R.S.I. – Repetitive Strain Injuries
Suffering illness or injury as a result of the work that you do is distressing due to the important part that work plays in all our lives. After all, the first question we usually ask upon meeting someone new is: “What do you do?” That’s why the knowledge that you’re suffering as a result of your employer’s negligence is so distressing – having worked hard for the wages you receive, the very least you can expect is that the environment in which you’re working will be kept as safe and pleasant as possible.
Your employer has a duty of care to ensure that you can go about your work without suffering injury, and if you end up in constant pain as a result of their negligence, it’s only right that you should be able to pursue a claim for compensation.
What is a repetitive strain injury?
A repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a condition which occurs when your body’s nervous or muscular systems are adversely affected due to things such as repetitive tasks, awkward positions, excess vibration or overly demanding exertions. The type of activity which commonly results in RSI is that involved in working with computers, such as repeated movements of the mouse or the tapping in of information on a keyboard without sufficient breaks for rest.
The symptoms usually consist of bursts of intense pain in areas such as the wrists, shoulders, arms, back, thumbs and hands. If ignored, RSI can result in pain which lasts for many years, adversely affecting the strength and agility of the victim’s hands and sometimes requiring surgery to correct it.
I suffered an RSI at work. Can I claim?
If your RSI can be shown to be a direct consequence of your working conditions then there’s every chance you may be able to make a claim. Your employer has a legal duty to provide a safe working environment, and if they fail to do so then they have been negligent.
A successful claim of this type rests upon demonstrating that your employer was aware of the risks of RSI but neglected to take steps to prevent it such as providing ergonomic equipment or allowing you to have sufficient breaks to rest your muscles. Proving this, and demonstrating that the work you were doing was directly responsible for your RSI, will be the job of your expert personal injury lawyer, who often call upon specialised medical witnesses to back up your claim.
Will my claim be handled on a no win, no fee basis?
The fact that most claims such as this are handled on a no win no fee basis means that the fairness of your claim is the only thing which you need to consider when deciding whether to proceed. You usually won’t have to pay any money before the case starts, and all the expert help and advice, including services such as filling in paperwork and negotiating with the other party, will be provided as part of your claim.
If you win your case, some of the costs will be paid by the other side, but due to changes in the law in April 2013, solicitors now take their success fee out of the compensation awarded. Should you lose your case there’s still no need to worry as insurance will cover all of the costs involved.
Can I get free, no obligation advice on my injury?
If you feel you have fallen victim to RSI and that the fault lies with your employer, call 0800 234 6438 to discuss your case free of charge. A trained legal adviser will listen to the details and give you an honest evaluation of whether you are in a position to seek compensation. Since their solicitors work on a no win no fee basis, they only take on cases which they’re genuinely confident of winning and, with them on your side, you can share in that confidence.