Repetitive strain injury (RSI), otherwise known as work-related upper limb disorder, is caused when reoccurring repetitive movements and overuse of specific nerves, muscles and tendons, which can cause pain. RSI injuries typically occur in the hands, wrists, elbow, forearm and shoulders.
These injuries usually happen in working environments with extended work days where an employer failed to put measures into place to prevent repetitive strain injuries and, as a result, failed in their duty of care.
If you have suffered a repetitive strain injury as a result of your employer’s negligence, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Contact Wildwood Legal today to get in touch with one of our personal injury solicitors, who will be able to determine your eligibility and provide more information on the legal claims process.
Employers’ duty of care
By UK law, employers have a duty of care towards their employees. This duty of care extends to all employees, regardless of the nature of their job or whether they have a fixed or temporary contract with the employer. Therefore, your employer is legally required to put specific measures in place to protect you from any illness or injury whilst at work.
In terms of repetitive strain injuries, your employer should supply you with suitable equipment to prevent these injuries, as well as putting strict time limits and regular breaks into place to ensure that you are not putting pressure on a specific part of your body for too long. They should also perform risk assessments to identify any potential risks that could cause RSI.
If your employer failed to implement these measures and you have been injured as a result, you may be entitled to make an accident at work claim.
Common causes of repetitive strain injuries
There are a variety of causes that can lead to repetitive strain injuries. Some of the main issues that we see that lead to repetitive strain injury claims include:
· Repetition of specific movements over a long period of time
· Office environments in which employees use computers and laptops for a long period of time
· Taking part in strenuous, repetitive tasks without being able to allow muscles and joints to recover or rest
· Vibration from constant use of construction equipment such as chainsaws, drills and heavy machinery
All of the causes listed above can cause repetitive strain injuries, which can cause pain and cramp in the affected area as well as swelling, throbbing, numbness, stiffness and tenderness and can also be linked with carpal tunnel syndrome.
If you suspect that you may have a repetitive strain injury, you should contact an occupational health physician. This is a medical professional that regularly deals with work-related injuries and illnesses.
What should I do if I want to make a repetitive strain injury claim?
Ensure that you seek medical attention from a Doctor/General Practitioner soon after your injury, as you may find that the extent of the injury is much more serious than you had originally thought.
Having an official medical report will only strengthen your case further against a negligent employer as it could be used as crucial evidence to prove that you are suffering from an injury. It can also be used to calculate any pay entitlements and benefits that you could be awarded in a successful claim for compensation.
You should also record the incident in the accident book at your workplace, in which you should list the details of the injuries that you have sustained and how the accident happened. It is important to record your accident in the accident book as not only can it be used for evidence in your case, but it can also help to persuade employers to implement new health and safety measures that may have been needed previously.
After you have sustained an accident at work, it is in your best interest to talk to one of our accident at work solicitors as soon as possible as they can discuss your entitlements with you and advise you on your options going forward.
What can be recovered from repetitive strain injury claims?
There are a variety of losses that can be recovered following an accident at work that was not your fault. Below are just a few examples:
Loss of income – If you were required to take time off work due to your injuries, you should be able to recover your loss of earnings for the full period of time you were unable to work.
Pain and suffering – The law considers the fact that there is a certain amount of trauma and pain that can be associated with accidents that have happened in the workplace. Therefore, it has made a provision for injured workers to obtain compensation for the same.
Loss of amenity – You may be able to claim an amount of compensation for your loss of amenity. This refers to instances when your injuries have prevented you from participating in activities that you had previously taken part in and enjoyed.
A loss of enjoyment can directly affect your life and can lead to long term effects such as mental health issues like frustration and depression. There is a provision in the law that covers any loss of amenity resulting from an accident at work.
Other financial losses – Other financial losses which were directly caused by the accident at work, such as medical costs and travel costs, can also be recovered as part of a personal injury claim.
How are repetitive strain injury claims calculated?
Compensation awards for all accident at work claims are split into general damages and special damages.
General Damages – This refers to the amount of compensation awarded to you for your pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
To calculate this amount, we look at previous cases which are similar to yours, together with guidelines that are issued to Judges who decide the outcome of such claims if they go to Court. Your case will be valued on the basis of your injuries as described by suitably qualified medical professionals.
Special Damages – These are any direct financial losses that you may have suffered as a result of your injuries. Typically, these may include loss of earnings up to the settlement, loss of earnings in the future, medical costs, travel costs or the costs of care provided to you.
It is difficult to estimate the amount of compensation you will receive for your injuries without knowing the full extent of your injuries. There are, however, compensation calculators online that can be used to estimate how much you may be able to receive from your claim.
How much do repetitive strain injury claims cost?
We will always be 100% transparent about what our charges are, and if we take on your case, we will almost always do so on Conditional Fee Agreements (also known as a no win, no fee basis).
This means that if you do not win your case, you do not pay us any fees at all. If we win the case, we take a small percentage of your compensation, which we will agree with you beforehand, to cover our costs.
We will never ask you to sign anything until you are completely happy with what it is that we are proposing.
Time limits for making repetitive strain injury claims
The general rule on time limits for making a repetitive strain injury claim is that you have three years from the date of the injury to have either settled your claim or started court proceedings once the accident has happened.
The three-year deadline begins on the date that the accident occurred or from the date on which you realised that your injuries were associated with your accident due to negligence.
The three-year time limit for claiming compensation does not apply to those under 18; however, it will come into effect after their 18th birthday. There is also no time limit for individuals that lack the mental capacity to make a claim themselves.
How can Wildwood Legal assist with repetitive strain injury claims?
At Wildwood Legal, our core strength is in personal injury claims. We are experienced in helping Claimants make accident at work claims. We aim to give you not only quality aid but flexibility and clarity as we know that these qualities are just as important.
The law relating to accidents at work is complicated and can be a minefield for the unwary. We will guide you professionally through every step of the journey and make sure that your injury at work claim is presented in the best possible way to ensure maximum possible rsi compensation.
We value the opinion of our clients. We will always listen to you and take on board what you say. With 25 years of experience in personal injury law, we can help you with your claim. We always strive to put you at ease and explain the process clearly.
Our aim is to obtain a great outcome for your case, we value the opinion of our clients, and we will always listen to you and take on board what you say. Most importantly, we are on your side.
Our law firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority; therefore, we provide everything that is needed to meet their high standards, meaning that we are a trusted law firm. We offer services to individuals located in England and Wales and have registered offices in Harrogate and London. To make an enquiry, get in contact with us either email us email@example.com or call us 01423 209 046.
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