Metacarpal Fracture Compensation Claims In The UK

By Cat Reeves. Last Updated 17th May 2023. Have you been in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence? Did the negligent party owe you a duty of care? Did you suffer a fractured metacarpal as a result?  If so, you may be owed metacarpal fracture compensation. 

Hand Fracture Compensation Claims

We use our hands to carry out a lot of daily activities. As a result, a fractured metacarpal could have a big impact on your quality of life. It might stop you from being able to work, care for yourself or participate in your usual hobbies. The injury can also be painful, and in cases of serious fractures, may leave you with long-term effects.

Metacarpal fracture compensation

Metacarpal fracture compensation

If you can show that you were injured because someone breached their duty of care to you, then you may be owed compensation. Personal injury compensation can cover you for the pain and suffering that you have experienced, as well as the financial impact that your injury has had on you.

Get In Touch With Our Team 

Our friendly team of advisers are available 24/7 to offer you free legal advice. They’re happy to have a chat with you to discuss your situation in more detail. Furthermore, they can assess how much metacarpal fracture compensation you may be able to claim.

If you’d like to get in touch with our team of advisers, you can:

  • Call them on 020 3870 4868. An adviser is always available to offer free legal advice.
  • Fill in our online claims form for a response at your earliest convenience.
  • Chat with one of our advisers via our live chat pop-up box for an instant reply. 

Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About Metacarpal Fracture Compensation Claims
  2. What Is A Metacarpal Fracture?
  3. What Are The Metacarpals And What Do They Do?
  4. Symptoms Of A Broken Hand Or Metatarsal
  5. Why Do Metacarpal Fractures Happen?
  6. How Is Compensation For A Metacarpal Fracture Calculated?
  7. Treating A Broken Or Fractured Metacarpal
  8. What Is An Undiagnosed Fracture?
  9. Why Do Fractures Go Undiagnosed?
  10. How Long After Breaking A Bone Could You Claim Damages?
  11. Evidence To Support Hand Injury Claims
  12. No Win No Fee Claims For Metacarpal Fracture Compensation
  13. Read These Guides Next
  14. Broken Bone Injury Claim FAQs 

Everything You Need To Know About Metacarpal Fracture Compensation Claims

This article will first discuss what a metacarpal fracture is, as well as what the metacarpals are and what they do. Next, we’ll look at the symptoms of a broken hand and why metacarpal fractures occur. In addition, we’ve included a personal injury claims calculator table to illustrate how much compensation some injuries may be worth in compensation. 

As well as looking at examples of metacarpal fractures caused by negligence, we will also look at how medical negligence could result in a metacarpal fracture being missed. We’ll examine the impact that this could have on you and the conditions that need to be met in order for you to claim. 

To summarise, we will look at the limitation period for claims and the exceptions that can apply. We’ll also examine how No Win No Fee agreements can help claimants fund legal representation. We will conclude by answering some commonly asked questions about metacarpal fracture claims. 

If you still have questions about claiming after reading this guide, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team. Our advisors can offer free legal advice and are available 24/7 to take your call.

What Is A Metacarpal Fracture?

A metacarpal fracture is a break to any of the 5 bones in the middle of the hand positioned below the fingers but above the wrist. If you think you’ve broken your hand, you should seek medical attention right away.

There are a number of different kinds of fractures that you might sustain, of which some can be more severe than others. For instance, a hairline fracture is a crack in the bone that means the bone is still in one piece. This kind of fracture can be considered relatively minor as the bones are unlikely to move out of position.

When the bone breaks into two pieces, the fracture can be displaced or non-displaced. A non-displaced fracture means that the bones are still in alignment with one another despite being broken. If the fracture is displaced, this means that the bones have moved out of position. This poses a risk of the bone healing incorrectly if the injury isn’t treated in a timely manner, and the broken end of the bone is at risk of causing internal injuries such as damage to ligaments, tendons and blood vessels.

An open fracture is one where the skin has been broken. In some cases, the bone may be visible through the wound or may even be poking out of the skin. These kinds of fractures require immediate medical attention as the risk of infection is increased.

metacarpal compensation statistics graph

The above graph shows the frequency of upper limb injuries reported to RIDDOR in 2019/20. As we can see, there were 4,470 hand injuries reported in this period. We should note that these statistics relate to injuries as a whole and not just fractures. Furthermore, these statistics are for injuries in the workplace overall and not just ones related to employer negligence.

What Are The Metacarpals And What Do They Do?

Metacarpals are tube-shaped bones in the middle segment of our hands. They are identified by numbers laterally, starting from the thumb. So if you break the furthest metacarpal away from your thumb, this would be considered a 5th metacarpal fracture.  

The metacarpals create an arch to accommodate the tendons, muscles, and nerves in the palm. Furthermore, this arch also helps the thumb and fingers come together. 

Each of the metacarpal bones is made up of a quadrilateral base, a shaft (the long “body” of the bone) and a rounded head. The head of the metacarpal makes up the knuckles and can be seen when you clench your fist.

Symptoms Of A Broken Hand Or Metacarpal

Some common symptoms of a broken metacarpal include:

  • Pain: the injured area may be painful and tender to move. However, if you’ve suffered from a small break or hairline fracture, you may not experience much pain or any at all. 
  • Bruising: Injuries that cause broken bones can bruise the skin. You may also experience some tenderness and swelling at the site of the fracture.
  • Deformity: Sometimes, the metacarpal bones may look out of place when you look at your hand. This could indicate that the fracture is displaced. 

If you’ve suffered any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you don’t get the proper medical attention after a metacarpal fracture, this could cause you serious long-term problems with your joints. Furthermore, if the fracture is open, you could contract a serious infection in the open wound. 

Why Do Metacarpal Fractures Happen? 

Some causes of metacarpal fractures could include:

  • Road traffic accident: A car accident can cause a metacarpal fracture. For instance, you may fracture your metacarpal if another car crashes into the driver’s side of your vehicle and crushes your hand on the steering wheel. If the other driver neglected their duty of care as outlined in the Highway Code, they could be considered liable for your injuries. 
  • Slip, trip, and fall: A  public place accident could occur if a supermarket worker failed to put a wet floor sign near a spillage. Someone could then fall onto their outstretched hand, causing a metacarpal fracture. The supermarket’s failure to signpost or remove the hazard in a reasonable timeframe would be a breach of the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, which outlines the duty of care that those in control of public spaces have towards members of the public. 
  • Falls from a height: In an accident at work, this could occur from falling off a ladder. Employees have a duty of care to protect and safeguard employees by safety checking all equipment regularly. If a ladder hasn’t been safety checked and is faulty, someone could fall off it and land on an outstretched hand. Your employer has a duty of care to you according to the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. This duty of care includes ensuring that all equipment that you use is safe and well-maintained. 

If you’ve suffered a broken metacarpal because someone breached their duty of care to you, you could be entitled to claim metacarpal fracture compensation. If you’d like to know more about the duty of care owed to you in different scenarios, give our team a call for free legal advice.

How Is Compensation For A Metacarpal Fracture Calculated? 

Metacarpal fracture and hand injury claims are valued on a case-by-case basis. This means that the compensation you could receive for a broken metacarpal bone depends on varying factors, such as your metacarpal fracture symptoms and the severity of the fracture.

If your claim succeeds, you will receive general damages. This head of claim addresses your injuries and the pain and suffering they cause you. Often, when legal professionals are calculating this head of claim, they will refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document offers guideline compensation brackets for different kinds of injuries. Below, you can find some examples of the amounts listed in the 16th edition of the JCG.

Please note that these are not guaranteed amounts, and the compensation you could receive may vary. So, please only use this table as a guide.

Injury: Severity: Notes: Compensation:
Hand Injuries Severe Fractures to Fingers May need partial amputations and will cause deformity. Lack of grip and altered sensation. Up to £36,740
Hand Injuries Less Serious Hand Injury Severe crush injury, making it difficult for the hand to function easily unless future surgery occurs. £14,450 to £29,000
Hand Injuries Fracture of Index Finger Fracture has recovered promptly but grip is still difficult, pain is frequent, and there’s a high chance of eventual osteoarthritis. £9,670 to £12,590
Hand Injuries Moderate hand injury Injuries will attract an award to the top of this bracket where surgery has been unsuccessful and the injured person is permanently disabled. The lower end of this bracket will be appropriate if lasting symptoms are permanent but not intrusive. £5,720 to £13,280
Hand Injuries Serious Injury to Ring or Middle Fingers Fractures which result in stiffness, grip loss, and deformity. Up to £16,340
Wrist Injuries A fracture which takes longer to recover from but where recovery is complete. Up to £10,350
Wrist Injuries A Colles’ fracture that is uncomplicated. In the region of £7,430

Could I Claim Special Damages?

Your claim may also include special damages. Under this heading, you can claim back the financial losses you experience due to your injuries. For example, if you needed to take time off work to recover from your injuries, you could potentially claim back any lost earnings under special damages. This heading could also cover:

  •   The cost of prescriptions or over-the-counter medicines.
  •   Travel costs to and from appointments or work.
  •   Childcare expenses and domestic help.

However, you will need to provide evidence of these losses. Bank statements, payslips and invoices could all be used as proof.

To get more information on what your compensation could potentially include, we recommend contacting our team of advisors today.

Treating A Broken Or Fractured Metacarpal

When you seek medical treatment, the doctor will ask you about how you sustained the injury and what symptoms you have. They may physically examine your hand to see if you have any of the symptoms of a fractured metacarpal. An X-ray could be used to confirm that you’ve fractured your metacarpal. 

If segments of bones are displaced, the doctor will move them back to their original position. This is known as reduction, and you may be under general anaesthetic. If a general anaesthetic is not used, you may be given painkillers or be sedated. 

It’s important that the bone is held in place whilst it heals, which is known as immobilisation. There are multiple ways to do this:

  • A cast – your doctor may apply a cast over the injured area, which is a hard, solid material. It covers the area in order to protect it from becoming further injured. They’re usually made of plaster and are used when an injury needs to be immobilised for a longer period of time. 
  • A splint – this is something that protects the injured area whilst it heals but doesn’t cover it fully.  If you wear a splint, some movement of your hand will be possible.
  • A brace – this is like a splint, but it doesn’t go all the way around the hand. Braces are used instead of a splint when they need to be worn for a longer period of time, as they allow a little more movement.

In the event of a fracture that is severely displaced or one where the bone has been badly broken, you may need surgery to put the bones back into position as they heal. This will usually involve pins, screws and plates being inserted into the bone.

What Is An Undiagnosed Fracture?

An undiagnosed fracture occurs when an injury is misdiagnosed or missed and later discovered to be a fracture. If a fracture is misdiagnosed, it means it’s mistakenly diagnosed as something else like a strain or a sprain. If it’s missed, it means that the medical professional failed to recognise it at all. Both of these instances could be detrimental to you as they could result in you not getting the treatment you need for your injuries. 

It’s important to note that just because your fracture was missed or misdiagnosed does not mean that you would have grounds to claim. In order to claim, you need to show that the medical professional was negligent in their misdiagnosis and that this negligence caused you to experience more pain and suffering than you would have if you’d received the correct diagnosis. Medical negligence occurs when the level of care you received fell below the expected standard of the profession.

To confirm whether negligence occurred or not, the courts will administer something called the Bolam test. This is where a panel of medical professionals who specialise in the same field as the doctor who treated you will be asked if they would have acted the same. If they confirm that they would have, the duty of care will not be considered breached. If they confirm that they would have acted differently, however, the doctor could be considered negligent, and you may be able to claim.

For more information on the duty of care owed by medical professionals and how this can be breached, why not get in touch with our team today? They’re on hand to offer you free legal advice about medical negligence claims.

Why Do Fractures Go Undiagnosed?

A fracture can be misdiagnosed due to a number of factors. These include: 

  • Failure to recognise the symptoms of a fracture resulting in them not ordering the proper diagnostic tests for a broken metacarpal injury
  • Your doctor may take an X-ray at the wrong angle and not be able to see the fracture. Alternatively, they may fail to interpret the results of the X-ray properly, leading to them missing or misdiagnosing your fracture. 
  • The results of your X-ray may be misplaced or mixed up with those belonging to another patient. This could lead to you not getting the right treatment you need for your fracture.

It’s important to note that when you are claiming compensation for a missed or misdiagnosed fracture, your compensation will only reflect the pain and suffering caused to you by the doctor’s negligence and not the pain or suffering you experienced overall. This is because you’re likely to have experienced some negative effects from the fracture, even if it was diagnosed and treated at the time. You will only be compensated for pain, suffering and financial damage caused directly by the negligent care you received. 

You don’t need to report a doctor for medical negligence in order to pursue a claim. However, you may find that going through the NHS complaints procedure could help establish what went wrong with the care you received.

How Long After Breaking A Bone Could You Claim Damages?

The general personal injury claims time limit is three years. That means three years since the exact date you suffered your injuries or three years from when you discovered that your injury was due to someone else’s negligence (referred to as the “date of knowledge”). However, there are some exceptions:

  • Child accident claims – if you’re under 18, the three-year personal injury claims time limit begins on your 18th birthday. To make a claim sooner than this, someone you trust can act as a litigation friend to make a claim for you. While you’re under 18, the time limit is suspended. 
  • Mentally incapacitated – if the injured person lacks the mental capacity to claim themselves, the time limit is suspended, and a litigation friend can claim on behalf of them. In the event that they recover the capacity to claim, the 3-year time limit starts; otherwise, it’s indefinitely suspended. 

If you’d like to learn more about these time limits and the exceptions that apply, you can have a chat with our advisers today to receive free legal advice and discuss how long you have left to claim.

Evidence To Support Hand Injury Claims

If you suffered a hand injury, such as a fractured metacarpal and would like to claim, you will need to submit evidence that shows a third party’s negligence caused your injury.

Examples of evidence that could support a personal injury claim include:

  • X-rays. If the injury to your hand was a metacarpal fracture, an x-ray could be submitted.
  • Medical records. In addition to these, you might be asked to attend an independent medical exam to assess the severity of your injury and what effect it is expected to have on your life.
  • Witness contact details. You can note the contact information of anyone who saw the accident so they can give a statement later on.
  • Footage of the accident. For example, you can request CCTV footage of yourself.
  • Photographs of the accident scene.

Call our advisors for free advice about what items could be submitted in hand injury claims. In addition to the free advice, they can assess whether your claim seems eligible for compensation. If they think it could succeed, they could pass you on to one of the No Win No Fee solicitors from our panel.

No Win No Fee Claims For Metacarpal Fracture Compensation

A No Win No Fee agreement is a contract between you and your lawyer stating that you don’t have to pay any of your solicitor’s fees if your case fails. It can be useful to those who want legal representation but aren’t able to pay large upfront or ongoing fees to their solicitor. 

You won’t be asked to pay your solicitor anything to start working on your claim or while it’s ongoing. If your case loses, you’re under no obligation to pay the fees your solicitor has gained through working on your case. If your case succeeds, your lawyer will deduct a small, legally capped percentage of your compensation. This is known as a success fee and ensures that you will always receive the majority of the compensation awarded to you. 

To contact our team of advisers, you can:

  • Call them on 020 3870 4868. An adviser is always available to have a chat with you.
  • Fill in our personal injury claims form online. One of our advisers will respond whenever is best for you.
  • Chat with our team of advisers via our live chat pop-up box for an immediate response. 

Read These Guides Next

Agency Worker Injury Claims Guide For Compensation – Are you an agency worker who’s suffered an accident at work due to someone else’s negligence? Our article discusses how you can make a personal injury claim.

What Happens If I Am Hit By An Uninsured Driver? – Uninsured Motorist Compensation In The UK – If you’ve suffered injuries due to being hit by an uninsured driver, our article explores how you can make a personal injury claim to receive compensation.

What Are The Time Limits For An Injury At Work Claim? – Have you suffered a workplace accident? Our guide looks at how long you have left to make a personal injury claim.

How Do I Know If I’ve Broken A Bone? – This NHS article looks at the signs, treatment, and recovery process for a broken bone injury.

Osteoarthritis – Do you suspect you may have osteoarthritis? This NHS guide looks at the symptoms, causes, diagnostic criteria, treatment, and prevention for this condition.

Broken Bone Injury Claim FAQs 

Who could act as a Litigation Friend?

Anyone can act as a litigation friend as long as they act within the claimant’s best interests. This could be a friend, family member or solicitor. 

What parts of the finger could be injured in an accident?

Accidents like trapping your hand in a door could damage the distal phalanx (fingertip). Other types of injuries could cause a ligament tear, sprain, or strain. Falling with your hand outstretched could cause metacarpal injuries. 

Can a hand fracture heal on its own?

If you leave your fractured hand without treatment, the bones could begin to heal in the wrong place. This may require an operation to correct it. This is why it’s important to seek medical attention if you believe you may have broken your hand. 

Thank you for reading our guide on metacarpal fracture compensation.

Guide by HL

Checked by NC