In recent years we have seen an increase in injuries caused by repetitive working practices with bursitis one of the more common injuries. In layman’s terms, this injury is caused by constant pressure being placed on various joints of the body which can impact tissue and protective fluids. Bursitis is often referred to under an array of alternative names such as housemaid’s knee, policeman’s knee, tennis elbow, beat knee and bricklayers shoulder to name but a few. The root cause, symptoms and discomfort are the same.
While many people seem to assume that conditions such as bursitis are in some way an acceptable part of working life, this is not the case. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 created a legal liability on employers to ensure the well-being of their employees. Those taking a negligent approach to this liability may well leave themselves open for potentially large compensation claims for bursitis.
If you believe you have developed bursitis as a result of negligence by your employer, often over a prolonged period of time, then you may well have a claim for bursitis compensation.
What Are The Symptoms Of Bursitis?
Advances in medicine have certainly assisted in diagnosing bursitis because the symptoms are very similar to other conditions such as arthritis. In simple terms bursitis is an infection/inflammation of the bursa fluid filled sac which is present in joints around the body. These sacs ensure that there is no bone on bone crunching when joints move and offer a degree of lubrication. Constant pressure on one particular joint can lead to an infection of the bursa sac leading to varying degrees of discomfort and impact on an individual’s mobility.
The more common symptoms of bursitis include:
- Regular joint pain when attempting to move;
- Pain and discomfort when placing pressure on a particular area;
- Feeling of tenderness around the joint even without moving;
- Reduction in the mobility of the affected joint;
- Visible swelling around the impacted joint.
It is the ability to match the symptoms of bursitis against an individual’s past working practices which allows doctors today to link the two. If this link is backed by strong evidence then there is every chance that you may have a claim for bursitis compensation from your employer.
Preventing Bursitis At Work
While there are various health and safety acts, it is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 which places upon every employer a legal liability to ensure the welfare and safety of their employees to help prevent work injuries such as bursitis. This includes:
- Initial and ongoing training regarding health and safety;
- Regular risk assessments;
- Detailed procedures for working tasks;
- Sufficient breaks for employees;
- The use of safety equipment on machinery;
- The supply of safety clothing;
- Matching appropriate experience with challenging working tasks.
The development of bursitis as a consequence of repetitive working practices may well be grounds for negligence and compensation. Where there is specific risk to the health of employees it is the obligation of the employer to reduce this risk whether by splitting shifts or introducing the appropriate machinery. In a similar fashion to vibration white finger, one of the more commonly known repetitive working practice injuries, it can take many years for bursitis to be diagnosed.
How Much Compensation Can You Claim For Bursitis?
The majority of bursitis injuries tend to revolve around the shoulders, ankles, knees, hips, thighs, elbows and buttock areas. Depending on various factors it isn’t possible to give a highly accurate indication of how much compensation you could claim for bursitis without knowing all of the details but our bursitis compensation calculator below demonstrates advised compensation levels for various injuries.
Starting A Bursitis Compensation Claim
If you’re looking at starting a bursitis compensation claim it is best to get free advice from a personal injury solicitor. They can discuss your circumstances and the details surrounding your bursitis injury and any evidence you might have already to support your claim. They will then be able to advise you if (in their professional opinion) you should start a bursitis compensation claim. If they advise you to start a claim they will likely want to take on your case for you and offer a No Win No Fee arrangement.
A No Win No Fee arrangement ensures that the claimant is not liable for the legal expenses when pursuing their bursitis compensation claim. In exchange for writing off their legal expenses they will be paid by way of a success fee which tends to be in the region of 25% of any bursitis compensation awarded. Once you have signed the No Win No Fee agreement your bursitis compensation claim will be filed with the courts. The documents will be made available to the defendant and in cases where negligence for your bursitis is accepted, defendants often prefer to settle out of court.
In more complicated bursitis compensation claims, where there may well be shared negligence, or those named refute negligence, the case could go before a judge who will make a ruling after considering all evidence.