A Guide to Claiming Overuse Injury Compensation

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an overuse injury we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered an overuse injury and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

Introduction

Overuse injuries are caused by repetitive actions over a prolonged period of time.

This repetitive action causes damage to tendons, ligaments, muscles and soft tissue. Anyone who has experienced an overuse injury as a result of unhealthy work practices may be able to make a work-related illness compensation claim against their employer.

Some of the most common overuse injuries include:

RSI is a chronic musculoskeletal disorder that causes pain, cramping and numbness in muscles and tendons of the upper body. Around one in 50 employees have reported experiencing RSI. Most sufferers are office workers who spend long periods of time typing on computer keyboards.

Carpal tunnel is caused by regular, repetitive strain being placed on the wrists, hands or fingers. This places pressure in the median nerve - the nerve in the wrist which gives the hand feeling and facilitates movement. Symptoms of carpel tunnel syndrome include tingling, numbness and reduced strength in the hand and fingers.

  • Epicondylitis

More commonly known as tennis elbow, this condition affects the tendons on the outer side of the elbow. It is caused by movements which repeatedly stretch the tendons and is common among those who play racquet sports. Symptoms include pain in the elbow and arm.

Tendinitis is the inflammation or swelling of a tendon. There are multiple types of tendinitis and it can occur in varied body parts including the hips and torso. Tendinosis is chronic tendinitis. This condition usually results from an injury in the connective tissue surrounding the tendon.

A chronic pain condition in the arm or leg. This condition often develops after suffering some other injury. The pain from CPRS is much more severe than the original injury would cause.

  • Herniated discs

Discs are soft, spongy tissues that cushion the bones of the spine. The discs can become damaged as a result of overuse or stress. This condition is also referred to as slipped discs or ruptured discs.

The bursa provide cushioning between the tendons, bones and muscles. When they become inflamed this is known as bursitis.

  • Ganglion

Swelling caused by a collection of fluid in the top of the tendons in hands, feet and wrists.

  • Diffuse RSI

A diagnosis of diffuse RSI is given when pain is felt but there is no determined cause.

Typing keyboard

Overuse injury circumstances

If you have suffered an overuse injury at work you may be able to make a compensation claim against your employer.

Your employer has a duty of care to ensure the health and safety of employees. If they have failed to implement and maintain adequate health and safety measures, and an employee is injured as a result, the employer's inaction is likely to amount to negligence.

Specialist equipment and training

Certain overuse injuries can be avoided with correct office equipment such as ergonomic computer keyboards and mice to prevent wrist and hand strain, as well as supportive office chairs to prevent back injuries.

Other overuse injuries can be avoided in warehouses or construction sites with suitable operating equipment to assist with lifting and moving heavy objects. Health and safety training can also train employees on the correct and safe way to lift and move objects in order to avoid injury.

If your employer fails to provide such equipment or training they may be found responsible for your injury, and may be liable to pay compensation, however this is largely dependent on the circumstances of the case.

A specialist solicitor will be able to advise regarding your potential claim's likelihood of success.

Do I have an overuse injury claim?

It should be possible to make an overuse injury claim if:

  • you were diagnosed in the last three 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 612 7456.

A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.

You can also find out if you have a claim with our Online Claim Checker.

How much compensation can I claim for an overuse injury?

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

  • the extent 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 overuse injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

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.

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after an overuse injury? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

What is the average injury compensation for an overuse 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 overuse injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your overuse injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

See the injury table above for some examples.

Overuse injury compensation calculator

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an overuse 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 overuse injury claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long do I have to make an overuse injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the overuse injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your overuse injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for an overuse 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 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim overuse injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an overuse injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Will I still be able to claim for an overuse injury after the law changes in April 2020?

The law relating to personal injury claims is changing in April 2020.

You will no longer be able to claim no win, no fee compensation using a solicitor for lower value claims (under £5,000).

In addition, compensation for whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries will be reduced.

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your overuse injury claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to 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.

No win, no fee

No win, no fee takes the risk out of making an overuse injury claim. If you do not win any compensation, you won't have to pay your solicitor any legal fees.

Our no win, no fee promise

If you have been injured and someone else was to blame (even partially), our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your overuse injury.

What do I pay if I win my overuse injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your compensation is awarded. 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 overuse injury claim?

If your overuse injury claim is not successful then you won't have to pay your solicitor any fees.

Read more about how no win, no fee works

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 can Quittance help?

Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning workplace illness claims. Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.

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, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Overuse injury FAQ's

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.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

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.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long will my claim take?

The length of time needed to secure compensation can vary considerably.

For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.

Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.

Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:

Personal injury claim type

Estimated claim duration*

Road accident claims

4 to 9 months

Work accident claims

6 to 9 months

Medical negligence claims

12 to 36 months

Industrial disease claims

12 to 18 months

Public place or occupiers’ liability claims

6 to 9 months

MIB claims (uninsured drivers)

3 to 4 months**

CICA claims (criminal assault)

12 to 18 months**

*RTA and other claims processed through the Ministry of Justice portal can settle faster.
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.

Read more about how long personal injury claims take.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 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 held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

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.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert