Olecranon Fracture Compensation Claims In The UK

Have you been in an accident due to someone else’s negligent behaviour? Did the person who acted negligently owe you a duty of care? If so, and you have suffered a fracture to your elbow as a result, you may be entitled to claim olecranon fracture compensation.

An olecranon fracture can vary greatly in severity. Depending on how severe it is, an injury of this nature could affect your quality of life. It might stop you from being able to do the things you usually do. In some cases, symptoms such as stiffness or persistent pain may be permanent. In this guide, we will go through the process of claiming compensation for the effects that your injury has had on you. 

olecranon fracture compensation

Olecranon fracture compensation

If you have any issues regarding anything in this article, then don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our advisors are ready to answer your questions. The more information we have on the circumstances surrounding your injury, the more easily we will be able to help you. 

If you’re deemed to have a valid claim then we could connect you with an expert solicitor from our panel. They work with 100% of their clients on a No Win No Fee basis. So, if you have questions such as “how do you treat an olecranon fracture? or “how long does an olecranon fracture take to heal?” then read on. Below, you’ll also find our contact information.

Get In Touch With Our Team

There are a number of ways you can reach us.

  • Call us on 020 3870 4868
  • Speak to us using the live chat function in the bottom right corner
  • Fill out the online form on our website to find out if you could have a valid claim

Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About Olecranon Fracture Compensation Claims
  2. What Is An Olecranon Fracture?
  3. What Is Olecranon Anatomy? And Where Is It Located?
  4. Symptoms Of An Olecranon Fracture
  5. Causes Of Elbow Bone And Joint Fractures
  6. Calculate Your Olecranon Fracture Compensation Settlement
  7. How Do You Treat An Olecranon Fracture?
  8. Misdiagnosis Of Olecranon (Elbow) Fractures
  9. Can A Fracture Be Misdiagnosed?
  10. How Long Could I Have To Claim For A Fracture?
  11. How Do I Claim For A Fractured Olecranon?
  12. Claim No Win No Fee Olecranon Fracture Compensation
  13. Related Information
  14. FAQs People Ask About Olecranon Fractures

Everything You Need To Know About Olecranon Fracture Compensation Claims

An olecranon fracture (or fractured elbow) can be sustained in a number of different kinds of accidents. This includes a car accident, an accident at work, or an accident in a public place.

Where your elbow fracture is sustained does not necessarily impact whether or not you can claim compensation. What’s important is that your injury was caused by someone else neglecting their duty of care towards you. We will look in closer detail at what a duty of care is and who’s responsible for ensuring your safety in different scenarios. 

Even if you were partially to blame for your olecranon fracture, you could receive a partial payout. The compensation you are awarded will be reduced accordingly depending on how much you’re deemed to have contributed to your injuries. 

What Is An Olecranon Fracture?

An olecranon fracture is a type of elbow fracture. Whilst a broken elbow can be sustained in many locations, in this section we’ll focus on workplace injury statistics.

From the four main areas of the body (head, torso, upper limbs, lower limbs), upper limbs had the most reported injuries in 2019/20, with over 24,500 injuries of this nature reported to RIDDOR. Of these, the upper limb, excluding the fingers, hand, and wrists, was the most common place a non-fatal injury was reported.

Below, we’ve included a graph to demonstrate the prevalence of workplace upper limb injuries reported to RIDDOR.


It is important to note that the injuries reported to RIDDOR may not represent the full range of injuries of this nature in British workplaces in this time frame. This is because only certain incidents need to be reported to RIDDOR. This means that the actual number of upper limb injuries that occurred in British workplaces in this timeframe may be higher.

What Is Olecranon Anatomy? And Where Is It Located?

The olecranon is part of what makes up the elbow joint. It is the end of the ulna, which is the bone in the forearm that runs along the same side as the little finger. The olecranon is the prominent and “pointy” part of the elbow that is most noticeable when your arm is fully bent. It serves as a pivot point for the joint and is strengthened by the presence of the adjacent muscles. 

If someone has broken their elbow then it’s possible they have sustained an olecranon fracture, but an X-ray would be needed to confirm this diagnosis. Because of the proximity to the rest of the forearm, it’s also possible that some accidents that cause an olecranon fracture could also result in a fractured ulna or fractured radius in the same incident. If you do suffer other injuries alongside an olecranon fracture, then your compensation will reflect this. 

Symptoms Of An Olecranon Fracture

The symptoms of an olecranon fracture tend to be similar to other broken bone symptoms. If you suspect you have a broken elbow then you should always seek medical advice. If you don’t, then your injury could become much worse and possibly even cause permanent damage. Symptoms can include:

  • Pain/discomfort
  • Tenderness when you touch the area
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Difficulty straightening your arm
  • Your elbow appearing physically deformed
  • Blood, and bone poking through the skin (these are known as open fractures)
  • Experiencing a grinding or snapping sensation as the injury occurs

A fractured olecranon may be treated without surgery, by supporting the injured arm in a sling or splint. Sometimes, surgery may be required where pins and plates are inserted into the fractured bone to hold it in position as it heals.

Causes Of Elbow Bone And Joint Fractures

This section will focus more specifically on certain scenarios that could lead to an olecranon fracture where compensation could possibly be claimed. In order to claim compensation, you need to show that you were owed a duty of care that was breached, resulting in your injury. 

Road Traffic Accidents

There are various road traffic accidents that could result in a broken elbow. For example, a T-bone collision is when the front of one car collides with the side of another. This could happen at a junction or a roundabout. If the car collides with the driver-side door, then the elbow could be driven into the impact site and be seriously fractured. 

There are a number of rules that all road users must obey, known as the Highway Code. If a road user does not follow these rules and causes injuries to others as a result, then they have breached their duty of care. Some of the things that are included in a road user’s duty of care include following the speed limit and not driving while distracted.

If a road user breaches their duty of care, this is known as negligence. Proving negligence is important when making personal injury claims. In these instances, the claim would be made against the negligent road user and their insurance company. If you’re hit by an untraced or uninsured driver, you may still be able to claim through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). 

Accidents At Work

A possible cause of injury in the workplace could be when working at a height. Industries such as construction require their employees to work up ladders and on scaffolding etc. It falls under the employer’s legal duty of care to make sure that all equipment their employees need to perform their duties is safe.

This duty of care is outlined in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. This states that employers need to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure the safety of their employees while at work. As well as providing safe work equipment, employers should ensure that they, amongst other things, carry out regular risk assessments and maintain good housekeeping to reduce the risk of a workplace accident occurring.

For example, if a warehouse worker is supplied with a faulty ladder that they use, it could result in them falling and their elbow colliding with the ground with force. This could cause an olecranon fracture, and compensation could be claimed due to employer negligence. Your employer needs to legally have an insurance policy to cover accidents such as these, according to the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969.

Accidents In A Public Place

Personal injury claims can also be made for injuries sustained in a public place. However, the injury still needs to have occurred due to the negligence of someone who owed you a duty of care. The person in control of a public space is referred to as the “occupier”, and they have a duty of care towards members of the public who use the space. This is outlined in the Occupier’s Liability Act 1957.

For example, if you are walking down the street and trip on a loose paving stone, then you could fall on your elbow and cause a fracture. The local council may be considered negligent in not maintaining the safety of the walking areas. If you can show that the council neglected their duty of care to you, resulting in a slip, trip or fall, it could be possible to make a claim. 

If you’re unsure whether you could claim compensation for your injuries, give our team a call. One of our advisors will be happy to offer you free legal advice about making a claim.

Calculate Your Olecranon Fracture Compensation Settlement

When discussing olecranon fracture compensation, there are often two figures to consider. They are known as general damages and special damages. We’ll address general damages first.

This sum is calculated with the help of a publication that is updated semi-regularly. It is known as the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) and was last reviewed in 2019. These guidelines consist of an extensive list of injuries and guideline compensation amounts for them. The amount can vary depending on things like how severe the injury is, the recovery time involved and whether the injured person will be left with any permanent effects.

Below, we’ve included some examples of compensation payouts that could be awarded. These figures have been taken from the latest edition of the JCG.

Injury Description Amount
Elbow Severely disabling £36,770 to £51,460
Elbow Less severe – where function is impaired but no major surgery or significant disability £14,690 to £30,050
Elbow Moderate/minor – most elbow injuries will fall under this bracket. Things like simple fractures, lacerations, tennis elbow etc Up to £11,820
Arm Above-elbow amputation £90,250 to £102,890
Arm Less severe injuries – significant disabilities but with a substantial degree of recovery that has taken place, or is expected to take place £18,020 to £36,770
Arm Simple forearm fractures £6,190 to £18,020
Psychiatric Damage Moderate – some problems, but there will be notable improvement and a good prognosis £5,500 to £17,900
Psychiatric Damage Less severe – level of award will depend on the length of time the person is affected and whether daily activities and/or sleep are disrupted £1,440 to £5,500

Special damages is the second figure that may be included in a compensation award. This sum is awarded to the claimant to reimburse them for any extra costs, losses, or outgoings caused by their injuries. 

It could be that you experience a loss of earnings because of time you’ve had to take off work. This can be included in the special damages head of your claim. You can also claim for things like medical costs, damage to property, and adaptations made to your home to accommodate your injuries. It’s vital to maintain detailed records of these costs in the form of receipts or something similar. If you can’t prove the expenditures and link them to your injuries, you could find it very difficult to have them reimbursed. 

If you need any more information on what can be reimbursed via special damage then call our advisors today. Otherwise, read on for more information on how an injury of this nature might be treated. 

How Do You Treat An Olecranon Fracture?

For an olecranon fracture, compensation amounts can vary depending on how long it takes you to recover from your injuries. The more intervention is required, the longer the recovery time could be. A minor elbow fracture may just require immobilisation in a cast. This is so it cannot move while it heals. This may be done if the fracture is not displaced, meaning that the bones are still in position despite being broken. 

In the case of a more severe injury, surgery may be required. Metal plates and screws can be attached to the bone fragments to hold them together while they knit back together. This can be done to hold the bones in place if they have become displaced, meaning that they have moved out of alignment. You may also be given some physiotherapy exercises to carry out once the fracture is healed. These are so you stand a better chance of regaining the full use of the joint afterwards. 

Misdiagnosis Of Olecranon (Elbow) Fractures

A misdiagnosis of an olecranon fracture can be an example of medical negligence. However, it is important to note that not every case of a misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis happens because a healthcare professional is negligent. 

Healthcare professionals have a duty of care towards their patients. This means that if they take an action, or through inaction, negatively affect the health of their patient then this could be interpreted as negligence. For an olecranon fracture, an X-ray is often needed to confirm. If an X-ray is not carried out then the patient with the fracture could report their doctor for medical negligence

However, complications can still occur while a doctor or other healthcare provider is administering the level of care expected of their profession. To ascertain whether or not negligence occurred, the courts will usually administer something called the Bolam Test.

This is where a panel of the doctor’s peers (meaning other doctors who specialise in the same field of medicine) will be asked how they would have acted when presented with the same evidence. If they confirm that they would have acted in the same way, then this would not be considered negligent. If, however, they confirm that they would have taken a different course of action, this could be considered medical negligence and the patient may be able to claim.

Can A Fracture Be Misdiagnosed?

An X-ray not being carried out is just one way an olecranon fracture can be missed. Even if an X-ray is carried out, it’s possible it could be misread, mixed up with another X-ray, or even performed incorrectly. 

However, it’s important to reiterate that not all cases of misdiagnosis are classed as medical negligence. Sometimes, the circumstances of the injury mean that a doctor could not be expected to make a diagnosis when presented with the evidence in front of them. In these cases, they would not be considered negligent even if they missed or misdiagnosed the fracture. 

You should also consider when making a claim for medical negligence that you will only be compensated for the effects that the negligence have had on your condition, not the effects of the injury overall. For instance, it’s likely that if you suffered an olecranon fracture that you would experience some level of pain and suffering, and you may have had to take time off work. If your condition was made worse than it otherwise would have been by the negligence of a doctor, you will only be compensated for the additional harm caused to you by their negligence, not the harm you suffered overall.

How Long Could I Have To Claim For A Fracture?

The Limitation Act 1980 states that you generally have 3 years from the date of your injury being sustained to start a claim. If you didn’t become aware of your injury until a later date, then claim time limits can run from the date you became aware that your injuries were caused by negligence.

If you try to pursue your claim after this time window has expired, then you’re likely to find it difficult as the claim will be statute-barred. However, there are certain situations where this time limit can be extended, or even suspended. 

Child Accident Claims

Claimants under 18 years old are not legally permitted to make their own personal injury claims. Because of this, the time limit is suspended until their 18th birthday. Before then, the claim can be made for them by an appointed adult known as a litigation friend. This can be the child’s parent or guardian, but also a family friend or even a legal representative such as a UK lawyer.

If the claim is successful, the litigation friend does not receive the payout. Instead, it is paid into a legally secured bank account that the claimant can access once they turn 18. Before then, only the claimant’s parent or legal guardian can access the account. However, it has to be with the permission of the court, and the amount withdrawn has to be to the benefit of the child.

Once the injured person turns 18, they can pursue their own claim. They have 3 years to do so, meaning that they can claim up until their 21st birthday.

Claiming On Behalf Of Someone With A Reduced Mental Capacity

The claimant may lack the mental capacity to claim on their own behalf. If so, their time limit remains suspended indefinitely. A litigation friend can claim on their behalf. If they regain their mental capacity, then the 3-year time limit on claiming begins.

How Do I Claim For A Fractured Olecranon?

There are a number of key steps you should take if you’ve sustained an olecranon fracture because of someone else’s negligence. Your initial priority should be to seek medical attention. Even if you think your injury could be quite minor, it’s best to make sure that you receive the treatment you need. Not only that, your medical records will then contain evidence of your injury that could help support your claim.

There are other forms of evidence that you can acquire to improve your chances of a successful personal injury claim. Photographs, the details of anyone who was a witness to your accident, and even CCTV footage are good examples of evidence that may support your claim. However, be aware that CCTV footage can sometimes be deleted within 30 days. If what caused your injury was captured on CCTV, then you can request the footage.

You don’t need a personal injury or medical negligence solicitor to pursue a claim for an olecranon fracture. However, you may find that pursuing a claim while focussing on your recovery can be a daunting prospect. Furthermore, you may benefit from the support and guidance that their expertise can provide. 

Claim No Win No Fee Olecranon Fracture Compensation

A No Win No Fee agreement is a contract between you and your solicitor that sets out the conditions that they need to meet before they are paid. It can be an appealing prospect to many claimants, as it means you won’t be asked to pay your solicitor large legal fees in the event that you don’t win your case. You also won’t need to pay them anything upfront in order for them to start working on the claim, or while it’s ongoing. 

If they do win their case, then their personal injury solicitor is paid via a small, legally capped amount from the compensation their client is awarded. This is known as a success fee and will be agreed upon beforehand.

All of the lawyers on our panel can offer representation on a No Win No Fee basis. If pursuing your claim in this way sounds appealing to you, then reach out to us today.

  • Call us on 020 3870 4868
  • Speak to us using the live chat function in the bottom right corner
  • Fill out the online form on our website to find out if you could have a valid claim

Related Information

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

  1. How to make slip, trip and fall accident claims.
  2. Our guide to making an accident at work claim.
  3. Can I make a new employee injury claim?
  4. Information on what physiotherapy can entail following an injury.
  5. Broken bone symptoms from the NHS.
  6. Eligibility criteria for Statutory Sick Pay

FAQs People Ask About Olecranon Fractures

Here, we have answered some of the most common questions we’re asked.

How long does an olecranon fracture take to heal?

Some uncomplicated fractures can take between 6-8 weeks to heal. However, every injury is different and some could take much longer. If you have an olecranon fracture, compensation can be worth more if the recovery time is longer.

How do I know how much compensation for an olecranon fracture I’ll get?

The amount you receive for an olecranon fracture can vary depending on a number of factors. It’s impossible to give you an accurate valuation without knowing more about your case. Speak with a member of our team today to find out how much you could be owed.

Do you need a cast for a fractured elbow?

Immobilisation in a cast, splint or sling is one way of treating a fractured elbow. More severe fractures may require surgery. This can be if the bones are misaligned or especially damaged.

Thank you for reading our guide on claiming olecranon fracture compensation.

Guide by IB

Checked by NC