Chest Injury Compensation Claims
If you have been affected by a chest injury we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a chest injury and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
In our guide to claiming
chest injury compensation:
'Chest injury' is an umbrella term that describes any injury or illness that affects the body between the neck and the diaphragm, such as:
- Fractured ribs, clavicle, sternum or breastbone
- Muscle, tendon or ligament damage
- Chronic illness of the heart or lungs caused by unsafe working conditions. For example, 900 new cases of work-related asbestosis diagnosed each year.
- Other injury and illness affecting internal organs
When making compensation awards, the Courts recognise that an injury to the chest can be severe and have a long-term effect on the claimant's quality of life. Awards and settlements for serious chest injuries are consequently high.
The main causes of chest injury
Chest injuries usually occur in one of two ways:
- Impact trauma, such as the injuries sustained in a road traffic accident, fall from height or a criminal assault.
- Exposure to hazardous substances at work. This type of claim is known as an industrial disease compensation claim. Injuries may include chronic chest conditions such as mesothelioma or pneumoconiosis.
The cause of the accident is not usually related to the settlement amount, as compensation is calculated by reference to the nature of the injuries and the long term effect they might have on the claimant's life.
For the purposes of establishing liability, the cause of the accident does matter. To make a successful claim, the injury lawyer must show that the defendant was negligent in some way.
Chest injuries at work
Where the chest injury or illness has been caused by exposure to hazardous substances at work, a claim may be brought against the employer. Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and, specifically, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations, employers have a legal obligation to minimise the impact that a hazardous substance might have on a worker's health.
Where the employer does not take reasonable steps to protect staff from dangerous dust and fumes, for example, by installing ventilation or providing suitable protective equipment, then the employer may be liable for any chest injury or illness that arises as a result.
Do I have a chest injury claim?
As a basic rule, you will be eligible to make a chest injury claim if you sustained an injury:
- within the last three years, and;
- another person was to blame, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Claim eligibility - Common questions
What if a child was injured?
The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.
A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start a chest injury claim on their own behalf.
Can I make a chest injury claim right up to the three-year limit?
Technically, yes. However, in practice, not always. Many solicitors will not take on a chest injury claim that only has a few months (sometimes even a year) left before the time limit expires. The panel of solicitors will take a claim on as late as possible where it is felt that the claim could be successful.
The amount of money you could claim for your chest injury will depend on:
- the extent of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your chest injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after a chest injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
Chest injury compensation amounts
The following chest injury payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fifteenth Edition by the Judicial College.These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.
|Chest injury||Minor||Fractured ribs or muscle injury to the rib cage and chest||Up to £3,150|
How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?
If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.
The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.
General damages for a life-threatening chest injury can be £75,000
For a less serious arm injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £4,000.
However, if you have a life-threatening chest injury and a less serious arm injury, you would typically receive £75,000 + a reduced percentage of £4,000.
Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries. Read more about multiple injury claims.
What is the average injury compensation for a chest injury claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following a chest injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your chest injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
See the injury table above for some examples.
Should I set up a personal injury trust?
If you are receiving means-tested benefits and are awarded compensation following a chest injury injury, your benefits could be affected. In order to ring fence your compensation and protecting your benefits, you may be able to set up a "Personal Injury Trust" or "PI Trust". Read more: Should I set up a personal injury trust?
Calculate my chest injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a chest injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your chest injury claim could be worth now:
How long does a chest injury claim take?
How long it can take to secure compensation for a chest injury can vary considerably.
A simple liability accepted injury claim could be settled in a month or two. If liability is denied, however, it could take considerably longer. On average an injury claim should take 4 to 9 months. See: How long will my claim take?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your chest injury claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
How did your injury occur?
The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:
No win, no fee - the facts
With a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay if your claim is not successful.
No win, no fee guarantee
If you have been injured and it wasn't your fault, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your chest injury. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my chest injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my chest injury claim?
If your chest injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees . Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Why do most solicitors charge 25%?
25% success fees are charged by most law firms as this is the maximum fee that the Ministry of Justice allows them to charge. chest injury claims can take a solicitor hundreds of hours work and they receive nothing if the case is lost. The success fee will be subject to your individual circumstances and the actual fee may vary. Call us for more information.
How can Quittance help?
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Chest injury FAQ's
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?
You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make a chest injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the chest injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your chest injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a chest injury after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim chest injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a chest injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.
Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
Can I get an early compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.