Wed 02 Feb 2022

The Value of a Chest Injury (Traumatic)

The chest houses our most vital organs and so it is not surprising that injuries to it can be very serious.  There are different types of injuries to the chest.  There are those caused by a traumatic injury and also injuries caused over time due to occupational exposure to asbestos.  This blog will discuss traumatic injuries and we will discuss chest injuries caused due to industrial disease at a later date. 

Whilst injuries to the chest are comparatively rare compared to injuries to other parts of the body such as the ankle or wrist, they often attract high awards of compensation from the court due to their serious nature.  Many chest injuries are caused as a result of a road traffic accident or an accident at work, although they can also result from slips or trips. As with any injury, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. In order to be successful in recovering compensation, someone else must be at fault for your accident. This may be an individual, a business, or a public body. For instance, if you sustained a chest injury through an accident at work, you may be entitled to make a compensation claim against your employer.

Types of Chest Injury

Chest injuries are particularly common following blunt and penetrating trauma.  They can vary in severity from minor bruising or rib fractures, to more severe damage to internal organs, such as the heart, or lung.  Pneumothorax (air that is trapped between the lung and the chest wall, which can cause the lung to collapse) and Haemothorax (blood trapped between the lung and chest wall) can be caused by blunt force trauma, for example a road traffic accident.

What can you claim for?

If you have suffered a chest injury, the amount of compensation a court may award you will depend on the severity of the injury and the impact it has had, and will continue to have, on your life. Some of the factors the court will look at when assessing the level of compensation are:

  • The degree of pain experienced and the length of time it takes to make a full recovery;
  • The impact of the injury on your everyday life and the long-term impact it will have. This includes the ability to continue to work or take part in hobbies and activities previously enjoyed;
  • Wage loss, both past and future, and whether any services have been required by family and friends;
  • The extent of the treatment required, particularly whether surgery was needed; and
  • Whether there was a pre-existing chest condition and the extent to which this was exacerbated by the accident.

Our experienced personal injury solicitors will be able to quantify these factors and advise you on how much you are likely to receive in compensation.

What could your claim be worth?

If you have a claim for compensation, how much could you be awarded?

Morton Fraser's Compensation Calculator is a handy guide which can provide you with an indication of the value of your injury. It is based on the Judicial College Guidelines which take account of recent Court decisions and serve as a reference point for lawyers when considering compensation. The recommended awards for chest injuries are set out below.

  • For minor soft tissue injuries and fractured ribs which cause serious pain and disability, for a period of weeks, the Court would likely award up to £3,370.
  • Less serious injuries which lead to collapsed lungs from which a full and uncomplicated recovery is made may be awarded between £1,880 and £4,540.
  • Toxic fume or smoke inhalation, which leaves behind some residual damage, but does not impact permanently on lung function may be valued at between £4,540 and £10,750
  • A chest injury that causes some permanent damage to tissue but does not impact on lung function in the long term, such a single penetrating wound, would attract an award between £10,750 and £15,320.
  • More serious damage to the chest which causes some continuing disability would be valued higher, between £26,710 and £46,780.
  • For traumatic chest injuries, such as those to the lungs and/or heart which cause permanent damage, physical disability, impairment of function, and the reduction of life expectancy, the Court would likely award between £56,100 and £85,880.
  • The most serious chest injuries which cause life-changing disabilities, such as those that involve serious heart damage or the removal of a lung, with prolonged pain and suffering, and permanent scarring can be awarded between £85,880 and £128,060.

Morton Fraser have successfully recovered damages in a number of cases where individuals suffered chest injuries following accidents at work and as a result of road traffic accidents.

Who is the claim against?

Who is liable to pay compensation will depend upon the circumstances of the accident and who is to blame for your accident occurring.  Many chest injuries are caused as a result of an accident at work, for example, whilst operating heavy machinery in which case your employer may be liable. You may also be entitled to make a claim for medical negligence if your chest injury is due to a surgical error, delayed treatment or misdiagnosis. Morton Fraser's Personal Injury Team has extensive experience in pursuing all types of claims and we can provide you with advice on who is liable to pay compensation once we have discussed the facts and circumstances of your claim.

What next?

The above guidelines and our Compensation Calculator provide an initial indication of the value a Court may award for the pain and suffering you have endured, however, they do not take into account other  losses such as assistance you required following your accident, the cost of medical treatment, past and future wage loss, pension loss and any other expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident. Each individual case must be considered on its own facts and circumstances. Our experienced Personal Injury lawyers in Glasgow and Edinburgh will take the time to assess your claim and can help you get the compensation you are entitled to. Contact us today on 0131 247 1000 or through our personal injury compensation enquiry form.

Make an Enquiry

From our offices we serve the whole of Scotland, as well as clients around the world with interests in Scotland. Please complete the form below, and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.

Morton Fraser MacRoberts LLP will use the information you provide to contact you about your inquiry. The information is confidential. For more information on our privacy practices please see our Privacy Notice