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 No Win, No Fee compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

You are not alone

Bursitis is most commonly seen in middle-aged men and in this whose jobs require regular movement or pressure on a joint, like roofers, tilers, carpet layers or gardeners (livi.co.uk).

Bursitis injuries are fairly common, especially among individuals who engage in repetitive motions or put consistent pressure on their joints.

This condition often affects people involved in activities like gardening, painting, playing certain sports, or those with work occupations requiring repetitive movement or prolonged kneeling.

Bursitis occurs when the bursae, small fluid-filled sacs cushioning bones, tendons, and muscles near joints, become inflamed. The most commonly affected areas include the shoulder, elbow, hip, and knee. With the prevalence of both occupational and recreational activities that strain joints, the incidence of bursitis is significant across various age groups.

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.

What is bursitis?

A bursa is a fluid-filled sac found across the human body, 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. 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.

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.

For information on bursitis symptoms and treatment, see: bursitis (nhs.uk).

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 2024 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.

Read more:

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

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.

Bursitis injury compensation calculator

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 April 2024 Compensation Calculator v3.04

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College (judiciary.uk) and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

Special damages

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.

Read more:

A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

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 (oup.com).

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).

Example Amount
Ankle injury
Full recovery or with mild ongoing symptoms £12,490 to £24,170
Arm injury
Serious injury with long-lasting effects £17,450 to £35,610
Elbow injury
Some long-term problems £14,230 to £29,100
Foot injury
Metatarsal fracture with permanent symptoms £12,490 to £22,720
Knee injury
Mild long-term symptoms £13,490 to £23,810
Shoulder injury
Fracture of clavicle £7,170 to £11,610

Which occupations are most 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 cleaners, bricklayers, mechanics, labourers, miners and carpet fitters.

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.

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.

Read more

Work related illness claims

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:

No win, no fee bursitis injury compensation claims

With no win, no fee, you can claim bursitis injury compensation without financial risk. If your claim isn't successful, you pay nothing. If you win, you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

Find out more about how no win, no fee claims work

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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Kevin Walker secures £1.4 million for a seriously-injured motorcyclist

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Citations

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Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Author:
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor