Fractured Scaphoid Accident Claims Guide

By Lewis Hendrix. Last updated 1st August 2023. Welcome to our fractured scaphoid claims guide. This guide shows you how a missed scaphoid fracture or an untreated wrist fracture could impact you, and how you could claim compensation for a broken scaphoid.

A fractured scaphoid is a very common injury that occurs following a slip, trip or fall. The scaphoid is a small bone on the thumb side of the wrist and, due to its size, is susceptible to fractures. Even though it’s such a small bone, if left untreated, a broken scaphoid could cause irreversible damage. If you’re involved in an accident that causes a fracture that was caused because somebody else was negligent, you could seek scaphoid fracture compensation from the responsible party.

Man looking over an injured child's hand who has a fractured scaphoid

How This Fractured Scaphoid Accident Guide Could Help

In this guide, we’ll look at what types of accident could lead to a fracture, the symptoms and treatment options, and how much compensation you could be entitled to receive in a successful broken scaphoid personal injury claim.

Accident Claims UK offers a nationwide service for anyone who would like to make a personal injury claim. We provide a no-obligation assessment of your claim, and free advice about your options. Also, if your case has a chance of being won, we could introduce you to a No Win No Fee personal injury solicitor. If you’re ready to begin making fractured scaphoid claims, please call 0800 073 8801 today.

In the meantime, if you want to know more about when you could claim for a fractured bone, please continue reading.

Select A Section

  1. A Guide To Fractured Scaphoid Accident Compensation Claims
  2. What Is A Fractured Scaphoid?
  3. Scaphoid Fracture Symptoms
  4. How Are Scaphoid Fractures Diagnosed And Treated?
  5. How Long Does It Take For A Scaphoid Fracture To Heal?
  6. What Could Be The Long Term Effects Of A Fractured Scaphoid Accident?
  7. Causes Of A Fractured Scaphoid Or Broken Scaphoid
  8. Workplace Fractured Scaphoid Accident Claims
  9. Road Traffic Accident Fractured Scaphoid Injuries
  10. Missed Wrist Fracture or Scaphoid Fracture Compensation Claims
  11. Possible Complications From Missed Fractured Scaphoids
  12. What Could My Missed Scaphoid Fracture Claim Include?
  13. Broken Scaphoid And Fractured Scaphoid Compensation Claims Calculator
  14. Fractured Scaphoid Claims With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
  15. Medical Resources And Claims Guides Related To An Untreated Wrist Fracture

A Guide To Fractured Scaphoid Accident Compensation Claims

Welcome to our fractured scaphoid claims guide. In this guide, we’re going to look at the types of accident that could lead to a fractured scaphoid, and when you could claim compensation for it. However, it’s probably a good idea to look at what the scaphoid is first and how an injury could occur.

What Is The Scaphoid Bone?

The wrist is made up of eight carpal bones that join the hand to the arm. The scaphoid bone is located between the forearm and the hand on the thumb side of the wrist and its main function is to provide a hand with the superstructure needed, and it also aids with wrist movement along with other carpal bones.

How This Fractured Scaphoid Accident Guide Could Help

Throughout this guide, we’ll cover broken scaphoid symptoms, treatment options, and what happens when the injury isn’t treated in a timely manner. Furthermore, we’ll answer some of the following questions:

  • How long does it take for a scaphoid fracture to heal?
  • What happens if a scaphoid fracture is left untreated?
  • How do you treat a scaphoid fracture?
  • Can a scaphoid fracture heal on its own?

To be eligible to make fractured scaphoid claims, you must be able to demonstrate that you were involved in an accident that was caused by somebody else and that this resulted in your wrist injury. If that’s true, you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim against the negligent third party.

Am I Eligible To Make An Untreated Wrist Fracture Or Broken Scaphoid Claim?

Also, you’ll need to ensure your claim is made within the personal injury claims time limit. In general, this is 3-years from the date of the accident which resulted in your fractured wrist. However, the 3-year period could also start from the date your doctor diagnoses you as suffering from a health issue that can be linked to the scaphoid injury you sustained.

When you’ve finished reading this guide, please call an adviser if you’re unsure whether you could make a claim or not. They’ll assess your claim and the evidence you have to support it, and would provide free advice on your options when it comes to pursuing a scaphoid injury claim.

What Is A Fractured Scaphoid?

A scaphoid fracture, also known as a navicular fracture, is when you break one small bone at the top of your wrist. A common cause of this type of fracture is a fall onto an outstretched hand. 

A fractured scaphoid can happen when you’re involved in an accident, which if third-party negligence was responsible for, could establish grounds for fractured scaphoid claims to be made.

As mentioned earlier, the scaphoid is the bone under the thumb that joins together two rows of carpal bones. If a fractured scaphoid is left untreated, it can cause complications which means you could also claim if a medical professional misdiagnoses the break as something else.

We’ll explain more on how a scaphoid fracture is diagnosed and treated later in this guide, as well as looking into misdiagnosis claims for clinical negligence.

Scaphoid Fracture Symptoms

There are a number of symptoms that could indicate that you’ve broken a scaphoid bone which could include the following:

  • Pain and swelling
  • Deformation of the wrist
  • Pain when moving the wrist or thumb
  • Pain when making a grasping or pinching action – this could be caused by bone fragments moving about

Some scaphoid fracture pain can be minor, and you might think you have sustained a sprained wrist. The best advice is to visit a doctor if you are still in pain after 24-hours, or if you’re suffering any other scaphoid fracture symptoms that you find concerning.

Please continue reading to learn more about these types of injuries and how they could result in fractured scaphoid claims.

How Are Scaphoid Fractures Diagnosed And Treated?

When you visit a GP because you’ve injured your wrist, they’ll usually ask you about your symptoms and then they’ll perform a scaphoid fracture assessment. During the examination they’ll be looking for bruising, swelling and loss of motion. They’ll also test for any tenderness near the anatomic snuffbox.

If they suspect you have got a fractured scaphoid, they might arrange an X-ray. Alternative tests that can be used later on include CT scans and MRI scans.

Following your X-ray, you may be treated for a fractured scaphoid even if one doesn’t show up. That’s because they are sometimes difficult to spot on the X-ray. Therefore, you’ll usually be fitted with a scaphoid fracture cast or splint. You may have to wear a cast like this for around 2 weeks to promote bone healing.

You’ll then be assessed again. If the bone is deemed to have been fractured, you’ll need to be in a plaster for up to 12 weeks. In rare circumstances, scaphoid fracture surgery may be required. You may need a bone graft.

Without a cast or splint, you could suffer scaphoid fracture complications because you’ll find that this type of wrist injury doesn’t heal itself. In such cases of medical negligence, this could give you grounds to make fractured scaphoid claims for the suffering you experienced as a result of avoidable complications. If you’d like to discuss making medical negligence claims with one of our specialist advisors, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today.

How Long Does It Take For A Scaphoid Fracture To Heal?

As mentioned in the previous section, the scaphoid break recovery time can be around 12 weeks. That might seem like a long time compared with other fractures which, on average, take around 6 weeks to heal. The reason for the extended time period is that the blood supply to the carpal bone area found in your wrist is minimal, meaning that any injuries take longer to mend.

What Could Be The Long Term Effects Of A Fractured Scaphoid Accident?

Fractured scaphoid claims could be made not just to compensate for the immediate effects but any long term impacts or the potential for them to develop. While the amount of suffering caused by a fractured scaphoid injury can vary dramatically, the long-term effect of a broken wrist could be many years of pain if the fracture isn’t repaired properly (scaphoid fracture non-union), dorsal intercalated-segment instability (DSI) and also the onset of marked radiocarpal osteoarthritis.

Causes Of A Fractured Scaphoid Or Borken Scaphoid

One of the most common causes of a fractured scaphoid is when you fall and put an outstretched hand down in an attempt to break your fall. The impact causes the wrist to bend backwards and hence the scaphoid is damaged.

Other causes of this type of orthopaedic injury can be a hard blow to the palm of the hand or repetitive stress on the wrist.

Workplace Fractured Scaphoid Accident Claims

Personal injury claims for an accident at work that cause a fractured scaphoid are possible if your employer breached their duty of care towards you. Because of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, employers must take steps to reduce any risks to staff in the workplace. Therefore, if your accident was caused by a lack of protective equipment, faulty machinery or a lack of training, you could be able to claim by filing a personal injury claim against your employer.

Road Traffic Accident Fractured Scaphoid Injuries

You may be interested to learn that even despite there having been four months whereupon the UK was in national lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic, there were still a number of road traffic accident casualties that occurred in 2020. Below, we set out the types of road users that were injured during this. There is no way of knowing how many of these lead to fractured scaphoids, however.

All road users have a duty of care to one and other. Therefore, if you’re injured in a road traffic accident caused by another driver, you could have grounds to make fractured scaphoid claims for any injuries you may have sustained as a result of this negligence.

We’d recommend you ask witnesses for their details. Also, you should see a doctor and have your injuries assessed as your medical records could be used to support your compensation claim and the general damages you may be awarded would be based on the extent of the injury you sustained.

Missed Wrist Fracture or Scaphoid Fracture Compensation Claims

As we mentioned earlier in the fractured scaphoid claims guide, a scaphoid fracture test most used is an X-ray. However, this type of fracture is hard to see on X-rays, so it might not always be obvious that you’ve done any damage to a scaphoid bone.

However, because difficulty in spotting this type of fracture is well known, in most cases where you suffer tenderness and pain in the wrist, especially between the base of the thumb and the wrist, it should be assumed that there could be a fracture. As such, a cast or splint should be used for up to 14-days before further tests are carried out.

Failure to follow this procedure could cause difficulties more especially if the fractures displaces. Should this be the case, you might be able to claim misdiagnosed scaphoid fracture compensation. We could help you with such a medical negligence claim.

Why Do Misdiagnoses/Missed Diagnoses Happen Leading to An Untreated Wrist Fracture?

There are various reasons why you could suffer a misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis for a scaphoid fracture. While generally, the medical professionals we see offer us a safe standard of care, there are several pressures on them, which could lead to them making errors with diagnosing patients. Accident and emergency departments are often busy, and staff are time-pressured. Some work long hours and this could lead to them having trouble concentrating, for example. GPs are also under pressure to see, diagnose and treat patients quickly, and they usually only have a small window for appointments.

You may have visited your GP and they did not refer you for an X-ray, for example. It would be a medical professional’s job to refer you if they could rule out a fracture, but sometimes this does not happen. Similarly, if you presented at an Accident & Emergency department, and the person who saw you failed to send you for an X-ray, this could also lead to your fracture being missed. Even if you do obtain an X-ray, if a doctor does not assess it properly, or the pictures are unclear or taken from the wrong angle, this could still lead to a missed diagnosis.

Claiming for an untreated wrist fracture

Whatever the reason you were misdiagnosed, or your diagnosis was missed, you could be eligible to claim compensation if you could prove that negligence had caused you harm. You would need to be able to evidence that but for the negligence you’d suffered, you would not have suffered such harm.

Please continue reading to learn more about fractured scaphoid claims.

Possible Complications From Missed Fractured Scaphoids

With any wrist fracture that’s missed, there are a number of problems that could occur which might include the following;

  • Wrist mobility problems
  • Pain in the wrist
  • Arthritis developing in an affected wrist
  • Wrist stiffness

Also, where a scaphoid injury assessment fails to lead to a correct diagnosis of a fracture, the bone in the wrist could die because of a lack of blood flow. This is known as avascular necrosis. Essentially, any misdiagnosis of this type could lead to a lifelong disability and pain. Therefore, it would only be right to consider claiming compensation for your injuries. Our advisers can assess your claim and help you decide whether your suffering was caused by a misdiagnosis or not.

What Could My Missed Scaphoid Fracture Claim Include?

When you employ the services of a solicitor to make your compensation claim, they use a number of different elements to build your case against a negligent third party. A solicitor would base your claim and the compensation you could be awarded on medical records and reports from independent doctors to ensure they fully understand the extent of your injuries.

The elements that go into calculating compensation for fractured scaphoid claims you may be entitled to may include the following:

  • General Damages – These are paid to cover all of the pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused by your injuries. We’ve provided a table of general damages compensation amounts in the next section
  • Travel Costs – If you need to travel to and from the doctor or hospital during recovery, you could include the fuel costs in your claim. Furthermore, if your orthopaedic injuries leave you unable to drive while they’re healing, you could claim for any other travel arrangements
  • Medication Costs – While you will usually get scaphoid fracture treatment on the NHS for free, you could still end up with bills for prescriptions. Therefore, these could be claimed back too
  • Care Costs – In the unusual event that you need professional care to aid your recovery, you could claim back any costs
  • Lost Earnings – When your employer doesn’t pay full sick pay, you might lose income because you need time off to recover or for medical appointments. Therefore, you could claim these losses back too
  • Damaged Property – Finally, if an item of personal property is damaged during your accident, you could claim the cost of replacing it back

The financial losses linked to your injuries are known as special damages. We suggest that you provide receipts and bank statements to prove these expenses and losses. Also, if you’re not sure whether you’ll be able to claim something back, check with your solicitor before committing to it.

Broken Scaphoid And Fractured Scaphoid Compensation Claims Calculator

We’re often asked what amount of compensation is possible from fractured scaphoid claims. It is not possible to say how much compensation you could get without first assessing your claim. That’s because every claim is different, and injuries affect each claimant in different ways. However, the personal injury compensation table below shows how much may be awarded as general damages for some different hand and wrist injuries.

Injury Type How Severe? Compensation Comments
Wrist Minor £3,310 to £4,450 Very minor undisplaced fractures or soft tissue injuries that require a plastercast or bandage for a number of weeks. Full recovery will occur within 12 months.
Wrist Minor In the region of £6,970 A simple and uncomplicated Colles’ fracture.
Wrist Minor No more than £9,620 A fracture which takes longer to heal but full recovery does occur.
Wrist Less severe £11,820 to £22,990 Injuries which are fairly simpl but result in permanent disability such as pain and stiffness.
Wrist Serious £22,990 to £36,770 Injuries that cause a significant permanent disability but some movement is still possilble.
Wrist Severe £44,690 to £56,180 The most severe injuries that result in complete loss of function. For instance, where a arthrodesis has to be performed.
Arms Moderate up to £11,820 This compensation range covers injuries including elbow fractures, simple fractures in the arm and lacerations.
Hand Moderate £5,260 to £12,460 This compensation range covers injuries including deep lacerations, crush injuries & penetrating wounds.
Hand Less serious £13,570 to £27,220 Injuries such as a severe crush injury which results in significantly impaired function.
Thumb Moderate £9,080 to
This could include injuries that cause nerve or tendon damage. Some may require arthrodesis

The figures listed are from a document called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG is used by solicitors, insurers and courts to determine the level of compensation awarded for different injuries. As you’ll notice, each injury is assessed by its severity. Therefore, a key job for a personal injury solicitor is to ensure your injuries are assessed correctly so that there’s a good chance you’ll receive the correct level of compensation. This is important because once you’ve settled a claim, you can’t go back and ask for more compensation. That’s the case even if you realise your injuries were more serious than first thought.

Our solicitors use a panel of independent doctors to carry out a medical assessment of your injuries. During the appointment, they’ll assess the injuries and ask about how they affected you. Then they’ll provide a report which details the nature of your injuries, their severity, the impact on everyday life and whether you’ll suffer in the future because of the injuries.

The solicitor would use the report to work out how much compensation you could be entitled to as part of your fractured scaphoid claims. By using this report, medical records and other evidence, the solicitor can try and ensure you are compensated fully and fairly for your injuries.

Fractured Scaphoid Claims With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

If you are eligible to make a personal injury claim for your broken scaphoid, one of our No Win No Fee solicitors could help you with your case. By offering you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), you will not have to pay any upfront fees for them to begin working on your claim. You also won’t have to pay them any ongoing service fees during the process of your claim. Should your claim not succeed, you will not be required to pay them for the work they have provided.

Should your broken scaphoid bone claim be a success, you will pay your solicitor a success fee. This will be directly taken from your compensation award as a legally capped percentage.

Our advisors could connect you with one of our expert accident claims solicitors. Contact them today to see if you could be eligible to work with one of our solicitors. They can also help answer your questions and offer you free advice. They can be reached by:

Medical Resources And Claims Guides Related To An Untreated Wrist Fracture

Now that you’ve come to the end of this fractured scaphoid claims guide, we’ve decided to provide you with some more guides, links and external resources which we think you’ll find useful. They relate to those who’ve suffered a missed scaphoid fracture, untreated wrist fracture or fractured scaphoid accident.

  • Scaphoid Fracture Patient Information – This leaflet, from the NHS, provides useful information about the treatment of a fractured scaphoid. Also, it provides some useful exercises that can aid recovery.
  • Health And Safety At Work Act 1974 – If you’re involved in an accident at work, this is the legislation that could be used to support any compensation claim.
  • NHS Complaints – This guide explains the stages of an NHS complaint and the process you should follow if you decide to make a formal complaint.
  • Road Traffic Accident Claims – As it’s possible to fracture the scaphoid bone in a road traffic accident, we’ve provided this guide that you may find useful.
  • Slip, Trip And Fall Injuries – This guide explains when it might be possible to claim compensation if you are involved in a slip, trip or fall caused by somebody else’s negligence.
  • Wrist Injury Compensation Claims – This guide provides a more generic look at wrist injuries. It explains when you could seek compensation and the amounts awarded for different injuries, not just scaphoid fractures.

Thank you for reading our fractured scaphoid claims guide. If you require any further guides or resources, please call the number at the top of the screen.  One of our advisers will be happy to help.