Tennis Elbow Claims
Tennis elbow is a type of tendonitis characterised by an inflammation of the tendons on the outer part of the elbow. For the person affected, the condition can cause significant pain and discomfort.
Most cases of tennis elbow are work related. Using the arms to repeat the same task over and over, for example, typing, can stress the tendons and cause a repetitive strain injury. Tendons can also be damaged through strenuous overuse of the elbow, for example, if the elbow is overloaded or twisted during lifting and carrying activities.
Anyone who has developed tennis elbow within the last three years through no fault of their own may be eligible to make a claim for compensation. If the tennis elbow has developed as a result of poor working conditions, then the claim would be made against your employer.
What is tennis elbow?
The arm consists of three bones known as the humerus, ulna and radius. These bones meet at the elbow joint. Bicep and tricep muscles permit these bones to bend and straighten and are attached to the bones by ligaments. Tennis elbow occurs when the ligaments on the outside of the elbow become inflamed.
Inflammation of the tendons can lead to a variety of symptoms that make using the elbow more difficult. According to the NHS, common symptoms described by people affected by tennis elbow include:
- Tenderness on the outside of the elbow
- Pain in the forearm and in the back of the hand
- Pain and stiffness when bending or extending the arm
- Pain when making a pincer movement with the fingers, for example, when holding a pen
- Difficulty twisting the forearm, for example, opening a jar.
The majority of people diagnosed with tennis elbow will make a full recovery within one year. Occasionally, an episode of tennis elbow can last for two years or more and cause significant physical discomfort.
Who gets tennis elbow?
Various factors have the potential to cause tennis elbow. These include repetitive work, excessive or sustained force, uncomfortable working postures, and carrying out tasks for long periods without rest breaks.
Office workers are the most likely to be affected by tennis elbow due to their repetitive use of computer keyboards. Workers in the construction, manufacturing and healthcare sectors also have high incidences of tennis elbow according to the Health and Safety Executive.
Can you make a tennis elbow compensation claim?
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, all employers have a legal responsibility to reduce the injury risk to their workers. This includes modifying the work environment to relieve the risk of repetitive strain injuries such as tennis elbow.
Some of the steps an employer might take include:
- Changing the workstation so that computer screens, keyboards and handheld devices are all positioned at the correct distance and height
- Designing work tasks to minimise manual lifting, stretching or twisting
- Allowing workers to take regular breaks in order to stretch and move
- Rotating staff to reducing the amount of time an employee spends doing one activity.
Employees affected by tennis elbow should be able to make a successful claim if they can demonstrate that the employer has failed in their duty to provide a safe workplace. These claims can be complicated as tennis elbow often develops slowly over a period of time. It is advisable to contact an experienced solicitor as soon as possible to discuss a potential claim.
How much compensation can you get for tennis elbow?
When negotiating a compensation settlement, solicitors and insurers refer to the Judicial College Guidelines which recommend minimum and maximum levels for personal injury awards.
According to the Guidelines, a claim for tennis elbow might expect to receive the following payouts:
- Tennis elbow not causing any long-term problems that resolves within two years: up to £9,575
- Tennis elbow causing long-term problems and possible surgery: £11,900 to £24,350
- Disabling tennis elbow injury: £29,800 to £41,675.
Supplementing the amounts for pain and suffering recommended by the Judicial College, you can also claim the expenses you have incurred during medical treatment and ongoing care.