If a bursitis injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
Bursitis from repetitive motion or acute trauma often results in painful, swollen joints.
If you have been affected by bursitis, we can help. If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
Bursitis and cellulitis are responsible for around 1 in every 200 patient visits to a GP. Often the condition is caused or aggravated by repetitive work practices that put pressure on joints.
Leg injury claims frequently relate to bursitis and similar conditions.
The condition has been known colloquially by many other names, including beat knee, beat elbow, bricklayer's shoulder, miner's elbow, tennis elbow, housemaid's knee, clergyman's knee and policeman's heel.
The names given to Bursitis indicates the sheer number of tasks and occupations that may cause or exacerbate the condition.
What is Bursitis?
A bursa is a fluid-filled sac found across the human , but especially in joints such as the knees and elbows. Their function is to cushion and lubricate the area around muscles and stop them from rubbing against the bones.
Putting repeated pressure on the bursae (the plural of bursa) may cause them to chafe or swell - a condition known as Bursitis (Beat Knee or Beat Elbow). Cellulitis, a related condition, is caused when bacteria penetrate the bursae following infection or trauma.
Inflammation of the bursae causes tremendous pain which makes carrying out everyday activities such as kneeling or crawling virtually impossible.
Often, a person suffering from Bursitis or Cellulitis will not be able to able to undertake their job in the way they normally would, or at all.
Which occupations are susceptible to Bursitis and Cellulitis?
Bursitis occurs when the joints are overused, rubbed or injured. The condition is common among employees who frequently kneel as part of their job, such as:
- Carpet Fitters
- Utility workers.
How do I know if I have Bursitis?
Seeking medical attention at an early stage can slow the development of the condition, and can provide valuable medical evidence if you decide to seek compensation from your employer at a later date.
The joint will swell and become very painful. Sometimes, the inflammation is so severe that the affected joint will not bend or even move.
Diagnosis is via a physical examination conducted by a general practitioner. The doctor may ask about the type of activity that was undertaken in the weeks or months leading up to the inflammation. He or she may also take a sample of the fluid from the affected bursa sac. The sample is analysed for the crystals and bacteria associated with Cellulitis.
The NHS Bursitis resource has specific information on the common symptoms of Bursitis and recommendations for the proper care of the affected area.
Do I qualify for bursitis injury compensation?
You will usually be eligible to claim compensation if you have been injured in the following circumstances:
- within the last 3 years, and;
- another person was to blame, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.
Can I claim if I feel I was partly to blame?
Identifying who is legally responsible for a claimant's injuries is not always obvious.
In our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey, 13.99% of respondents felt they were at least partly responsible for their accident or injuries.
You can often still claim compensation even if you were partly to blame, as cases with shared fault usually settle with a split-liability agreement.
How long after a bursitis injury do I have to claim compensation?
For most injury claims, you have up to 3 years from the date of your injury to start the claims process.
The 3 year limitation period does not apply to minors (under 18s). A parent, guardian or litigation friend can start a claim on a child's behalf up to their 18th birthday and the child has until their 21st birthday to claim for themselves.
How much compensation can I claim for a bursitis injury?
The amount of money you could claim for a bursitis will depend on:
- the severity of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.
Updated December 2023
Compensation Calculator v3.04
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages is compensation for quantifiable financial losses you've incurred as a result of your bursitis Compensation can include loss of earnings (including future earnings loss and retraining costs), and any additional expenses directly related to your injury.
These damages will also cover any medical or treatment bills, such as pain medication and corticosteroid injections.
Average bursitis injury general damages compensation
The following bursitis injury payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Sixteenth Edition by the Judicial College.These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.
Please note: these average figures represent general damages only, and do not include any element of special damages (e.g. lost wages).
|Ankle injury||Moderate||Full recovery or with mild ongoing symptoms||£12,490 to £24,170|
|Arm injury||Moderate||Serious injury with long-lasting effects||£17,450 to £35,610|
|Elbow injury||Moderate||Some long-term problems||£14,230 to £29,100|
|Foot injury||Moderate||Metatarsal fracture with permanent symptoms||£12,490 to £22,720|
|Knee injury||Moderate||Mild long-term symptoms||£13,490 to £23,810|
|Shoulder injury||Moderate||Fracture of clavicle||£7,170 to £11,610|
Is an employer liable for their employee's Bursitis?
Employers have a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to provide a safe working environment for their employees. As part of that duty, they must assess each job for possible health and safety hazards, including the risk that a worker could possibly develop 'beat knee' if they regularly kneel or crawl during work tasks.
Workers at risk of developing Bursitis or Cellulitis should be protected in a way that is reasonable having regard to the nature of the job. Safety measures include implementing a different work process to reduce the pressure on the worker's joints or issuing protective clothing or equipment.
If an employer does not take reasonable steps to protect their employees in this way, and Bursitis develops or is aggravated as a result, then the employee may be able to make a claim for compensation.
Time limits for making a Bursitis compensation claim
A Bursitis Compensation Claim must be brought within three years of:
- the initial diagnosis of the condition; or
- the date that a link is made between the condition and the type of work that has been done.
In many cases, claimants can make a No Win, No Fee Claim even if their employer has gone out of business.
How did your injury happen?
The process for a bursitis injury claim depends the circumstances of the accident. To learn more, click the icons below:
How we can help you with your injury claim
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
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Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.