An injury to any part of the arm can significantly affect your overall quality of life. You might not be able to work, drive, do house chores or even eat by yourself, at least for a while. Apart from the physical pain and psychological distress, an arm injury can have a severe financial impact on your life.
Our arms are essential to carry out work tasks and regular daily activities. The arm includes the hand, forearm and upper arm and extends from the shoulder joint to the fingertips. There are 30 bones and 24 muscles that make up each arm, together with tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and many nerves.
You could suffer an injury to your arm in many different accidents such as a slip, trip and fall, a road traffic accident, an accident at work or while practising a sporting or leisure activity.
According to RIDDOR, the upper limbs are the most commonly injured body part in workplace-related accidents. In 2018/2019, there were 26,139 reported injuries affecting the arms, with 7,579 injuries to one or more fingers, 4,814 injuries to wrists and 4,677 injuries to hands. 70% of arm injuries resulted in absence from work for more than seven days.
Arm injuries can range from minor cuts, scrapes and bruises to severe fractures and amputations. Some injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and similar repetitive strain injury conditions develop over time due to repetitive movements and straining, while others become immediately apparent after an accident.
If you or someone you love has been affected by an arm injury without being at fault, you might be able to make an arm injury claim. A personal injury solicitor can let you know who might be liable for your injury, depending on the unique circumstances of your accident.
For a free consultation with a legal adviser, call 0800 678 1410. They can let you know if you may be eligible to make a claim and answer any questions you may have.
Am I eligible to make an arm injury claim?
If you suffered an arm injury due to someone else’s negligence, you might want to claim compensation for all the pain and suffering it has caused you. A free consultation with a legal adviser can let you know if you are eligible to claim, but usually, arm injury claims are possible if:
- You were involved in an accident in the last three years
- Another party who owed you a duty of care acted negligently, causing the accident
- You suffered an injury as a result
The three-year limitation date to make a claim does not always apply. For example, if you are the victim of an assault, you will only have two years to claim compensation, whereas there is no time limit to make a claim on behalf of someone who lacks mental capacity. A solicitor can let you know how long you might have to start a claim.
You will need relevant evidence showing another party was at fault for your case to succeed. Only if you can prove a breach of duty will the defendant be held liable for compensation. Based on the circumstances of an accident, arm injury claims could be brought against:
- An employer who did not follow the guidelines dictated by the Health and Safety Executive, causing you to suffer an accident at work.
- Another road user like a car driver or cyclist might be liable to pay you compensation if they caused a road accident resulting in your arm injury.
- A business owner if a supermarket, shopping centre, restaurant, shop or another privately owned business was not properly maintained, causing you to get hurt.
- A landlord who failed to carry out regular maintenance and repairs according to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
- The local council should maintain all public places like roads, pavements, parks, schools, playgrounds and swimming pools in good repair and safe for visitors. If you suffer any kind of arm injury in an area where the council is responsible, you could claim against the local authority.
- A manufacturer if a faulty product like a trampoline or bicycle was responsible for your arm injury.
- A medical professional, if your arm injury was due to medical negligence such as a cosmetic surgery error or a misdiagnosis.
- Another individual, if you are the victim of an unprovoked assault or a dog attack, for example.
After identifying who might be liable for your injury, your solicitor will send them a claim notification form. If the defendant admits liability, you can start negotiating a settlement. Otherwise, you will have to argue your case before a judge.
What type of arm injuries can I claim compensation for?
If you suffered an injury due to another party’s negligence, you could receive arm injury compensation for your damages. The most common conditions leading to arm injury claims include:
Bicep tendon injury and strain
Bicep tendon injuries include tendonitis or tendon tearing at the shoulder level or the elbow region. Common causes of tears include constant overuse, falling with the arm outstretched after a slip or trip or awkwardly twisting the shoulder or elbow.
Symptoms of tendon strain include sharp pain, bruising, a feeling of weakness and trouble rotating the arm. While tendonitis is usually treated with anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy, a severe tear will probably require surgical repair and a recovery period of more than three months.
Triceps tendon injuries
Triceps tendon injuries may develop over time or suddenly due to a traumatic accident. Tendonitis is usually caused by sports or work activities such as throwing or hammering and can be treated with rest and medicine.
Ruptures or tears in the tendon can cause it to become detached from the bone, leading to severe pain and disability. Usually, the treatment involves surgical re-attachment of the tendon to the bone and wearing a splint or brace for several weeks. Full recovery can take between three to six months.
If you believe you suffered a broken arm, you should get medical attention as soon as possible. Complications of an arm fracture can include bone infections, nerve damage or compartment syndrome in which the blood supply to the arm is cut off. Without immediate medical care, these could cause long-term permanent effects.
Almost all fractures are caused either by falls or direct trauma during a car accident or blow to the arm. Symptoms include considerable pain that increases with movement, swelling, deformity, decreased sensation or inability to move the arm.
Treatment involves realigning the bone and keeping it in place with a cast or splint. Severe multiple fractures might need surgery to implant screws and plates to hold the bone pieces together. Recovery can take up to several months or more. If another party was responsible for your injury, you might be able to make a broken arm claim.
The elbow is a hinge joint made up of three bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joint fluid and bursae. Damage to any of these structures may result in an elbow injury or condition such as sprains, bursitis, dislocation, tendonitis or fractures.
Overuse injuries like bursitis and tendonitis occur by overdoing an activity that puts too much stress on the joint and might cause nerve compression. Some examples are golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow, which cause stiffness, swelling, numbness, weakness or tingling and difficulty making a fist.
The usual treatment for an elbow injury involves rest, anti-inflammatory medicine and application of a brace, splint or cast. Surgical repair to the tendons and muscles might be necessary in severe cases. Recovery can take from several weeks to months and might require physical therapy.
Hand and wrist injuries
Hand and wrist injuries and conditions might affect the bones, joints, muscles, nerves or tendons. Wrist injuries are often chronic, with problems developing over long periods of time. The symptoms might come and go and include pain, stiffness, swelling and tenderness.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common wrist injury caused by the compression of a hand nerve. It is usually caused by repetitive hand use and extreme flexion or extension of the hand and wrist during prolonged work activities, such as typing. Early diagnosis could prevent the need for surgical intervention, with a recovery time of up to a year.
Shoulder conditions and injuries
Overuse injuries due to repetitive movements is a common cause of soft tissue injuries in the shoulder area like bursitis and tendonitis. Shoulder fractures, dislocations or rotator cuff tears are usually caused by blunt force injuries to the shoulder or forceful twisting to the joint, common in contact sports of fall accidents.
A shoulder injury can cause significant pain, instability, swelling, numbness and weakness, which might interfere with your ability to carry out work tasks or daily activities.
Upper limb amputations
Arm amputations are a devastating occurrence, with significant emotional and functional consequences. Upper limb amputations are often the result of severe trauma, cancer, infections or disease progression.
Trauma is the leading cause of amputation and could be caused by a car accident, electric shock, severe burns or a machinery accident at the workplace.
Some diseases like diabetes or severe infections can also lead to upper limb amputation. If you believe your healthcare professional was negligent in your treatment or gave you a misdiagnosis, you might have a case for medical negligence.
If you believe your injury was due to another person or company’s negligence, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Based on the circumstances of your accident, an experienced solicitor can let you know if you might be able to make an arm injury claim.
Common accidents that cause arm injury claims
You might be able to make an arm injury claim after suffering an acute injury in a car or bicycle accident, after a slip, trip and fall or in a workplace accident. You could also claim compensation for arm conditions caused by overuse or repetitive motions at work or while practising sports.
The circumstances of your accident might be unique, but the cause of your injury might fall into the most common accidents leading to arm injury claims, which are:
Slips, trips and falls
A sudden, unexpected fall can cause hand and arm injuries ranging from minor cuts and bruising to sprains, strains and even bone fractures. Trying to break the fall with your hands after tripping is a common cause of wrist sprains and fractures.
Depending on how you fall, you could also suffer dislocation or fractures of the elbow or shoulder. The elderly are especially at risk of arm fractures caused by a sudden fall.
Accidents at work
The arms and hands are the most affected body part in workplace injuries, especially in the manufacturing, construction and retail industries. Employees’ hands are constantly exposed to chemicals, electricity and moving parts of machines that could cause injuries.
Finger injuries make up 48% of arm and hand injuries, being the most commonly affected by superficial wounds, bone fractures, traumatic amputations and electric shock. Dislocations, sprains and strains predominantly affect the wrist, while the hands are more susceptible to burns, scalds, poisoning and infections.
Employees have a duty to carry out regular risk assessments and machinery maintenance and provide adequate training and protective equipment to employees. If they breach their duty of care, they might be liable to pay arm injury compensation for an accident at work.
Sports-related arm injuries are commonplace among athletes practising countless sports like boxing, tennis, football, golf and many other disciplines. Overuse injuries like golfer’s elbow, bursitis, tendonitis or tennis elbow develop when a particular movement is repeated over and over again, without giving the body the time to rest and heal.
Falls, sudden impacts and other accidents may lead to an acute arm injury like a sprain, strain or dislocation. Forceful trauma while skiing or horse riding can also cause severe arm fractures. You might be entitled to make a broken arm claim if your accident was caused by faulty equipment, poor training or poorly maintained facilities.
A criminal assault or dog bite can cause you to suffer cuts, lacerations, penetrating wounds and even severe damage to the muscles and bones in your arms. In case of an unprovoked assault, you could claim arm injury compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) within two years after the incident.
Road traffic accidents
Road accidents can be very devastating. The blunt force trauma of a vehicle accident can also stretch and tear the soft tissue in the arms or cause bone fractures and dislocations. Vulnerable road users like pedestrians, cyclists and motorbike riders are especially at risk for injuries due to the limited protection they have.
It is instinctual to use your arms to protect more sensitive and vulnerable body parts like the head or face when an accident occurs. This can cause upper and forearm fractures, joint dislocations, rotator cuff tears, muscle strains, cuts, lacerations and severe bruising.
Unfortunately, some medical errors might cause extensive pain and suffering. Misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, surgical errors or incorrect treatments can cause severe injuries or worsen a condition, with catastrophic consequences.
Incorrect treatment of fractures causing tissue damage, delayed treatment of an infection or nerve damage during surgery can result in arm amputations or paralysis. If you suspect you received negligent treatment, you should contact an experienced medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible after an injury.
The above list is not exhaustive, and you could suffer an arm injury in many other places and circumstances. As long as your accident was the result of somebody else’s negligence, you might be able to make an arm injury claim.
How much arm injury compensation should I receive?
The amount of arm injury compensation you might be entitled to if another party caused you an arm injury depends on:
- The circumstances of your accident – if you were partially at fault for your injury, the compensation award will be deducted to reflect your part of the blame.
- The type of injury you suffered – you will receive more compensation in a broken arm claim compared to a claim for a wrist sprain or strain
- The extent of your injuries – a severe fracture that needs surgery and might have long-term effects is worth more than a simple fracture that will heal completely in a few months.
- The financial losses you incurred as a result of your accident, such as lost wages if you were unable to work because of your injury.
If you have a valid arm injury claim, you are entitled to compensation for all the damages you suffered because of your trauma. In any personal injury claim, the compensation will cover two types of damages:
Special damages for all the past and future financial expenses related to the accident, such as:
- Cost of medical treatments, medication and physical therapy, including private care
- Cost of mobility aids and prosthesis
- Lost wages, including future losses if you cannot return to work for a while
- Transportation costs
- Adaptations to your home or vehicle
- Costs of care, even if offered by a loved one
- Loss of earning capacity
- Repair or replacement of personal property
General damages for your pain, suffering and loss of amenity, including:
- Physical pain, suffering and scarring
- Mental and emotional distress
- Loss of a unique career
- Difficulty finding another job
- Loss of prospects
- Loss of consortium
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment of life
The compensation for special damages is awarded by summing up all your short-term and long-term medical expenses, past and future lost wages, and any other financial expenses you might incur.
The award for general damages is based on guidelines offered by the Judicial College. According to their guidelines, you could get the following amount for:
- Up to £6,730 for a soft tissue injury with complete recovery within 3-24 months
- £10,890 to £16,380 for a fractured humerus or rotator cuff tear needing surgery
- Up to £10,750 for moderate injuries with no permanent damage like simple fractures or tennis elbow
- £13,360 to £27,320 for a moderately severe injury resulting in restricted movement
- £33,430 to £46,780 for severe injuries that require surgery and may cause permanent disability
- £2,810 to £3,790 for a minor wrist injury with full recovery within a year
- Up to £8,160 for moderate injuries taking up to two years to heal
- £2,070 to £21,700 for carpal tunnel syndrome, depending on recovery time
- £20,900 to £51,070 for severe injuries causing permanent disability and loss of function
- Up to £4,050 for minor soft tissue injuries with recovery within six months
- £4,780 to £11,330 for moderate penetrating wounds and crush injuries to the hand that may require surgery and have long-term implications
- £24,740 to £171,920 for severe injuries that might lead to amputation of one or both hands
Finger and thumb injuries:
- Up to £4,055 for minor fractures healing within one year, with or without scarring
- £3,370 to £5,000 for amputation or loss of a part of the middle finger
- £10,380 to £31,350 for severe injuries causing amputation of one or more fingers
- £3,370 to £10,750 for moderate thumb fractures with recovery within six months, partial loss of sensation or cosmetic deformities
- £10,750 to £46,780 for partial or complete amputation of the thumb and inability to grip
Work-related Upper Limb Disorder (WRULD):
- £1,760 to £2,810 for minor symptoms with recovery within a few months
- £6,890 to £8,570 for complete recovery within a three year period
- £11,890 to £13,020 for severe, continuing problems on one side
- £17,460 to £18,440 for severe problems that require surgery and prevent working
- £5,630 to £36,770 for mild arm injuries causing a restriction in movement, but with substantial recovery
- £36,770 to £122,860 for severe arm injuries causing disability, significant pain and suffering in one or both arms
- £90,250 to £281,520 for very severe injuries leading to amputation of one or both arms or part of them
Your solicitor will be able to give you a rough estimate of your compensation prospects based on the severity of your injury and your recovery prospects. For a free consultation with a legal adviser, call 0800 678 1410 or enter your details into our online claim form to receive a call back.
How much compensation can I claim for a broken arm?
Each arm and hand is made up of 30 bones, any of which could break if you are involved in a traumatic accident. A broken arm is usually caused by falling on an outstretched hand or elbow or from direct trauma during a road accident, a fall from height or a sports injury.
Symptoms of a bone fracture include:
- Severe pain that might increase with movement
- An obvious deformity
- An open wound if the broken bone punctures the skin
- Loss of sensation and inability to move the arm, if a nerve was damaged
- Inability to turn the arm from palm up to palm down or vice versa
If you broke your arm without being entirely at fault, you might be eligible to make a broken arm claim against the responsible party. The compensation award could cover:
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Any wages you lost while recovering from your injury
- Medical costs for medication, treatment or surgery
- Transportation costs to medical appointments
- Taxi, bus or train costs due to not being able to drive or use a bicycle
- Costs of care during recovery, even if provided by a family member
- Permanent scarring and deformity
- Long-lasting mobility issues and disability
- Costs of physiotherapy and counselling
The compensation for financial losses will be calculated by summing up all the past and future economic losses incurred due to your injury.
The compensation for pain, suffering and subjective losses is calculated according to the extent of your injury and the affected part of the upper limb. According to guidelines offered by the Judicial College, you could receive:
- Up to £4,055 for a minor fracture to a finger
- £7,780 – £10,440 for fractures to the index finger affecting the grip
- Up to £31,350 for severely fractured fingers that might permanently affect the grip
- £3,370 to £10,750 for thumb fractures with recovery within six months resulting in partial loss of sensation
- £10,750.00 to £46,780 for a severe thumb fracture with surgical wire insertion
- £4,640 – £10,580 for a moderate hand fracture that might cause ongoing pain
- £3,310 to £4,450 for minor wrist fractures with complete recovery within a year
- Up to £9,620 for more severe wrist fractures where recovery is longer but expected to be complete
- £22,990 to £36,770 for a severely broken wrist leading to severe and permanent disability
- Up to £10,750 for a minor elbow fracture with no permanent disability
- Up to £33,000 for severe shoulder fractures requiring surgery or resulting in permanent mobility issues
- £6,190 to £18,020 for simple forearm fractures with mild symptoms and full recovery
- £36,770 to £56,180 fore severe forearm fractures resulting in significant disability
- £8,000 to £22,500 for moderate upper arm fractures with complete recovery within a few years
- Up of £47,650 for a severe upper arm fracture with long-lasting disability
What evidence will I need to support my claim?
If you want to make an arm injury claim, you will need relevant evidence to prove that your injury was due to the negligent behaviour of another individual or company. If you are worried you have no proof to support your claim, your solicitor could help you gather everything you need to secure compensation.
Some evidence that could help you make a successful broken arm claim includes:
- Medical records. If you suffer a severe injury like multiple fractures or a deep puncture wound, you should immediately call an ambulance; otherwise, you should visit your GP or the A&E department as soon as possible. Your medical record will then be evidence of the type and severity of your injuries.
- Photographic evidence. Pictures of the accident scene before anything gets moved, from different angles, could help determine liability. You should also take photos of your injuries and keep a photographic record of your recovery process.
- Accident reports. Every company and business should have an accident logbook to keep a record of any accidents that happen on the premises. Make sure your accident gets recorded into the report book and ask for a signed copy of the form.
- Police reports. If you were the victim of a hit and run accident or got injured in a violent assault, you should immediately call the police and wait for their arrival. A police report can serve as proof of your injuries if you decide to claim arm injury compensation.
- Witness statements. If anybody saw your accident occur, ask for their contact details. If there is any dispute regarding liability, or you have to argue your case before a judge, their witness statement might prove invaluable.
- CCTV recordings. If any CCTV or dash cam captured how you got injured, make sure to ask the owner for a copy of the footage before it gets erased.
- Keep track of all the financial expenses related to your injury, so you can later claim compensation for your economic damages. This could include wage slips to show lost wages from taking time off work or receipts for medication or physiotherapy needed to aid your recovery.
- Keep written notes of the timeline of events. Write details about how the events unfolded, what you were doing before the accident, the pain and suffering caused by your injuries and how they affected your life. Some claims can take several months, so having a written account can help to ensure you don’t forget anything.
How much will it cost to make an arm injury claim?
If you suffered an arm injury, it could significantly affect your daily routine, work tasks and the overall quality of your life. Some injuries can make it difficult to eat or drink for some time, while a severe accident can cause you a permanent disability.
If your injury was due to someone else’s negligence, that could make it all the more distressing. You might want compensation for all the pain and suffering it caused you and any financial losses you incurred as a result.
Nonetheless, you might be worried about investing a lot of time and money into making an arm injury claim. Fortunately, if you have a valid claim with a fair chance of success, your solicitor will likely offer you a no win no fee agreement. This is the preferred way to claim compensation because:
- It involves no upfront legal or solicitor fees
- There are no hidden charges
- Your solicitor will take care of all the required paperwork
- You will be given support and advice at every step of the claiming process
- Your solicitor will help you gather all the evidence you need for a strong case
- You get a free medical assessment which serves as evidence in your arm injury claim
- It provides full financial coverage if you lose the case
- It involves no financial risks
You will only have to pay a success fee to your solicitor after receiving compensation. The success fee cannot exceed 25% of your compensation award, and you will agree upon the amount before starting the claiming process. You won’t have to pay a single penny if you lose the case.
How long do I have to claim for an arm injury?
Usually, the time limit to make a personal injury claim is three years after being involved in an accident. This is known as the claim limitation date, after which it will no longer be possible to claim compensation.
The three-year limitation period applies to accidents where an injury becomes apparent immediately. If you want to claim compensation for an illness or a condition that developed over time, the three-year countdown begins on the date of knowledge of your injury.
The date of knowledge refers to the date when you became aware that you suffered an injury that was caused by the negligence of a third party.
The three-year limitation date does not apply in some circumstances:
- Arm injury claims on behalf of children can be made at any moment while the child is still a minor. After turning 18, they will have another three years to start legal proceedings in their own name if nobody has already claimed on their behalf.
- There is no limitation date to make an arm injury claim on behalf of an individual who lacks the mental capacity to conduct legal proceedings. The three-year countdown only begins if they regain their intellectual ability.
- You could claim arm injury compensation for an arm injury that happened abroad, but the limitation period can vary significantly between countries. You should seek legal advice as soon as possible, as you can have as little as six months to start a claim in some countries.
- If you suffered an injury due to a violent assault, you could make an arm injury claim through the CICA within two years after the traumatic event.
To find out what limitation date might apply to your unique situation, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back for a free consultation with a legal adviser. They can let you know if you are eligible for compensation and answer any questions you might have.