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RSI Injury at Work – A Guide to Claiming Compensation

Work-related Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs) can cause pain, aching and tingling and have an impact on your ability to work. As such, your employer must take reasonable precautions to try and prevent them. Failure to do so could lead to a repetitive strain injury claim against your employer.

In this guide, we aim to answer some common questions about workplace RSIs and explain when they could lead to a personal injury claim. We’ll also consider how much RSI compensation claims could be worth and what evidence you might use to strengthen your claim.

If you’ve been diagnosed with an RSI injury at work and believe you should be compensated by your employer, please get in touch. We offer free legal advice as part of a no-obligation initial consultation. Furthermore, if your claim is suitable, it could be managed by one of our personal injury solicitors on a No Win, No Fee basis.

For more information about your options, you can:

  • Call us on 0333 241 2519 to speak with a specialist.
  • Ask questions via our live chat service.

If your questions are not answered in our guide to repetitive strain injury claims, please feel free to get in touch.

Can I Claim for Repetitive Strain Injury Compensation?

While you’re at work, your employer has a legal obligation to take reasonable and practical measures to protect your well-being. This is their duty of care as per the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. With regards to repetitive strain injuries, this means they must:

  • Conduct regular risk assessments and consider making changes to reduce the risk of RSIs.
  • Consider changing working practices.
  • Consider providing specialist equipment such as ergonomic keyboards or low-vibration tools where needed.
  • Train you on how to manage the risk of RSIs.

You might be entitled to compensation for a repetitive strain injury at work if:

  • Your employer owed a duty of care towards your safety.
  • That duty was breached.
  • As a result of the breach, you’ve been diagnosed with an RSI.
  • Your claim is within the allowable time limit.

If you’re not sure whether you have a valid repetitive strain injury claim, call us to find out for free.

Can I Be Dismissed for Starting a Repetitive Strain Injury Claim?

Legally, your employer cannot take action against you for making an honest repetitive strain injury claim. That means you can’t be fired, demoted, punished or picked on as a result of your claim. If that were to happen, you may well have grounds to make an unfair or constructive dismissal claim.

Types of RSI Compensation Claims We Can Help With

Generally, repetitive strain injuries affect the upper limbs. Those affected may feel pain, tingling, aching, cramps, weakness and other symptoms of RSI in the hands, wrists, arms, elbows, shoulders or neck. Generally, RSIs are caused by overuse of the affected area for prolonged periods.

Some of the most common work-related RSI claims we can help with include:

  • Bursitis.
  • Tennis elbow.
  • Hand-Arm Vibrations Syndrome (HAVS).
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Vibration White Finger (VWF).
  • Tenodonitis.
  • Rotator Cuff Syndrome.
  • Trigger finger.

Repetitive strain injuries can be categorised as:

  • Type 1 – Injuries linked to specific joints or limbs.
  • Type 2 – Generalised symptoms that can’t be tied down to a single muscle or limb.

If your GP has diagnosed you with an RSI and linked it to your work, you may have grounds to seek compensation. If you call us today will provide a free assessment of your case.

What Should I Do If I Suspect a Repetitive Strain Injury at Work?

If you’re concerned that your work is causing the symptoms of a repetitive strain injury, you should let your employer know. Ideally, you should do this in writing (by letter or email) so that there’s a physical record.

When doing so, you should explain your concerns and suggest any changes to your working procedures you believe would benefit you physically. You could also ask for an occupational health review of your role to see if a specialist can suggest any improvements.

Failure to act upon your suggestions or to carry out an occupational health review could mean your employer has been negligent. As such, a repetitive strain injury claim might be possible if you receive a diagnosis in the future.

What Evidence Can Support an RSI Claim?

When making a repetitive strain injury compensation claim, you’ll need to prove how your employer caused your injury and how it has caused you to suffer. Some examples of evidence that could make your RSI claim stronger and potentially increase the compensation include:

  • Medical Records: Comprehensive medical documentation detailing the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of your RSI. This may include reports from your doctor, physiotherapists, or specialists who have treated your repetitive strain injury.
  • Expert Medical Opinion: Sometimes, an independent medical examination may be required. This provides an expert opinion on the injury, its severity, and its connection to your work activities.
  • Workplace Documentation: Evidence of your work duties and conditions that could have contributed to the RSI injury at work. This could include job descriptions, work schedules, emails or memos highlighting repetitive tasks, or ergonomic assessments of your workspace.
  • Photographic or Video Evidence: Images or videos showing your workstation setup or demonstrating the repetitive tasks you perform can be useful.
  • Witness Statements: Testimonies from colleagues or supervisors who can confirm your work duties and the workplace conditions.
  • Incident Reports: If you had reported discomfort or pain to your employer before being diagnosed, these reports can serve as evidence.
  • Occupational Health Reports: If your employer has conducted any occupational health assessments, these reports can provide insight into workplace risks and your health condition.
  • A Diary: Personal records noting the onset of the symptoms of RSI, pain levels, and how the injury affects your daily activities and work.
  • Previous Medical History: Records of any prior conditions or injuries to demonstrate that the RSI is work-related and not a pre-existing issue.
  • Financial Evidence: Documentation of any financial losses incurred due to the injury, such as pay slips showing lost earnings, and receipts for medical treatments or travel to appointments.

If you’d like us to review any evidence you have relating to an RSI claim, please feel free to call our team today on 0333 241 2519.

How Long Do I Have to File a Repetitive Strain Injury Claim in the UK?

Legally, there is a 3-year limitation period for personal injury claims in the UK. The law that sets the time limit is the Limitation Act 1980.

As it’s not usually possible to pin down exactly when your RSI at work developed, your 3 years would likely begin from the date you received a diagnosis from your GP or a medical professional.

How Much Compensation Do You Get for RSI Injury at Work?

When you claim for a repetitive strain injury, any compensation payout can be formed by two heads of loss:

General Damages

These damages are paid to cover any physical pain and suffering. It also covers any loss of amenity. For example, if you are unable to enjoy playing the piano as you normally do because of wrist pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, this could be factored into your compensation.

To ensure you are compensated fairly, you may need to have an independent medical assessment during the claims process. This will make it easier to value your claim fairly. The report into your RSI may be used in conjunction with the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) as they contain settlement brackets for a range of injuries.

The compensation table below uses data from the JCG to demonstrate potential compensation amounts for RSI that could be paid out:

  • Compensation in the range of £2,200 to £3,530 when a complete recovery from the injury is made within a span of weeks to months.
  • In cases where symptoms persist but resolve within three years, compensation awarded can range from £8,640 to £10,750.
  • For situations involving continuing symptoms of RSI, the compensation amount is generally between £14,900 and £16,340.
  • In instances where there is a continuing disability and loss of employment, the compensation can range from £21,910 to £23,130.

Please remember that the amounts listed can vary from case to case so they are not guaranteed settlements.

Special Damages

In addition to your pain and suffering, any financial implications caused by your repetitive strain injury should be considered when settling your claim.

Therefore, if you make a successful RSI compensation claim, special damages could cover:

  • Rehabilitation and medical costs.
  • The cost of support or care at home.
  • Lost earnings (including any future losses).
  • The costs of specialist devices to help it easier for you to cope with long-term symptoms.

Receipts or other financial documents will need to be provided to help you claim back any costs incurred because of the injury.

rsi injury at work background

Starting an RSI claim

Take the first step towards claiming compensation for a repetitive strain injury with our complimentary free consultation.

With 30+ years of experience, our solicitors are committed to providing a 100% No Win, No Fee claims service, offering claimants a risk-free path to pursue the compensation they deserve.

Start a Claim

Or call us on 0333 241 2519 to speak with a specialist solicitor.

Can I Claim Compensation for Psychological Suffering?

In some accident at work claims, you might suffer psychologically if the accident was particularly traumatic. While that may seem unlikely for a repetitive strain injury, you might still be affected emotionally which could entitle you to further compensation.

For example, if your RSI prevents you from working or enjoying your normal hobbies, you might suffer depression or similar conditions. If this is confirmed by a medical professional, your psychological suffering could be factored into your settlement.

Can I Claim Compensation for RSI Caused by Workplace Equipment?

As part of their duty of care, your employer needs to ensure that any equipment you use in your role is safe, fit for purpose, working correctly and properly maintained. As such, you could make an RSI claim if your suffering can be linked to:

  • A lack of a workstation assessment or if your desk, office chair or computer was not set up correctly.
  • Poorly maintained vibrating tools (angle grinders, pneumatic drills, strimmers etc) which meant they vibrated more than they should have.
  • Unsuitable equipment i.e. tools that are being used to complete a task they were not intended for.

If you believe your employer is responsible for your repetitive strain injury because of the equipment they provided, please call our team for free advice today.

How Is Liability Determined for an RSI Injury at Work?

When you start an accident at work claim, a letter of notification will be sent to your employer and their insurer. This simply tells them that you are probably going to begin a claim. When you have enough information to proceed, this will be followed up with a letter of claim.

At this point, your employer will need to decide whether to accept liability for your repetitive strain injury at work or deny it. If they deny liability, evidence will need to be sent by both parties to argue their case.

If liability is accepted for a) causing your injury and b) the extent of your suffering, both parties can move on to working out a suitable compensation settlement.

Do I Need a Solicitor For a Repetitive Strain Injury Claim?

It is possible to sue your employer for a repetitive strain injury without using a personal injury solicitor. However, taking on legal representation can make the RSI claims process easier.

If you work with one of our solicitors, their service could include:

  • Gathering evidence to support your claim.
  • Making sure the claim is filed correctly and within the allowable time limits.
  • Handling all communication and negotiations on your behalf.
  • Keeping you up to date with information about how your claim is progressing.
  • Fighting to secure a fair settlement rather than accepting the first offer they receive.

Importantly, if your claim proceeds, your solicitor will act on a No Win, No Fee basis. The type of contract they use is called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) which means by using our service:

  • There’ll be no upfront payment for your solicitor’s work.
  • You don’t pay your solicitor while they deal with the RSI claims process or if it fails.
  • You’ll have a success fee deducted from any settlement you receive.

The maximum success fee percentage you’ll pay is legally capped at 25% of your settlement. That means you’ll keep the majority of any settlement you receive.

How Long Do Repetitive Strain Injury Claims Take?

While pre-action protocols exist to streamline personal injury claims, there are no set timeframes in which they must be settled.

Generally, factors that can affect how long repetitive strain injury claims take include:

  • Whether you’re still suffering or if you’ve already recovered in full.
  • Whether your employer accepts liability.
  • Whether your employer agrees with the extent of your suffering.

In some cases where claims drag out, interim payments might be awarded to help you cope financially. For example, if liability for your RSI has been accepted but you are still suffering, an interim award could be made to help cover any loss of earnings.

What Happens If My Claim Goes to Court?

It is quite unusual for repetitive strain injury claims to end up in court, in our experience. However, it is something that can happen if a mutually acceptable agreement cannot be achieved. This might be the case if your employer won’t accept that they have caused your suffering or if you do not agree to the settlement amount offered.

A court hearing will be heard by a judge who will decide on liability after hearing any evidence presented. If they find it in your favour, they’ll also decide how much compensation for RSI to award.

Where the court decides in favour of your employer, you might be ordered to pay their legal costs. To mitigate this, many No Win, No Fee solicitors insist that After The Event (ATE) insurance is in place to cover such costs before agreeing to take on a claim.

Contacting Us About a Repetitive Strain Injury Claim

If you’d like us to check if you have grounds to make a repetitive strain injury claim, you can:

  • Speak to a member of our team by calling 0333 241 2519.
  • Use our free live chat service.

We offer advice without any obligation, ensuring you won’t feel pressured to pursue a claim. However, should you decide to proceed and your repetitive strain injury claim is valid, we can connect you with one of our ‘No Win, No Fee’ solicitors specialising in workplace injuries.

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