Advice on Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Claims
The symptoms of a repetitive strain injury
A repetitive strain injury (RSI) occurs when the musculoskeletal and nervous systems are affected due to repetitive tasks, forceful exertions, vibrations and sustained or awkward positions. The following complaints are typical in people suffering from an RSI: short bursts of pain spread over many areas in the arm, back, shoulders, wrists, hands or thumbs. This results in tenderness and diminished performance in actions such as grip and pinch strength. Other complaints include stiffness, throbbing and cramp.
Symptoms and pain are typically worse with activity. Without a much needed break, RSIs have been known to persist for years and, in some cases, even needing corrective surgery.
Suffering an RSI at work
If you’ve suffered an RSI at work, it is likely that your employer has acted negligently either by not providing ergonomic adjustments or adequate break periods. You may be entitled to seek compensation for your pain and suffering by making an RSI compensation claim. Before you can do this, it’s important to see a medical professional and have them assess your hand injuries. It’s common to feel sore after a busy day, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you have an RSI. Make sure you see a doctor and have him or her confirm your suspicions before moving forward with a claim.
Your employer’s duty of care
Your employer has a duty of care toward you as a member of the workforce. This isn’t merely a convention or guideline, it is enshrined in law, under the auspices of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. According to this legislation, an employer is legally bound to take all reasonable steps to ensure that his employees are safe, and this includes preventing RSIs.
The causes of RSI
Various factors have the potential to cause Upper Limb Disorders (which includes RSIs), such as:
- Repetitive tasks.
- Uncomfortable working positions.
- The use of excessive or sustained force.
- A lack of proper rest periods.
- A poorly organised workstation.
The Health and Safety Executive regularly gathers data detailing the problems which lead to people visiting their GPs. Figures relating to the period between 2012-2014 demonstrate that the main causes cited by patients reporting to their GPs with RSIs included:
- Keyboard work.
- Guiding or holding a tool.
- Manipulating materials.
- Heavy lifting or pulling.
If you work at a computer screen, as many people affected by RSI do, then your employer also has to abide by the regulations set out in the Display Screen Equipment Regulations 1992.
One of the more common forms of RSI at work is carpal tunnel syndrome, which affects the wrist but causes pain and numbness in the thumb and fingers.
Making a claim for RSI compensation
To have a successful claim, you need to be able to prove that you’re employer was aware of the risks you were exposed to and, knowing this, your employer didn’t take any measures to reduce the risk or prevent it from happening. According to the law, your employer must take reasonable steps to prevent a personal injury.
On top of this, you must also prove that your injury was caused because of the work that you were required to perform as part of your job. Most likely, you’ll require the help of a qualified personal injury solicitor to help you build a solid case.
Our team of knowledgeable personal injury specialists and qualified no win no fee solicitors have years of experience handling personal injury claims such as these. More importantly, they also know what it takes to win. We have helped thousands of people get the compensation they deserve and move on with their lives. We can help you, too.
No win no fee
Starting an RSI claim can be simple! We can help you get the compensation you deserve at absolutely no cost to you upfront. Not only do we provide free consultation and legal advice to help you get started with your claim, our network of personal injury solicitors work on a no win no fee basis. This means that if your case is lost, you don’t have to pay any legal fees, and if your case is won, any fees are paid as a percentage of the compensation you are awarded.
Evidence needed to make a claim
The evidence required to mount a successful claim for compensation will consist of independent medical opinion demonstrating that you are, in fact, suffering with an RSI, as well as your own evidence detailing the negligence of your employer. This will include descriptions or photographs of your workstation and any equipment you were asked to use, written details of any occasions upon which you informed your employer of the problems you were experiencing, accounts from other employees willing to confirm the manner in which you were made to work and the details of any medical treatment you have had to access.
Some employees hesitate to take action of this kind on the basis of the financial damage they will be causing their company, but this fear is unfounded. Every employer, by law, has to take out liability insurance worth at least £5 million, and it is this which will fund any compensation payment. What’s more, by raising the issue of RSI you may be helping to prevent other people suffering in the future.
How long it takes to settle a claim
In the early stages, there is no telling how long it will take for your claim to settle. Each and every case is different. Simple, straightforward cases may settle in a matter of weeks while more complex claims could take years. People deal with accidents and injuries in a variety of different ways. They recover at different speeds as well. And there are many factors that can intervene, preventing a claim from settling as quickly as one might have hoped.
While a short settlement is ideal, you never want to rush the claim process. In these instances, you can end up being short changed as far as any compensation is concerned. In addition, if you rush a settlement and end up suffering a relapse or deterioration, there is no going back. It is recommended that no offer of settlement is accepted until you have consulted with a doctor regarding your symptoms and future outlook. Only then can you and your solicitor truly assess the value of your claim. It may be a lengthy process, but it will certainly be worth it in the end.
Fill out our online claims form or give us a call free so we can learn the details of your case. Once we determine you have a valid claim, our RSI claim solicitors will help you get the maximum compensation for your injury!