While many arm injury claims tend to originate in the workplace in reality you can injure your arm anywhere, and if negligence was involved you could have a claim to compensation.
Looking at arm injuries from a legal standpoint they are defined as injuries which impact the upper arm, forearm, wrist and elbow. It goes without saying that a serious arm injury can impact an individual’s private and working life and therefore potentially lead to significant compensation payments. If you believe you have sustained an arm injury as a consequence of negligence by a third party then you may well have a valid claim for compensation.
Different Types Of Arm Injury Claims
While most arm injuries tend to occur in the workplace, in particular office workers, the building trade, police officers, manufacturing and nursing employment roles, we also see many cyclists with arm injury claims. A simple slip, trip or fall can lead to a significant injury with some of the more common arm injuries that people claim compensation for including:
- Muscle tears;
- Tendon sprains;
- Hard arm vibration syndrome;
- Broken humerus;
- Broken radius;
- Broken wrist;
- Broken ulna;
- Collarbone injuries.
What may initially seem like a fairly innocuous arm injury can on occasion have more severe consequences with amputation a real possibility for serious injuries. When considering compensation it is the severity of the injury which will dictate the level of compensation awarded and the impact this has on an individual’s life.
Common Causes Of Arm Injuries
Some of the more common situations in which arm injuries occur include:
- Sporting injuries ranging from football to rugby, cricket to horse riding.
- Sprains and broken bones as a consequence of slips, trips and falls.
- Crush injuries, as a consequence of inadequate training, when lifting objects can lead to significant damage to the arm area.
- Road traffic accidents involving cars, lorries, bicycles and motorcycles.
- RSI, carpal tunnel and other similar types of injuries can sometimes take years to develop, often having major consequences regarding an individual’s mobility.
Traditionally there is a three year time limit from the date of the injury during which you can legally launch an arm injury compensation claim. Where injuries such as RSI and carpal tunnel can be linked to working practices, the three- ear limit will begin when the diagnosis is received by the claimant. It is fairly common for RSI and carpal tunnel conditions to have a greater impact on individual’s life in later years. Therefore, it is only fair that the three year limit in this situation begins after a formal diagnosis which could be many years after the initial injury.
Arm Injury Compensation
There are two specific types of compensation which are known as general damages and special damages. The general damages payment relates to specific compensation for injuries received and their impact on a person’s life. According to the Judicial College the guidelines to compensation amounts for for arm related injuries are as follows:
- Amputation of both arms, compensation of between £191,950 and £239,140.
- Amputation above the elbow, £87,410 up to £104,370.
- Amputation below the elbow, £76,650 to £87,410.
- Serious arm injuries which leave little in the way of movement can attract compensation between £76,650 and £104,370.
- Arm injuries leading to permanent and substantial disablement, £31,220 to £47,720.
- Significant disabilities where a degree of recovery is expected, £15,300 up to £31,220.
- Forearm fractures with no complications, £5,280 up to £15,300.
- Elbow injuries resulting in disablement, compensation of £31,220 up to £43,710.
- Less severe elbow injuries not requiring surgery and not resulting in significant disablement, between £12,480 and £25,510.
- Moderate/minor injuries where a full recovery is made within 12 months, £2,810.
- A recuperation time of 18 months to 24 months will lead to a payment in the region of £5,000.
- Injuries with a partial recuperation period of more than three years and symptoms continuing can attract payments of up to £10,040.
- Severe shoulder injuries can attract compensation of between £15,300 and £38,280.
- Shoulder dislocations impacting the arm, elbow and grip have compensation guidelines between £10,180 and £15,300.
- Wrist injuries involving total loss of mobility, £37,960 up to £47,720.
- Permanent wrist injuries with a degree of useful movement, £19,530 up to £31,220.
- Injuries which leave a degree of long-term pain will see a payment of between £10,040 and £19,530.
- Fracture or soft tissue injuries which require long-term treatment can attract compensation up to £8,160.
- A fairly simple wrist fracture will attract compensation in the region of £2,810 to £3,790.
The payment of special damages relates specifically to lost income, medical expenses and future funding requirements as a direct consequence of injuries received.
Making A Claim For Arm Injury Compensation
In order to pursue an arm injury compensation claim you need to prove negligence on behalf of one or more third parties which led directly to the injuries. The strict criteria when pursuing an arm injury claim includes:
- The accident occurred within three years of lodging a claim (or within three years of being diagnosed with an arm injury/medical condition).
- The accident was caused by negligence on behalf of a third party.
- It can be proven that the accident led directly to the arm injuries received by the claimant.
If you believe that your arm injury claim fulfils the above criteria then you should consider approaching a personal injury solicitor for advice.
It goes without saying that in the event of an accident you should ensure that medical attention is administered to any injuries as soon as possible. This can help to avoid any long-term complications as well as ensuring that arm injuries and treatment received are noted on your medical records. In many arm injury compensation claims, medical records have proven to be extremely useful as they are written by unconnected third-parties.
Other useful evidence and information when looking to pursue a claim could include:
- Photographs of the scene of the accident before it is cleared;
- Photographs of any injuries received;
- Contact details of any witnesses;
- CCTV coverage if available.
The more evidence you can gather about the circumstances surrounding the accident and resulting arm injuries the stronger your case. It would also be extremely useful to put together a timeline of events before, during and after the accident so that the courts can have a wider picture of the situation.
Personal Injury Solicitors
After collating any evidence available you should discuss this with a personal injury solicitor who can review the situation and chances of a successful arm injury claim. Traditionally, where it’s believed a successful claim is likely most solicitors will look to take your claim on by way of a No Win No Fee arrangement which effectively means you will only have to pay a “success fee” once the claim is won. The success fee is normally around 25% of any compensation awarded and this is agreed before the solicitor will take on your case.
When agreement has been reached, the evidence and arm injury compensation claim will be lodged with the courts with a copy made available to the defendant. We often see defendants offering out-of-court settlements where negligence is fairly straightforward or has already been agreed. While this does obviously reduce the legal expenses of the defendant it can also speed up the payment process for the claimant. In the event that there is a dispute over negligence, or a formal ruling is required on shared negligence, this type of claim would likely go before the courts.