Sacral Fracture Compensation Claims In The UK
Welcome to our guide on sacral fracture compensation claims. If you have suffered a sacral fracture because of a breach of duty of care, you could have a valid personal injury claim. Our guide will talk you through the process of claiming for an injury caused by third party negligence.
The sacrum is a triangle-shaped bone at the bottom of the spine. When it’s broken, you might experience pain in your lower back, hips or buttocks. You may also find that you have difficulty walking or moving around. Depending on your job role, you may have to take time off work as you recover.
If your sacral fracture happened because of the negligence of someone who owed you a duty of care, then you may be owed compensation. You are owed a duty of care while on the road, while in a public place and when you’re in the workplace.
Broken Sacral Bone Injury Compensation Claims
Our team of expert advisors can offer you free legal advice about making a claim. The more we know about the circumstances surrounding your accident, the more accurately we will be able to help you.
If it’s deemed that you have a valid claim, we could connect you with a personal injury lawyer from our panel. They could offer you a No Win No Fee agreement if they feel your claim has a good chance of success.
Read on for more information. Below, you’ll also find our contact details. There is more than one way to reach us.
Get In Touch With Our Team
To speak to our advisors, you can take any of the following steps.
- Call us on 020 3870 4868
- Chat to us using the pop-up window in the bottom right
- Fill out the online form on our website to see if you could have a valid claim
Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About Sacral Fracture Compensation Claims
- What Is A Sacral Fracture?
- Function And Anatomy Of The Sacral Bone
- What Are The Symptoms Of A Fracture?
- Causes Of A Broken Sacral Bone
- Calculating Sacral Fracture Compensation
- Diagnosing A Fracture Of The Sacral Bone
- What Are Misdiagnosed Sacral Fractures?
- Why A Bone Fracture May Be Misdiagnosed?
- How Long After A Fracture Could I Claim Damages?
- I Had A Sacral Fracture Injury, What Should I Do?
- Can I Claim Sacral Fracture Compensation On A No Win No Fee Basis
- Related Information
- Frequently Asked Questions About Sacral Fracture Compensation
In this guide, we will examine the process of making a compensation claim for a sacral fracture. We will begin by examining how this kind of injury can occur and the impact that it might have on you. Furthermore, we will look at the treatment and recovery that can be expected for an injury of this nature.
We will go on to examine the duty of care that is owed to you in various different situations and the way that this duty can be breached, resulting in injury.
The extent of the damage can vary. Because of this, sacral fracture compensation claims will be valued differently on a case-to-case basis. To illustrate what can impact the amount that a sacral fracture could be worth, we will look at the different heads of claim that might make up a claim of this nature.
Finally, we will look at the benefits that a No Win No Fee agreement could offer you when looking to fund legal representation for your claim. We will finish by answering some commonly asked questions about claims of this nature.
A sacral fracture is a break to the sacrum, which is a triangle-shaped bone at the bottom of the spine. As with many other kinds of fracture injury, the fracture can be categorised in a number of different ways.
For instance, a fracture can be described as displaced or non-displaced. A displaced fracture is one in which the bones have moved out of alignment. If a fracture is non-displaced, it means that the bones are still in position despite the break.
A closed fracture is one where there has been no breaking of the skin. On the other hand, an open fracture means that the skin has been broken and poses a risk of infection to both the tissue and bone.
The graph below shows the amount of non-fatal injuries to the back area suffered by employees per year as reported to RIDDOR. As the statistics show, there has been a gradual decline since 2014/15. There were, however, still over 9,500 cases in 2019/20.
The sacrum is a wedge-shaped bone located at the base of the spine, between the two hip bones. It acts as reinforcement for and strengthens the pelvis.
It also leads directly onto the coccyx (tailbone) below. Because of this, some people may injure their tailbone and think they have actually suffered a sacral stress fracture. The same could be said for the other way around. Furthermore, a force or blow that fractures the sacrum might also cause damage to the coccyx.
To confirm the presence of a sacral stress fracture, radiology procedures such as X-rays or CT scans are often required. Your range of motion and the function of your spinal cord might also be checked to see how extensive the damage is.
If you’ve suffered a sacral fracture, then you could experience pain in your:
- Lower back
You may find that the pain is more severe when you’re undertaking physical activities or exercise. You may also experience some swelling in the lower back area if your sacrum is broken.
Bone-weakening conditions such as osteoporosis can make it more likely that someone fractures their sacrum. This is a condition that causes the bones to weaken, which can also happen as someone ages.
If you feel you may have a sacral fracture, then it’s always best to be checked over by a medical professional. Even a minor injury can develop into one that is more severe and could cause permanent damage.
Road Traffic Accidents
Sacral fracture compensation claims can be made for an injury of this nature sustained in a road traffic accident caused by someone else breaching their duty of care towards you. The duty of care that road users owe to one another is outlined in the Highway Code.
The Highway Code says that road users have a duty of care to act in a way that ensures the safety of others on the road. This includes things like abiding by the speed limit and keeping full attention on the road at all times. For instance, if another car were to crash with yours because they were speeding, they would be in breach of their duty of care.
In this instance, you could claim against the driver who caused your injuries. The claim would be made through their insurance company. In the event that you are hit by an uninsured driver (or they flee the scene), then you can still make a claim. The claim would be made through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB).
Accidents At Work
Every employer has a legal duty of care towards their employees according to the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. This means that they must take all reasonable steps to make sure that their employees are as safe as possible at work. Whilst accidents can happen where there is no one to blame, if you were injured because of your employer’s negligence, then you may be able to claim.
Your employer may breach their duty of care to you by failing to clean up or signpost a wet floor from a leaky ceiling. If you were to slip or fall on the wet floor and fracture your sacrum as a result, you may be owed compensation for your injuries.
Slips, Trips, And Falls
Falls can also lead to sacral fractures. A fall accident could be sustained in a public place as the result of a duty of care.
While in public, you’re owed a duty of care as per the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. This means that the person in control of the space (the “occupier”) has a responsibility to ensure the safety of members of the public who use the space. Failure to do so could result in injury, which could lead to a claim.
For example, the floor tiles in a supermarket could be loose or poorly fitted. If there is no sign erected to notify those nearby of the trip hazard, then this could cause a member of the public to slip and be injured. This is an example of negligence. The shop has breached its duty of care to its customers.
When discussing sacral fracture compensation claims, there are two main figures that could be included in your claim. These are known as general damages and special damages.
General damages are awarded to address the physical pain and mental suffering caused by your injuries. It’s calculated with the help of a publication known as the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG).
These guidelines consist of an extensive list of injuries and what they could be worth in compensation. The amount for each injury is also partially dictated by its severity and the recovery time. The JCG is updated semi-regularly. It was last reviewed in 2019. Below, we’ve included a table containing some example figures from the latest edition of the JCG.
|Pelvis/hips||Severe - (i) extensive pelvis fractures, intolerable pain and spinal fusion necessary - can lead to bladder/bowel control and affect sexual function||£73,580 to £122,860|
|Pelvis/hips||Severe - (ii) still extensive but not quite as extreme as injuries in the bracket above||£58,100 to £73,580|
|Pelvis/hips||Severe - (iii) many injuries fall in this bracket - injuries leading to leg instability and a possible hip replacement||£36,770 to £49,270|
|Pelvis/hips||Moderate - (i) a significant injury, risk of permanent disability is low||£24,950 to £36,770|
|Pelvis/hips||Moderate - (ii) these cases may require surgery such as a hip replacement - ongoing symptoms also possible||£11,820 to £24,950|
|Pelvis/hips||Lesser - (i) a significant injury will have occurred but a complete recovery will have been made within two years||£3,710 to £11,820|
|Pelvis/hips||Lesser - (ii) Minor soft tissue injuries with a complete recovery||Up to £3,710|
|Psychiatric Damage||Moderate - there will have been problems, however there will be great improvement with a good prognosis||£5,500 to £17,900|
Special damages are awarded to reimburse you for any financial losses or additional outgoings caused by your injuries. For example, you may need painkillers to manage your discomfort. These prescription costs could be considered as part of a special damages payment.
Another example is loss of earnings. Your injury may cause you to miss time at your job. Therefore, you could be missing out on wages. Special damages can reimburse you for any reduction in wages that directly results from your injuries. You may also be able to claim back the cost of any damage to property sustained in the accident.
For more information on what else can be claimed through special damages, get in touch with our advisors today.
For injuries such as a sacral fracture, diagnostic tests such as X-rays are usually required to confirm a diagnosis. If the X-ray is unclear, they may order a bone scan, MRI scan or CT scan. Your doctor will also ask you questions about your injury and may physically examine you with their hands to check for any swelling.
It’s important that you get medical attention as soon as possible if you think you’ve sustained a sacral fracture. If you leave a broken bone to heal without intervention, this could result in the bones healing in the wrong position. This could cause serious long-term implications further down the line.
A misdiagnosed fracture is one where the fracture has been mistakenly diagnosed as something else. A missed fracture happens when a fracture has been missed entirely, and no diagnosis has been given. Both of these things mean that you won’t get the right treatment for your injury, but a misdiagnosed fracture might result in you getting treatment for a condition that you don’t have, which could be harmful.
In some cases, a doctor can act within the standards of their profession and still miss or misdiagnose a patient’s condition. But sometimes, a misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis happened because a doctor is breaching their duty of care. If this is the case, and this led to you becoming ill or injured, or your condition was made worse, this could be an example of medical negligence. As a result, you may be able to claim.
To determine whether or not a doctor was negligent, the courts will use something called the Bolam test. This is where a panel of the medical professional’s peers are asked how they would have acted if presented with the same information.
If they say that they would have acted in the same manner, then the doctor would not be considered negligent. If they would have taken a different course of action, however, then the doctor would be considered negligent, and the injured person may be owed compensation.
Fractures will often need an X-ray to confirm the diagnosis. If the medical professional treating you doesn’t call for one, then a fracture could go undetected.
Even if an X-ray is carried out, it could be performed or interpreted incorrectly. Similarly, X-ray results could be misplaced or lost. In some cases, the results of an X-ray might be mixed up with those of another patient, meaning that the diagnosis is incorrect.
As we have already mentioned, just because your doctor failed to diagnose you, this does not automatically mean that they are negligent. This would be the case even if the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis resulted in you being injured or your condition getting worse.
But if you feel that the level of care you received fell below an acceptable standard and that you were caused further pain or suffering as a result, then you may be owed compensation. Get in touch with our team for more information.
Generally, following an accident that caused you injury, you have 3 years to make a claim. This will run from either the date of the accident or, in cases where you may not be aware of your injuries straight away, the date that you became aware that your injuries were related to negligence.
Following the expiration of this 3-year window, it becomes much more difficult to make the claim at all. However, there are a few scenarios where this time limit can be extended. We’ve made a list of some of the most common ones below.
Child Accident Claims
Those under 18 years old cannot legally pursue their own claim. Because of this, their time limit is suspended until their 18th birthday. Then, they have 3 years to make their claim.
A claim can be made prior to this date, but an adult must make it on their behalf. This adult would be known legally as a litigation friend. They can be the claimant’s parent, guardian, family friend, or even a legal representative like a personal injury lawyer.
If the claim is successful, the compensation is not paid to the litigation friend. Instead, it’s paid into a legally secured bank account that only the claimant can access once they become an adult.
Claiming On Behalf Of Those With A Reduced Mental Capacity
The claimant may have a reduced mental capacity meaning that they are unable to claim on their own behalf. In these cases, the time limit is suspended, and the claim can only be made for them via a litigation friend.
If the injured person regains their mental capacity, then the 3-year time limit commences. Otherwise, it’s indefinitely suspended.
There are a number of steps you should take after an injury to the sacrum that can strengthen sacral fracture compensation claims. Your initial priority should be to seek medical care.
The earlier your injuries are looked at, the better chance you tend to stand of making a recovery. Additionally, this step will generate official medical records that you’ll find useful as a form of evidence during your claims process.
The more evidence you can collect, the better chance you could stand at winning your case. Some other good forms of evidence are photographs, witness details, and CCTV footage. However, you can still claim if there was no witness to the accident in which you were injured.
While not a legal requirement, we recommend that you seek specialist legal advice. This could help the process run more smoothly and could help you get more money from your claim.
Get in touch with us and we can determine whether you could be entitled to compensation. Alternatively, read on for more information on No Win No Fee agreements and the benefits that they can offer.
A No Win No Fee agreement is when a personal injury lawyer works with a client on the understanding that the client will not need to cover their legal costs unless the claim is successful. If the claim is won, then the lawyer is paid via a small, legally capped percentage taken from their winnings.
If the solicitor loses your claim, you won’t be asked to pay anything to them. You also won’t be asked to pay anything upfront or while they’re working on your case.
If this method of pursuing your claim appeals to you, then get in touch. Our panel offer representation on a No Win No Fee basis. You can get in touch in the ways below:
- Call us on 020 3870 4868
- Chat to us using the pop-up window in the bottom right
- Fill out the online form on our website to see if you could have a valid claim
We’ve included some links to additional information you may find helpful.
- Our guide to claiming for a slip, trip or fall.
- How to claim if you’re injured at work.
- Our general guide to personal injury claims.
- More information on hip fractures from the NHS.
- The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents
- How to request CCTV footage of yourself.
In this final section, we’ve answered some of the questions we’re most commonly asked.
How serious is a fractured sacrum?
Sacral fracture compensation claims tend to be other more when the nerves that control the bowel and bladder function are damaged. Some injuries like this may require surgery. The length of time it takes you to recover will influence how much compensation you are owed.
How do I know if I’ve damaged my coccyx?
You may feel similar symptoms to other broken bones if you’ve suffered a fracture to your coccyx. This includes pain, swelling, and bruising.
How long does it take to recover from a fractured sacrum?
Depending on whether or not the fractured sacrum requires surgical intervention, an injury like this can take up to 8-12 weeks to fully heal. Some may take longer, some may heal more quickly.
Thank you for reading our guide on sacral fracture compensation claims.
Guide by IB
Checked by NC