One of the most commonly reported repetitive stress injuries that many employees develop is a condition known as bursitis. The injury is caused by constantly putting pressure on your joints which negatively impacts soft tissue as well as protective fluids found in joints. If you suffer from the condition, you could be entitled to file a bursitis claim for compensation against your employer if you can prove they failed to keep you safe from harm in the workplace.
What is the Definition of Bursitis?
Bursitis often goes under various other names which are as follows:
- Policeman’s knee
- Tennis elbow
- Housemaid’s knee
- Beat knee
- Bricklayer’s shoulder
These are just some of the other names for bursitis, but there are plenty more but the causes, symptoms, pain and discomfort you may have to endure when suffering from this condition is the same. A lot of people who suffer from bursitis believe it to be a normal consequence of their working life. However, this is not the case at all. The condition is covered by the Health and Safety Executive at Work Act 1974 which clearly states that all employers throughout the UK must keep their employees safe from injury and harm in the workplace.
If your employer fails in their duty to ensure you were safe at work and you develop bursitis as a direct consequence, your employer could be held liable for the pain, suffering and out of pocket expenses you incurred as a direct result of their negligence. As such you would have every right to file a bursitis claim against your employer and you could be awarded a substantial sum of money when it comes to compensation.
What Are The Typical Symptoms Associated With Bursitis?
Over the years, it has become a lot easier to diagnose a condition like bursitis. The reason being that bursitis symptoms are very similar to those of arthritis and other conditions that affect many people. Bursitis occurs when there is inflammation or infection in a joint and more specifically in the bursa sac which is filled with fluid. These “fluid sacs” are in all the joints that are found in your body and they prevent bones from rubbing on bones by lubricating the joints. When constant, repetitive pressure is placed on any of your joints, it can cause inflammation and infection which in turn causes slight to very severe pain with the most common bursitis symptoms being as follows:
- Pain in joints when you try moving
- Pain/discomfort when any pressure is placed on an affected joint and the surrounding areas
- Tenderness around an affected joint when you try moving or even when you are still
- A reduction in mobility in an affected joint
- Swelling around an affected joint
When diagnosing bursitis, a doctor can match the symptoms you are suffering from to your past working life which in short, allows a medical professional to link the condition to the job you do or were tasked to do during the course of your working life.
How Can Employers Prevent Workers From Developing Bursitis?
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, all employers in the UK have a duty of care to keep their employees and staff safe from harm and injury in the workplace. They have a legal liability to ensure that you are not at risk of being injured or developing a condition like bursitis at work. The law requires employers to do the following:
- To ensure that employees are given adequate training to do their jobs safely
- To ensure that employees are given ongoing training when it comes to health and safety in the workplace
- To carry out regular risk assessments in the workplace and to set in place measures to reduce the risk of employees being injured or from developing a work-related illness like bursitis
- To ensure that employees are given detailed procedures on how to carry out their daily tasks
- To ensure that all employees take enough breaks throughout a working period whether they work during the day or work night shifts
- To ensure that all employees are given adequate training on how to use machinery and equipment in the workplace safely
- To provide all employees with the correct safety and personal protective clothing (PPE)
- To ensure that all employees; experience matches the challenges that a job may entail
If you developed bursitis at work as a direct result of “repetitive working practices”, and your employer was aware that this may happen but failed to put in place measures to reduce the risk, you could be entitled to file a bursitis claim against them and be awarded the level of compensation you rightly deserve for the pain, suffering and out of pocket expenses you incurred. The reason being that a court could rule your employer was negligent in their duty to keep you safe from harm and injury while you were at work.
What are My Worker’s Rights if I Develop Bursitis at Work?
Your employer must by law, ensure that you are kept safe from harm and injury which includes developing a condition like bursitis when you are at work. If your employer fails in their duty by not providing you with the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) and other safety equipment which results in you developing bursitis, you have the right to sue them for compensation by filing a bursitis claim. Should you be involved in an incident that leaves you injured or you develop a health condition like bursitis, your worker’s rights are detailed below:
- That you receive the level of compensation to suit the pain, suffering and out of pocket expenses you incurred as a direct result of developing bursitis at work
- That your job is safe even if you decide to file a bursitis claim against your employer
If employers ignore health and safety regulations or fail to carry out frequent risk assessments and you develop bursitis due to their negligence, a court could rule that you are awarded a substantial amount of compensation, bearing in mind that many work-related personal injury claims are settled before they even get to court.
How Much Compensation Could I Be Awarded in a Successful Bursitis Claim?
The amount of compensation you may be awarded in a successful bursitis claim would depend on the severity and complexity of your condition and how much it negatively impacts your ability to work and to carry out normal everyday tasks around the house or any hobbies you typically enjoyed doing before you suffered the injury.
The most common joints that are negatively impacted by bursitis injuries are as follows:
With this said, a lot employees who suffer bursitis have to put up with a lot of pain and discomfort with their ability to work and mobility being greatly impacted. As such, the amounts awarded through the courts in successful bursitis claims tend to be high and that an employer’s insurer would be aware of this should they decide to offer you a settlement before your personal injury claim gets to court.
Should I File a Bursitis Claim Against My Employer?
As previously mentioned, suffering from bursitis can be a debilitating condition that negatively impacts your mobility, your ability to work and your daily life. As such, if your employer failed to keep you safe from harm and injury in the workplace which resulted in you developing bursitis, you have every right to seek a level of compensation to suit the pain, suffering and out of pocket expenses you incurred through no fault of your own. Being awarded compensation in a successful bursitis claim could prevent you having to cope with future financial difficulties should you have to take a lot of time off work or not be able to work again.
It is also worth noting that all employers in the UK are legally bound to take out insurance to cover any eventualities that involve employee injury or harm in the workplace. As such, the amount you would be awarded in a successful bursitis claim would be paid by your employer’s insurers and not taken out of your employer’s profits.
How Do I Start a Bursitis Claim Against My Employer?
If you suffer from bursitis and are thinking about filing a personal injury claim against an employer you think may have failed to keep you safe from harm at work, the best course of action is to discuss your case with a solicitor who specialises in accident at work claims. Like all work-related injury claims, you need to gather as much evidence of how your injury occurred and to establish whether your employer is liable.
A solicitor would typically provide a free initial consultation which allows them the chance to listen to the circumstances surrounding your case and once they decide that you have a strong claim against your employer, a solicitor would offer to work on your case on a No Win No Fee basis. The evidence you would need to provide is detailed below:
- Proof that the accident that left you injured was reported to a manager or employer
- That the incident was noted in the Accident Report Book. If you find that there is no Accident Report Book, you should have written down all the details of the incident, where and when it occurred with details of your injury and send it to your employer making sure you retain a copy for your own records
- A medical report of your injuries
- Photos of your injuries
- Witness statements
- Witness contact details
All of the above is needed to prove a personal injury bursitis claim and the more evidence you are able to provide, the stronger your claim would be which could help ensure that you are awarded the level of compensation you rightly deserve for all the pain, suffering and out of pocket expenses you had to incur through no fault of your own, but rather through employer negligence.
Working With a Solicitor on a No Win No Fee Basis on Your Bursitis Claim
Working with a solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis means you would not have to worry about finding the money to pay for their legal representation. The reason being that you would be asked to sign a contract known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This is a legally binding agreement between you and the firm of solicitors who represent you and once signed, a personal injury solicitor can start working on your bursitis claim without having to request an upfront fee or retainer to do so.
The Conditional Fee Agreement would set out all the Terms and Conditions of the contract as well as the percentage you agree to pay the solicitor, bearing in mind that with No Win No Fee agreements, you only pay a “success fee” for the legal representation you receive if your bursitis claim is successful. Should your claim not be successful, having signed a CFA means that you would not have anything to pay the solicitor at all.
The percentage a solicitor is paid on a successful bursitis claim, is deducted directly from the amount of compensation a court awards you, bearing in mind that in the majority of work-related personal injury claims, are settled by an employer’s insurers before the case goes before a judge. In short, you would not have to worry about how to pay a solicitor who successfully wins your bursitis claim because they take their fees from the amount you are awarded with the balance being paid to you.