The collarbone is the most frequently broken bone in the body. Fractures to the collarbone are most often caused by falling onto an outstretched arm, falling onto a shoulder, or by direct impact to the collarbone. If you have fractured your collarbone in an accident that was not your fault, you could make a fractured collarbone claim.
The collarbone and collarbone injuries
You have two collarbones, one on each side of the chest, just below the top of your shoulder. The collarbone is a thin bone that connects your shoulder blade to your breastbone. The medical term for your collarbone is the clavicle.
The most common accident that leads to a collarbone fracture is a fall. When you fall horizontally on the shoulder or stretch out your arm when you are falling, the impact and resulting pressure can snap the collarbone. Cycling accidents, mountain biking accidents and contact sports such as rugby, football and wrestling can often lead to collarbone fractures. Car accidents often cause collarbone fractures as well.
How do I know if I have fractured my collarbone?
It is usually quite obvious if you have fractured your collarbone. Normally you would hear a crack when the bone is fractured. Even if you did not hear a crack, a fractured collarbone would normally lead to:
- Difficulty in moving your arm and a sharp pain when moving the muscles in that area of the chest.
- A grinding sensation when raising your arm.
- Pain and swelling in the area.
- A bump around the area of the fracture.
Sometimes it will only be possible to feel the fracture through the skin after the swelling goes down. If you suspect that you may have fractured your collarbone, you should seek immediate medical attention. Your doctor will use an X-ray to confirm the fracture.
Making a fractured collarbone claim
If you have fractured your collarbone in an accident, you may be able to make a compensation claim. In order to qualify for a claim, you should be able to answer the following three questions with a ‘yes’:
- Did your injury occur in the last three years?
- Was the accident that caused the injury someone else’s fault?
- Did you receive medical attention for your injury?
The extent of the claim you will be entitled to will depend on the extent of the injury. A small fracture that heals quickly will receive less compensation than a severe fracture that required surgery and pins to keep the collarbone in place.
Who can I speak to for more information?
Speak to Accident Advice Helpline about making a fractured collarbone claim. Call our free, 24-hour helpline. One of our legal advisors will discuss your accident and injury with you and give you an honest assessment of whether your claim is likely to be successful. If they believe you have a strong case, they will pass your case to a solicitor who will be able to take your claim forward.
If you want an idea of what your claim might be worth, you can also try our quick 30-second test on the website.