If osteoarthritis has set you back, we'll help you move forward

Osteoarthritis causes joint pain and stiffness, deteriorating quality of life and mobility, and is often managed with medication, physiotherapy, or surgery.

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by osteoarthritis, we can help. If your osteoarthritis, or the worsening of your condition, is due to someone's negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation for any pain and suffering, to support your ongoing treatment and to cover any loss of earnings or other costs.

You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

In this article

    You are not alone

    Osteoarthritis is a progressive condition that occurs when the cartilage around the joints breaks down and wears away. Bones under the cartilage then rub together which, over time, causes pain, inflammation, and loss of mobility, particularly in the knees, hips, elbows, wrists, and thumbs.

    Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the UK. Many individuals who develop arthritis as a result of injury or illness don't realise what triggered the condition.

    Osteoarthritis can be triggered by:

    • Joint trauma - e.g. a sudden impact typical in a road traffic accident.
    • Performing the same activity repeatedly - e.g. typing or operating machinery. Related conditions include repetitive strain injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, and bursitis.

    If you have developed osteoarthritis after an accident, or as a result of workplace activity, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation.

    If you have developed osteoarthritis after an accident, or as a result of workplace activity, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation.

    See also:

    Road traffic accident compensation claims

    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) compensation claims

    Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) injury claims

    Bursitis injury compensation claims

    If you decide to make an osteoarthritis claim, your personal injury solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you deserve.

    Am I entitled to make an osteoarthritis claim?

    If you've been injured or diagnosed with an illness in the last three years and it wasn't your fault, you will be able to claim compensation.

    Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Or you can call 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor. Find out in minutes if you have a claim.

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

    Determining who is to blame for an accident is not always black and white.

    In our recent 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey, 13.99% of respondents believed they may have been partly (or wholly) responsible for their injuries.

    Even if you partly caused the accident or your injuries (refered to as 'contributory negligence'), you may still be entitled to make a claim. These claims can often be settled on the basis of a split liability agreement.

    Read more:

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

    How long do I have to make an osteoarthritis claim?

    An injury claim will usually need to be made within 3 years of the date or your accident or injury.

    If you were injured due to someone else's negligence but didn't realise it at the time, you may have longer to make a claim. Typically, you have three years from the date you either received a diagnosis or became aware of the negligence (known as the 'date of knowledge') to start your claim.

    Time limits on arthritis claims

    Strict statutory time limits exist for most personal injury claims, meaning that if the time limit has elapsed, a claim cannot be made through the courts.

    This time limit is usually three years, either from the date the injury occurred or the date of knowledge.

    In the case of osteoarthritis, the three-year limit is likely to start from the date you learned of your diagnosis and the possible cause of the injury. The incident or activity that caused your condition may have occurred many years earlier.

    Your solicitor will be able to confirm whether you are still able to claim.

    Work-related claims

    Work tasks that involve a lot of repetitive movement can lead to arthritis. These tasks include:

    • Using a vibrating tool such as a drill
    • Frequently kneeling as part of the job
    • Working in space-limited conditions that require the worker to adopt stressful postures
    • Repetitive actions carried out continuously, over a long period, such as data entry or working on a supermarket checkout
    • Actions that strain a joint to its limits, such as carrying heavy objects and manual handling.

    Left untreated, osteoarthritis can be a serious condition that affects the quality of life. In severe cases, worn cartilage can force the bones out of their normal position, leading to deformity and loss of movement in the joint.

    Is my employer liable?

    Employers have a legal duty of care to minimise the risk of employees suffering an injury or illness as a result of their working conditions. This is particularly the case in jobs that are known to carry specific risks.

    Employers must:

    • Make sure that the work environment complies with relevant health and safety standards.
    • Carry out regular risk assessments.
    • Provide personal protection equipment (PPE), such as ergonomic workstations, wrist guards, or knee pads, where necessary.
    • Provide training on safe working practices.

    If you were injured as a result of your employer's negligence, a claim may be possible. Your solicitor will gather evidence to show that your employer did not take reasonable steps to keep you safe from harm. Your solicitor will also arrange a medical assessment to establish a link between your osteoarthritis and your employer's negligence.

    Negligence is almost always established if an employer has breached a specific health and safety regulation.

    Read more:

    Claiming compensation for a work injury.

    Osteoarthritis claims following an accident

    Traumatic impact, such as that experienced in a car crash, may cause the joints, ligaments, and tendons to shift slightly out of alignment. This may not cause any immediate pain or symptoms.

    Yet even slight damage to the 's musculoskeletal system may cause the bones to grind against one another over time. You may experience pain and stiffness for many years before you are diagnosed with osteoarthritis.

    Personal injury claims are valued on the basis of medical evidence that describes the nature, extent, and long-term effect of the claimant's injuries.

    However, many GPs are not trained to inspect the for the type of musculoskeletal injuries that may lead to osteoarthritis. This can lead some claimants to under-settle (settling a claim for significantly less than it is worth).

    Getting the right medical advice from the start is key to ensuring that you receive the correct level of damages. A solicitor specialising in osteoarthritis claims should be up to date with the condition and any new research.

    Read more:

    What can I do if I have under-settled my claim?

    How much compensation can I claim for osteoarthritis?

    The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

    • the seriousness 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.

    Osteoarthritis 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 December 2023 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 and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

    How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

    Special damages

    Special damages is compensation awarded to cover any financial losses and expenses you incur as a result of your osteoarthritis or negligent medical treatment. These damages aim to put you back in the financial position you would have been in, had your injury not occurred.

    Special damages will also cover your medical treatment expenses, that might include pain medication, physiotherapy, joint injections and assistive devices.

    Read more:

    A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

    Calculate my claim

    How did your injury happen?

    Claiming compensation for an osteoarthritis is dependent on how your injury occurred. Click the icons below for more detail:

    Injury FAQs

    How long does an injury claim take?

    What are my chances of winning my claim?

    Will my claim go to court?

    Can I claim for someone else?

    How long do I have to make an injury claim?

    No win, no fee osteoarthritis compensation claims

    With no win, no fee, you can claim osteoarthritis 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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    If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee injury claim, we are open:

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    Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:

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