If you have suffered a rib injury in any type of accident that was not your fault, you could have grounds for a rib injury claim. Common causes of rib injuries are road traffic accidents, sports injuries, physical assaults and falls. Your solicitor will identify the liable party and help you gather all the evidence necessary to make a strong rib injury compensation claim.
A bruised or broken rib injury can be very painful and may take a long time to heal. This can make it difficult for you to get on with work and daily activities. Besides pain and suffering, your injury may lead to psychological distress and significant financial losses, especially if you have to take time off work.
If your injury was due to someone else’s negligence, a personal injury solicitor could help to secure compensation for your damages. If your claim has merit, they will also offer you a no win no fee service. This way, you can take legal action without taking any financial risks or paying upfront fees to your solicitor.
To start your rib injury claim, speak to a trained legal adviser by calling 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation. Or, if you prefer, enter your details into our online claim form to receive a call back.
Can I make a rib injury claim?
If you want to claim compensation for a rib injury that you believe was not your fault, an experienced solicitor can let you know whether you are eligible to make a rib injury claim. Usually, this should be possible if you meet the criteria below:
- You suffered a rib injury in the last three years
- Another person was at fault for your injury
- That person owed you a duty of care
You do not have to worry about proving that a legal duty of care existed. Depending on your accident, there are various ways to establish a duty of care, and your solicitor will check this before accepting your case.
As a general rule, you would still be able to claim rib injury compensation even if you were partially responsible for your accident. This is known as contributory negligence and does not stop you from making a claim as long as you hold less than 51% of the blame.
For example, you can still make a broken rib injury claim if you were hurt in a car accident whilst not wearing your seatbelt or if you got into a vehicle knowing that the driver was under the influence. If you can make a successful claim, your compensation award will be reduced to reflect your part of the blame.
What are the most common rib injuries?
The ribs make up the rib cage, which supports the upper body, assists with breathing and protects internal organs such as the heart and lungs. Chest trauma can cause mild to life-threatening rib injuries, including:
Soft tissue injuries involve the intercostal muscles, ligaments and tendons, or the costal cartilage. Most soft tissue injuries will heal within six weeks without needing medical intervention. However, they may cause a lot of pain and discomfort during recovery. These include:
- Bruising – occurs when blood vessels of the chest wall break and leak into the surrounding tissues and is a common form of rib trauma. If another person was responsible for your injury, you might be eligible to make an injury claim for bruised ribs.
- Intercostal strain – this is an injury affecting the muscles between two or more ribs. These muscles help build the chest wall and are essential for breathing. A complete tear of the muscles can take several months to heal.
- Costochondral separation – occurs when the rib tears away from the cartilage that connects it to the breastbone. This can be caused by sudden trauma to your chest due to a car accident, fall, punch to the chest, or sports injury.
Rib fractures can be due to a single traumatic episode, or stress fractures may develop over time because of overuse. The main symptoms of a broken rib include:
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty taking a deep breath
- Sharp chest pain that hurts more when you inhale
- Pain that worsens if you twist your body
Based on diagnostic tests such as an x-ray or CT scan and a physical examination, your healthcare provider will assess the severity of your injury and decide what treatment is best for you. If another person was responsible for your accident, you would likely be able to make a broken rib injury claim.
Besides pain and suffering, a rib injury can cause severe health complications in the short term and may also lead to a permanent disability. Complications usually depend on the injured ribs and may include:
- A torn or punctured aorta – if you break one of the first three ribs at the top of your rib cage, these could injure your aorta or another major blood vessel.
- A punctured lung – a broken middle rib could puncture one of your lungs and cause it to collapse. Most people who have a collapsed lung generally heal without needing major treatment.
- Lacerated spleen, liver or kidneys – the bottom ribs are more flexible than the others, and they rarely break as a result of trauma. However, if this does happen, the broken ends could cause severe damage to your liver, spleen or kidneys.
- Chest infections, including pneumonia – pneumonia is a common complication of a broken rib injury and may develop when you resist coughing because of the pain.
If you suffered any type of rib injury without being at fault, you might be entitled to compensation. To find out if you have a valid injury claim for bruised ribs, broken ribs or any other type of injury, enter your details into our online claim form or call 0800 678 1410 to speak to a legal adviser.
What are the leading causes of rib injury claims?
Rib injuries are usually caused by a fall or blow to the chest area. Many types of accidents can cause a rib injury, of which the most common are:
Road traffic accidents
If you suffered a rib injury in a road accident that was not your fault, you might be able to make a rib injury claim. Bicycle and motorbike accidents are the leading causes of broken ribs in RTA accidents, but you may also get injured as a pedestrian, driver or passenger.
Your right to make a claim is usually not affected by not wearing a seatbelt, but you might receive a reduced compensation award to reflect your part of the blame. For example, if your injuries would not have been as bad had you been wearing a seatbelt, the compensation awarded would be reduced to take this into account.
Slips, trips and falls
Slips, trips and falls are some of the most common accidents that happen in public places like shops, restaurants or parks. The local council and business owners have the legal duty to keep all public premises safe and in good working order. If you tripped on a pavement, or had an accident due to hazards such as uneven surfaces, spillages or damaged flooring, you might be eligible to make an injury claim for bruised ribs or other rib injuries.
Falls from a height
Falling from a height can lead to a severe broken rib injury. If you had a fall accident due to the negligence of another party, this might entitle you to rib injury compensation. Common hazards include uneven stairs, missing handrails, defective ladders, fragile elevated surfaces and lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) when working at a height.
Accidents at work
Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, employers must take all necessary and reasonable measures to protect the health and safety of employees. They are responsible for ensuring that workers receive adequate training and instructions for their job, all machinery is well maintained and safe to use, and proper PPE is available when necessary. A breach of any of their duties could entitle you to make an accident at work claim for any rib injuries you sustained.
If you or a loved one were the victims of a violent attack, you would likely be able to claim compensation. If the attacker is unidentified or cannot pay you compensation, you can make a broken rib injury claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). You can begin a CICA claim within two years after the incident and only if you reported it to the police.
There is a certain risk involved in playing a sport, and sporting accidents leading to a rib injury are often nobody’s fault. However, you may be entitled to rib injury compensation if your injuries resulted from faulty equipment, unsafe playing surfaces, inadequate training or other forms of negligence.
You do not have to worry if you suffered a rib injury in other circumstances not listed above. As long as you have relevant evidence that another person was at least partially responsible for your accident, you should be able to make a rib injury compensation claim.
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 can answer any questions you may have.
How do I make a rib injury compensation claim?
If somebody else caused you a rib injury by acting negligently or violently, you might want to make a personal injury claim. The first step towards securing the compensation you deserve is to seek legal advice and get a free initial assessment.
Based on the preliminary facts of the case and your version of the events, an experienced solicitor will decide whether you have a valid rib injury claim or not. If your claim has merit, you will have a personal injury solicitor appointed to your case.
Your solicitor will guide you through all the other steps of the claiming process. These include:
Gathering detailed evidence of the accident
Even if the other side immediately admits responsibility for your injury, you should still try to collect as much evidence as possible at the accident site, including:
- Photographs of the accident scene, trying to take as many pictures as possible before anything is moved or repaired.
- If you suffered a rib injury in a public place or in the workplace, file an accident report with the responsible party. You are entitled to ask for a signed copy of
- the report, which will prove where and when the accident occurred.
- If you were the victim of a violent crime, report the incident to the police as soon as possible.
- Get the contact details of any other individuals involved in the accident and, when appropriate, their insurance details.
- Request a copy of any recordings of your accident, such as CCTV and dash cam footage, if these exist.
If the defendant denies liability, all this evidence will make your case as strong as possible and help you secure rib injury compensation for your damages.
Gathering detailed medical evidence
If you suffered a rib injury, you should visit your GP or the hospital as soon as possible. They will assess the severity of your injury and prescribe you the best treatment for your pain. Usually, a bruised or broken rib will be left to heal on its own. However, in case of multiple fractures or breaks in the rib cage, you might need surgical intervention.
Your medical records will serve as undeniable proof of your injury and the treatments you received. You should also keep a written record of how your injuries affected your day-to-day life. This could include the impacts on your work and personal life and any related financial losses and expenses.
Based on the available evidence, your solicitor will determine who you will be claiming against. They will send a formal letter of claim to the other side, which will set out precisely what happened to you and the physical and mental injuries you suffered.
The defendant has 21 days to acknowledge your letter of claim and another three months to investigate your rib injury claim in detail. Before the end of this period, they will need to inform you of whether they admit liability or not.
Determining the amount of compensation you deserve
Your solicitor will evaluate the many ways in which your broken rib injury affected your life to calculate a suitable compensation award for your damages. This will be based on several factors, such as:
- The extent of your injuries
- Your pain and suffering
- The impact the injury has had on your daily life
- The cost of medical treatments
- Lost income, including future losses
Negotiate a settlement
If the defendant accepts responsibility for the accident, your solicitor will begin negotiating your compensation award. Both parties will usually make multiple offers until you can reach a settlement that is satisfactory to everyone.
If this cannot be achieved or the other side denies liability, your solicitor will issue court proceedings and take your rib injury claim to court, if necessary. However, there will be many other occasions to settle before the court date, and less than 5% of all cases go to trial.
If you feel you may have a valid claim for compensation, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back to receive a free consultation with a legal adviser. They will let you know whether you are eligible for rib injury compensation and explain the claims process to you in detail.
Can I make an injury claim for bruised ribs?
The term bruised rib or rib contusion is used when you suffer a rib injury where the bones are not involved, and the pain comes from damage to the soft tissues, cartilage or muscles of the chest wall. Common causes of bruised ribs include car accidents, sports injuries and falls. If another person was responsible for your accident, you might be able to claim compensation.
The main symptoms of bruised ribs include:
- Trouble breathing
- Pain at the site of injury
- Increased pain when breathing, coughing, laughing or sneezing
- Muscle spasms around the rib cage
- Deformity around the rib cage
- Feeling or hearing a crack at the time of injury
- Bruising of the skin
- Swelling or tenderness around the injured ribs
The treatment for bruised ribs includes pain medicines, icing, rest and breathing exercises, and recovery may take about four to six weeks. In most cases, a bruised rib will heal on its own, but you should seek immediate medical care if you experience:
- Shortness of breath
- Coughing up blood
- A cough or yellow-green mucus
- Pain that does not subside despite using pain relievers
- Pain in your stomach or shoulder
Although a bruised rib does not sound as serious as a broken rib, it can cause severe pain and limit your daily activities. If another person was responsible for your injury, you might be able to make an injury claim for bruised ribs.
How much compensation could I claim for a rib injury?
As every claim is unique, there is no fixed compensation award for a rib injury. The amount you could receive depends on several factors, such as the severity of your injury, related financial expenses, and your recovery prospects.
Your solicitor will consider how your injury affected different aspects of your life to calculate a suitable rib injury compensation award. In every personal injury claim, you can recover two types of damages:
Special damages awarded for the financial losses and costs you incurred because of your accident, including:
- Medical expenses such as x-rays, medication and hospital stay
- Transportation costs to medical and legal appointments
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Costs of care and assistance during recovery
- Lost wages, including future losses if you cannot return to work for a while
General damages, awarded for the personal, non-economic damages associated with your injury, such as:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Psychological trauma and emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of amenity, like the inability to pursue a hobby or leisure activity
- Disfigurement or impairment
- Reduced quality of life
While it is relatively easy to calculate how much compensation you should receive for special damages, assigning an exact monetary award for general damages is not straightforward. Your solicitor will refer to other similar cases and the guidelines published by the Judicial College. According to their guidelines, you could receive:
- Up to £3,950 for a soft tissue injury to the chest or minor rib fracture with complete recovery within several weeks
- £2,190 to £5,320 for a chest injury that causes the lungs to collapse, but where there is a total recovery
- £5,320 to £12,590 for a chest injury caused by inhaling toxic fumes or smoke
- £12,590 to £17,960 for a moderate injury that causes permanent damage to the tissue but has no impact on lung function
- £31,310 to £54,830 for injury to the lungs and chest causing some degree of permanent disability
- £65,740 to £100,670 for traumatic injuries to the chest, heart or lungs causing permanent damage
- £100,670 to £150,110 for severe injuries leading to the complete removal of one lung
- Around £4,670 for mental anguish
- £1,540 to £5,860 for general psychiatric damage that affects sleep and daily activities
- £3,950 to £100,670 for PTSD, depending on the severity and duration
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 rib injury claim and give you a fair estimate of your compensation prospects.
How long do I have to make a rib injury claim?
The time limit to claim rib injury compensation is usually three years after an accident. If you do not bring a personal injury claim within the time limit, your case becomes statute-barred. This means the court will no longer accept your claim, even if it has merit.
The three-year limitation period is subject to some exceptions, such as:
If your injury did not become immediately apparent after an accident, the three-year countdown begins on the date of knowledge. This refers to the date you became aware that your injury is significant enough to take legal action and was due to someone else’s negligence.
In rib injury claims where the victim is a child, the limitation period does not start to run until they turn 18. Before that point, a parent or other adult acting as a litigation friend could make a child injury claim on their behalf at any time.
There is no time limit for a litigation friend to make a broken rib injury claim in the name of a protected party. According to the Mental Capacity Act 2005, a protected party is an adult who lacks the mental capacity to conduct legal proceedings due to:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder or other trauma disorders
- A neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease
- Severe sleep deprivation
- An intellectual disability such as autism or Down syndrome
- A severe mental health disorder like schizophrenia
- A traumatic brain injury or a stroke
If the victim regains their intellectual ability, they will have three years from that point to claim compensation for their rib injury.
If you had an accident abroad, the time limit to make an injury claim for bruised or damaged ribs varies significantly between countries. For example, the time limit to make a personal injury claim is ten years in France and one year in Spain.
If you had an accident while serving in the military, you could claim through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme within seven years from getting injured.
If your rib injury was caused by a criminal assault or another violent crime, you have two years to claim compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
Regardless of how much time you think you have to take legal action, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible after an accident. This will help your solicitor gather relevant evidence and build a strong case to secure the rib injury compensation you deserve.