If a vertebral compression fracture has set you back, we'll help you move forward
This type of injury is a collapse of a vertebra, often due to osteoporosis or trauma, leading to serious back pain. Treatment includes pain relief, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery.
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by spinal vertebrae compression fracture, we can help. If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
You are not alone
Vertebral Compression Fractures (VCF), also called spinal compression fractures, are caused when one bone in the spine is compressed against another.
Most compression fractures occur in the front of the vertebra, causing the front part of the bone to collapse to create a wedge-shaped vertebra.
One or more vertebrae may be damaged, leading to either the slipping of a disc or the potential dislocation of a particular bone within the back area.If you decide to make a vertebral compression fracture claim, your personal injury solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you deserve.
Am I entitled to make a vertebral compression fracture claim?
In general, you can claim compensation if you were hurt:
- within the last 3 years, and;
- another person was to blame, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Or you can call 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor. Find out in minutes if you have a claim.
What if the accident was partly my fault?
Attributing blame for an accident isn't always clear-cut.
In our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey, we found that 13.99% of respondents felt they had at least some responsibility for the injuries they sustained.
Claims are possible even when your actions partially caused the accident. In instances of 'contributory negligence', claims are usually settled with a split liability agreement.
How long do I have to make a vertebral compression fracture claim?
An injury claim will usually need to be made within 3 years of the date or your accident or injury.
For injured children, a claim can be started by a parent or guardian at any time before they turn 18. Thereafter, the injured individual has until their 21st birthday to make a claim on their own.
How much compensation can I claim for a vertebral compression fracture?
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness 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 injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
Vertebral compression fracture
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Updated December 2023
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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 is compensation for quantifiable financial losses you've incurred as a result of your vertebral compression fracture Compensation can include lost wages and business losses (if you're self-employed), and any additional expenses directly related to your injury.
These damages will also cover any medical or treatment bills, such as pain medication, bracing, physical therapy and surgery if needed.
Average vertebral compression fracture general damages compensation
The following vertebral compression fracture payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Sixteenth Edition by the Judicial College.These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.
Please note: these average figures represent general damages only, and do not include any element of special damages (e.g. lost wages).
|Back injury||Serious||Less severe disability||£25,240 to £35,250|
|Back injury||Serious||Ligament or disc damage with permanent symptoms||£11,370 to £25,240|
|Neck injury||Moderate||Injuries that worsen an existing condition||£7,170 to £12,490|
|Neck injury||Severe||Causing paralysis||Around £134,850|
|Paralysis||Paralysis of short duration||Up to £44,850|
|Paralysis||Paraplegia||£199,150 to £258,420|
|Paralysis||Tetraplegia (Quadriplegia)||£295,090 to £367,260|
Can I claim compensation for a psychological injury?
If you have suffered psychological harm in addition to a physical injury or illness, you are not alone.
According to our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey shows that 29.03% of potential claimants sustained a psychological injury, 70.97% of which related to a physical injury.
Vertebral compression fractures often result in phobia of future fractures, anxiety about spine stability and depression resulting from loss of mobility. Depression linked to chronic pain and PTSD are also possible.
Although psychiatric injuries are less obvious than physical injuries and illness, mental health conditions can be no less debilitating.
Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.
What are the causes of VCF?
Vertebral Compression Fractures are generally caused by a forceful impact, typical in a road accident or a fall from height. This impact may crush the whole of one or more vertebrae. It may also disrupt or break the posterior of the spine, although this is less common.
Who is at greatest risk of injury?
Some individuals are more at risk of sustaining a VCF due to potentially undiagnosed bone weakness. Weakness or brittleness of the bones is associated with osteoporosis which is a factor in around 85% of VCFs. Cancers that have metastasised to the bone can also weaken the bones.
If your injuries are more severe, perhaps in part due to these health conditions, you are likely to receive more compensation. The amount is likely to be greater as a result of the higher degree of pain you may have experienced, and the longer period of recovery needed.
Diagnosing Vertebral Compression Fractures
Vertebral Compression Fractures may be difficult to diagnose, as the symptoms may be mistaken for arthritis, aches and pains associated with aging, spinal disc problems or muscle strain.
The severity of VCF pain varies considerably. Some patients report acute pain, where others may experience no pain until the injury is very advanced.
VCF symptoms include:
- Curvature of the spine and loss of height
- Difficulties with balance and mobility
- Bowel and bladder problems
- Potential neurological symptoms.
Diagnosis will be confirmed by an independent medical assessment which will be arranged by your solicitor when you start your claim.
Longer-term health issues
Left untreated, VCFs may lead to the development of serious health issues and, potentially, long-term disability.
As well, as being painful, vertebral compression fractures can restrict movement. Many sufferers find that their walking is affected - requiring more energy because of alterations to the shape of the spine.
Immobility of the spine may also lead to chest and breathing problems.
On-going sustained back pain and the development of more serious long-term problems including arthritis may lead a patient to become depressed.
How did your injury happen?
The claims process for a vertebral compression fracture will depend on where and how the accident happened. Click the icons below for more information:
How we can help you with your injury claim
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.
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Jonathan Speight, Senior litigator
About the author
Jonathan has over 30 years' experience in the personal injury sector and has been awarded the rank of Senior Litigator by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).