesthetic and have metal plates, screws, or bolts implanted into the broken bone to hold it more solidly in place while it heals.

Can I Get Compensation For A Missed Elbow Fracture?

If you have suffered a fractured elbow, a doctor could miss the injury or interpret it as something else. If this is the case, it could be a case of medical negligence, and a solicitor could help you make a claim.

Doctors have a duty of care to their patients. If their actions, inaction or mistakes directly and negatively affect the health of one of their patients, then this would be an example of medical negligence

In order to claim medical negligence for a missed diagnosis, you need to be able to show that your doctor did not adhere to the standards of their profession and that this, in turn, caused you to suffer more than you would have if the injury had been diagnosed. To prove medical negligence, the courts will administer something called the Bolam Test.

Here, a panel of the doctor’s peers will be asked whether they would have done the same thing when presented with the same situation. If they confirm that they would have, then the actions will not be deemed to be negligent. However, if they confirm that they would have acted differently, then the doctor’s actions will be considered negligent, and you may be entitled to compensation.

Why Broken Elbow Injuries May Be Misdiagnosed

There are a number of reasons an elbow could be misdiagnosed. If a medical professional believes there is no fracture, they may not call for an X-ray. X-rays are often needed to confirm the presence of a broken elbow and determine the best course of treatment. Without one, the injury may not be spotted, and the condition could worsen or heal incorrectly.

Even if an X-ray is carried out, it could be interpreted incorrectly. Administrative errors may also mean that it never reaches the relevant medical professional. 

It’s important to note that just because your injury was misdiagnosed does not mean you will be eligible to claim. In order to receive compensation, you need to show that your suffering was worse than it would have been if you had received a proper diagnosis. You also need to show that the doctor who misdiagnosed you did not adhere to the standards of their profession when you were misdiagnosed.

How Long After An Elbow Fracture Could You Start A Claim?

The Limitation Act 1980 states that you have a 3-year time limit to make a claim following your injury. However, there are some circumstances where the personal injury claims time limit can be slightly different. Below, we’ve included some reasons why the time limit may be extended or suspended. 

General Accident Claims

There is generally a 3-year time limit to making a personal injury claim for compensation. However, there are some exceptions to this.

For instance, you may not always be aware of your symptoms straight away. If so, your time limit may run from what is known as the “date of knowledge”. This is the date that you knew (or should have known) that your injuries resulted from negligence. However, this date of knowledge is usually more applicable to cases of workplace illnesses, such as industrial hearing loss caused by a lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Child Accident Claims

Underage claimants are not allowed to pursue their own claims by law. They must wait until their 18th birthday, which is also when their 3-year time limit will begin. Before this date, their time limit is suspended. 

While they are under 18, a claim can still be made, but it must be done through what is called a litigation friend. A litigation friend can be a parent or guardian, a family friend or a legal representative.

If the claim is successful, the compensation is paid into a legally secured bank account. The compensation can be accessed by the injured person on their 18th birthday. In some circumstances, this money can be requested before they turn 18 if there is a reason that they need it. 

Claiming On Behalf Of Someone With A Reduced Mental Capacity

If the claimant lacks the mental capacity to make a claim, then the 3-year time limit is suspended. It will start again in the event that the injured person regains their mental capacity and is able to claim on their own behalf. Otherwise, a litigation friend can pursue their claim for them.

What Should You Do If You Broke Or Fractured Your Elbow?

If you have fractured your elbow, your initial priority should be to seek medical attention. Not only does being treated give you a better chance of a full recovery, but it will also provide medical records, which will be very helpful during the process of your personal injury claim.

Gathering other key pieces of evidence will also be an important step. You could take photographs of the cause of the accident, such as a spill on a floor that hasn’t been signposted. Other forms of evidence could be photographs of the injury itself, CCTV footage if the area was covered by cameras and witness statements. However, you can still claim if there was no witness to your accident.

While there is no legal obligation to seek legal advice or have a solicitor work on your behalf when making a claim, we believe that this will give your claim the best chance of success. For this reason, we recommend seeking legal advice from a solicitor if you decide to make a personal injury claim. 

You may be worried about the cost of seeking legal advice when making a compensation claim. If so, continue reading for more information on No Win No Fee agreements and how one could benefit you.

How To Claim Elbow Fracture Compensation On A No Win No Fee Basis

A No Win No Fee agreement means that you are not responsible for paying your lawyer following the conclusion of an unsuccessful claim. You also won’t be asked to pay them anything upfront in order for them to start work on your claim or in the event that it is unsuccessful. 

If your claim is successful, then your personal injury solicitor is paid via a small, legally capped percentage of your award. This will be agreed upon beforehand between you and your solicitor, and you will always receive the majority of the compensation awarded to you. 

The lawyers on our panel work can offer representation on a No Win No Fee basis. Many people find this to be a good way of financing legal representation. This is because it reduces the risk of being expected to pay expensive legal fees even if they lose their case.

If you’d like more information on No Win No Fee agreements, then get in touch with us today. You can:

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

Related Guides

We’ve included some links to additional material you may find useful.

  1. Our guide to slip, trip and fall accident claims.
  2. How to prove your loss of earnings.
  3. Information on how to claim if you’re injured at work.
  4. Here is some advice from the NHS regarding how to tell if you’ve broken a bone.
  5. How to request CCTV footage of yourself.
  6. More information on litigation friends.

FAQs On Elbow Fracture Compensation Claims

In this final section, we’ve answered some of the questions we’re commonly asked.

Are some breaks or fractures too minor to claim for?

You can still claim compensation for a simple elbow fracture that was caused by a breach of duty of care towards you. However, you will usually receive a lower settlement offer than if you had suffered a severely disabling elbow injury. 

Do you need a cast for a fractured elbow?

Some severe elbow fractures may require a full arm cast to immobilise the joint while it heals. However, some may only require a sling or splint to support it while it heals. For instance, a radial head fracture will not usually require a plaster cast, and you’ll be encouraged to move your arm as soon as possible. 

How do I know if my elbow injury is serious?

If your elbow is fractured, it may be swollen, painful or look misshapen or deformed. However, you should always seek medical attention if you’ve injured your elbow. This is the case even if you’re not sure whether it is serious. 

What long-term effects could you claim compensation for?

The amount of compensation you could be owed might be affected by any long-term effects that your injury causes you. For instance, you may experience a permanent limitation in movement or persistent pain. If so, you may receive more compensation than you would have done if you’d made a full recovery. 

Thank you for reading our guide on claiming for an elbow fracture.

Written by IB

Checked by NC