Chest injury compensation claims
The following guide sets out what you need to know about making a successful chest injury compensation claim.
'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.
If you have suffered a chest injury in the last three years (longer if children were involved) and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.
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.
I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?
Personal injury compensation is made up of two elements: "general damages" for the pain and suffering an injury has caused and "special damages" which covers financial expenses such as loss of earnings and medical costs.
As a preliminary step, the injury lawyer will arrange an independent medical examination to establish the seriousness of the chest injury and to make a prognosis of the pain and suffering the injury might cause in the future. The medical expert will also assess the medical expenses that may need to be incurred and whether any time off work is justified.
The medical report is used as a basis for the compensation claim.
In addition to the medical report, the injury lawyer will consult the Judicial College Guidelines when establishing the quantum of a chest injuries claim. The Guidelines, which are followed by most solicitors and insurance companies, set out financial brackets for each type of chest injury by reference to its nature and severity. For example:
- Fractured or broken ribs that heal within a few months without surgery may receive a payout between £1,000 and £3,000.
- Permanent, minor damage to the functioning of the lungs, for example, after a chest wound or chemical inhalation may receive a payout between £4,000 and £13,000.
- Serious injuries to the heart and lungs including terminal conditions and those that cause a permanent problem with heart and lung function may receive the maximum payout of between £40,000 and £110,000.
A no win no fee contract ( referred to as a CFA or Conditional Fee Agreement) is put in place between the claimant and a personal injury solicitor.
The no win no fee agreement is in essence the terms and conditions under which the solicitor is instructed by the claimant.
The CFA outlines what the solicitors will do as well as how the solicitor will be remunerated if the compensation claim is won.
If you choose Quittance Personal Injury for your chest injury claim there are no extra fees , no up-front fees and the comfort that you will not be financially out of pocket.
Accidents at work - Claiming compensation from your employer
Every year, 600,000* employees are injured in accidents at work. If you have suffered an injury or illness at work, you may able to claim compensation.
Find out if you can claim chest injury compensation from your employer: Read more about work accident claims
*Source: 2016/17 Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report
Road traffic accident claims
Every year almost 200,000* people are injured on Britain's roads. If you have been injured in a road accident that was not your fault, you can claim compensation.
Find out more about claiming chest injury compensation for a road accident: Read more about road accident claims
*Source: Official Department of Transport statistics (gov.uk)
Meet the QLS team
The national network of Quittance solicitors help injured people with all types of personal injury claims, from short-term injury cases to catastrophic injury. Selected on the basis of their track record in winning claims, QLS's solicitors have years of dedicated experience handling injury claims.
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.
Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert