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Elbow Injury Claims

A Summary

An elbow injury is not only painful but it can have a seriously detrimental impact on your daily life and ability to carry out your work. The elbow is what is known as a ‘synovial’ joint at the point between the lower arm and the upper arm. And as it’s a joint, unsurprisingly the most common elbow injury is pain caused by overuse.

If the elbow is damaged, by a break, repetitive strain injury or tennis elbow, for example, arm movements can be difficult and painful. Long term or even permanent damage can be caused in the most serious elbow injuries. Fortunately, those who have suffered an elbow injury accident that was not their fault could well be entitled to make elbow injury compensation claims on a no win no fee basis.

Anyone can suffer an elbow injury in just about any walk of life you can imagine. Common elbow injuries also include elbow conditions that develop from overuse or repetitive movements. Unless the injured person was entirely to blame for what happened, accidents that lead to elbow injuries – and possibly other personal injuries – can bring personal injury claims for the compensation they deserve.

Whether you have suffered an elbow injury while at work, in a car accident or while out in public, the reality is that the injury or elbow condition can cause you significant problems, apart from the pain and discomfort. When someone claims elbow injury compensation, they recover the much-needed cash to help them recover and get on with their lives.

How we can help you

If someone else was negligent or careless, and your elbow injury or condition was the direct result of this, get in touch with our trained advisers to find out more about making your elbow injury compensation claim.

Getting started with your personal injury claim is simple – simply call our trained legal adviser on 0800 234 6438 to access free legal advice. They’ll talk you through your elbow injury accident or the circumstances of your elbow condition, explain your options then partner you with the right solicitor who can press for maximum compensation on your behalf. You may find you can quickly reach a compensation settlement.

You need not worry about how much an elbow injury claim could cost. This is because your compensation claim will be taken on a No Win No Fee basis which means you will not have to pay out any legal fees if you do not win.

Why are elbow injuries so common?

We use our arms and elbows continuously. If your elbow is knocked or overused or pulled suddenly, we will know about it. Often, any pain and discomfort it short-lived – but in some cases, the impact is more serious.

Elbow injuries are a particular nuisance because the elbow is, after all, the joint enabling the arm’s smooth movement and leverage. So an injured elbow is likely to have a potentially big impact on how your arm functions as a whole. If the injury is not your fault, it’s only fair that someone else is held responsible.

We all know accidents and knocks can happen. But sometimes, you can develop an elbow condition in circumstances that were not your fault, for example, because of your working environment. This is surprisingly common: a manual labourer who does the same work day in and day out can gradually develop symptoms in the elbow which causes escalating discomfort.

No win no fee elbow injury compensation claims can also be made in these circumstances.

What are the most common causes of elbow injury?

Just about everyone uses their arms all the time without even thinking about it. We’ve all bumped and bruised our elbows and winced when we’ve hit our ‘funny bone’ – but suffering more than a bump or bruise is not what we anticipate happening as we go about our normal daily lives.

The reality is, elbow injuries can be caused in just about any type of activity you can think of. You can sustain an elbow injury in a car accident, while at work, falling from a height, slipping on a wet surface or tripping over in the street or in a public place, such as in a supermarket. You can even injure your elbow in a sedentary setting such as in an office or restaurant.

There is also the risk of developing a painful elbow condition, such as repetitive strain injury or tendinitis, if you are not adequately protected from the risk of harm. However, in most of the environments in which we find ourselves, the person or organisation responsible for the land or property has a legal duty to protect you – whether you’re a worker or a member of the public – to minimise the risk of injury and subsequent elbow injury claims.

The most common cause of elbow injuries that can prompt elbow injury compensation claims are:

Road traffic accidents

Whether you’re the driver or passenger, a pedestrian or cyclist, our busy roads involve an element of risk. If you’ve been involved in a road accident and your elbow takes excessive force, for instance you put your arms out to protect yourself, you could suffer a potentially serious elbow injury.

If the accident sadly led to a loved one’s death, personal injuries compensation claims can still be made, but specialist advice must be taken.

Sports activities

Elbow injuries (such as tennis elbow and golf elbow) and overuse conditions are a particular risk for those playing sports that involve repetitive actions, such as tennis, squash, golf and also activities such as weight lifting. A very common sporting injury is repeated stress on the elbow’s ulnar collateral ligament.

Slips and trips

We’ve all fallen over at some point in our lives and banged or grazed our arms and elbows. But sometimes, a heavy fall can cause more serious injuries to the elbow, whether that’s a crush injury, a fracture or a muscle tear.

Medical negligence

Negligence on the part of doctors or other health professionals can lead to serious elbow injuries – and elbow injury compensation claims may result. If, for instance, you suffer an arm injury and there is a delay in treatment, you could be at risk of losing your arm; or you could face long term elbow joint problems that could significantly impact your life.

However, doctors are held to a particularly high standard and should be held responsible if they are negligent, and cause or exacerbate your elbow injury. You can bring a medical negligence claim for compensation if you consider that your treatment has not been to a good enough standard and you’ve suffered as a direct result.

Accidents at work

Elbow injuries in the workplace are more common in working environments involving physical labour. Particularly, painful elbow conditions caused at work are often associated with roles that involve repetitive actions such as welding and plastering, and work that involves vibration.

It doesn’t matter if you’re self-employed or employed; a sub-contractor or a worker on a zero hours contract – if you’ve hurt your elbow in the workplace we can guide you through the elbow injury compensation claims process.

What is an employer’s duty to prevent elbow injuries?

Injuries and conditions to the elbow that are linked to your work can leave you unable to work. Thankfully, employers can usually be held responsible for personal injury and its impact on the individual by bringing elbow injury compensation claims. Employers have a general duty of care towards workers under a raft of health and safety legislation, and if they breach their duty they can face elbow injury claims as well other types of injury claims.

This means businesses have strict responsibilities to ensure the workplace is safe and reasonably free from the risk of injury. They must be diligent in doing so. Employers should carry out risk assessments that promptly identify any risks to worker health and safety; and they must deal with risks identified in a timely way. If they fail, there is the risk of a worker suffering severe injuries.

So if you have suffered an arm or elbow injury while at work, act quickly and take specialist legal advice about making a no win no fee claim for elbow injury compensation. And if you’ve developed an elbow condition because of the repetitive nature of your work, and you don’t believe you’ve been adequately protected, it’s only right that you should be able to claim compensation.

However, we do understand that bringing elbow injury claims against an employer is a daunting prospect. It can be reassuring to know that your compensation claim will actually be against their insurance company and not the employer directly. Your compensation will then be paid by the insurer and not directly by the employer.

How much compensation you could recover depends on your injury and your unique situation, so your solicitor cannot tell you quite yet. There’s no such things as average compensation for an elbow injury; that said, you can get a rough idea of elbow injury compensation amounts, you can try our online compensation calculator.


A major cause of broken elbows and other arm injuries in children is jumping on trampolines

SOURCE: Mental Floss


Most elbow injuries sustained in sports are chronic overuse injuries

What types of elbow injury are there?

As a synovial joint, the elbow joins the bones in the lower and upper arm with a fibrous joint ‘capsule’. The bones themselves are encased in smooth cartilage. When you bend and straighten your arm, or rotate it at the elbow, the joint allows smooth movement to take place.

If the cartilage, synovial membrane or any other parts of the elbow are damaged – there can be pain and restricted movement within the joint. General or referred pain might also be felt in other parts of the arm.

Elbows can also be injured through excessive stress and repetitive movements, sprains and repetitive strain injury (RSI) and bone injuries. You may be wondering, how do I know if my elbow injury is serious? The level of pain, discomfort and the extent of immobility should give you a good idea of how serious your injury or condition is, but always seek expert medical treatment as soon as you can – especially if the pain and discomfort worsens.

The most common elbow injuries and condition that can lead to individuals making elbow injury claims are:


A bone in the arm (the humerus, radius or ulna) can be broken or fractured through excessive force. A straightforward bony injury may heal in a few weeks compared to damage caused to soft tissue. However, given that the elbow is a particularly active joint, a broken or fractured elbow can take longer to heal compared to other fractures.

Elbow injury claims will take the seriousness of the break into account when your compensation is calculated.

Traumatic injury

A severe blow to the elbow can lead to severe injuries, such as a crushed or broken elbow; penetration to the joint; serious bruising; dislocation; and muscle tears and ruptures. Treatment and recovery will vary depending on the nature and extent of the injury.

Repetitive strain injury (RSI)

RSI is a comment injury or condition, often caused by the prolonged repetitive overuse of the arm and elbow in the workplace.  RSI can be caused by using heavy equipment and tools as well as small, repetitive movements such as prolonged keyboard work in an office environment.

Repetitive strain injury is an injury to the elbow ligaments which become inflamed. The result is elbow pain, difficulties in moving the arm at the elbow joint and sometimes referred pain in the arm. Pain management for RSI, often with the use of a supportive elbow brace, is usually the only treatment while recovery is ongoing.

Tennis elbow

Tennis elbow syndrome is the generic name given to a specific form of RSI and is a frequent injury associated with tennis – hence the name, ‘tennis elbow’. Its clinical name is lateral epicondylitis. If you use your arm for repetitive actions over a long period of time, such as for tennis and similar sports, where pressure is continually exerted on the joint, the tendons can become inflamed causing tennis elbow.

A tennis elbow injury often causes sharp pain and difficulties moving the arm. Even using your hand can aggravate the pain. Tennis elbow can be initially identified by pressing the area of the bone on the near side of the elbow but medical diagnosis and treatment should be sought.

This condition is also caused in the workplace – for example, plasterers, production workers and warehouse workers are all particularly prone to developing tennis elbow.

It’s not uncommon in cases of tennis elbow to think – can I claim compensation for tennis elbow? Thankfully, you can claim elbow injury compensation – so long as your expert personal injury solicitor can demonstrate your tennis elbow was caused by negligence.

Golfer’s elbow

Similar to tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow is a form of RSI affecting the tendons on the inside of the elbow. Individuals who use their wrists for repetitive work over prolonged periods are at risk of developing golfer’s elbow. The condition can cause pain, at times severe pain, that may radiate down the forearm and wrist, but correct treatment can lead to a relatively quick recovery.

Olecranon bursitis

The bony tip of the elbow contains many burse (a little fluid-filled sac) that cushion the joint and allows the smooth functioning of the joint by reducing friction. Bursitis is where the bursa swell with fluid and become inflamed, for example, as a result of a traumatic force, or overuse or prolonged pressure. It’s often associated with workplace activities including plumbing, mechanics and plumbing.

Bursitis in the elbow can be painful and may also lead to infection The worst cases need medical treatment.


This is inflammation and swelling to the tendon which connects the arm muscles in your lower arm to the bone.  Tendonitis can be extremely painful, particularly if you carry on working out through the pain without letting it recover through rest and ice treatment. Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are both types of tendonitis.

Strains, sprains and tears

Typical signs of an elbow sprain or strain include pain when moving your arm, bruising, weakness and tenderness to the touch. A muscle tear is more serious, though thankfully, not so common and tend to follow traumatic injury such as a blow to the elbow.

A tendon tear at the location of the elbow is of particular concern and will not heal of its own accord. Surgery is usually necessary to restore full correct rotation of the forearm.

Elbow dislocation

A dislocation of the elbow is uncommon but can be excruciatingly painful. Dislocation happens when the surfaces of the joint are separated. A dislocation can be complete or partial and is usually caused by a traumatic injury, such as falling heavily on your elbow.

A complex dislocation involves not only dislocation of the elbow, but also bone and/or soft tissue injuries, so urgent medical treatment will be necessary.


Amputation of the arm can be the result of trauma, such as in a car accident; or planned amputation to preserve the rest of the limb or to save your life.  For example, a serious injury such as a severe complex elbow dislocation can cause serious damage to the blood vessels and nerves in the arm and amputation may become necessary to protect your health or life.

A serious arm injury can also lead to surgical amputation if doctors consider it necessary to save life. Amputation can involve removal of the elbow joint, effectively resulting in a severe elbow injury.

When an injured individual claims elbow injury compensation, the personal injury solicitor will work hard towards securing maximum compensation to reflect the pain and suffering caused – whether it’s a simple break or serious injury, such as arm amputation.

By making no win no fee claims, the financial risk of bringing compensation claims is removed: if you don’t win, you don’t pay out any legal fees. For more help, simply call us on 0800 234 6438 for free or contact us here and request a call back.

You can also read our elbow injury claims guide and our elbow injury claims FAQs.

DID YOU KNOW: The HSE advises employers to make an assessment of awkward postures where tasks require repetitive movement of the upper limbs. The arm is considered to adopt an awkward posture if the elbow is raised to around chest height and the arm is unsupported, for example not resting on a workbench.
SOURCE: Health and Safety Executive

Am I eligible to claim compensation for my elbow injury?

Anyone who has been injured as a result of an accident caused by someone else should be able to claim compensation. If you’ve sustained an elbow injury or any form of arm injury through no fault of your own, it is really important to start your elbow injury compensation claim as early as possible.

The fact is, most accidents happen because of negligence or breach of duty of care. But if your elbow injury happened because of your own carelessness, for instance, you threw the remains of a hot drink on the path, slipped over on it and then fell on your elbow injuring it – no one but you can be held responsible.

However, if someone else’s negligence or carelessness resulted in your elbow injury, we can help you start the process of claiming compensation. Whether you are a worker or employee or a member of the public, you should have the legal right to make an elbow injury claim if you weren’t to blame.

How much compensation you can expect to win depends on your specific injury and its impact on you, so it’s important you call us on 0800 234 6438 for free legal advice. Or, if you’d prefer, you can fill in one of the online contact forms to receive a call back.

Can I claim if I’m self-employed?

Yes, you can bring a personal injury claim against an employer if you are self-employed. If you’re an agency worker or zero hours contract worker you can also claim elbow injury compensation, because the legal protection against the risk of personal injury extends to you too.

While money can never undo the damage done to your elbow, it can go a long way to making your recovery and future life easier for you and your family – whatever your employment status.

How much compensation could I claim for my elbow Injury?

Your personal injury compensation claim will include damages for your injury, pain and suffering (this is known as ‘general damages’); and a claim for your previous and future financial losses (known as ‘special damages’).

The fact is, no two accidents or injuries are the same, so how much compensation you win depends on all the circumstances of your case. However, you can be confident your specialist solicitor will work to secure you the maximum amount of compensation possible – and by reaching a compensation settlement with the other side, as early as possible.

General damages

Your general damages – the compensation you receive for your actual elbow injury – depend on your own particular elbow injury claim. This is because elbow injury compensation amounts awarded are based on the different type of injury, the extent of it and the impact on the your life.

General damages therefore vary greatly, depending on the seriousness of your injury or condition. The key factors that will be important for your injury lawyer include:

  • The nature of the injury or elbow condition, and the pain and suffering caused
  • What effect it is having on your life
  • How long it will take you to get back to normal
  • Whether you can go back to your job (or a lower-paid job)

This means that when assessing your elbow injury compensation claim, your personal injury solicitor will look at the full nature and impact of your elbow injury or condition, and gather all the medical and other evidence needed to prove your case. You can be certain that your solicitor will work hard to make sure you receive maximum compensation you deserve.

Your solicitor will also arrange for you to have a specialist medical assessment of your elbow carried out by a medical professional who will write a medical report. This medical report will provide important evidence to support your claim, and give an indication of your prognosis for recovery.

Helpfully, there are formal judicial guidelines which personal injury lawyers refer to calculate fair compensation amounts for elbow injuries. These are called the Judicial College Guidelines (now in their 15th edition) and provide a starting point for what an injury is worth, for example:

  • Minor elbow injury with full recovery within 18 months – up to £3,100
  • Moderate elbow injury with long-term issues – £12,480 to £25,510
  • Elbow injury with permanent disfunction – £13,360 to £27,320
  • Serious permanently disabling elbow injury – £33,430 to £46,780
  • Serious RSI in elbow – up to £14,000

Bear in mind that if you have other injuries, such as arm injuries, your compensation claim will be calculated by looking at your injuries as a whole rather than adding individual amounts for each injury separately. If you do have other injuries in addition to your elbow injury, your solicitor will be able to discuss your personal injury compensation with you.

Special damages

An important part of almost every elbow injury compensation claim is the claim for special damages, which covers any financial losses caused by the accident. For example, you may be out of pocket because you’ve had to have time of sick while you recover.

Your special damages claim might also include:

  • Loss of earnings, overtime and bonuses (see below)
  • Loss of future earnings, eg if you’ve had to take a lower paid job because of your elbow injury or condition.
  • Travel costs to and from medical appointments if you’ve been unable to drive
  • The cost of prescription and other medical expenses, such as physiotherapy or occupational therapy
  • Costs of aids and equipment, such as arm braces or a prosthesis

Your solicitor will need pay slips, invoices and receipts and other information to support a claim for your financial losses so be sure to hang onto them and pass them onto your lawyer when requested.

I’m unable to work after an elbow injury. Can I claim loss of earnings?

It can be devastating losing your job and the ability to work after an injury. The reality of suffering an elbow injury or a debilitating elbow condition is, for some people, that they can no longer use their arm as they once could. The impact on their lives can be significant. Losing the ability to earn and support your family and having to rely on benefits, for instance, can be highly distressing.

Thankfully, your elbow injury claim will include a claim for loss of past and future earnings. By relying on your pay slips (or equivalent), it will be straightforward enough for your solicitor to calculate your loss of earnings directly caused by your accident until you have to leave your job.

Calculating loss of future earnings can be more of a challenge. The law allows you to claim a fair amount of compensation, which includes taking into account your loss of future earnings and job prospects.

Loss of future earnings is based on your predicted loss of earnings were it not for the accident. Accurately predicting loss of earnings is not an exact science and can be complex depending on your circumstances, your age, experience, profession and so on.

This means your specialist lawyer will need to take full details of your pre-injury career prospects and income and other information, such as your general health and life expectancy. Additional factors will be taken into account, such as:

  • Whether you have residual earning capacity
  • At what stage you were in your career or profession at the time of the elbow injury
  • Whether you will lose out on the chance of promotion
  • Loss of bonuses and overtime
  • A factor for inflation

Your solicitor will then calculate a proposal for a fair level of compensation for loss of future earnings and negotiate with the other side.

How can I make an elbow injury claim?

It’s wise to start your elbow injury compensation as soon as possible while the accident and its impact on you are freshest in your mind. So long as your injuries or your condition were caused because of someone else’s negligence or carelessness, you can make an elbow injury claim, so get in touch with us for specialist guidance as to next steps.

When you first speak with your solicitor, try to have as much information to hand as possible – including photographs or sketches of where the incident happened. This will make it easier for you to answer their initial questions and obtain the best possible early advice.

We strongly suggest you keep a detailed account of what caused the injury or condition and keep it updated as you continue on your road to recovery. If, for instance, you suffered an elbow injury during a sporting event or while out in a public space – make sure you have details of any witnesses to the incident – your solicitor will contact them to make witness statements.

If you developed an elbow condition or injury in the workplace, your solicitor will need to know the background details. This will include what your role required of you, the physical expectations on you, how it impacted your arm and elbow and the pain and discomfort it caused, whether your employer undertook regular risk assessments and took steps to minimise the risk of injury.

This is crucial because in some elbow injury claims, the full extent of the physical impact of your injury on the person’s life may not immediately be apparent. Medical evidence will also be important, so if you’ve not sought medical advice or treatment for your elbow injury, you should do so straightaway. This record of early medical advice and treatment is vital in elbow injury claims – indeed, all personal injury claims.

Your solicitor will also arrange for your to have an expert medical examination and report carried out to support your claim. This will be done under your no win no fee agreement, so you need not worry about the cost of this – it will be covered by the agreement and you won’t be asked for any money up front.

To ensure you can claim for your financial losses, gather details of any loss of earnings directly related to your injury, as well as other costs such as travel costs, physiotherapy and other medical-related expenses. The more information your solicitor has to support your elbow injury claim, the greater the chances of a successful claim and securing the maximum amount you deserve – as early as possible.

Your lawyer will discuss the claims process with you, guiding you through the initial steps and advising you of the options, depending on whether the other side accepts responsibility. In the vast majority of cases, elbow injury claims are settled without going to court.

To get the ball rolling and start your elbow injury claim, call us free now and speak to a trained legal advisor on 0800 234 6438 or by filling in this online form. We’ll partner you with specialist injury lawyers for a free initial consultation. Solicitors are heavily regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority – giving much needed peace of mind.

How long after an injury can I make an elbow injury claim?

The general rule for personal injury claims is that you have three years from the date of the accident to start legal proceedings for compensation. After three years, you may be ‘time barred’ from making an elbow injury claim.

However, the law recognises that some people develop an elbow condition over a lengthy period of time as a result of their working conditions. In these cases, the three-year period starts to run from the date they could reasonably have expected to have known that workplace environment, caused it.

If in doubt about whether you are time-barred, don’t assume you can’t make an elbow injury claim because of the passage of time. We strongly recommend talking things through with specialist solicitors so that you’re aware of your rights.


A 17-year-old suffered serious brain and other injuries in a road traffic accident. His injuries included a complex fracture to his left elbow which required open surgery. He went onto develop osteoarthritis in his elbow. His injuries have severely impacted his ability to gain work and he was awarded provisional compensation of £3,500,000


A driver was hit by another car being driven on the wrong side of the road. She fractured her right elbow and needed to wear a splint on her elbow for three months. Three years on, she continues to suffer pain and did not return to work. She was awarded damages of £35,000 which included £18,000 compensation for her actual injuries

SOURCE: PI Brief Update

Other Important Information

*No Win No Fee

  • Although all our cases are handled on a no win no fee basis, other costs could be payable upon solicitors request. These will be fully explained to you before you proceed. Most customers will pay 25% (including VAT) of the compensation they are awarded to their law firm, although this may vary based on individual circumstances. Your solicitor may arrange for insurance to be in place for you to make sure your claim is risk free. Termination fees based on time spent may apply, or in situations such as: lack of cooperation or deliberately misleading our solicitors, or failing to go to any medical or expert examination, or court hearing.
  • *Criminal Injury Claims

  • If you want to make a claim for a criminal injury, you are not required to use the services of a claims management company to pursue the claim. You can submit your claim for free on your own behalf, directly to the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (England, Wales, and Scotland) or the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme (Northern Ireland).
About the Author

Nicola Laver LLB

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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