Repetitive strain injury, also known as RSI, happens when repetitive movements have caused injuries to muscles, ligaments and tendons. Most sufferers are those who work in an office and type on keyboards for long periods of time as it mainly affects the hands, elbows or wrists.
There are two main types of RSI:
The constant pain that RSI causes every day can leave you feeling depressed and frustrated, and left unattended, it can seriously affect your quality of life. Making a claim may seem like an added stress at an already difficult time, but compensation can help you get things back to how they were before your injury.
To be able to make a claim, your accident needs to have been caused by unsafe or unhealthy work practices – but don’t worry, if you’re feeling unsure, a trained legal adviser will be able to let you know whether they think you can make a claim if you get in touch and call free on 0800 234 6438. Or, if you’d prefer, you can fill in the secure online form to arrange a call back.
Many people who suffer from repetitive strain injury have been hurt because their employer has failed to give them adequate training, or provide suitable equipment to allow them to be able to do their job safely.
All employers have a duty of care to keep you safe from RSI, as set out in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. They should make sure you have regular breaks, provide you with the correct equipment (such as an adjustable chair), and carry out risk assessments. They should also make reasonable adjustments to your work space, equipment, etc. where required.
RSI can happen in almost any workplace, but is particularly common in:
Everyone has the right to feel comfortable and safe while they’re at work – making a claim can help you get the compensation you need and can help to highlight safety problems in your workplace so that your colleagues don’t suffer in the same way you have.
Serious cases of RSI can have devastating effects on your everyday life – even cooking or driving a car can be extremely painful, which can make it impossible for some RSI sufferers to go about their daily lives because of the challenges of gripping and holding things. Even minor cases of RSI can be painful and affect your life in certain ways, you may find the simplest of tasks difficult and painful, such as typing or writing, or making a cup of tea.
So, whether your injuries are minor or serious, your ability to get on with your day-to-day life can be seriously disadvantaged. It’s easy to brush aside a condition like RSI, and just accept it as a side-effect of your job. But in many cases the condition is avoidable, so you shouldn’t have to face the consequences of a condition which wasn’t your fault.
Due to the physical pain RSI can bring to your every-day life, it’s likely you’ve had to take time off work or find a new job altogether. This means that on top of the pain, you might have received less pay than usual and might have had to pay for expensive prescriptions or treatment. These can build up to make your financial situation much more stressful than it needs to be.
An expert injury solicitor will help you make a compensation claim for repetitive strain injury on a no win no fee basis, as stress-free and easy as possible.
When you speak to a legal adviser for the first time, they’ll be able to let you know whether they think your claim will be successful. But if you don’t end up getting any compensation, the no win no fee promise means that you won’t have to pay your solicitor any money.
With no win no fee, there aren’t any upfront charges or hidden costs. If you win your case, your solicitor will charge you a ‘success fee’ as a percentage of the compensation you receive, but this will only take up a maximum of 25% – so you’ll still get to keep most of it.
Take steps to make your RSI claim as soon as possible because you normally only have three years in which to start your claim. However, the law allows for the fact that the symptoms of RSI can take a long time to show. This means the three-year period actually starts to run from the date of the injury or from the date of ‘knowledge’, e.g. the date on which you first became aware what caused the RSI. Don’t worry if the relevant ‘date of knowledge’ is not clear cut in your case, your solicitor will be able to advise you and support you in the process.
To find out whether you could make a claim, you can speak to a legal adviser on 0800 234 6438, or submit your details using the claim form on this page.
The amount of compensation you will receive if your RSI claim succeeds will depend on different factors. For example, your solicitor will look at the cause of the RSI and the impact it’s had – and is continuing to have – on your life. If a medical expert takes the view you could have this condition for life, your compensation amount could be significantly larger than if the effect of the injury will be shorter. Because solicitors look at each case on an individual basis, they can’t tell you exactly how much you could receive before starting your claim. As a guide, you could receive up to £3,000 for a minor case of RSI where you can quickly recover, while serious life-changing RSI injuries could be awarded up to £20,000.
Your solicitor will work hard to secure you the full amount you’re owed for your injury, so that you’re not left out of pocket. You can also claim compensation for:
RSI is classed as a disability. This means if you’re still working, your employer must make reasonable adjustments while you’re at work. If they don’t and you’re left with no alternative but to leave work, you may be able to make a separate claim for unfair dismissal.
You may need to collect some evidence to help with your compensation claim – but an injury solicitor will be able to give you more information on what they will need. First, you will have to prove that the employer was neglectful in their duty of care towards you.
For example, it can be useful to:
It can also be helpful to write down details of any times you informed your employer of the problems you were experiencing, as well as any witnesses. If possible, you should keep records of any medical treatment you’ve received.
If your solicitor can show that, for instance, your employer failed to risk assess your working environment, breached other health and safety rules, or did not take steps to make reasonable adjustments which you requested, this may help you to prove that you employer was negligent.
If you’re still unsure whether you could make a claim for Repetitive Strain Injury in the workplace, you can speak to a trained legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438. Or, submit your details using the claim form to request a call back.
Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.
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