Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Compensation Claims
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.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses.
We can help you make a personal injury compensation claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
In this article
What is Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)?
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).
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:
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.
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 body.
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.
Do I have an injury claim?
It should be possible to make an injury claim if:
- you were diagnosed in the last 3 years and;
- someone else, such as your employer, was to blame.
Even if these two points don't apply to you, you may still be able to make a claim.
To get impartial advice on whether you have a claim, speak to injury claims expert on 0800 376 1001.
A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.
What if there is no evidence?
Evidence can take the form of eyewitness accounts, CCTV footage, photographs etc. It will be difficult to win a repetitive strain injury (RSI) claim with no evidence at all. You may feel that there is no evidence but a solictor may well be able to assist in collating evidence that you, as a claimant, were unaware of.
Can I make a repetitive strain injury (RSI) claim right up to the three-year limit?
Technically, yes. However, in practice, not always. Many solicitors will not take on a repetitive strain injury (RSI) claim that only has a few months (sometimes even a year) left before the time limit expires. The panel of solicitors will take a claim on as late as possible where it is felt that the claim could be successful.
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 body
- 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 body 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.
Read more about making a claim for an existing condition.
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.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special 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.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
Repetitive strain injury (RSI) compensation amounts
The following repetitive strain injury (RSI) payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fifteenth Edition by the Judicial College.These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.
|Arm injury||Moderate||Serious injury with long-lasting effects||£15,300 to £31,220|
|Elbow injury||Moderate||Some long-term problems||£12,480 to £25,510|
|Food poisoning||Moderate||Significant discomfort||£3,150 to £7,600|
|Shoulder injury||Moderate||Fracture of clavicle||£6,290 to £10,180|
What is the average injury compensation for an injury claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
Calculate my injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your injury claim could be worth now:
How long does a repetitive strain injury claim take?
How long it can take to process a RSI claim can vary significantly.
A straightforward liability accepted injury claim might be concluded in a few weeks. However, if liability is denied a compensation claim can take significantly longer. Usually, an injury claim will take 4 to 9 months. For more information on how long your claim could take, see: How long will my claim take?
How else can a solicitor help me?
Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.
Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
Will I get financial advice?
Your solicitor will be able to advise you on whether to accept a financial settlement for your repetitive strain injury (rsi) claim. If you require tax planning or trust advice, the solicitor will recommend and work closely with a financial adviser.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.
Less than 5% of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.
Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.
No win, no fee - the facts
'No win, no fee' means that if you do not win your injury claim, you won't have to pay your solicitor any money. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is a contract between you and the solicitor.
No win, no fee guarantee
If you have been injured through no fault of your own, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making an injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, once your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my injury claim?
If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees . Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Is there a penalty if I withdraw?
Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.
How we can help you
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.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open:
- 8am to 9pm weekdays
- 9am to 6pm on Saturday
- 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday
Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?
Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make an injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for an injury after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
I need the money now - what are my options?
If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.
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.