Helping you claim for a fractured sternum
If you have suffered a broken or fractured sternum in an accident that wasn't your fault, we can help you make a sternum injury compensation claim
How Much Could You Claim?

Sternum Injury Claims

A sternum injury can be excruciating and may take a long time to heal. It can affect your mobility and ability to work, do daily activities and enjoy your hobbies and free time. In severe cases, chest injuries may have long-term effects and lower your overall quality of life.

Many circumstances could lead to a fractured or broken sternum. These include road traffic accidents, workplace accidents and falls from heights. If someone else was responsible for your injury, you could be eligible to claim compensation.

To find out if you have a valid sternum injury claim, please get in touch by calling 0800 032 3660. A personal injury lawyer will offer you a free case assessment and answer any questions you have about the claims process. You could also enter your details into our online claim form to request a call back.

Broken sternum symptoms

A broken sternum is the most common injury to the breastbone. This injury refers to a break or fracture in the sternum, which is the long, flat bone in the centre of the chest. This bone, commonly known as the breastbone, plays a crucial role in protecting the vital organs of the chest, such as the heart and lungs.

Sternum fractures are usually due to a direct blow to the chest, such as falling from a height or the impact of a car accident. Symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the injury and may include:

  • Chest pain. The most evident and immediate symptom of a broken sternum is chest pain. The pain is often sharp and localised to the site of the injury, which is typically the centre of the chest.
  • Tenderness. The area around the sternum will be tender to the touch, and pressing on it may worsen the pain.
  • Swelling and bruising. Swelling and bruising may develop around the injured area, especially if the injury was due to acute trauma.
  • Pain with breathing. Breathing deeply, coughing, or sneezing can exacerbate the chest pain. You may try to take shallow breaths to avoid aggravating the pain.
  • Difficulty breathing. Severe sternal fractures or dislocations can make breathing difficult, leading to shortness of breath.
  • Crepitus. Sometimes, you may hear a grating or popping sensation called crepitus when moving the chest. That can occur when broken bone ends rub against each other.
  • Deformity. The sternum may appear deformed or misaligned in more severe cases, especially if you suffer multiple fractures.
  • Pain radiating to the back. Pain from a broken sternum can sometimes radiate to the back or shoulders.

Please remember that if you suffered a fractured sternum in an accident that was not your fault, you might be able to start a claim for compensation.

Types of sternum injuries for which you could claim compensation

You may be entitled to claim compensation for various types of sternum injuries, including:

Fractures. A fracture is a break or crack in the breastbone. These can range from mild to severe, depending on the impact force. They are often due to blunt trauma, such as a road accident or a fall. There are three types of broken sternum injuries:

  • Manubrium fractures. A fracture of the manubrium involves a break in the upper part of the sternum.
  • Sternal body fractures. These injuries occur in the main body of the breastbone and can range from a hairline crack to a complete break.
  • Xiphoid process fractures. A fracture of the xiphoid process is less common and involves a break in the lower, cartilaginous part of the sternum.

Dislocations. The sternum may sometimes become dislocated from the ribs or other adjacent structures due to trauma. That can lead to instability and pain.

Displaced fractures. These are a combination of a fracture and a dislocation where the sternum is both broken and dislocated. It often occurs as a result of high-impact trauma.

Sternum contusions. This injury involves damage to the soft tissues, blood vessels, and capillaries around the sternum, leading to bruising, swelling, and pain. It can be painful but does not involve a break in the bone.

The severity of these injuries can range from minor to severe and potentially life-threatening. Treatment depends on the type and severity of the injury. Mild sternal injuries may only require rest and pain management, while severe fractures or dislocations may necessitate surgery to realign and stabilise the bone. If you suspect a sternum injury, it is essential to seek medical evaluation and care to determine the extent of the damage and the appropriate treatment.

If someone else caused your injury, you may also be entitled to compensation. We recommend you seek legal advice as soon as possible to find out if you are eligible to make a fractured sternum claim.

Can I start a sternum compensation claim?

The easiest way to determine if you are entitled to sternum injury compensation is through a free case assessment with a solicitor. They will ask you a few questions regarding your situation to determine if:

  • Another party owed you a duty of care
  • Their negligence or breach of duty led to an accident
  • You suffered an injury to your sternum as a result of this within the last three years

Your lawyer will establish a duty of care based on relevant legislation. According to your circumstances, this could be:

If they can establish a duty of care, your personal injury solicitor will take on your sternum injury claim. They will contact the other side for you and help you gather the necessary evidence to secure the best amount of compensation for a sternum fracture you could get.

What evidence do I need to support a personal injury claim?

Even if the other side admits liability for your injury, you should collect as much evidence as possible to support a fractured sternum compensation claim. The defendant might change their mind during the personal injury claims process, and you may have to go to court. Furthermore, you need proof of all the damages you sustained to secure the maximum compensation amount for your losses. You could use the following:

  • X-rays and other medical evidence from your GP or the hospital that diagnosed and treated your injury
  • Photographs and videos of the accident scene and the cause of your broken sternum before anything is moved or repaired
  • Photos of any visible injuries and damage to your personal possessions
  • CCTV or dash cam footage, if available
  • A copy of an accident report to prove the location, date and time of your accident
  • Names and contact details of witnesses who can confirm how the incident took place
  • Your notes about what you were doing before the event, how the accident happened and how your injury impacted your life
  • Evidence to prove the financial losses you suffered, such as receipts and bank statements

Your personal injury solicitor will help you gather everything you need to make a successful claim and secure the compensation you deserve.

Common accidents that may cause injuries to the sternum

Various scenarios could cause injuries to the breastbone and lead to a sternum injury claim. However, you must prove that someone else caused your damage to be eligible for compensation. If you can establish liability, you could claim for sternum injuries following any of these and other accidents we have not listed below:

  • Vehicle collisions. Motor vehicle accidents, especially high-speed collisions, can exert significant force on the chest, causing injuries to the sternum. Crashes involving cyclists or motorcycle riders can also result in a fractured sternum claim.
  • Pedestrian accidents. Pedestrians are some of the most vulnerable road users. In an accident, their chest area may directly collide with the vehicle or the pedestrian may be thrown to the ground. The force of the impact can lead to sternum contusions, fractures, or other injuries.
  • Sports accidents. When you engage in contact sports like football and rugby, you are at risk of impact trauma to the chest and sternum. Non-contact sports, such as skiing or gymnastics, can also lead to breastbone injuries. If negligence was involved, you could make a sternum compensation claim.
  • Slips, trips and falls. Falling from a height or slipping and falling onto a hard surface can lead to chest injuries, including sternum contusions or fractures. Such accidents could be due to uneven pavements, wet surfaces, faulty ladders or poor scaffolding.
  • Accidents at work. Certain occupations, such as construction workers or firefighters, are at a higher risk of injuries to the sternum due to accidents involving falls, equipment, or heavy objects. Employers have a duty of care towards employee safety. If your employer breached their duty towards you, you may be eligible for broken sternum compensation.
  • Assaults. Physical assaults and attacks can result in direct blows to the chest, potentially causing severe breastbone trauma. In such cases, you could claim fractured sternum compensation through the CICA within two years of the incident.

Potential long-term effects of sternum fractures

The long-term effects of a sternum fracture can vary depending on the severity of the injury, the type of treatment received, and personal factors. These may include:

  • Chronic pain. You may experience lingering discomfort or pain even after the fracture has healed. The pain may be worse during specific movements and activities.
  • Limited range of motion. Severe injuries may limit your mobility in the chest and shoulders. That can affect your ability to perform certain activities or exercises.
  • Instability. Some fractures may affect the way your sternum and ribs move. That may lead to issues with posture and breathing.
  • Psychological impact. A sternum injury and the associated pain can affect you mentally. It may lead to anxiety or fear of another injury and affect your overall health and well-being.
  • Chest wall deformities. In some cases, sternum fractures can result in permanent chest wall deformities, which may affect the appearance of the chest and can lead to self-esteem and body image issues.
  • Respiratory issues. In severe cases, sternum injuries can impact lung function and respiratory health. That is more likely in cases where a traumatic injury causes significant chest wall deformities.
  • Impact on daily activities. Long-term effects may include difficulty with everyday activities such as lifting, reaching, or partaking in sports and physical activities.

If you have fractured your sternum, you may need physical therapy and exercises to improve chest strength and mobility. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to stabilise the sternum or correct deformities.

How your injury has impacted your life will determine how much compensation for a fractured sternum you may receive.

Frequently asked questions:

An injury to the sternum can cause a lot of pain and lead to further complications that can negatively impact your life. You could consider starting a sternum injury claim if you had an accident due to someone else’s negligence. Below, we have answered the most common questions about claiming compensation. If you need more help, please call 0800 032 3660 or request a call back. A friendly legal adviser will be happy to answer all your questions and help you claim the compensation you deserve.

How much sternum injury compensation could I receive?

The compensation you’re entitled to receive for your sternum injury will depend on two types of damages:

  • General damages cover the pain, suffering and impact on life stemming from your injury.
  • Special damages cover the financial losses and expenses your injury caused you, such as:
    • Loss of wages during recovery
    • Loss of or reduced earning capacity
    • Physical therapy
    • Prescriptions and private treatment
    • Fuel, parking and other travel expenses
    • Medical aids and devices

According to the Judicial College guidelines, the average payout for a broken sternum is:

  • Up to £3,350 for minor injuries without any long-term effects
  • £10,000 to £65,840 for moderate to severe injuries with various degrees of long-term impact
  • £52,390 to £88,270 for very severe fractures that cause lifelong disability or reduced life expectancy

Is there a time limit to make a claim?

Under the Limitation Act 1980, you have three years to claim compensation for a sternum fracture following an accident that was caused by somebody else’s negligence. If you miss this deadline, your case becomes statute-barred, and the court will no longer accept it.

Fractured sternum claim time limits may vary in certain circumstances. For example:

  • You have until a child’s 18th birthday to claim on their behalf. Afterwards, they have another three years to start a claim themselves.
  • There is no time limit if the injured person lacks mental capacity. This could be due to a condition such as Down syndrome or a severe brain injury. A litigation friend would be able to claim a compensation payout for them at any time.
  • You have two years to take legal action through the CICA if you suffered a sternum injury due to a violent crime.
  • If you were injured while serving in the military, you can make a claim through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) within seven years of your injury.

Will I receive a No Win No Fee service?

Your solicitor will offer you a no win no fee* service if you have a valid sternum injury claim. That means you do not have to pay any upfront legal fees for their services. Moreover, you do not have to pay your lawyer anything if your case is unsuccessful.

No win no fee claims also include an After the Event (ATE) insurance policy. The ATE insurance will cover all your costs and disbursements if you lose, including the defendant’s expenses and solicitor costs, which you would otherwise be liable for.

To find out if you have a valid sternum compensation claim, call 0800 032 3660 today or use our online claim form to speak to a legal adviser. They will offer you a free case assessment with no obligation to proceed and answer all your questions.

* Personal injury claims are offered on a no win, no fee basis. If your claim is successful, your solicitor will receive up to 25% of your compensation as their success fee. Any additional costs, such as legal protection insurance, will be clearly explained to you by your solicitor before you decide to proceed with your claim. Termination fees may apply if you fail to cooperate with your solicitor. This includes deliberately misleading your solicitor, failing to attend scheduled medical or expert examinations, or not appearing at a required court hearing.