Injuries that happen in the workplace are sadly quite common. However severe they are, it is essential that the long-term effects are examined before compensation payout for an elbow injury at work are settled, because there could be other effects on the body that you might not have expected. This was certainly true with one case we researched. A teacher was awarded £800k compensation for an elbow injury at work that affected her nervous system to the point where she now requires care from her husband, leaving her dependent on him.
The woman in question was working in a school at the time, went to shift a wheelchair and initially dislocated a finger, as well as damaging the elbow. She then went on to develop a condition called reflex sympathetic dystrophy, which means she is left with swelling and pain.
Claims like these can be dealt with by a personal injury lawyer, but it can be difficult to find the right one to handle your elbow injury claim. If you’ve suffered an elbow injury at work, and want to know more about this case, then read on below, where we explain the case in more details, as well as how common a no win no fee elbow injury claim is, what is reflex sympathetic dystrophy, and what the average settlement for an arm injury is.
How Common Are Injuries from A Fall in The Workplace?
Falls in the workplace are fairly commonplace, and many workers suffer them each and every year. According to the government’s HSE, these are one of the most common types of injury causing accident in the workplace, as you’ll see by the graphic below.
There are various ways in which this incident can occur. If, like in the case we refer to, there was an obstruction in the way, then it could cause a trip, but this is not the only type of trip hazard. Uneven flooring, non-fixed rugs and carpets, or carpets with frayed edges can also cause these types of accident indoors, while potholes and cracked flooring can cause them outside. In addition, if liquids were to be left on the floor, they are likely to cause a slip hazard, and this can be fairly common if spills are not cleaned up or signposted.
Falls of this type cost the UK a lot of sick days and a lot of money each and every year, and if you’ve lost wages due to this kind of accident and the employer you’re working for has not taken steps to protect you from this sort of hazard, then it is only right that you should recoup lost wages as well as being compensated for the pain you’re likely to have gone through.
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
The reason the payout in this case was so significant was due to the condition that the victim developed due to the initial injury. While she dislocated a finger and damaged her elbow, this is not the injury that attracted the large amount of compensation. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy is quite a complex syndrome, so we’ll attempt to explain it here. Also known as complex regional pain syndrome, reflex sympathetic dystrophy is something that can cause long term pain, usually located in the leg or arm, and can happen following an injury, or heart attack or stroke. The pain that accompanies the syndrome is said to often be worse than the actual injury that proceeded it, and while doctors are unsure of why it happens, they can work to treat some cases.
The cause of RSD appears to be rooted in the sympathetic nervous system, which controls the movement of blood flow, helping to regulate the blood pressure and heart rate. Upon an injury, this nervous system effectively instructs your blood vessels to constrict, to ensure less blood is lost, and then later opens the vessels up so that things can get back to normal, and so blood can get to the injury site to help repair it.
Sufferers of RSD tend to have the blood vessels constrict but fail to reopen. Pain and swelling occur because of this and it is mainly located at the site of injury. Skin may be made extremely sensitive even to the point where wearing clothes hurts.
Diagnosis is often done through bone scans, MRIs and sweat tests, as well as thermographies. Treatment can be in many forms, and if it is caught early enough, many of the symptoms can be managed well with medications, physiotherapy and such. However, in some cases, pain can be ongoing, and in some cases, surgery is possible to remove some of the nerves that surround the vessels to help reduce this pain.
What Allegation Was Made Against the Employer?
The allegation against the local authority was that the obstruction (the wheelchair) should not have been in the way, and with the strap laying across the floor, posed a trip hazard that should not have been there. It is the duty of any employer to lower the risks of trips and slips and falls to the minimum level possible and leave walkways clear from any such obstructions, and in this case, it appears that the school did not do so. The claim was made against the Local Authority in this case, which was Lancashire County’s Council, and it was the LA that has to settle the claim. The monies awarded were paid from the employer’s liability insurance that the vast majority of employers have in place.
What Settlement or Payout Was Received in This Case?
The ultimate settlement in this case was £800,000 and was one of the largest awarded within the education sector, which reflects the level of damage to the claimant and her suffering, pain and ongoing treatments. There were complex negotiations that required specialist medical evidence. The battle lasted a total of 9 years, and the local authority eventually settled out of the courtroom. This is way over the usual amount for an arm injury claim, but due to the complexities provided by the patient’s pain condition, appears to be a fair reflection of her prognosis going forward. Whatever the type of elbow injury at work you’ve suffered, our team can talk you through typical award brackets for this type of injury, giving you some idea of how much you could potentially be awarded.
No Win No Fee Elbow Injury At Work Compensation Claims
Lawyers rarely work for free, but if, like most people, you feel you would have to pay a retainer to get a good personal injury lawyer to take on your claim, you would actually be mistaken. The rise of handing claims as no win no fee cases continues, as many people begin to see the benefits of starting legal action without having to spend money straightaway, even if they aren’t sure whether their claims would result in compensation. The way in which this process works is down to an agreement you will sign to pay a percentage of the final settlement figure to the lawyers on successful completion of your claim, and should your payout be £0, you wouldn’t be expected to pay legal bills. You can be sure that we’ll explain more about this if you should choose to get in touch.
Begin Your Claim with Accident Claims UK
Working with Accident Claims UK is one way to make sure that the elbow injury at work claim you want to put forward is dealt with in the smoothest way possible. Our seamlessly effective service not only offers no obligation free legal advice over the phone, from our legally trained operators, but also ensures you are provided with an experienced personal injury claim specialist solicitor that has the knowledge as well as the experience and dedication to handle your case in the best way possible. This will go a long way to making sure you receive the most compensation possible for your injuries. Dial 0800 073 8801 and you will be speaking with our specially trained advisors within moments, so why wait to call to see if your elbow injury at work could lead to you being awarded compensation to cover your costs and help you move on after the accident that you’ve had to deal with.
After reading this case, you may have more questions than answers, so if you prefer to read more before calling us, the links we have collected below may help.
RSD Information – Web MD offers guidance on the condition and how it can be treated, diagnosed and managed. It may be useful if you have suffered with the syndrome or someone you love has been diagnosed.
Working injury statistics – Injury in the workplace stats from the HSE. You’ll find which injuries are common and which are not so common, along with how many reported injuries there have been.
Do you know your rights? – Are you aware of your rights after suffering any accident or injury at work? This guidance should help inform you.
Elbow injury – If you’ve suffered elbow injury at work, our complete guide might be useful.