Rib Injury Claims
As any victim from a rib injury can attest, rib injuries can be extremely painful and can take a long time to heal. These injuries are some of the more serious you can experience, and it is not surprising if you consider the location of the ribs – they surround your lungs and heart. An injury to your ribs can also lead to damage to one of these organs.
Even a slight rib bruise can result in numbing pain, but more serious injuries could cause irreparable damage to your vital organs. Suffering from a rib injury can make it difficult to get on with life.
If your injury resulted from an accident caused by someone else, you should explore your rights to pursue a rib injury claim.
Claiming rib injury compensation will go a long way to cover any expenses you have incurred and give you some justice for the pain and suffering you endured through no fault of your own.
Alternatively, continue reading our comprehensive guide below for more information on making a rib injury claim and answers to some of the most common questions.
Can I make a rib injury claim?
If you suffered an injury at the hands of a negligent party, you are likely eligible for compensation. However, it is not always easy to pinpoint the guilty party in some accidents, especially if you are inexperienced with the governing laws.
For instance, you may even think that the accident was your fault for slipping or not paying enough attention to the road. Blindly assuming that you are to blame will stand in the way of any compensation you may have otherwise been entitled to.
A personal injury solicitor should be your first port of call if you don’t want to potentially miss out on some much needed financial relief. They will discuss your rib injury details with you during a free consultation and advise you on whether you have a valid rib injury compensation claim.
Do not worry – these consultations are free of charge, and once your case goes forward, they will fight your corner and take care of all the details.
What are the most common causes of rib injuries?
Broken or bruised ribs are often the result of a heavy impact on the chest, but the causes can vary. The most common causes include;
Road traffic accidents cover drivers, passengers, cyclists, pedestrians – any road user in general. Rib injuries are one of the most common injuries sustained in road accidents, and if the ribs are the point of impact, fractures are common.
The impact is magnified at a higher speed, and the lungs can be in danger of getting punctured as well.
Slips, trips, and falls
Any slip, trip, or fall accident can lead to a broken or fractured rib, especially if you have fallen against or onto something. Falling from heights, even modest ones, is also a common cause of rib injuries.
There is a fairly high risk of sustaining a rib injury in fast-paced and heavy contact sports. While all players are aware of the risk and willingly participate, you may still be eligible to make a rib injury compensation claim if the injury was someone else’s fault. You could also sustain a broken or bruised rib due to faulty sporting equipment in a gym or healthcare facility.
This list is not extensive, and regardless of your situation, you may be eligible to claim compensation if somebody failed to follow the necessary health and safety regulations, resulting in your injury.
What are the most common types of rib injury?
We’ve looked at the common causes, and highlighted that rib injuries are commonly a result of blunt trauma to the chest. Now, let’s consider the most common types of rib injuries.
Soft tissue injuries
Soft tissue refers to the intercostal muscles and soft cartilage in the ribs. Soft tissue injuries to the ribs include;
- Costochondral separation – this is when the rib has separated from the costal cartilage and detached from the sternum.
- Bruising – bruising of the chest wall is a common type of rib injury when the blood vessels rupture and leak into the surrounding tissues.
- Intercostal strains – These muscles allow the ribcage to expand and retract as you breathe.
Ribs are curved to be relatively flexible and can withstand a moderate blow. Fractures and breaks occur when the external force to the ribs is strong, and it is likely to occur at the weakest point at the curve. Older people are more prone to rib fractures as bones become more brittle and weaker with age.
This is a common yet severe rib injury – or injuries, to be more precise. Flail chest happens when three or more ribs are broken in multiple places in the front and back from a significant blunt force. A tell-tale sign of flail chest is the paradoxical movement; the natural movement of the ribcage is reversed.
Instead of expanding, the ribcage will deflate when the victim inhales, and vice versa. Damage to the lungs generally goes hand in hand with a flail chest injury as well.
How serious are rib injuries?
As we know, the ribcage protects our vital organs and, when damaged, can be life-threatening.
Serious rib injuries include;
- Pneumothorax – A broken rib can tear the lungs or puncture the chest wall that in turn causes the lung or lungs to collapse.
- Splenic rupture – You would not generally associate spleen injuries with rib injuries, but it happens. The spleen is located close to the ribs on the left side. The spleen plays a crucial role to monitor abnormal cells and manufactures certain antibodies and lymphocytes. The spleen can bleed into the abdominal cavity when the outer capsule ruptures or splits.
- Cardiac injury – Trauma to the surrounding blood vessels will disrupt the flow of blood to the heart.
As you can see, rib injuries can be serious and even fatal in some extreme cases. If you or a loved one has been injured, you know how devastating it can be.
To find out if you could be eligible to receive compensation for your injury, speak to a trained legal adviser. To get started, enter your details into our online claim form or call 0800 678 1410 to arrange a free consultation.
Treatment of rib injuries
Treatment for bruised or broken ribs are the same, but the recovery time differs. Unlike traditional fractures and sprains, broken ribs can’t be set, and the ribs need to heal naturally with the help of pain medication.
Rib fractures can take up to six weeks to heal. If the ribs have torn from the cartridge, you will likely be out of action for nearer 12 weeks.
The only treatment available to you includes lots of rest (which may also mean time off work) and prescription pain medication or anti-inflammatories.
If your rib injury has caused damage to any internal organs, you will likely require hospital treatment to repair the damage.
Can I make an injury claim for bruised ribs?
All types of rib injuries can be excruciating. Just because a bruised rib doesn’t seem as painful or serious as other rib injuries, it doesn’t mean you aren’t eligible to make an injury claim for bruised ribs.
You will still need time to recuperate, likely suffer a loss of income, and have a few out of pocket expenses. Your bruised rib injury compensation will take care of all of the details.
Always make sure to visit your doctor if you have suffered a blow to your ribs so that they can assess the damage and provide supporting evidence for your claim.
How much can I claim for a broken rib and other rib injuries?
There is no quick or straightforward answer for any personal injury claim, but we can provide you with an average ballpark figure. Just take note that these figures should act as a guide only.
Your personal injury solicitor will calculate the true claim based on two components;
- General damages – This relates to your pain and suffering, and compensation will be higher for more severe injuries.
- Special damages – This includes expenses as a result of the injury, like medical expenses, travel costs for treatment, loss of income, and in the case of permanent disability, structural changes and adaptions to your home and vehicle.
General damages are relatively straightforward to calculate, but your solicitor will also work out additional compensation if the rib injury led to other complications.
According to the Judicial College, 15th edition, the average general compensation you can expect for rib injuries are;
- Up to £3,710 for broken/fractured rib
- Between £2,060 – £5,000 if a broken/fractured rib has caused the lungs to collapse.
- Between £29,380 – £51,460 for damage to the chest and lungs as a result of the rib injury
Again, these figures only act as a general guideline, and the exact amount you can claim will depend on your unique situation.
How to make a rib injury compensation claim
Your best option is to reach out to a personal injury solicitor to claim on your behalf. Not only are they experienced in this particular area of the law, but they will also fight for the maximum compensation amount.
If you have a strong claim to rib injury compensation, most personal solicitors will take your case on a no win no fee basis.
This means that making a claim will not cost you a penny out of pocket, and your solicitor will only take an agreed-upon fee when your claim is successful. This fee is capped at a maximum of 25% of the compensation awarded.
If your rib injury claim is unsuccessful, you won’t have to pay a penny. So you have nothing to lose by claiming on a no win no fee basis.
How long do I have to make a rib injury claim?
Generally, rib injury claims need to be made within three years from the date of the injury. There are some exceptions to this rule, including:
- Accidents involving children – if a child suffers a rib injury in an accident that wasn’t their fault, a parent or guardian can claim on their behalf at any point before their 18th birthday. Following this, the injured person will have a further three years (until their 21st birthday) to make a claim themselves.
- Accidents abroad – whenever an accident happens abroad, the rules regarding the claims process (including time limits) can vary based on which country the accident occurred in.
- Assaults and other criminal injuries – if you have suffered broken ribs or any other rib injury in an assault that has been reported to the police, your claim will be made through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The time limit for these injury claims is two years from the date of the injury.
In all personal injury claims, you are well-advised to contact a solicitor sooner rather than later. Not only will your injury solicitor ensure applicable time limits are met, but starting a claim sooner can also make the process of gathering supporting evidence much easier. This can significantly improve your chances of making a successful claim.
Risk-free rib injury claims
Don’t let rib injuries leave you breathless. If you have suffered a rib injury due to someone else’s negligence, contact an experienced legal adviser to discuss your claim.
A legal adviser will provide a free case assessment to determine if you have a valid claim for rib injury compensation and answer any questions that you may have.
To get started, call 0800 678 1410 to speak to a legal adviser. If you would prefer them to give you a callback, enter your contact details in our online claim form, and they will be in touch shortly.