If you’ve fractured your sternum following an accident, you’ll no doubt know how painful an injury it can be. What makes things worse is that there’s very little doctors can do to treat a broken sternum other than to manage the pain as much as possible. A fractured sternum can affect your ability to work and enjoy your usual activities. Therefore, in this guide on fractured sternum compensation claims we’ll explain when you could be compensated and we’ll also review how much compensation for a fractured sternum could be awarded.
Our team of advisors is here to help if you’re thinking about claiming. As part of a free initial consultation, they’ll offer legal advice about your next steps. There’s no obligation to begin a claim but if your case is fairly strong, one of our personal injury solicitors could represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. As they’ll take on the bulk of any financial risk linked to the claim, you should find the process a lot lower than normal.
To learn more about claiming compensation for a fractured sternum, please read on or call our team on 0800 6524 881 to discuss a claim right away.
Table of contents
- What Is A Fractured Sternum?
- Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation For A Fractured Sternum?
- Common Causes Of Fractured Sternum Compensation Claims
- How Much Compensation Will I Get For A Fractured Sternum?
- Evidence To Support A Fractured Sternum Compensation Claim
- Fractured Sternum Claim Time Limits
- How Long Does It Take To Settle A Fractured Sternum Claim?
- Starting The Fractured Sternum Compensation Claims Process
A fractured sternum is a break in the breastbone, which is a long flat bone that runs down the middle of your chest. It’s an essential part of the ribcage, protecting your heart, lungs, and major blood vessels from injury. Sternum fractures can range in severity from mild to severe and typically happen as a result of trauma to the chest, such as from a car accident or a fall.
A mild sternal fracture may involve only a small crack or break in the sternum and may not cause significant pain or other symptoms. In contrast, a severe fracture may involve a complete break or displacement of the sternum, which can result in significant pain, difficulty breathing, and other complications.
If you suspect that you’ve fractured your sternum in an accident, you should speak to your doctor straight away. In many cases, a sternal fracture can be diagnosed without an x-ray.
According to the NHS, sternum fractures can cause the following symptoms:
- Pain or tenderness in the area of the fracture.
- Pain when inhaling deeply, coughing or laughing.
- Discomfort in the chest when lifting objects or using your arms.
In some cases, surgery is required to help a fractured sternum to recover. However, in many cases, the bone is left to heal naturally. This can mean that you need to use painkillers for 6 to 8 weeks (or longer in more serious cases.
When reviewing a potential fractured sternum compensation claim, our personal injury solicitors will assess whether:
- You were owed a legal duty of care by the defendant; and
- Because the defendant was negligent, an accident occurred; and
- Your sternum was fractured in the accident;
- The accident happened, or your sternum fracture was diagnosed within the last three years.
Most personal injury claims will be made against some form of an insurance policy. It probably goes without saying that insurers don’t pay compensation unless it’s clear how the accident occurred and why their client was to blame. Therefore, later in this guide, we’ll explain what evidence might be helpful in fractured sternum compensation claims.
Based on the guidelines set out above, any accident that leads to a fractured or broken sternum that was not your fault could lead to a personal injury claim. Some common examples that our solicitors have helped with include:
- Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs). This is one of the most common accidents that lead to sternum injuries. If your sternum was fractured in a car accident caused by careless driving, speeding, drink-driving or any other form of negligence, you may be eligible to claim fractured sternum compensation.
- Slips, trips and falls. If you’re unable to steady yourself after tripping or slipping, there’s a fair chance you’ll collide with something. Any form of impact to the sternum could result in a breastbone fracture that could mean you’re eligible to claim compensation. For example, a claim might be possible if your fall was caused by a torn carpet, a spillage in a shopping centre or a raised kerbstone.
- Accidents at work. Employers have a duty of care towards employee safety. Therefore, if you suffer a fractured sternum at work, a claim might be possible if your employer was negligent. For example, you could claim for sternum fractures caused by damaged machinery, poor lighting or inadequate personal protective equipment.
- Sporting incidents. If you play a contact sport like rugby, you might think that any injuries are simply one of those things. However, if you fractured your sternum because of damaged equipment, an unsafe playing surface or poor coaching advice, a claim might be possible.
- Falls from height. Falling from a height and landing on your chest is another common cause of sternum fractures. Again, if the fall was caused by negligence, you could claim compensation. For example, if a child fell from a damaged climbing frame in the school playground or in a park, or you fell off a ladder at work and negligence was the cause, a compensation claim might be possible.
Whatever type of accident you’ve been involved in, if you believe your sternum fracture was somebody else’s fault, please get in touch and explain what happened to see if you could claim compensation.
How much compensation for a fractured sternum you could get will depend largely on the severity of the fracture. As a sternal fracture can cause various different types and levels of suffering it’s vital that you consider every way in which you’ve been affected before filing your claim. This not only means how you’ve suffered physically and mentally (general damages) but financially too (special damages).
Therefore, if you win a fractured sternum compensation claim, it could cover:
- The physical symptoms you suffered from your fractured sternum.
- Distress, anxiety or other types of mental harm linked to your injuries.
- Loss of enjoyment of your normal hobbies such as sports or socialising.
- Medical expenses.
- The cost of a carer.
- Travel costs.
- Lost income including long-term losses for more serious sternum fractures.
- Modifications to your house to make it easier for you to cope with long-term injuries.
Our team of solicitors have decades of experience handling personal injury claims. That experience means they know what you can and cannot claim compensation for. If one agrees to represent you, they’ll do all they can to achieve the maximum level of compensation for a fractured sternum on your behalf.
To accurately assess the impact of a fractured sternum on a claimant’s present and future well-being when calculating a settlement, you’ll generally need to be assessed by an independent medical professional. As a result, it’s not possible to provide an estimated payout. However, you may get some idea of potential compensation payouts from our compensation calculator below.
As mentioned before, it’s likely you’ll need an independent medical assessment during the claims process. This would be arranged by your solicitor for you (usually locally). The appointment shouldn’t take too long and it is nothing to worry about.
Evidence that could help you to prove why you should be compensated for a fractured sternum could include:
- X-rays and medical notes from the hospital or GP that diagnosed your sternum fracture.
- Witness statements from anybody that saw your accident happen.
- Accident report forms to confirm the location, date and time of the accident.
- CCTV footage if your accident was recorded by a security camera (or dashcam in the case of an RTA).
- Photographs taken at the accident scene to try and help prove what happened.
You should also keep track of any expenses directly related to your sternal fracture as it may be possible to recover these as part of your claim.
Claimants generally have 3-years from the date of the accident to claim compensation for a sternum fracture. In some cases, where the fracture isn’t immediately obvious, the limitation period will start from when you were made aware of the injury by a doctor.
If your child has fractured their sternum in a fall (for example), you won’t need to worry about the time limit straight away as their time limit doesn’t start until their 18th birthday. However, you could apply to be their litigation friend before their 18th and claim compensation on their behalf. Starting your claim early can make it easier to collect the evidence needed to support the claim.
How long it will take to settle a fractured sternum compensation claim generally varies depending on different factors. For example, how complicated the claim is, how severe the sternum fracture is, what evidence is available and how straightforward it is to obtain it.
It might take only a matter of months to reach a conclusion in some cases to a year or longer in others, especially if it’s a challenge to reach an agreement on what payout should be awarded. However, most personal injury claims are settled amicably in our experience. If you contact our advisors, one of our personal injury solicitors could take a look at your case and give their expert opinion on the strength of your claim.
We can help you start the process if you’d like to claim compensation for a fractured sternum. Simply call us on 0800 6524 881 and we’ll review your options with you straight away.
You’ll receive free legal advice and we could partner you with one of our personal injury solicitors if your claim appears to have strong grounds. If the case proceeds, you’ll receive No Win No Fee representation meaning you’ll only pay for your solicitor’s work if you’re compensated.
If there’s anything else you need to know about fractured sternum compensation claims, please call or connect to our live chat service.