A broken wrist can be swollen, bruised and painful, often the result of a slip or trip and falling onto an outstretched hand. The wrist consists of eight small bones connected to the two long forearm bones – the ulna and the radius. The most commonly broken bone is the radius, and this is known as a distal radius fracture. So what can you do if your accident was somebody else’s fault? You shouldn’t have to suffer in silence if somebody else was negligent and you have fractured your wrist as a result. Accident Advice Helpline could help you to make a claim for a broken wrist, provided it has been three years or less since your accident. We have some more information to help you out too, so keep reading.
Will you need surgery?
Although surgery for a fractured wrist is much more common nowadays than in the past, most fractures won’t require surgery. Whether or not you need an operation depends on a number of factors, including your age (older people are more likely to need surgery), whether the bones are displaced and the severity of your injury. If you have a pre-existing condition such as osteoporosis, this could affect the treatment you receive. After any surgery for a broken wrist, you may need to see a physiotherapist, who will give you exercises to do to strengthen your wrist and regain full function.
What are the symptoms of a broken wrist, and what treatment will you need?
The symptoms of a wrist fracture are often similar to the symptoms of a sprain, which is why it’s so important to get a medical diagnosis by visiting your local hospital’s A&E department. Symptoms can include:
- Severe pain
- Numbness in your hand
- Inability to move your thumb or fingers
- A visible deformity or lump
You’ll need to have an x-ray at hospital, and if your wrist is broken then it will be placed into a cast. You may also need to take antibiotics, if you have an open wound, and pain relief will probably be administered, particularly if your bones are displaced.
How do wrist fractures happen?
A broken wrist is often the result of a slip or trip when you put your hands out to brace yourself against a fall. So perhaps it comes as no surprise that these types of injuries are so common in elderly people. In fact, adults and elderly women are more likely than men to break a wrist, and this likelihood only increases with age. In the over-70s, women are actually 10 times more likely to suffer a wrist fracture than men, and many report a reduced quality of life, due to their fear of suffering a repeat accident. You could also fracture your wrist after a fall from height – for example, whilst using a ladder at work or at home – or in a motorcycle or car accident.
If somebody else caused your accident, then you could make a claim for a broken wrist. For example, if the ladder you were using at work was faulty, you could claim against your employer. If you slipped on a wet floor in a shopping centre and broke your wrist, you could make a claim against the shopping centre operator for your pain, suffering and any losses you have suffered.
How much compensation can you claim for a broken wrist?
The amount of compensation you can claim for a broken wrist can vary and will depend on a range of different factors. For example, when Accident Advice processes your claim, we will take into account:
- Your age
- The severity of your injury
- The treatment you have received or will need in future
- The cost of any treatment
- Your prognosis for the future
- The length of time taken to recover from your injury
- How your injury has affected your life
- Any financial losses you have suffered, such as loss of earnings, now and in the future
Recent claims have ranged from around £2,000 to around £35,000, and every claim is processed on an individual basis, so there is no ‘one size fits all’ amount. However, you could get an idea of how much you could claim for a broken wrist by taking the 30-second test on our website right now. We offer a 100% no-win, no-fee service, so remember that if your claim is successful, your legal fees will be deducted from your settlement, which means no upfront fees to worry about.
What’s the prognosis for a wrist fracture?
Your prognosis after your accident will really depend on a variety of different factors including your age and how severe your injury was. Although many people who suffer a minor wrist fracture will go on to make a complete recovery, there are a small percentage of people who will develop long-term problems, such as osteoarthritis of the wrist or complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Even a minor wrist fracture can seriously impact your quality of life, making it difficult to carry out everyday tasks such as washing, getting dressed, cooking, going to work and driving. This may mean that you need to take time off work, at a time when you are having to pay for medical treatment that’s not available on the NHS – for example, acupuncture for pain relief or visits to a specialist. You can improve your chances of a complete recovery and reduce your likelihood of developing CRPS by carrying out the wrist exercises recommended to you by your physiotherapist.
Making a claim for a wrist fracture
If you are considering making a claim for a broken wrist after an accident at work or a slip, trip or fall, you can get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline. Just call us on 0800 689 0500 (or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile) and you’ll find our expert advisors are on hand to offer you no-obligation advice. It’s free to call from a landline, and there is never any pressure to proceed with a claim, so you have nothing to lose by getting in touch.