If you suffered a broken collarbone at work, and the accident that left you injured happened through no fault of your own in the last 3 years, you could be entitled to claim compensation from your employer. The number of employees who suffer injuries in the workplace stands at 600,000 – according to a report published by the Health and Safety Executive and if your employer failed to keep you safe from injury while carrying out the job you do, they could be held liable for your injuries. To find out how much broken collar bone compensation you may be awarded in a successful accident at work claim, please read on.
What Are the Consequences of Suffering a Broken Collar Bone at Work?
Your collarbone is also known as a clavicle and it is the bone that connects your shoulder bone to your sternum. It is a common workplace injury with about 300,000 people in the UK suffering a broken collar bone every year whether at work, playing sports or in other types of accidents. It is the type of injury that can be difficult to treat and recovery depends on the extent of the damage that has been done to affected bones. In short, you could be off work for quite a long time and you would be unable to drive or carry out normal daily activities around the home.
A broken clavicle is a painful injury that requires treatment as soon as you suspect you have sustained this type of injury to prevent further damage being done. As such, as soon as you are involved in an accident at work and suspect you have suffered a broken collar bone, you should receive first-aid from the designated person before seeking medical attention from a qualified doctor.
What Are the Most Common Causes of a Broken Collar Bone at Work?
The most common causes of workplace accidents that result in a broken collar bone are as follows:
- When falling and extending arms to break the fall onto a hard surface
- Being crushed by equipment, machinery or a moving vehicle
- Falling from a ladder or other height
Healing time for a broken collarbone can take anything from 6 to 8 weeks and it is during the recovery time that you could suffer further damage. Because you have to stay immobile, the muscles surrounding the affected bone become weaker which is why physiotherapy is so important when you sustain this type of injury to a clavicle.
Should the fracture or break be extremely severe and the bone is exposed, you may have to undergo surgery and have pins, screws and plates set in place to ensure the affected bone is stabilised. This can lead to a much longer broken collarbone recovery time.
Is My Broken Collarbone Claim Valid?
For a broken collarbone claim to be valid, you must meet specific criteria which is detailed below:
- That you sustained your injury in an accident at work
- That the workplace incident occurred in the last 3 years
- Your employer could be held liable for your injuries
- A work colleague caused the accident that left you with a broken collarbone
- That you did not cause the accident by acting irresponsibly while carrying out your normal daily duties in the workplace
You can never have enough evidence when it comes to filing an accident at work claim because the more proof you have, the stronger your case would be against a negligent employer.
There are specific questions you should ask yourself before making an accident at work claim which are listed below:
- Could your injuries have been avoided or prevented?
- Was the work areas safe to be in?
- Was the floor wet or slippery?
- Was the equipment, machinery or tools you were using correctly serviced and maintained?
- Did any obstacle cause you to trip and fall because items had not been properly stored away?
- Were all the Health and Safety regulations put in place to prevent the risk of injury?
- Did an item fall from a height onto your shoulder because it had been badly stacked?
- Were hazard signs and barriers erected to alert you of any dangers in the workplace?
If the answer to any of the above is “yes”, then you should seek legal advice from a lawyer who specialises in accident at work claims who would assess your claim before providing essential advice on how best to proceed if they feel you have a strong case against your employer.
What Are My Employer’s Responsibilities in the Workplace?
The Health and Safety Executive regulations as well as other legislation and laws, have been set in place to protect all employees in the workplace. Your employer must legally abide by these laws and regulations. If an employer ignores them and you are involved in a workplace accident that results in you sustaining a broken collarbone, you could have every right to seek compensation from them without the fear of losing your job or being treated unfairly.
Your employer’s responsibilities towards you as an employee are listed below:
- That you are given adequate and ongoing training to carry out workplace jobs you are routinely tasked to do on a daily basis
- That the equipment, tools and other machinery that is made available for you to use is correctly serviced and maintained as per the manufacturer’s guidelines
- That risk assessments are routinely carried out in the workplace to identify hazards, risks and dangers
- Once a hazard, risk or danger has been identified to set in place measures to reduce the chance of you being injured in a workplace accident
- That you are given a detailed account of all working practices and procedures
- That personal protective equipment is available to you when necessary and that the equipment is correctly stored and maintained
What are My Workers Rights Following an Accident at Work?
Your worker’s rights are highly protected in the UK and this includes when you sustain any sort of injury in the workplace. As such, you have every right to do the following:
- Seek a level of compensation to suit the injuries you sustained
- Not to worry about losing your job because you file an accident at work claim
What Compensation Could I Be Awarded for a Broken Collarbone Sustained at Work?
All accident at work claims are treated as being unique which means the level of compensation you may be awarded would be based on you individual case. With this said, there are various factors that would be taken into consideration when calculating how much you would be awarded either by a judge or in negotiations with your employer’s insurance providers:
- The extent of your injuries and how much your ability to work and life are negatively impacted
- The length of time you have off work to fully recover from your injuries
- Whether your injuries are so severe, you would not be able to work again
- The type of care you need and ongoing treatments and therapies should they be necessary
- The expenses you incurred as a direct result of having suffered a broken collarbone in the workplace
As a rough guide, the amount you may be awarded for a broken collarbone sustained at work could be as follows:
- For a simple fracture that heals relatively quickly and where you would not experience ongoing pain and discomfort, you could receive anything from £2,000 to £4,000
- If the pain and discomfort you experience is ongoing having suffered a minor fracture to your collarbone, you could be awarded up to £10,000
- For more serious fractures where your collarbone does not mend as it should and where you have to deal with ongoing discomfort and where the injury leaves you with a permanent disability, you could be awarded in excess of £10,000
The amounts provided above could be awarded for the broken collarbone injury itself which are referred to as “general damages”, but a judge or your employer’s insurance providers would also factor in what is referred to as “special damages”. These are the expenses and other costs you incurred as a direct result of having been injured in an accident at work that left you with a broken collarbone and includes all treatments, therapies and aftercare you had to undergo as well as travel expenses to get to a hospital or other medical facility.
Does My Employer Have to Pay the Compensation Awarded for a Broken Collarbone Claim?
Employers must by law have liability insurance and the policy must cover the legal requirement of £5 million pounds. The provider must also be a recognised insurer. Failure to have liability insurance could result in an employer being fined £2,500 a day by the enforcing authority. When it comes to accident at work claims, it is the insurance provider who pays the compensation that is awarded to you when your case is upheld.
Can I Sue My Employer If I Suffer a Broken Collarbone in a Workplace Accident?
All employees have the rights and this includes to seek compensation for injuries they sustain through not fault of their own in the workplace. This is a “protected” right under UK law and as such, providing your claim meets specific criteria, you have the right to file a broken collarbone claim against your employer. The criteria that must be met for your claim to be valid is listed below:
- That you sustained a broken collarbone in the workplace through no fault of your own
- That the incident that left you injured happened in the last 3 years
As previously mentioned, employers in the UK must have liability insurance which provides a minimum of £5 million cover. The policy must be issued and underwritten by a recognised insurance provider. If an employer fails to have a valid policy in place, the could receive a hefty fine from the enforcing authority which could be as much as £2,500 a day.
Are There Any Benefits to Working With a Solicitor on a Claim?
Working with a solicitor on a broken collarbone at work claim offers many benefits and advantages, some of which are listed below:
- A solicitor has vast experience in handling accident at work claims
- They know how to communicate with employers and their insurance providers
- A solicitor understands what sort of proof is required for a claim to be valid
- You would be offered a no obligation, initial consultation which is normally free of charge
- Once satisfied that you have a strong case against an employer, a solicitor would work on your claim on a No Win No Fee basis
- Lawyers have access to legal libraries and they can use “precedents” when presenting your case in court
- You would not have to pay an upfront fee or ongoing payments
- An experienced accident at work lawyer would be able to negotiate an acceptable level of compensation for you
- The percentage you would pay on a successful broken collarbone claim is deducted from the amount you are awarded
Other major benefits of having an accident at work lawyer represent you in your case, is that they can arrange for you to be examined by specialists and consultants should this be necessary. They can also arrange for you to have all the specialist aftercare you need to make a full recovery from your injuries if your injuries are not such that they are life changing.
Is There a Time Limit to Filing a Broken Collarbone Claim Against an Employer?
The time limit for filing a broken collarbone claim against an employer is strict and must be adhered to. Should you wait too long before contacting a solicitor, you may find that you run out of time even if you have all the proof needed to show that your injuries could have been avoided. Accident at work time limits are detailed below:
- 3 years from the date you were injured at work and suffered a broken collarbone
- 3 years from the day you turn 18 years of age should the accident at work that left you injured have happened prior to your 18th birthday
- 3 years from the day you are diagnosed as suffering from a medical condition that can be directly linked to your broken collarbone injury
Can My Employer Fire Me For Filing a Broken Collarbone Claim?
As previously mentioned, your worker’s rights are highly protected and as such your employer cannot legally fire you for filing an accident at work claim against them should you have suffered a broken collarbone in the workplace.
If your employer treats you detrimentally because you choose to seek compensation for the injuries you sustained, you could file a detriment claim against them. Should your employer threaten to fire or make you redundant because you file a personal injury claim, you should call a solicitor who would offer essential advice on whether you could also file a constructive dismissal and/or unfair dismissal against your employer too.
How to Start a Successful Broken Collarbone Claim Against Your Employer
The best way to begin a broken collarbone claim is to gather as much evidence as you can relating to the accident and your injuries. This should include the lead up to how the accident at work occurred and who was involved in the incident. Other information that would be required when filing a broken collarbone at work claim includes the following:
- Make sure you have details of the record that was reported in the workplace accident report book
- Make sure you have the medical report on the injuries you sustained at work
- Make sure you have witness statements and their contact details
- Make sure you have photos or CCTV footage if available of where the accident at work happened
- Make sure you have photos of the injuries you sustained which ideally should be images of your injuries prior to having received any treatment
All of the above would be required to validate your broken collarbone claim and the more evidence you can provide, the strong your case would be.
Would a Solicitor Work on a No Win No Fee Basis on My Claim?
An lawyer would take on your case providing they believe your broken collarbone claim is valid because it can be proved that your employer was negligent in their duty to keep you safe in the workplace. As previously mentioned, a solicitor would assess your claim during an initial consultation which is typically free of charge whether this is over the phone or in a face-to-face meeting. Once the lawyer is satisfied that your claim could be upheld in a court, they would sign a No Win No Fee agreement with you which is a Conditional Fee Agreement.
This legal contract lays out the Terms and Conditions as well as the “success fee” that would only need to be paid when you are awarded compensation for the injuries you sustained. If you lose your case, you would not have to pay the agreed percentage because of the CFA you signed with the solicitor who represented you in your broken collarbone at work claim.
To find out more about how a broken collar bone is treated, the following link takes you to the NHS website that offers useful information on both treatment and recovery time:
If you would like more information on Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs), the following link takes you to the Law Society website: