Whether you suffered a sudden trauma or a repetitive strain injury, a wrist injury can have a significant impact on your life. Even a minor sprain or strain can cause a lot of pain and prevent you from carrying out daily activities such as driving, cooking or working.
Many accidents could cause a wrist injury, including road traffic accidents, slips, trips and falls, accidents at work and sporting activities. The most common injuries range from soft tissue damage to fractures and dislocations. Severe wounds may even result in amputation.
As long as another individual or organisation was at least partially responsible for your injury, you might be able to make a wrist injury claim. If your case is successful, you can recover damages for pain, suffering, and any related financial losses and expenses you incurred.
If you feel you may have a valid claim for wrist injury compensation, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back to receive a free consultation with a legal adviser. If your case has merit, they will offer you a no win no fee service, so you can claim without taking any financial risks or paying any upfront costs.
Can I make a wrist injury claim?
If you or a loved one suffered a wrist injury due to the negligence of another party, you might be able to make a wrist injury claim. The easiest way to find out if you are eligible for compensation is through a free consultation with a legal adviser.
As a general rule, you should be able to claim if:
- Another party, such as a road user or your employer, owed you a duty of care
- They breached their duty by acting negligently
- Their negligence caused some sort of accident or dangerous circumstances to occur
- You suffered an injury as a direct result of their negligence
There are many laws in place that impose a duty of care on employers, road users, business owners and other parties that may be responsible for your injury, including:
- The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1984
- The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
- The Highways Act 1980
- The Consumer Protection Act 1987
Your personal injury solicitor will take care of the legal aspect of your wrist injury claim and refer to the relevant legislation to prove a duty of care and a breach of duty. To help build a strong case, you can try to gather as much evidence about the accident and your injuries as possible, such as:
- Medical records of your injury that you can get from your GP, the minor injuries unit or the A&E department that treated you.
- Photographic evidence of the accident scene before anything is moved or repaired, if it is safe to do so.
- Take photographs of any visible injuries and damage to your personal property.
- If you suffered an injury at work or in a public place, you should make an accident report with the responsible party. Your copy of the form will help prove the date, time and location of your accident.
- Contact details of other people involved in the accident or witnesses to how the events unfolded.
- If your accident was recorded by a CCTV camera or dash cam unit, try to secure a copy of the footage before it is erased.
- Keep a diary about how the accident occurred and how it affected your daily life.
- Keep track and receipts for all the financial losses and expenses for which you could claim wrist injury compensation.
Once you have everything you need to begin your claim, your solicitor will contact the other side and inform them of your intentions to take legal action. If the defendant admits liability, your solicitor will negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. Otherwise, you may have to issue court proceedings.
What are the most common wrist injuries?
The wrist is a small but complex joint that connects the hand to the forearm. It comprises the bones of the forearm, namely the radius and ulna and the eight carpal bones of the hand, connected by ligaments and surrounded by muscles and tendons.
A wrist injury may affect any of these structures and cause significant pain and disability. The most common injuries that may lead to a wrist injury claim include:
Burns, cuts and lacerations
Burns and cuts can vary in severity from minor injuries to severe wounds that may lead to wrist amputation. Cuts and lacerations are typically caused by coming into contact with a sharp object or blunt trauma. They need proper cleaning to avoid infection, and deeper cuts may also need stitches.
Burn injuries may be due to fire, hot liquids, chemicals, friction and electricity and are classified into four degrees of severity. While superficial burns are very painful but usually heal well in a matter of weeks, deeper burns may cause severe scarring and permanent damage to the underlying muscles and nerves.
Sprains and strains
Sprains are damage to any of the ligaments of the wrist and may range from minor tears to complete rupture. Wrist sprains are usually caused by falling on an outstretched hand, being hit in the wrist or exerting extreme pressure on it.
A wrist strain is an injury to the tendons or muscles around the wrist and may occur suddenly or develop over time. Symptoms of a wrist strain include pain that increases with movement, swelling and tenderness.
While it is often hard to tell whether you have a sprain or strain, the treatment is the same for both and includes rest, medication, wrist braces and, in severe cases, surgical intervention. Recovery time will depend on the degree of injury and may take up to several months.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a type of repetitive strain injury caused by repeated pressure on one of the nerves situated in the carpal tunnel, on the palm side of the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms usually start gradually and get worse over time and include:
- Aching or pain in the fingers, hands or arm
- Tingling or pins and needles
- Weakness in the hand or thumb and difficulty gripping
- Hand numbness
Treatment depends on the severity and includes wearing a splint, steroid injections and surgery. Lack of proper treatment can lead to permanent nerve and muscle damage.
Wrist fractures occur from falling onto an outstretched hand after a slip or trip or severe trauma sustained in a car or motorcycle accident. A broken wrist can happen in any of the wrist bones, but they most often occur in the distal portion of the radius.
The most common signs and symptoms include immediate pain, bruising, tenderness and swelling. In many cases, the wrist may hang oddly, causing deformity. The treatment may involve wearing a cast or surgical intervention in more severe cases.
Wrist fractures may lead to complications such as osteoarthritis, damage to nerves and blood vessels and ongoing stiffness, aching or disability.
Osteoarthritis of the wrist, also called wear and tear arthritis, happens when the smooth cartilage at the end of the bones wears away, causing friction and inflammation. The most common symptoms include pain and stiffness, which can make simple daily activities more difficult. These may be accompanied by swelling, limited mobility and a clicking or grinding sound on movement.
Conservative treatments include rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy and corticosteroid injections. Surgical operations include wrist fusion and replacement, which are great for pain relief, but with fusion, there is little to no motion left in the wrist.
Wrist tendinitis is an inflammation in one or more of the six tendons that connect the muscles of your forearm to the bones in your hand and help you control the wrist, hand and fingers. One of the most common forms is de Quervain’s tendinitis, which affects the tendons near your thumb.
Performing repetitive activities or activities that put a lot of stress on the wrist puts you at high risk for tendinitis. These include certain sports such as gymnastics, golf or basketball and manual handling activities in the workplace such as lifting heavy loads.
Symptoms of wrist tendinitis may include difficulty performing some movements, stiffness, swelling and writs pain. The treatment involves rest, physical therapy, splinting and medication. If the symptoms do not improve after several months of treatment, you may need surgery.
A wrist dislocation occurs when two or more of the carpal bones in the wrist move out of their usual position. The symptoms of a dislocated wrist are intense pain that worsens with movement, pain in the forearm, swelling, tenderness and weakness.
Common causes of these injuries include high-impact sports such as football, car accidents and breaking a fall with your hand. Mild dislocation can be treated with a reduction technique, a procedure where the doctor moves the bones back in their position. Severe cases may need surgery to realign the bones and repair torn ligaments.
If your injury was due to the negligence of another party, you might be able to claim wrist injury compensation. A free consultation with a legal adviser can let you know if you have grounds to take legal action and what are your chances of success.
What type of accidents cause wrist injuries?
You could suffer a wrist injury in many different ways, but some of the most common reasons for wrist compensation claims include:
Road traffic accidents
Road traffic accidents are a common cause of wrist injuries. In car accidents, a wrist injury is typically caused by blunt force trauma from the collision but may also be due to crush trauma or flying debris.
Cyclists, motorcycle riders and pedestrians are especially prone to wrist injuries caused by impact trauma. These may include sprains, strains, abrasions, lacerations or wrist fractures.
All road users have a legal duty of care towards one another. If another road user acted negligently, for example, speeding, running a red light or not signalling during a turn, they could be liable to pay you wrist injury compensation.
Accidents at work
If you suffered a wrist injury in the workplace, your employer could be held liable. Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and many other legislations, employers are required to take all reasonable measures to protect the health and safety of employees.
This includes carrying out regular health and safety risk assessments, providing proper training and safety equipment and making sure that all machinery is safe and adequately maintained.
A wrist injury at work may be due to a fall on the same level, a fall from a height, a machinery accident or a hazardous substance causing a burn. You may also develop a repetitive strain injury such as tendinitis or carpal tunnel syndrome over time due to manual handling.
Slips, trips and falls in a public place
Slips, trips and falls are the most common and highly preventable accidents in public places such as shops, restaurants or on the street. Local councils and private business owners are legally required to maintain all public spaces in good order and safe for visitors.
Slip and trip accidents are usually due to uneven pavements, floor defects, objects left in walkways, wet floors and spillages. Whether you slip or trip, your instinctive reaction would be to break your fall with your hands, which could easily cause a wrist injury such as a sprain, strain or fracture.
Almost all sporting activities carry a certain risk of harming yourself, and wrist injuries are commonplace in sports like boxing, golf, tennis or football. Wrist injuries in sports may be due to sudden forceful trauma or overuse and repetitive movements.
While these injuries are often nobody’s fault, you might be able to make a wrist injury claim if your accident was due to poor training, poorly maintained facilities, or another breach of health and safety laws.
A violent crime can cause you to suffer almost any type of wrist injury, ranging from cuts and lacerations to fractures and dislocations. Besides the physical pain and suffering, a criminal assault may cause severe emotional distress, psychological trauma and substantial financial losses.
If you were the victim of an unprovoked assault, you could make a wrist injury claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) within two years after the incident. To be eligible for compensation, the CICA requires that you previously reported the incident to the police.
School and playground accidents
If your child suffered a wrist injury at school or at a public playground, you might also be able to claim wrist injury compensation. Under Section 175 of the Education Act 2002, it is the school’s responsibility to protect the health and safety of your child on school premises.
A playground accident may be due to faulty equipment, poor maintenance, slip and trip hazards or poorly installed equipment. The park owner or operator must ensure that children are safe when using public playgrounds and other play areas. Otherwise, they might be liable to pay you compensation.
Regardless of how you injured your wrist, if someone else was at least partially responsible, you may be entitled to compensation. To find out if you have a valid wrist injury claim, you can enter your details into our online claim form or call 0800 678 1410 to speak to a legal adviser.
How much compensation can I claim for a wrist injury?
Every claim is unique, so it is hard to say exactly how much your wrist injury claim might be worth. Before contacting the defendant, your solicitor will look into how the injury affected different aspects of your life to calculate a fair settlement. You may be entitled to receive compensation for:
General damages awarded for the subjective, intangible losses caused by the wrist injury, such as:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental pain and anguish
- Emotional and psychological distress
- Loss of the ability to pursue a hobby
- Inability to take part in everyday activities
- Reduced quality of life
- Scarring and physical impairment
Special damages awarded for actual out-of-pocket expenses and financial losses that you incurred as a direct result of your wrist injury, including:
- Loss of earnings, including future losses if you cannot return to work
- The cost of physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Ongoing medical treatments and surgery costs
- Transport and travel arrangements
- Adaptations to your home or vehicle
- Costs of care and assistance during recovery
- Any other related financial losses or expenses
Since general damages do not have a specific monetary value attached to them, they are not as easy to calculate as special damages. To award wrist injury compensation, courts, solicitors and insurers often refer to similar cases and the guidelines offered by the Judicial College. According to them, you could get:
- £2,810 to £3,790 for wrist fractures and mild soft tissue injuries with recovery within a year
- £2,070 to £21,700 for carpal tunnel syndrome, depending on recovery time
- Around £5,920 for an uncomplicated Colles’ fracture
- £6,080 to £10,350 for wrist fractures and soft tissue injuries with expected full recovery in over one year
- £10,040 to £19,530 for a moderate wrist injury causing permanent pain and stiffness
- £19,530 to £31,220 for a severe wrist injury causing a significant and permanent disability
- £37,960 to £59,860 for very severe injuries where there has been a complete loss of wrist function
Is there a time limit for making a wrist injury claim?
The Limitation Act 1980 imposes a general three-year time limit to bring a personal injury claim. For wrist injury claims, the three-year countdown begins from:
- The date of your accident; or
- The date you became aware of a wrist injury that developed over time, which is also known as the date of knowledge
The last date on which you can begin legal proceedings is known as the claim limitation date. However, you should contact an injury lawyer as soon as possible after an injury, as they may need many months to collect evidence and prepare all the legal documents to start your claim.
If you do not take legal action within the time limit, your case becomes statute-barred, and the court will no longer accept your claim. Furthermore, the sooner you speak to a solicitor, the easier it is to clarify the circumstances of your accident, talk to witnesses and build a strong case.
There are several exceptions to the three-year limitation date to claim wrist injury compensation, including:
- When the victim is a child, a parent or another litigation friend could make a wrist injury claim at any time before their 18th birthday. If nobody claimed compensation, the child has until their 21st birthday to take legal action once they become an adult.
- There is no time limit to claim on behalf of a victim who lacks the mental capacity to conduct legal proceedings due to:
- PTSD or another stress-related disorder
- A mental health condition such as schizophrenia
- A traumatic brain injury or stroke
- An intellectual disorder like Down syndrome
- Dementia or another neurodegenerative condition
- If the injury happened as a result of a criminal assault, you have two years to claim compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
- If you suffered a wrist injury while serving in the military, you have seven years to claim through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS).
- If your injury was due to an accident abroad, the time limit to make a claim can vary significantly from country to country and may be as short as six months.
Will I be offered a no win no fee service?
If you have a valid wrist injury claim and no other legal expenses insurance, your solicitor will offer you a no win no fee service. This is the preferred option for funding a personal injury claim as it gives anyone injured due to another person’s negligence the chance to claim compensation for their damages.
Before offering you a conditional fee agreement, your solicitor will carefully evaluate your claim to determine your chances of success. If your chances of winning are better than 50%, they will work on your case on a no win no fee basis, which means that:
- You do not have to pay any upfront solicitor fees.
- Your injury lawyer will help you gather evidence and file all the legal documents required to start your wrist injury claim.
- You will receive free advice and support throughout the claims process.
- Your solicitor will investigate in detail how your accident affected you to calculate a suitable wrist injury compensation award.
- They will contact the opposing party and negotiate the best settlement with their insurer.
- If you lose the case, you do not have to pay anything to your solicitor.
- If you win the claim, the defendant will cover your solicitor’s fees. You only have to pay them a success fee of up to 25% of your damages for pain, suffering and past financial losses.
As part of your no win no fee agreement, your solicitor will also take out an After the Event (ATE) insurance policy at the beginning of your claim. The ATE policy is a legal expenses insurance that covers all the costs and disbursements incurred during claiming if your case is unsuccessful, including:
- The defendant’s solicitor fees
- Counsel fees
- Barrister fees
- Police and medical reports
- Travel costs such as fuel and parking
- Court fees
- Barrister and expert witness fees
You only have to pay for the ATE insurance premium if your wrist injury claim is successful. If you lose, the policy will cover itself, and you will incur no out-of-pocket expenses.
For a free consultation with a no win no fee solicitor, call 0800 678 1410 or enter your details into our online claim form. They can let you know if you have a valid claim and can answer any questions you may have.