Last updated on May 11th, 2022
Many chest injuries can have a significant impact on your quality of life. They can be severe, debilitating and extremely difficult to live with. Injuries such as broken ribs can be painful while lung conditions can prevent you from participating in your normal hobbies and activities. Importantly, if you’ve suffered a chest injury in an accident caused by somebody else, you may be eligible to claim compensation.
In this guide to chest injury claims, we’ll look at when you might be eligible to claim compensation, how the process of making a claim works, and how much compensation for a chest injury might be paid.
Our team can help if you are thinking about claiming. Firstly, a specially trained advisor will review your claim in detail over the phone with you. They’ll explain your options and provide free legal advice regardless of what you decide to do next. If the case appears to have a realistic chance of success, they’ll ask one of our personal injury solicitors to take over. They’ll represent you on a No Win No Fee basis if they agree to work for you. As you’ll know you won’t have to pay your solicitor unless the case is won, you should find the whole process a lot less stressful.
If you’re ready to start a chest injury claim right away, call us on 0800 6524 881 for a no-obligation consultation. Alternatively, to learn more about claiming for chest injuries before calling, please read on.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Make A Chest Injury Compensation Claim?
- Common Causes Of Chest Injury Claims
- Common Types Of Chest Injuries
- How Much Compensation For A Chest Injury Could I Claim?
- Chest Injury Compensation Amounts
- Evidence To Support A Chest Injury Compensation Claim
- Time Limits For Claiming Chest Injury Compensation
- Start A Chest Injury Compensation Claim
If you are to successfully claim compensation for a chest injury, you’ll need to prove that:
- The defendant (the party you blame) owed you some form of duty of care; and
- An act or negligence led to an accident or incident; and
- You suffered chest injuries as a result.
If you’re involved in an accident, it’s usually quite obvious if the defendant owes you a duty of care. For example, if you’re injured in a car crash caused by another driver, a duty of care can be derived from the Road Traffic Act 1988. Similarly, several laws can be used to prove a duty of care if your employer’s negligence leads to a chest injury at work. Your solicitor will check this before taking on your claim so you shouldn’t be too concerned about it.
Therefore, you should concentrate your efforts on proving how the accident happened and how serious your chest injuries are. We’ll explain how you can do this shortly.
The ribs are quite fragile and any accident in which there is a direct impact to the chest could result in severe injuries to the region. Some of the more common causes of chest injury claims include:
Once again, chest injury compensation could be awarded if it can be shown that your accident and subsequent injuries were caused by somebody else. For example, you might be entitled to compensation if you fell from a raised platform at work because safety harnesses weren’t provided by your employer when they should have been.
Chest injuries can be divided into two categories – injuries caused by direct external trauma to the chest and physiological injuries that affect the organs within the chest cavity without any external injuries. Physiological chest injuries are usually caused due to exposure to toxic materials.
Fractured ribs are the most common type of chest injury caused by direct external impact to the chest. Any accident or assault could potentially result in your ribs being fractured. This can be particularly painful, making it difficult for you to move or even breathe deeply. The often excruciating pain of a fractured rib can make it challenging to perform the simplest task until the rib has healed completely.
If your chest injury is due to fractured ribs then you may also like to refer to our rib injury claims page.
Collapsed lung or pneumothorax is another type of chest injury caused by direct impact to the upper body between the neck and abdomen. A broken rib or a puncture wound in the chest region can cause the space between the lung and chest wall to fill with air. The build-up of air in the pleural space exerts pressure on the lungs, causing them to collapse. This can be very painful and also leads to shortness of breath.
Both of these types of chest injuries are sustained after forceful impact with an object or surface. Impact with a blunt object or surface such as a table, machinery, or a wall is known as a blunt traumatic injury. An injury caused by an object that penetrates the chest area, such as a knife or bullet, is called a penetrating traumatic injury.
Both, blunt and penetrating traumatic injuries are very serious and can result in several different medical complications. A common example would be a traumatic spleen injury caused by a blow to the lower chest in a hit-and-run car accident.
Industrial-related chest injuries are typically physiological in nature. They are caused as a result of short or long-term exposure to various toxic materials in the workplace. Exposure to asbestos is a type of industrial-related chest injury that unfortunately still leads to many deaths a year, according to UK government statistics, but it’s not the only one.
Exposure to toxic materials in the workplace can cause a wide range of chest injuries including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, mesothelioma, emphysema, and chronic lung disease. All of these have long-term consequences.
If your chest injury has been caused by the industry you work in or were working in, you may like to read our page on industrial injury claims.
*It’s important to note that claims for mesothelioma, pneumoconiosis and other conditions caused by long-term exposure to dangerous substances at work such as asbestos are handled slightly differently from other personal injury claims. That’s because you might not realise you are suffering until much later on in life.
In these situations, our solicitors can still help so long as your condition has been diagnosed in the past 3-years and can be linked back to your employment history. For more information, please get in touch with a specialist advisor.
It is important to calculate how much compensation for a chest injury you could claim correctly. The idea is to help you deal with any suffering your chest injury has caused (general damages) and to recoup any costs you’ve incurred as a result (special damages). No two claims are alike but, generally, you could seek damages to cover:
- The pain and suffering your chest injuries have caused. This could include mental harm if your symptoms make you anxious, scared or distressed.
- Any loss of amenity. This is where your chest injury prevents you from enjoying your normal social activities and hobbies.
- Any loss of income.
- Care costs if you need a full-time carer or if somebody looked after you while you were recovering.
- Medical expenses including the cost of private treatment in some cases.
- Future loss of earnings where you will lose income in the long-term because of your chest injury.
- Travel expenses such as public transport fares, fuel costs or parking fees linked to medical appointments.
- Modifications to your home or vehicle. These could be requested if, for example, you needed to make space for oxygen tanks and breathing apparatus.
If you’d like us to help you understand how much compensation you could potentially claim for a chest injury, please get in touch. Our solicitors always work hard to try and secure the maximum amount possible in all cases.
- £100,670 to £150,110 compensation where one lung has been removed and/or serious damage to the heart.
- £65,740 to £100,670 compensation for a traumatic chest injury causing permanent damage to the lungs and/or the heart.
- £31,310 to £54,830 compensation for damage to chest and lungs leading to some continuing disability.
- £12,590 to £17,960 compensation for a relatively minor chest injury.
- £5,320 to £12,590 compensation for smoke or toxic fume inhalation that causes some residual damage.
- £2,190 to £5,320 compensation for an injury causing collapsed lungs but full recovery will be made.
- Up to £3,950 compensation for chest rib fractures or soft tissue damage causing serious pain and some disability but only over a period of weeks.
As the value of any settlement is primarily based on the severity of your chest injuries, you’ll typically need a medical assessment as part of the chest injury claims process. This means you’ll have an appointment with an independent specialist who’ll examine you and discuss how your chest injury has affected you. Once complete, they’ll prepare a report detailing your prognosis and a list of your injuries.
Our solicitors always look to book this appointment locally for claimants where possible.
In most cases, any chest injury compensation claim you make will be passed on to the defendant’s insurance company. They’ll only agree to pay compensation when it’s absolutely clear that their client was responsible for your injuries. To help prove what happened and how you suffered, you could supply:
- Accident report forms. If you were injured at work or in a public place accident, the accident should’ve been recorded. Your copy of the report is useful as it proves where and when the incident occurred.
- Witness information. You should tell your solicitor about anybody else who saw your accident. They may be asked for a statement to help prove what happened.
- Photographic evidence. Where possible, you should try and take pictures of the accident scene to show what caused your chest injury. Doing this before anything is removed from the scene is preferable.
- Medical evidence. If your chest injuries were assessed or diagnosed by a doctor or at a hospital, medical records and x-rays can be obtained by your solicitor as evidence.
- Financial records. To help prove any costs or expenses you’ve incurred because of your chest injury, you should keep hold of any relevant receipts, bank statements or invoices.
If you call for a free review of your case, we’ll consider any evidence that you’ve already obtained to help get a better understanding of your chances of being compensated.
As with any type of personal injury claim, you must start a chest injury claim within a 3-year time limit. For injuries caused by accidents, the limitation period will start from the date you were injured. For chest injuries related to industrial illnesses, it will begin from the date of diagnosis or your ‘date of knowledge’.
Ideally, you should start the chest injury claims process as soon as you can to allow plenty of time for evidence and medical reports to be gathered. Also, an early start may mean you’re able to benefit from an interim payment from the defendant to cover the cost of private medical treatment if it will improve your recovery time.
Please get in touch if you’re ready to start a chest injury claim or have any questions.
Our team are ready to help if you’re ready to begin a chest injury claim. To begin the claims process, simply call us on 0800 6524 881 for a free initial consultation.
If your claim is suitable and it’s accepted by one of our solicitors, they’ll work on it on a No Win No Fee basis meaning you won’t pay any solicitor’s fees unless compensation is awarded. Knowing that should mean you’ll find the claims process a lot less stressful.
Please use live chat or give us a call if you’d like to know any more about the process of making a chest injury compensation claim.