An injury that affects your elbow can severely interfere with your daily activities. Whether it was due to acute trauma or developed over time through repetitive strain, an elbow injury might make it difficult for you to carry out even simple tasks like eating or driving.
Even minor elbow sprains or strains can take several weeks to fully heal. During recovery, you might have to take time off work and need help and assistance with daily chores. Besides pain and suffering, an elbow injury may also bring substantial financial expenses.
You could suffer an injury in a road accident, in a public place, at the workplace, and in many other circumstances. If another party was at fault for your accident, you might want to make an elbow injury claim. The compensation award could cover medical expenses, financial losses and the pain and suffering you endured.
Furthermore, if you have a valid claim, you will likely be eligible to claim compensation on a no win no fee basis. This way, you do not have to worry about any upfront fees or legal charges. Your solicitor will work to secure the compensation you deserve while you can focus on your recovery.
For a free consultation with a friendly legal adviser, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back. They can let you know if you may be eligible to make a claim and can answer any questions you may have.
Can I make an elbow injury claim?
The most straightforward way to find out if you can make an elbow injury claim is to contact a personal injury solicitor. They will offer you a free initial consultation to ask about the details of your accident to establish liability. Your solicitor will check whether:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care
- They breached their duty towards you by acting negligently
- Their negligence led to an accident
- You suffered an elbow injury as a result
- The accident took place in the last three years
If these criteria apply to your case, you are likely eligible to claim elbow injury compensation. Depending on the accident you suffered, the defendant could be:
- Your employer, if they failed to follow the guidelines dictated by the Health and Safety Executive and relevant legislation
- Another road user if they caused a traffic accident by acting negligently
- The local council, if they failed to carry out regular repairs and maintenance to keep the public spaces safe for members of the public
- A business owner, if you suffered an injury in a shop, restaurant or other privately-owned premises
- A manufacturing company, if your elbow injury was caused by a faulty product
- A healthcare professional who caused you an injury due to substandard medical care
Your solicitor will establish a duty of care based on relevant legislation, such as The Road Traffic Act 1988 and The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
How to make an elbow injury claim?
If you or a loved one suffered an elbow injury without being at fault, you might be able to make an elbow injury claim. The first thing you should do if you believe you have a valid case is to seek legal advice.
A brief consultation with a personal injury solicitor will help them understand who is responsible for your accident. After establishing liability, you can start collecting evidence to support your claim. Your solicitor will help you gather everything you need to build a strong case, such as:
- Medical records of your injury. These include x-rays and medical notes about the extent of your injury and the treatments you received.
- A medical report from an independent specialist on any long-term treatments and effects of your injury.
- Relevant photographs of the accident scene, capturing the exact cause of your injury.
- Video recording of the accident. If there is any CCTV or dash cam footage of your accident, you should secure a copy before it is deleted.
- Contact and insurance details of any drivers involved if you suffered an injury in a road traffic accident.
- Contact details of any witnesses to the accident. A witness statement might make the difference in your elbow injury claim if the defendant denies liability.
- Accident reports relating to the event in which you were injured. Most workplaces and privately-owned businesses are required to keep an accident log book. Make sure you report your injury to the responsible party and ask for a signed copy of the report.
- Your personal notes about the events and related expenses. Make sure you keep a record of all the costs you incurred because of your injury. Also, take notes of how the injury affected your daily life.
After gathering relevant evidence, your solicitor will send a claim notification form to the defendant. They will have up to four months to respond to your allegations of negligence.
If the defendant admits liability, you can start negotiating a compensation settlement. The elbow injury compensation you might receive will depend on the extent of your injury and the financial losses you incurred. Your solicitor will always fight to secure the highest compensation possible.
If the other side denies liability or you cannot agree on a settlement, your solicitor will have to issue court proceedings. Negotiations with the defendant will continue until the date of the trial. More than 95% of personal injury claims settle out of court, so it is unlikely you will have to argue your case before a judge.
What are the most common elbow injuries?
The elbow joint is a hinge joint that connects the three bones of the arm, the radius, ulna and humerus. These are held together by muscles, tendons and ligaments. Any part of the elbow joint could be injured in an accident or due to overuse.
The most common elbow injuries include:
When one of the elbow bones gets knocked out of place, you have a dislocated elbow. This is one of the most dislocated joints in the body. The most common cause is falling on an outstretched arm or bracing for the impact of an accident with the arms extended.
An elbow dislocation is usually very painful. You will likely experience swelling and not be able to bend your arm. A severe dislocation requires urgent medical treatment.
There are three bones in the elbow joint, any of which could fracture in an accident. Usually, this happens with a sudden, forceful blow, such as in sports or a traffic collision. Symptoms of a fracture include bruising, inflammation, intense pain and loss of mobility.
The treatment and recovery time for an elbow fracture depends on severity. While some injuries may heal with wearing a cast, more complex cases might require surgery.
Sprains and strains
The three bones of the elbow are held together by ligaments, tendons and muscles. When the fibres in a ligament stretch or tear, it is referred to as a sprain. A strain is an overstretching or tear of a muscle or tendon.
Some sprains and strains occur suddenly, during a fall or by twisting the arm awkwardly. Others are caused by overuse of the elbow, which irritates the soft tissues. Symptoms include pain, tenderness, weakness or swelling. You might find it difficult to bend or extend the elbow.
Amputations at the elbow level may be due to severe trauma, such as in a car accident or a machinery accident at work. Other times, it might be surgically required to preserve the rest of the limb. This could be due to a severe infection or damage to the blood vessels or nerves.
Repetitive strain injuries (RSI)
Repetitive strain injuries are caused by overuse and repetitive movements. It often affects the elbows due to the constant bending and extending of the arms during various sports or work activities.
Initially, symptoms may occur only while carrying out a specific task but might become constant over time. These include pain, tenderness, stiffness, weakness, numbness or tingling. Some common forms of RSI include:
Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that work as a cushion and gliding surface between the skin and bones of the elbow joint. By repeating the same motion over and over, they could get swollen and cause pain, tenderness and limited motion. Bursitis is often treated with pain medication and should improve in a few weeks.
Tennis elbow is usually associated with tennis but could be due to any other activities that place repetitive strain on the elbow. This may cause the tendons on the outside of the elbow to become inflamed. The result is sharp pain and difficulty moving the arm.
The condition is similar to tennis elbow, but it affects the tendons on the inside of the elbow. It is often triggered by repetitive use of the wrist, which irritates the tendons near the elbow. It causes sharp pain that may spread into the forearm and wrist. Other symptoms include stiffness, tenderness and numbness or tingling.
Cubital tunnel syndrome
Also known as ulnar neuropathy, it happens when the ulnar nerve is irritated and becomes inflamed. This often occurs at the elbow, where the nerve is more superficial due to constant and repeated stress and pressure. Symptoms include tingling, numbness, and weakness, along with pain.
Any of the elbow injuries above can be debilitating and affect your daily activities. If it was due to another person’s negligence, you might be able to make an elbow injury claim.
What are the most common causes of elbow injuries?
Any forceful trauma to the elbow could cause an elbow injury. Some conditions, such as tennis elbow, can also develop over time due to overuse and repetitive movements. The most common causes of elbow injuries include:
Slips, trips and falls
One of the most common causes of an elbow injury is trying to break a fall. If you attempt to brace a fall with an outstretched arm and open hand, you might fall on your elbow. This could cause a sprain or a strain to the elbow joint. A forceful impact due to a fall from a height could even cause an elbow fracture.
Slips, trips and falls are easily avoidable and often occur due to the negligence of others. Most accidents are due to uneven floors or pavements, wet or slippery surfaces or unexpected obstacles in walkways.
Local councils and business owners have a duty to take all reasonable measures to prevent accidents from happening. Otherwise, they might be liable for elbow injury compensation.
No matter what your job is, your employer has the legal duty to take all reasonable measures to protect your health and safety at work. According to the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, they should:
- Conduct regular risk assessments
- Identify hazards that may cause an accident
- Remove the risk or apply control measures to minimise it
If they breach their duty towards you and you have an accident, you might be entitled to make an elbow injury claim. Elbow injuries at work range from minor sprains and strain to severe fractures and amputations. Manual handling and vibrating machinery can also cause repetitive strain injuries such as bursitis or tendonitis.
Road traffic accidents
The force of impact from a car accident can cause your elbow to twist or bend awkwardly. This could overstretch the muscles and ligaments in the joint, causing a sprain or a strain. More severe trauma could also cause a dislocation or elbow fracture.
Bicycle accidents can have severe consequences for cyclists. Except for a helmet, they do not enjoy much protection if they are involved in an accident. The elbows are particularly prone to road rash, but a forceful impact could also lead to severe fractures and soft tissue injuries.
Elbow injuries in sports involve both acute trauma and overuse complications. Almost any sporting activities carry the risk of an elbow injury. Direct blows or landing on the elbow after a fall could cause soft tissue injuries or even fractures.
Overuse and improper use of the elbow can cause micro-traumas to the elbow joint. In time, these minor injuries add up and can cause severe pain and disability. Two common types of tendonitis are tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow. Repetitive lifting or acute injury can also cause tendon ruptures.
A criminal assault can be very traumatic and distressing. You will probably use your hands to defend yourself or protect your head and face. This can cause you to suffer an elbow injury, especially if the attacker uses a weapon. Victims of assault could claim compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
Medical negligence on the part of doctors and other healthcare professionals can lead to severe elbow injuries. Misdiagnosis or delay in the treatment of an injury could have severe consequences, and this may lead to permanent damage or long-term problems that could have been avoided. If substandard medical care caused or exacerbated an elbow injury, you might be entitled to compensation.
Regardless of what accident caused you an elbow injury, if someone else was at fault, you might be able to make an elbow injury claim. The first thing you should do to secure compensation is to contact a personal injury solicitor. They can let you know who might be liable for your injury and help you build a strong claim.
To start your claim, speak to a trained legal adviser by calling 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation.
How much compensation can I claim for an elbow injury?
An elbow injury can severely affect your mobility and ability to carry out even basic daily activities. Besides pain and suffering, an injury could also bring substantial financial expenses. You might need surgery, physical therapy or care and assistance during recovery.
If you were injured because of another party’s negligence, you deserve compensation for your losses. The amount of money you could claim will depend on the extent of your injury and any financial losses you incurred. Usually, the compensation award will cover:
Special damages for financial losses and expenses, such as:
- Short-term medical expenses like medication, tests or hospital stay
- Long-term medical expenses for physical therapy and other treatments
- Modifications to your home or vehicle to accommodate your disability
- Mobility aids and prostheses
- Costs of care and assistance
- Transportation costs
- Loss of income and earning capacity
- Any other related financial expenses
General damages or non-pecuniary losses like:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Psychological trauma
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Inability to pursue a hobby
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of prospects and enjoyment of life
- Physical impairment
It is not easy to calculate a suitable compensation award for general damages. These involve subjective losses that are hard to quantify. However, the Judicial College offers guidelines that solicitors use. According to them, you might be entitled to:
- Up to £11,820 for minor to moderate injuries. These include deep cuts, simple fractures, tennis elbow and other conditions that do not restrict movement for more than several months. There are no significant long-term problems.
- £14,690 to £30,050 for moderately severe elbow injuries that result in restricted movement. They usually lead to some long-term problems but do not require surgery or cause disability.
- £36,770 to £51,460 for a very severe injury that has needed surgery or resulted in the total restriction of elbow movement. It leads to severe and disabling long-term problems.
- £90,250 to £102,890 for amputation of one arm below the elbow.
Your solicitor will consider how your elbow injury affected your life to calculate a suitable compensation award. You can call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back to learn more about your compensation prospects.
How long do I have to make an elbow injury claim?
If you suffered an elbow injury in an accident that was not your fault, you usually have three years to bring an elbow injury claim. The countdown normally starts on the day of the accident.
The last date you could bring a claim is known as the claim limitation date. After this date, your case becomes statute-barred, and you will no longer be able to pursue elbow injury compensation. Under section 33 of the Limitation Act 1980, the time limit could be extended in certain cases depending on:
- The length of the delay and your reasons for it
- The conduct of the defendant
- The extent to which it would affect the strength of evidence
Some injuries develop over time or do not become clear immediately after an accident. In this case, the three-year countdown begins on the date of knowledge of the injury. This refers to the moment you received a diagnosis and became aware that your injury is significant enough to take legal action.
The three-year limitation date does not apply to all elbow injury claims. For example:
- If the victim is a child, a parent or another litigation friend could make a claim on their behalf at any moment, regardless of the accident date. The three-year countdown begins once they turn 18 and are capable of conducting legal proceedings by themself.
- Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, someone who is incapacitated due to a permanent disability is not subject to a claim limitation date. A litigation friend could claim elbow injury compensation on their behalf at any point.
- You have two years to claim compensation through the CICA if you suffered an elbow injury due to a criminal assault.
- You should be able to make an elbow injury claim even if you were injured in an accident that happened abroad. The limitation date varies significantly between countries and could be as short as six months.
You should always seek legal advice as soon as possible after suffering an injury. As a general rule, the sooner you start a claim, the easier it will be to gather evidence and secure compensation. Furthermore, most solicitors will not accept a case with only a few months left to the limitation date.
To find out how long you have to make an elbow injury claim, speak to a trained legal adviser by calling 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation.
Can I claim for an elbow injury using no win no fee?
If you suffered an elbow injury without being at fault, you deserve compensation for your damages. Furthermore, you should have the right to pursue a claim regardless of your financial status. No win no fee agreements aim to serve this exact purpose.
A free consultation with a legal adviser will help them understand if you have a valid elbow injury claim. If you have a fair chance of success, you should be able to sign a conditional fee agreement. This means your solicitor will take on your case without asking for any upfront fees.
The major advantage of a no win no fee claim is that you do not have to pay your solicitor at all if you end up losing the case. Besides, you do not have to worry about any legal charges, regardless of the outcome of your claim.
If you win, the defendant will cover the legal fees incurred during the claiming process. If you lose, you are fully protected by the After the Event (ATE) insurance. This is a legal expenses insurance policy your solicitor will take on your behalf at the beginning of the claim. In the event you lose, the insurance will cover all the legal charges for you and the defendant.
Usually, any valid personal injury claim could be funded with a no win no fee agreement. In no win no fee claims, you only have to pay anything if you receive compensation. Your deductions include the cost of the ATE premium and a success fee to your solicitor.
The success fee covers the work your solicitor did on your behalf and the risk they took by offering you a conditional fee agreement. It cannot exceed 25% of your compensation award, and the amount will be agreed upon before starting legal proceedings.