Welcome to our guide on how to sue for a broken rib. We’ll be addressing some commonly asked questions about claiming compensation for a broken rib in a road traffic accident.
If you’ve been injured in a road traffic accident that was caused by the negligence of another road user, this guide will answer some questions you might have, including:
- What kind of impact might a broken rib have on my daily life?
- Is there a time limit on making a claim?
- What do I do if I can’t afford to pay a solicitor’s fees?
We’ll also look at an example case study that we’ve created to help you understand the process of a personal injury claim. This case study will also illustrate how much your claim could be worth and how compensation settlements are calculated.
Our advisors are available 24/7 to give free legal advice and are happy to help with any queries you might have. Call us on 0800 408 7827.
Otherwise, continue reading for more information on claiming following a road traffic accident caused by third party negligence.
About Broken Rib Injuries
- A Guide On How To Sue For A Broken Rib Injury
- What Is A Fractured Or Broken Rib?
- Causes Of Broken Rib Injuries
- How Much Compensation Will I Get For A Broken Rib Injury?
- What Are Special Damages And How Are They Calculated?
- Case Study – £9,000 Compensation For A Broken Rib Injury
- How To Sue For A Broken Rib With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
- How A Specialist Road Traffic Accident Solicitor Could Help You
- Contact Our Expert Advisors
- Case Studies And Resources
- FAQs On Fractured Ribs
We understand how overwhelmed you might be feeling having been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. This guide should provide you with help and guidance around claiming compensation for your injuries.
First, we will discuss what a broken rib is and the kind of treatment required for an injury of this kind. We will examine some of the complications of an injury of this nature that might affect how much compensation you receive.
We will go on to examine the duty of care owed by road users to one another. In addition, we will look at how to tell when a breach of this duty of care has occurred.
We will go on to examine what a typical claim for compensation might consist of and what kinds of things it can cover. Furthermore, we will look at how this compensation can be calculated by the party handling your claim.
We will go on to examine a case study in which someone is awarded £9,000 for a broken rib sustained in a car accident. In addition, we will look at the benefits that a No Win No Fee agreement can have when claiming with a solicitor. We will summarise by answering some commonly asked questions about injuries of this nature.
Please read on to find out more about claiming for a broken rib in a road accident. Alternatively, get in touch with our team of advisors to start your claim today.
Road safety statistics
A provisional report released by the government on road casualties highlighted statistics from July 2019-June 2020. It recorded:
- 1,580 road deaths
- 131,220 casualties of all severities including seriously or slightly injured to killed
- Reports to the police that 24,470 people were killed or seriously injured
The report showed that the total number of casualties decreased by 16% compared to the year before. However, it’s important to note that this was during a year when a three-month national lockdown was enforced by the government, which may have resulted in fewer cars on the road.
Please see the graph below for comparisons in road traffic accidents from 2019- 2020. The provisional data comes from the government’s annual report: Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain.
A fractured or broken rib can vary in severity. You should seek medical advice if you have any of the following broken rib symptoms:
- Pain in the chest, more so when you breathe in
- Swelling and tenderness around the affected area
- Feeling or hearing a crack at the time the accident happened
The following symptoms could be a sign of a complication, and you should seek medical attention straight away. They include:
- Pain in the stomach or shoulder
- Coughing up blood
- Shortness of breath that keeps getting worse
An x-ray is usually required to diagnose broken bones; however, this might not be the case for a broken rib injury. The doctor may leave the injury to heal by itself as it’s not possible to cast or splint the affected area. It usually takes 3-6 weeks for a broken rib to heal, but it can take longer.
Chest trauma, which includes damage to the ribs, is usually caused by impact from a fall or a car accident. With regards to car accidents, rib injuries could be caused by airbag or seatbelt trauma, depending on the circumstances of the accident.
Sometimes, these incidents cause cracks in the ribs. However, a break can be more dangerous if the bone breaks into separate pieces. If this happens, it can cause damage to other parts of the body, such as internal organs or blood vessels.
The main complications you could suffer as a result of these accidents are:
- Torn or punctured aorta
- Punctured lung
- Lacerated spleen, liver or kidneys
Road traffic accidents of all kinds could result in broken rib injuries. These include:
- Side impact or T-bone accidents
- Crashes while merging
- Rear-end collision
- Head-on collision
Depending on the angle of the crash, they can cause different types of chest trauma, for instance, a broken scapula or a damaged sternum. However, no matter the cause, chest injuries can result in a great deal of pain and suffering in the injured person.
Below, we have included information on the responsibilities that road users have towards one another’s safety. We will go on to look at how to sue for a broken rib after someone has breached their duty of care to you on the road.
Duty Of Care Of Road Users
The Road Traffic Act 1988 sets out to ensure all road users are considerate and safe on the road. Some of the offences you can commit on the road include:
- Causing death or serious injury by dangerous driving
- Causing death or serious injury by driving carelessly or inconsiderately
- Being an unlicensed, uninsured or disqualified driver
Driving dangerously or carelessly encompasses a whole host of actions. The Highway Code outlines the ways that road users are expected to act on the road to ensure the safety of themselves and others. For instance, abiding by the speed limit and ensuring that full concentration is on the road at all times are two of the guidelines found in the Highway Code.
If you fail to fulfil your duty of care on the road, you could be at risk of causing injury to yourself and others. Keep reading for information on how a road user can breach their duty of care.
How Can A Road User Breach Their Duty Of Care?
A road user can breach their duty of care by not doing everything reasonably possible to keep other road users safe. For example by:
- Driving over the speed limit
- Using a mobile phone while driving
- Failing to follow road markings and road signs
- Undertaking dangerous manoeuvres, e.g. overtaking when it isn’t safe to do so
There are various reasons why a road accident might happen as the result of a breach of duty of care. According to the data provided by the Department of Transport, the following have impacted road safety:
- Exceeding the speed limit
- Failure to look properly
- Poor turn or manoeuvre
Any of these breaches can result in an accident, but this list is by no means exhaustive. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by third party negligence, we can help you work out the value of your broken ribs settlement today.
The compensation you can claim can consist of two main heads of claim; general and special damages. These can make up the total compensation package that you may be awarded if your case is successful.
General damages cover the short and long term impact an injury can have on your quality of life. They also cover the pain and suffering, both physical and mental, that you’ve endured.
Although it might be tempting to use a personal injury calculator, the compensation amounts they provide can often be unreliable. Instead, our solicitors will value your claim using the help of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a publication containing guideline compensation brackets based on past cases involving similar injuries.
As well as this, you will often be invited to a medical assessment with an independent expert. Here, your injuries will be examined and the findings detailed in a report. This report will then be used in conjunction with the JCG to help value your claim.
It is difficult to prove negligence without evidence. As a result, it’s important that you collect evidence of the accident such as:
- CCTV footage, pictures or footage from a dashcam
- Witness statements
- Police or medical reports
In a road traffic accident, the damage to your vehicle may also be able to indicate who was at fault. For instance, in a rear-end collision, the driver behind will almost always be at fault for having failed to leave a sufficient stopping distance from the car in front.
If you have any questions on how to sue for a broken rib, call our team on the number above. Otherwise, for more information on special damages, see below.
The financial losses special damages cover include past and potential future costs incurred because of the accident. This might include:
- Special equipment that isn’t available on the NHS, e.g. prosthetic limbs, walking aids, hearing or vision aids
- Loss of earnings
- Loss of future earnings if your injuries prevent you from returning to work
- Medical expenses such as medication or private physiotherapy
- Cost of care for yourself and anyone dependent on you
- Travel costs
However, special damages cannot be accounted for in your claim without evidence. Types of evidence that you should gather include:
- Medical documents such as reports and sick notes
- Receipts for repairs to property damage, travel expenses, medication and cost of care
- Payslips to calculate the loss of earnings
For more information on the compensation amounts you could claim, see the case study and table below.
After suffering from a fractured rib in a car accident, Mr Johnson could not live his life normally. He had trouble doing simple things, such as getting dressed and washed, driving, taking care of his mum. His injuries even caused him pain while breathing.
Not only did he suffer physically, but he also started noticing feelings of mild anxiety while he was in a car. In addition, the accident put him in a difficult financial situation. For those reasons, he decided to make an injury compensation claim for a broken rib.
How Mr Johnson broke his rib in a road traffic accident
Mr Johnson, a young retail worker, was about to take a left turn at a crossroad junction when someone crashed into the side of him. The driver had been on his phone and went through a set of traffic lights. Unfortunately, the accident caused Mr Johnson to suffer from a fractured rib.
The doctor advised him not to carry out any movement that could strain the injury while healing. As a result, he couldn’t attend work or care for his mum for around six weeks.
How much compensation was Mr Johnson awarded?
After realising the impact the broken rib injury had on him, he got in touch with a personal injury solicitor for advice on how to sue for a broken rib.
The solicitor advised him to collect as much evidence as he could. At the time, he’d collected contact information from people who had seen the accident happen. He also kept the footage on his dashcam. The driver did not admit liability straight away but faced with the evidence that Mr Johnson collected, he admitted that the accident was caused by his negligence.
He was worried about the cost of the legal process at first. However, he found out that he could claim on a No Win No Fee basis and decided to pursue his claim this way.
In the end, he won his case and was awarded the full £9,000 in compensation.
How this compensation settlement breaks down
|General Damages||How much?||Special Damages||How much?|
|The average compensation amount for a serious chest injury including a damaged rib is up to £3,710||£3,710||Loss of earnings||£1,000|
|Minor psychiatric damage resulting in anxiety when driving, recovered within 3 months||£2,040||Cost of care for his mum||£1,000|
|Total compensation awarded in general and special damages:||£9,000|
The case of Mr Johnson is purely an example we’ve created based on our past experiences with similar cases. It serves to demonstrate how your claim will be valued and why your accident could have happened.
A No Win No Fee agreement means you don’t have to worry about paying your solicitor to start work on your claim, or while the claims process is ongoing. This could be beneficial to you if you’re worried about the costs associated with legal representation.
If your solicitor doesn’t win the case, you won’t have to pay any solicitor fees to them. If they do win the case, you’ll only have to pay a small success fee. This is legally capped, and you and your solicitor will agree upon it before your claim begins.
If you’re interested in claiming compensation on a No Win No Fee basis, get in touch with our team today. They may be able to connect you with a specialist lawyer from our panel.
We have a team of friendly, helpful advisors ready and waiting to answer your questions and connect you with a member of our panel of lawyers to start your claim.
Each case is unique, and the compensation you could be entitled to can vary. However, once our advisors have more information, they can give you a better idea of whether you have a valid claim and how much your claim could be worth.
If you have any further questions about anything covered in this guide, our advisors will be more than happy to help. They are available 24/7 to provide free legal advice on any questions you may have regarding your case.
Furthermore, there’s no obligation to continue with a claim just from having spoken to us. See below for how you can contact us and get started with your claim today.
We’ve covered a lot of information, and it’s understandable if you feel overwhelmed. The main thing to remember is that we are here to help.
Contact us either by:
- Calling us on 0800 408 7827
- Chatting with us on live chat at the bottom of the page
- Writing to us using our contact form
Our guide on claiming for a broken nose sustained in a road traffic accident could help you get the compensation you deserve.
Have you injured yourself in another way? Perhaps you’ve had an accident at work; see our guide on suing your employer for more information.
If the accident was because of your local council’s negligence in keeping roads safe, read our helpful guide on suing your local council.
For more information on the rules of the road and the responsibilities of different road users, take a look at The Highway Code.
Visit the NHS for more information on broken rib injuries or any other medical advice.
Visit the government website for more information on road traffic accident statistics.
What can you do for a fractured rib?
A fractured rib can cause serious complications if left untreated. If you think you’ve fractured your rib, you should seek medical advice.
How long does it take for a broken rib to stop hurting?
It can take anywhere between three and six weeks for a broken rib to heal and pain to subside. For more serious injuries, this could be even longer.
How do you know if your ribs are broken or cracked?
If you’ve broken a rib, you may notice pain in your chest. You may have also heard a crack at the time of the accident.
What happens if a broken rib is left untreated?
If you leave your broken rib untreated, it can lead to more serious symptoms such as damaged organs and chest infections.
Thank you for reading our guide on how to sue for a broken rib.