If you sustain an injury to your chest due to an accident or the negligence of a third party, you may have the right to start a chest injury claim. You can seek compensation for the physical pain and suffering the injury has caused you and any financial impact, such as loss of earnings.
Examples of circumstances that could lead to a valid claim include road traffic accidents, accidents at work, criminal acts and medical negligence. Chest injuries can range from minor rib bruises and fractures to loss of lung function and permanent heart damage. These can severely affect your ability to work, engage in daily activities and your overall quality of life.
To find out if you have grounds to claim chest injury compensation, call 0800 678 1410 today or request a call back to speak to an experienced legal adviser. They can let you know if you have a valid claim, tell you more about the claims process and answer any questions you may have.
Do I have a valid chest injury claim?
If you have suffered a chest injury, you might be eligible for compensation if:
- The party you hold responsible owed you a duty of care
- They breached their duty by acting negligently
- Their negligence led to an accident or incident
- You suffered a chest injury as a result within the last three years
If you believe you could be entitled to chest injury compensation, you should speak to a solicitor as soon as possible. They will be able to determine if a duty of care existed and who might be liable to pay for the damages you suffered. For example, a breach of duty can be derived from the Road Traffic Act 1988 if you were injured in a car accident. Likewise, the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 could enable you to seek compensation if you were injured on private property, such as in a supermarket or restaurant.
You should keep in mind that a claim could still be possible if you were partially at fault for your injuries. In this case, you will likely receive a reduced compensation amount to reflect your part of the blame. A personal injury solicitor could also help you start a chest injury claim on behalf of a loved one if they cannot conduct legal proceedings due to their age or mental capacity.
Evidence to support a claim for a chest injury
Evidence is central to making a successful chest injury claim. That will help prove how you sustained your injury, who is to blame for it and how it has affected your life. Some typical forms of evidence used in personal injury claims include:
- Medical records such as x-rays and a formal diagnosis of your injury and the treatments you received
- Photographs of the accident scene to show the cause of your injury before anything is moved or replaced
- Pictures of any visible trauma to the chest, such as bruising or puncture wounds
- CCTV or dashcam footage of the accident
- Accident report forms, if you had an accident at work or in a public place
- A police report, if you were the victim of an assault, hit-and-run or another criminal act
- Contact details of anyone who saw the accident and could provide a witness statement
- Financial records of losses and expenses incurred due to the injury, such as receipts, wage slips or bank statements.
The above are just examples, so don’t worry too much if you only have a small amount of evidence for your case. Your solicitor can help you gather everything you need to make a successful chest injury claim.
Types of chest injuries
Various types of chest injuries can occur as a result of trauma or accidents, including:
The ribs can sustain fractures or breaks due to blunt force trauma, such as a heavy fall, car accident, or sports injury. These can cause significant pain and discomfort, especially during breathing or movement.
The sternum, or breastbone, can fracture as a result of a direct blow to the chest, often due to high-impact accidents, such as car collisions, forklift truck accidents, or falls from height. They can be incredibly painful and may require medical intervention.
A pulmonary contusion is bruising or injury to the lung tissue. It typically occurs due to a severe impact to the chest, such as in a road traffic accident, horse riding accident or a fall from a ladder. Pulmonary contusions can cause difficulty breathing and chest pain and may require medical monitoring and treatment.
A pneumothorax is a condition where air accumulates in the space between the lung and the chest wall, causing the lung to collapse partially or completely. It can occur due to trauma, such as a rib fracture, or spontaneously. Pneumothorax can lead to breathing difficulties and requires prompt medical attention.
Severe chest trauma can cause injury to the heart, leading to conditions such as bruising of the heart muscle or cardiac rupture. These injuries can have serious implications and may require immediate medical intervention.
The diaphragm, a muscle separating the chest and abdominal cavities, can be injured due to trauma. Diaphragmatic injuries can lead to breathing difficulties and may require surgical repair.
Regardless of the type and severity of your injury, if it was due to someone else’s negligent or intentional acts, you might be eligible to make a chest injury compensation claim.
Potential long-term complications of a chest injury
A chest injury can range in severity and may lead to various long-term complications depending on the nature and extent of the harm. Some potential ongoing effects of an injury to the chest include:
- Chronic pain, which may persist long after the initial injury has healed and impact daily activities, mobility, and overall quality of life;
- Injuries to the chest can affect the respiratory system, leading to difficulties in breathing, reduced lung function, or the development of respiratory conditions such as asthma or pneumonia;
- Fractured or broken ribs can cause long-lasting discomfort and potentially lead to deformities that can affect the chest’s structure and limit movement;
- Severe chest injuries may involve damage to the heart or blood vessels, which can result in long-term cardiac complications, such as irregular heart rhythms;
- Psychological and emotional impact, causing anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or other mental health conditions. The trauma and pain associated with a chest injury can affect your overall well-being and quality of life.
Your solicitor will ensure that a medical expert will assess the long-term effects of the damage you sustained and include them in your chest injury claim. This will ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to for your injuries and financial losses.
Can I claim compensation for a chest injury at work?
Yes, you may be able to claim chest injury compensation, depending on the circumstances of your work accident. To have a valid case, you generally need to show that your injury was due to negligence or breach of duty on the part of your employer or a third party.
Some examples of work-related incidents that could result in a chest injury claim include:
- Accidents involving machinery or equipment that caused an impact to your chest, resulting in injuries such as fractures, contusions, or internal organ damage;
- Falls or trips, if you fell from a height, slipped on a wet surface, or tripped over obstacles in the workplace;
- Exposure to hazardous substances or chemicals at work, such as toxic fumes or gases, can lead to chronic diseases like occupational asthma, asbestosis, emphysema or mesothelioma.
Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 and other UK laws, employers have to take all reasonable measures to keep you safe from avoidable harm, including:
- Carry out regular risk assessments to identify hazards;
- Take measures to reduce or eliminate the identified risks;
- If there are potential chest injury hazards in the workplace, provide suitable PPE, such as protective clothing or masks;
- Provide proper training and education to employees on workplace safety, including awareness of injury risks and how to prevent them;
- Conduct regular inspections and maintenance of machinery and equipment.
If an employer fails to fulfil their responsibilities and, as a result, an employee suffers a chest injury, the employer may be held liable in an accident at work compensation claim.
Common accidents leading to a chest injury compensation claim
Various accidents and incidents can lead to a chest injury, potentially resulting in a compensation claim. Some common causes of chest injuries include:
Road traffic accidents
Collisions on the road, such as car or motorbike accidents, can cause chest injuries due to a direct impact on the chest area, seatbelts, airbags, or being struck by objects.
Accidents at work, such as falls from height, being struck by objects, or accidents involving machinery or equipment, can lead to chest injuries.
Slips, trips, and falls
High-impact sports, such as football, rugby, or martial arts, can result in chest trauma due to collisions, tackles, or falls. Horse riding and skiing are other sports that pose a risk of injuries to the chest.
Physical assaults or violent incidents can lead to chest injuries, including fractures, bruising, or internal organ damage.
Accidents in industrial settings, such as construction sites or factories, can result in chest injuries due to falls, being struck by objects, or exposure to hazardous substances.
Errors or negligence in medical treatment or procedures, including improper handling during surgery or misdiagnosis, can also result in an avoidable chest injury for which you could make a medical negligence claim.
This is not a complete list, as many other circumstances may entitle you to make a chest injury claim. Regardless of your situation, you should call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back as soon as possible for a free case assessment with an experienced solicitor.
How much chest injury compensation could I receive?
The amount of compensation you could receive for a chest injury will depend on various factors, including:
- The severity of the injury
- The impact on your daily life and activities
- The extent of medical treatment required
- Whether you had any part of the blame
As with all accident claims, compensation for your chest injury is awarded based on a combination of general and special damages:
The aim of general damages is to compensate for the pain and suffering and any loss of amenity that was caused by the chest injury. The amount awarded for general damages will depend on:
- Physical pain and disability
- The impact on your emotional and psychological well-being
- How it has affected your quality of life
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Loss of prospects and enjoyment of life
The Judicial College Guidelines, which provide a framework for compensation in personal injury cases, can be used as a reference to estimate the potential value of general damages. According to these, you could receive the following:
- Up to £3,950 for a minor rib injury and tissue damage
- £2,190 to £5,320 for a collapsed lung with full recovery
- £5,320 to £12,590 for residual damage caused by intoxication with toxic fumes or smoke
- £12,590 to £17,960 for mild injuries to the chest, lungs or fractured ribs with some permanent damage
- £31,310 to £54,830 for damage to the chest or lungs causing some continuing disability
- £65,740 to £100,670 for a chest injury causing long-term damage and disability
- £100,670 to £150,110 for permanent damage to the heart and removal of one lung
Special damages cover the financial losses and expenses incurred due to the chest injury. These can include:
- Medical expenses for medication and treatments
- Rehabilitation and counselling costs
- Loss of earnings and earning capacity
- Travel expenses for medical appointments
- Costs of care and assistance during recovery
- Any other relevant expenses directly related to your injury and recovery
A solicitor who specialises in personal injury claims can evaluate the specific details of your case, gather relevant evidence, and consider the impact of the injury on your life to provide a more accurate estimate of how much compensation you could be entitled to. You can also use our compensation calculator for further examples of how much compensation you can claim for different types of injuries.
Time limits to claim chest injury compensation
There is a general three-year time limit to begin a chest injury compensation claim from the date of the accident that caused your injury. It is essential to start legal proceedings within the allotted timeframe; if you miss the deadline, your case becomes statute-barred, and the court will no longer accept it.
However, there are a few exceptions to the claim limitation date, such as:
- With industrial accidents and diseases, the three-year period will usually start from when your injury or illness was diagnosed, known as the date of knowledge.
- If a child has suffered a chest injury, the time limit only starts to run once they turn 18. Before that, a parent or legal guardian could claim on their behalf at any time. Afterwards, they will have until their 21st birthday to start a claim independently.
- There is no claim limitation date if the injured person lacks the mental capacity to conduct legal proceedings. In this case, a litigation friend could represent them and claim on their behalf.
- If your injury was due to a violent attack, you have two years to claim criminal injury compensation through the CICA.
- Military personnel could claim for a chest injury through the AFCS within seven years following an accident.
- If you were injured in an accident abroad, the time limit to claim might depend on the foreign country’s rules and be shorter or longer than three years.
You should always speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. If you have a valid chest injury claim, getting prompt legal advice will give them plenty of time to gather evidence for your case and ensure your claim is made within the time limit.
Start a chest injury claim on a No Win No Fee basis
If you suffered a chest injury due to someone else’s negligence and have a valid compensation claim, the solicitors we work with will offer you a 100% no win no fee claim service. That means you do not have to pay anything upfront for legal representation and can seek damages without taking any financial risks.
You only have to pay your solicitor if they manage to secure chest injury compensation on your behalf. They will receive a success fee deducted from your award, which cannot be more than 25% of general damages and past financial expenses. There will be no hidden charges or additional costs. If your claim is unsuccessful, you do not have to pay them at all.
As part of your no win no fee agreement, your solicitor will also ensure you are protected against paying any legal charges associated with the claim if your case fails. That is possible due to the After the Event (ATE) insurance they will take out on your behalf. The cost of the ATE premium depends on the specifics of your case, and you only have to pay for it if your chest injury claim is successful.