Repetitive Strain Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury claims for repetitive strain injury have become increasingly common over recent years and they have, in many cases, attracted substantial awards for pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
What is a Repetitive Strain Injury?
Repetitive Strain Injury is the term used to describe a group of injuries affecting the muscles, tendons and nerves primarily of the neck and upper limbs. It is an umbrella term and is also known as Work Related Upper Limb Disorder (WRULD).
There are two types of Repetitive Strain Injury:-
- Specific Named Conditions -
these include tenosynovitis, carpal tunnel syndrome,
bursitis, tennis elbow, De Quervain's Syndrome, etc.
- Diffuse Repetitive Strain Injury - this is where there is no clear-cut diagnosis but a range of symptoms exist. Sometimes it is known as non-specific pain syndrome.
The symptoms of Repetitive Strain Injury include aches, pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, weakness and cramps. With diffuse Repetitive Strain Injury there are usually no visible signs.
The causes of Repetitive Strain Injury?
Repetitive Strain Injury is not usually caused by single accidents as such but by a combination of overuse and repetition, awkward or static posture and insufficient recovery time. Stress is often a factor. It can afflict workers in many different jobs and give rise to legitimate claims for personal injury.
Examples of Repetitive Strain Injury?
- Computer users may have
personal injury claims when facing repetitive keyboard
tasks, awkward gripping and twisting movements whilst
using a mouse or poor posture with a lack of attention
to the design of work stations for people of different
sizes. Insufficient rest breaks are often a factor.
- Checkout Cashiers face similar
difficulties giving rise to claims for personal jury
to computer users completing repetitive tasks usually
under pressure. They often work in cramped
workstations with much repeated twisting and turning
during the course of a working day.
- Construction workers performing repetitive tasks with vibrating equipment.
The level of risk is increased when there are
insufficient rest breaks and temperatures are low.
These types of jobs generate a larger number of claims
for personal injury.
- Production Line workers working under stress at speeds dictated by machine.
Working with arms outstretched or overhead puts joints
and muscles under particular strain. Women working on
conveyor belts designed for men. All of these
situations imply fault on the part of another and
would give rise to claims for personal injury.
- Clothes and garment manufacturing. Cloth cutters, manual sewers, pressers, sewing machine operators and home workers have been identified as particularly at risk and, therefore, potentially, able to make claims for personal injury arising out of situations in which there is no accident as such.
By way of an actual example, a 28-year-old female secretary was awarded over £11,200* after contracting tenosynivitis when she had no breaks from her job as a typist between 1988 and 1990. High pressure typing caused the left hand to become stiff, painful and difficult to move with an inability to perform certain household tasks. There was a ganglion (a painful cyst around the joints and tendons of the hand or foot) which burst and thereafter the pain continued to get worse.
In another case, nine production line workers in a poultry processing plant were awarded between £1250 and £4000 when they suffered painful injuries to the joints of the fingers and hands after it was found that they suffered repetitive strain injury and performing repetitive tasks on an ongoing basis without any rotation of tasks or gentle introduction into tasks.
Treatment for Repetitive Strain Injury?
Repetitive Strain Injury is a type of personal injury which is preventable and treatable. It is vital not to ignore the early warning signs. If you have any of the symptoms of Repetitive Strain Injury, you should take action on prevention. If symptoms persist take seek treatment. Treatment can include different therapies depending on the condition. Physiotherapy, medication in the form of anti inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants, immobilization and steroid injections to alleviate pain and chiropractic and osteopathy. In the more serious cases, surgery may be the only effective treatment.
Making a claim for Repetitive Strain Injury
If you suffer a repetitive strain injury which is not your fault and you wish to make a claim for injury compensation, you should get compensation for your injury. The level of compensation will depend upon the seriousness of the injury and the time it is expected to take for complete recovery. If your quality of life is significantly affected, your compensation award in will be higher taking such matters into consideration. You may be prevented from carrying out household duties or engaging in social of sporting activities. If you become depressed because of the severity or the longevity the symptoms of your personal injury or you have become less confident generally, the level of compensation awarded should be higher. You will also be able to claim for what are known as ‘special damages’. These are all of the monetary consequences of your injury. If your injury prevents you from working, even temporarily or, perhaps, doing overtime, you will be able to make a claim for loss of earnings. You will also be able to claim for out-of-pocket expenses such as the cost of prescriptions for the cost of travelling to and from hospitals, GP appointments and physiotherapists. In a straightforward case, where liability is accepted by the other driver it should not take longer than around 3 -6 months to settle claims for personal injury compensation after an accident and for you to receive your award free from any deductions at all.
To claim compensation for your repetitive strain injuries, call Accident Aid on 0800 180 4780 or forward your query without any obligation to Accident Aid by email and you will be contacted by an accident injury lawyer who will advise as to whether you may be entitled to claim compensation for your injury and any losses and expenses you may have incurred.
*Adjusted for inflation