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.
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:
- Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
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 Syndrome (CTS)
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.
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 and tendinosis
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.
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.
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.
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 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 overuse 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
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.
Can I see the complete judicial college tables?
The table above (excerpted from the Judicial College Tables) shows the most common overuse injury claims. To see the complete list see: Judicial College Injury Tables.
Overuse injury compensation
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:
How long does an overuse injury claim take?
The length of time needed to process an overuse injury claim can vary significantly.
For example, a simple liability accepted personal injury claim could be settled in a couple of months. If the employer denies liability, the process might take considerably longer. On average a work-related illness claim takes between 6 and 9 months. Read more:How long will my claim take?
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. 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.
Is there a catch?
The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) sets out the terms between you and your solicitor., No Win No Fee is a regulated activity and as such there should be no nasty surprises in the agreement. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you read the agreement carefully and ask any questions if you are unsure.
How can Quittance help?
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning workplace illness 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, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
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.
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.
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 have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the 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.
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.
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.
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