Calculating Compensation For A Broken Elbow

By Danielle Fletcher. Last Updated 18th January 2023. 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. Anatomy Of The Elbow Joint
  3. Signs Of A Broken Elbow
  4. Causes Of Olecranon Elbow Fractures
  5. Elbow Injury Compensation Amounts – What Could I Receive
  6. Can I Get Compensation For A Missed Elbow Fracture?
  7. Why Broken Elbow Injuries May Be Misdiagnosed
  8. How Long After Elbow Fracture Could You Start A Claim?
  9. Elbow Injury Compensation Amounts – How Do I Claim?
  10. Broken Elbow – Claim With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
  11. Related Guides
  12. 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. 


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

According to the NHS guide to broken bones, some signs of a broken elbow may include:

  • Deformity
  • Pain when you touch, move or put weight on your elbow
  • Swelling, bruising or tenderness around the elbow

Additionally, the NHS states you may feel dizzy, faint or ill due to the shock of your broken elbow. You should seek medical help as soon as you realise you’ve cracked your elbow or suffered a forearm fracture. The hospital report or medical diagnosis may later be used as evidence if you put forward a personal injury claim.

Continue reading to find out what elbow injury compensation amounts you could receive in a successful claim. Otherwise, you can speak to our advisors at any time, and they can arrange a free consultation to check whether you have an eligible claim.

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.

Elbow Injury Compensation Amounts – What Could I Receive

Compensation for your broken elbow will address the pain of your injury, but potentially also the financial losses you may have suffered as a result of it. This would be under two separate heads of claim.

The first head of claim is general damages, which will look at the pain and distress of your injury. To show you how this could be awarded in a broken elbow claim, we have created a table of elbow and related arm injuries, along with example amounts of compensation for the pain they may cause to a person.

The examples come from the 2022 edition of the Judicial College Guidelines. While they are merely examples of compensation, and should not be taken as a guarantee, they are created by looking at previous awards in court.

Injury Description Amount
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. £12,770 to £19,200
Arm Loss of both arms £240,790 to £300,000
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 £96,160 to £109,650
Elbow An injury of this nature is likely to severely restrict motion in the elbow. £39,170 to £54,830
Elbow Less severe – causing impaired function but not requiring surgery. Injuries in this bracket will not result in significant disability. £15,650 to £32,010
Elbow Moderate 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 £12,590
Psychiatric Damage Severe – In cases within this bracket, the injured person will have marked problems with a number of factors including work, education and relationships. £54,830 to £115,730
Psychiatric Damage Less severe – level of award takes into consideration the duration of the period of disability and the extent their daily activities were affected, including sleep £1,540 to £5,860
Scarring A single, noticeable scar, or several superficial scars with some minor cosmetic deficit £2,370 to £7,830

The second head of claim is special damages, which can be awarded for financial losses caused by an injury. You could be able to claim back losses such as:

  • Loss of income
  • Prescription costs
  • Private medical care expenses

If you are looking for an estimate for compensation in your claim, please reach out to one of our advisers to discuss common elbow injury compensation amounts.

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.

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.

Elbow Injury Compensation Amounts – How Do I Claim?

If you suffer a broken elbow due to a breach of duty of care and would like to claim compensation, you will require evidence.

If you suffer an injury, such as a chipped elbow, the evidence you submit may be different depending on the situation. For example, if your injury was caused by a car accident, you will not have a workplace accident log.

Examples of evidence that might be helpful when claiming elbow injury compensation amounts:

  • Medical records. These could prove your injury. Additionally, in medical negligence claims, they could include x-rays and recommended treatments.
  • This might be CCTV, mobile phone, or dashcam, depending on the circumstances of your injury.
  • Witness contact details so they can supply a statement later on.
  • Injury photos. For example, if your elbow is swollen or if there are visible cuts.
  • Accident scene photos.
  • If any property was damaged, such as in a car accident, photos of this may also prove useful.

Call our advisors if you need any help gathering evidence. The advice they offer is free and could help you understand the personal injury claims process.

Broken Elbow – Claim With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

After suffering a fractured elbow, you might be eligible to begin a claim for elbow injury compensation amounts. We would recommend seeking legal advice ahead of doing so. With the support of an experienced solicitor, you could cover all bases of your personal injury claim. Furthermore, a solicitor can help you prepare evidence in support of your claim.

However, if you are worried about the financial risk of using a solicitor, you might be interested in No Win No Fee agreements, such as a Conditional Fee Agreement.

A No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel may be able to offer you their services under the terms of a CFA which generally mean:

  • You won’t be asked to pay an upfront or ongoing fee for their services
  • Should the broken elbow claim succeed, your solicitor will deduct a success fee from your compensation
  • If the claim is not successful, you won’t have to pay your solicitor for their work

If you have any further questions, or would like to check your eligibility to work with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel, get in touch by:

  • Calling on 020 3870 4868
  • Speaking to an online advisor via the live chat feature on your screen
  • Requesting a free call back using our ‘claim online form

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.
  7. Can You Get Tennis Elbow From A Car Accident?

FAQs On Elbow Fracture Compensation Claims

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

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. 

Can I Work With A Broken Elbow?

You may be wondering, ‘can I work with a broken elbow’? This will depend on the nature of the break and the advice given by your doctor.

For example, a shattered elbow may require time off work. Whereas other elbow injuries may involve a change of work duties while you heal. If you have needed time off work, elbow injury compensation amounts may include an award for loss of earnings.

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

Written by IB

Checked by NC