If you sustained a broken rib at work and the accident occurred through no fault of your own, you could be entitled to file for compensation. Employers have a duty to keep you safe from harm while in their employment and if they fail to do this, they could be found in breach of their duty. As such, you could file a broken rib at work claim against your employer and be awarded the level of compensation you deserve for the pain and suffering as well as the out of pocket expenses you incurred.
What Are the Consequences of a Broken Rib?
Your ribs protect your lungs and your heart from being damaged. A broken rib can result in these vital organs being negatively impacted which in turn, could result in death. Even a more minor fracture to a rib can result in long-term health issues developing further down the line. As such, if you sustain a broken rib at work, your injury must be taken seriously and immediate medical attention must be sought.
What Is the Most Common Cause of a Broken Rib in the Workplace?
One of the most common workplace accidents in the UK that results in employees suffering a broken rib is when they slip, trip and fall. This type of accident typically occurs when floors are wet and therefore slippery or when items are not put away correctly. It would be that a cover has been left off a manhole which can result in a serious fall. Other reasons why you might sustain a broken rib at work are detailed below:
- When you are crushed by machinery or equipment
- When you are hit by a moving vehicle like a forklift
- When you fall from a ladder or other height
Whatever the accident that left you with a broken rib, the first and most important thing to do is seek medical attention because the affected rib could cause a tremendous amount of damage to your lungs and even your heart.
What Can I Include in My Broken Rib at Work Claim?
The compensation you could be awarded in a broken rib at work claim would be calculated on the extent of your injuries and how they impacted your life and ability to work. Another important factor when calculating broken rib compensation is the complexity of a case, bearing in mind that every work-related personal injury claim is unique and therefore treated as such when it comes to negotiating an amount you may be awarded.
With this said, the way personal injury claims are calculated whether work-related or other, is categorised in two parts which are as follows:
- General damages
- Special damages
General damages are more complicated when it comes to calculating an amount you may be awarded in a broken rib at work claim. This is because the compensation is worked out on how much your life has been impacted by your injuries and whether you would be able to work again. Another consideration is whether you would be able to enjoy activities that you used to take part in prior to being involved in an accident at work.
Special damages are simpler to calculate as they are based on the out of pocket expenses and other “actual” costs you incurred as a direct result of having sustained a broken rib in the workplace. As such, you should always keep every receipt for travel expenses, medical costs and other expenses you had to deal with as these would be required when it comes to calculating the special damages you may be awarded in a successful broken rib at work claim. Other things that would be taken into consideration are your loss of earnings, future loss of income and care costs.
What Are My Employer’s Responsibilities in the Workplace?
Employers are legally responsible when it comes to keeping you safe from harm while you are at work. Should your boss fail to adhere to regulations whether they are Health and Safety Executive laws or other employment legislation and as a result, you sustain a broken rib at work, they could be held in breach of the law. In short, because your employer was negligent in their duty, you could be entitled to seek compensation from them, bearing in mind that it would be your employer’s insurance provider who would handle your accident at work claim.
The law in the UK requires that your employer abides by the following:
- That you receive the correct and adequate training for the job you are tasked to carry out while in their employment
- That the machinery, equipment and tools you use are correctly maintained and serviced according to the manufacturer’s guidelines
- That machinery, equipment and tools are replaced when necessary
- To carry out workplace risk assessments on a regular basis to identify hazards and risks
- To put in place measures to reduce the risk of harm and injury to employees
- To provide you with detailed working practices and to keep these updated when necessary
- To provide you with the correct personal protective equipment when necessary
- To correctly store and maintain all personal protective equipment that you are tasked to use when carrying out a job
Should your employer fail to do any of the above, they could be held in breach of their duty to have kept you safe at work should you have sustained a broken rib when carrying out your normal job.
How Much Compensation Could I Receive in a Successful Broken Rib at Work Claim?
The compensation you would receive, as previously mentioned, would depend on the complexity of your case and the severity of your injuries. As a rough guide, you may be awarded the following amounts in a successful broken rib at work claim:
- Minor fracture to a rib up to £3,460
- Fractured rib that leads to lung damage – collapsed lungs without complications from £1,750 to £4,240 and £1,920 to £4,660
- Fractured rib that causes damage to chest and lungs that leads to a degree of ongoing disability £27,450 to £48,080
- Scarring of the chest caused by a broken rib puncturing from £5,950 to £17,275
- Damage to lungs where broken ribs puncture both lungs from £76,500 to £114,100
- Broken ribs causing traumatic injury to heart or lungs £50,000 to £76,500
- Broken ribs causing soft tissue damage to the chest £23,800 to £41,675
The above amounts are provided as a guide to how much broken rib compensation you may be awarded bearing in mind that all accident at work claims are treated as unique. In short the amounts may vary from case to case.
Should I Sue My Employer If I Suffer a Broken Rib at Work?
Broken rib injuries should always be taken very seriously because a damaged rib could negatively impact your vital organs, namely your lungs and heart. Even a more minor fractured rib could leave you unable to work for months which can lead to financial hardship. Apart from the physical pain you would have to endure, there is also the psychological damage you would have to deal with which when all added to the financial pressure you have to cope with, can lead to you suffering from anxiety and depression.
As such, it is perfectly acceptable that you seek compensation for the pain, suffering and all the financial pressure you would have to cope with following an accident at work that left you with a broken rib. With this said, you must file your claim within the time limit of 3 years and provide enough proof that your injuries occurred at work through employer negligence.
It is worth noting that your employer must, by law, have liability insurance in place and the certificate should be clearly displayed in the workplace. The policy must be provided by a recognised insurance provider and must provide adequate cover for all eventualities when it comes to accidents in the workplace. As such, your broken rib at work claim would be handled by your employer’s insurance providers who would carry out all aspects of the negotiation as to whether your claim is valid or disputed.
The insurer would also settle any amount that you are awarded in a successful broken rib at work claim against your employer. It is also noteworthy that 95% of personal injury claims that are filed against a negligent third party are settled before they go before a judge. This is referred to as an “out of court” settlement which is best handled by an accident at work lawyer who has vast experience in negotiating broken rib at work compensation for employees.
What are My Workers Rights Following an Accident at Work?
All employees have specific workplace rights and this includes when they are involved in a workplace accident that leaves them a broken rib. As such, should you have suffered this type of injury, whether it is a minor fractured rib or something a lot more serious, your rights are as follows:
- That you are allowed to seek a level of compensation for your injuries and expenses incurred as a direct result
- That your position within a company or business is safe if you file a claim against your employer
If you find that your employer objects to you seeking compensation from them and they begin to make your working life difficult, you should discuss things with a lawyer who specialises in employment law because the chances are you would be able to also file a detriment claim against your boss for having made your working life a misery.
Are There Any Benefits to Working With a Solicitor on a Broken Rib at Work Claim?
It is always worth contacting a lawyer who specialises in accident at work claims, even if you think you may have been responsible or partly responsible for having sustained a broken rib at work. The reason being that a solicitor would listen to the circumstances that led up to you being injured which they would typically do in a no obligation consultation which is free of charge.
Once a solicitor has determined whether you have a strong claim against a negligent employer whether over the phone in an initial, free consultation or in person at their offices, they would offer to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. In short, you would receive legal advice and representation without having to pay an upfront retainer or ongoing fees for the lawyer to work on your case.
The advantages of working with a solicitor are as follows:
- You would have the opportunity of discussing your claim in an initial, no obligation consultation which allows the lawyer the chance to assess your case against your employer. This consultation is free of charge
- You would not have to pay a retainer or ongoing fees
- A solicitor would handle all aspects of your claim
- They have access to legal libraries which allows them to look at past cases which can be used as basis in your claim
- A solicitor can arrange for you to be examined by a specialist if necessary
- You would have access to treatments and therapies that you may not otherwise be able to receive
- A solicitor would negotiate a level of compensation to suit your injuries with your employer’s insurance providers
Is There a Time Limit to Making a Broken Rib at Work Claim?
You would have to file a broken rib at work claim against your employer within the statutory personal injury time limit of 3 years. This time limit is detailed below:
- 3 years from the date you suffered a broken rib at work
- 3 years from the date you were diagnosed as suffering from a medical condition that can be linked to a broken rib injury you suffered in the workplace
- 3 years from the date you turned 18, should you have sustained a broken rib at work when you were under 18 years of age
Can My Employer Fire Me For Filing a Broken Rib at Work Claim Against Them?
You cannot lose your job because you are seeking compensation for a broken rib at work injury you sustained through no fault of your own while you were at work. It is against the law for your employer to sack you for doing so. If your boss threatens to fire you because you intend on filing an accident at work claim, you should contact a lawyer who specialises in employment law who would offer essential advice on how to proceed with an unfair dismissal and detriment claim against your employer.
How to Start Your Broken Rib at Work Claim
The best course of action to take if you decide to file a broken rib at work claim against your employer, is to contact a solicitor who would be able to offer much needed advice on how best to proceed. You would need to have gathered as much evidence as possible about how you were injured and who could be held liable for the accident occurring whether you think your employer was negligent or because the incident happened through the error or misjudgement of a work colleague.
A lawyer would also ask for witness statements and their contact details as well as the details of your employer’s insurance providers. Other information that would be required by a lawyer is detailed below:
- Medical reports of your injuries which should be as detailed as possible to include even minor symptoms you experienced
- Photos of the injuries you sustained – ideally taken prior to any treatment you receive
- Photos or CCTV footage of where the accident at work that you were involved in occurred
Would a Solicitor Work on a No Win No Fee Basis on My Broken Rib Claim?
Once a solicitor has determined that your broken rib accident at work claim is valid and they have established that your employer failed to keep you safe from harm at work, they would offer to represent you by entering into a No Win No Fee agreement with you. This means you would not have to worry about finding the money to pay a retainer or any ongoing fees for the legal advice and representation a solicitor provides.
The percentage that is laid out in the Conditional Fee Agreement that you sign is only payable if your broken rib claim is upheld and you are awarded compensation for your injury either by a judge or by your employer’s insurance providers should they offer you a settlement out of court, bearing in mind that the percentage you agreed to pay the solicitor would be deducted from the money you receive.
If your case is unsuccessful, the “success fee” would not be payable because of the No Win No Fee agreement the solicitor entered into with you. In short, there are many financial advantages to working with a lawyer who agrees to represent you having signed a No Win No Fee agreement. It also means that you can concentrate on your recovery having sustained a broken rib at work because your employer failed to keep you safe from harm and injury.