If RSI has set you back, we'll help you move forward
Repetitive Strain Injury or RSI is the term used to describe pain in the tendons, muscles or nerves brought on by repetitive movement. These injuries are also referred to as Upper Limb Disorders (ULDs).
If you have been affected by a repetitive strain injury, 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
You are not alone
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that there are over 200,000 cases of ULDs every year, with an estimated 2.6 million work days lost last year.
RSI occurs when someone performs the same activity for a continuous period, for example, using a computer or sitting at a supermarket checkout. It most commonly affects the hands, wrists, elbows, fingers and forearms.
How is RSI diagnosed?
RSI is a type of "Work Related Upper Limb Disorder" - an umbrella terms that includes other inflammatory conditions such as:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS),
- tendonitis and
RSI is classified as either Type 1 or Type 2:
RSI Type 1
RSI Type 1 identifies a type of RSI that is accompanied by a diagnosable medical condition such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Symptoms typically include swelling or inflammation of the tendons in the hands, elbows or wrists.
RSI Type 2
RSI Type 2 is the name given to RSI when no other specific medical condition can be diagnosed. It is characterised by pain, numbness, tingling or cramping in the affected joints, but there are no visible symptoms.
If you decide to make a repetitive strain injury (RSI) 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 eligible for repetitive strain injury (RSI) compensation?
You should be entitled to repetitive strain injury (RSI) compensation if your injury resulted from the negligence or actions of another person or organisation, or from an accident that was not your fault.
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.
How long do I have to start a repetitive strain injury (RSI) claim?
In most cases, you have up to 3 years from the date of your accident or injury to start a claim.
You may still be able to claim compensation if you were injured by another's negligence and you only discovered it later. Generally, the clock starts ticking from the date you were diagnosed or became aware of your injury.
How much compensation can I claim for RSI?
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.
Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
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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 RSI Compensation can include loss of earnings, and any additional expenses directly related to your injury.
These damages will also cover any medical or treatment bills, such as pain medication and physiotherapy.
Average repetitive strain injury (RSI) general damages compensation
The following repetitive strain injury (RSI) 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).
|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|
|Food poisoning||Moderate||Significant discomfort||£3,590 to £8,670|
|Shoulder injury||Moderate||Fracture of clavicle||£7,170 to £11,610|
Psychological trauma following work accidents
Are you concerned about the mental and emotional impact of your injury? You are not alone.
Our 2023 Work Injury Claimant Survey reveals the extent of psychological trauma, with 25.03% of claims involving a psychological injury, 62.38% of which related to a physical injury.
Some workers remain hesitant to seek help for potential psychological injuries, fearing that their concerns will be dismissed or they will be treated differently.
A specialist solicitor will ensure that the psychological harm you have suffered is considered when calculating your compensation. This can be vital to ensure you receive mental health support and other therapies that may not be readily available on the NHS in your area.
Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.
How common is RSI in the workplace?
Around one in fifty employees have reported experiencing Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), a chronic musculoskeletal disorder that causes pain, cramping and numbness in the muscles and tendons of the upper .
Most sufferers are office workers who spend long periods of time typing on computer keyboards.
However, RSI can affect anyone who performs repetitive movements. It is not confined to office work.
Left unattended, Repetitive Strain Injury can become a serious condition that affects quality of life.
Anyone who has been diagnosed with RSI as a result of unhealthy work practices may be able to bring a claim for compensation against their employer.
What causes Repetitive Strain Injury at work?
Almost all cases of RSI care caused by overuse of the affected area. Examples include:
- A poorly organised workstation that puts pressure on joints
- A badly designed chair or desk that results in poor posture
- Repetitive actions carried out continuously over a long period such as data entry or gardening
- Working for long periods without a break.
For the purposes of bringing a successful claim, the cause of the Repetitive Strain Injury is significant. Your solicitor must show that your condition was caused by unsafe or unhealthy work practices. Your solicitor must also prove that the employer failed to take the proper precautions to keep their employees safe from harm.
Is my employer liable?
Employers are required by law to keep their employees safe from avoidable harm. As part of this obligation, they must make sure that the work environment conforms with certain health and safety requirements. For example, an employer must:
- Carry out a risk assessment to ensure that workstations pose a minimal risk of causing RSI
- Eliminate any risks that can be eliminated, such as altering the height of computer screens, desks and keyboards to prevent unnecessary strain being placed on the
- Provide safety equipment where necessary, such as an ergonomic keyboard or seating
- Train staff on safe working practices.
The employer does not have to eliminate all hazards in the workplace. However, the employer must take reasonable steps to keep the premises safe and protect people from injury.
Your solicitor will gather evidence in order to establish that:
- The employer failed in their legal duty (negligent).
- The negligent work practices caused Repetitive Strain Injury.
Negligence is almost always established where the employer has breached a specific health and safety rule.
What if my injury has aggravated an existing condition?
You may be able to claim for existing injuries that have worsened as a result of the repetitive strain placed on your as a result of unhealthy working practices.
For example, a painter and decorator with an existing shoulder injury could be eligible to make a claim if they are forced to paint ceilings for long periods without a proper extension brush, and their condition is made worse.
Employers' liability claims claims
Work-related illness claims are also known as employers' liability claims. Click on the icons below for more information:
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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.