Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the UK. Historically there are very strong connections between those developing osteoarthritis and repetitive actions in the workplace. You will often find that osteoarthritis only emerges in later life, although that does not mean you can’t look to claim compensation from your employer.
There are so many different ways in which osteoarthritis can develop in the workplace. We have seen some huge developments in medical research, which now allows doctors to pinpoint with a degree of confidence where conditions such as osteoarthritis may have started to develop.
As a consequence, years later, there are numerous osteoarthritis compensation claims going through the courts - based upon employer negligence.
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Osteoarthritis is one of the more common industrial diseases recognised by the courts and the medical profession today. In simple terms, it involves the disintegration of cartilage around joints which then exposes bone on bone, causing significant pain.
Unfortunately, osteoarthritis is not curable although it is a condition which can be managed to a certain extent.
The severity of osteoarthritis can vary enormously, as can the symptoms. However, some of the more common symptoms associated with this medical condition include:-
It is fair to say that some of these symptoms are difficult to read, let alone extremely painful. The idea of bone grating on bone is horrendous, and we can only imagine the difficulties this can cause, especially in later life.
Industrial disease claims for osteoarthritis tend to revolve around damage to the:-
In reality, osteoarthritis can impact any joint on your body although when it comes to work-based osteoarthritis, these are the more common areas of concern.
We know from medical research that there are various movements that are more prone to cause osteoarthritis if repeated time and time again.
It is not difficult to translate the above joint movements into the workplace with the following activities coming to mind:-
There are ways and means of mitigating the potential damage caused by impact, forceful movement and straining joints. It is worth noting that your employer has a legal obligation to protect your physical and mental health.
Unfortunately, this painful and debilitating medical condition has no cure. Instead, the best course of action is to attempt to manage the condition in the longer term.
This will probably include:-
In some cases, where the above actions have failed to suitably manage the condition, surgery would be the last resort. It would simply be a means of trying to repair, strengthen and support troubled joints, although it is important to reiterate there is no cure.
As you will see above, we have listed a number of joint movements which are prone to osteoarthritis if repeated time and time again. We have also noted some specific roles in the employment market where repetitive actions can cause serious joint problems.
This is not confidential information; this is information available to the public and more importantly, employers.
So, if your employer fails to appreciate the potential dangers in the workplace and you were to develop osteoarthritis, then they may be liable for compensation.
Traditionally there is a three-year window of opportunity in which you must lodge your claim for compensation. Normally with workplace accidents, the clock would begin on the day of your accident and resulting injury - assuming you were diagnosed on the same day.
However, when it comes to issues such as osteoarthritis, which can emerge days, weeks, months or years down the line, it is not so straightforward.
If you are considering a compensation claim the three-year window of opportunity would begin when you were officially diagnosed. This may be some time after you began to develop the condition, or it could even be when you have retired.
So, just because your condition may have begun to develop ten years ago means nothing until you have been diagnosed.
The level of compensation available will depend upon the severity of your osteoarthritis and the area impacted. For example:-
The actual level of compensation will depend upon the severity of the osteoarthritis symptoms and the degree of pain and suffering you experience.
When looking to claim compensation for industrial osteoarthritis, it is sensible to approach a claims management company. They will review your evidence; arrange a third-party medical examination if required, and take on your case if they believe you have a minimum 60% chance of success. You will likely be offered a “no win no fee” arrangement which often works well for both parties.
While the symptoms of osteoarthritis are fairly simple to recognise and diagnose, the main difficulty will be associating the medical condition with activities in the workplace. However, when considering whether to go for compensation, it is worth noting that your employer has a legal obligation to protect your health and well-being.
This involves the provision of safety equipment which in this particular instance can mitigate the potential dangers of developing osteoarthritis.
Even though many people still see osteoarthritis as a sign of “old age”, this is not necessarily the case. It may be that your repetitive actions in the workplace placed undue stress on your joints, causing the cartridge to disintegrate, leaving painful bone on bone.
Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Industrial illness Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for injuries & illnesses they have incurred, and they can do the same for you.
Choosing an independent claims management company means they won’t proceed with a claim unless they are sure it is in your best interests. They are also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.
If you would like to speak to one of these claim management companies who can help you make a compensation claim, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.
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