Knowledge base

Compensation for Bursitis

Our body is made up of many joints which function together to ensure that we can move fluidly. In between out joints there is a small fluid-filled sac which acts to cushion your bone from the soft tissue like tendons, muscles and skin which sit in the area. This sac is known as a bursa, and it also works to reduce friction in your joints and to assist with movement. If this sac becomes inflamed it results in a condition known as bursitis. Inflammation can come from overuse of a joint, and can cause significant paint and restricted movement.

Shoulder bursitis injury

Symptoms of bursitis can include pain in the joint, swelling, stiffness, reddened skin, and a warm feeling in the affected area. The most common sites for bursitis are the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and heels.

Injured? Get expert advice now: Smith's are Queensland's only 100% risk-free injury compensation lawyers. Insist on our 'No Win. No Fee. No Catch' ® promise. Check your rights with no risk or obligations now and talk direct to our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith. Call 1800 266 801 OR  check if you can claim

Can I make a bursitis compensation claim?

Bursitis is an injury which worsens over time. Bursitis is common in professionals who place pressure on their joints. Common compensation claims include hip bursitis compensation claims, and shoulder bursitis compensation claims. If your bursitis injury has resulted from someone else’s negligence then you may be able to claim for compensation from your employer. Negligence can occur where there is improper supervision or inadequate training and performance management.

Bursitis workers compensation claim

If you are suffering from a bursitis injury which has been caused or worsened by your work then you may be able to seek compensation for this injury from your employer. This is because your employer has a duty to provide employees with an adequately safe environment to perform duties in. Your employer’s duties include:

Safe work environment

  • providing safe systems of work (things like methods of lifting and moving items, for example),
  • ensuring machinery and equipment is safe to use,
  • providing employees with adequate facilities, training, instructions, and supervision, and
  • maintaining a safe workplace.

If your employer neglects one or more of these responsibilities meaning that your workplace is unsafe, and you suffer an injury of bursitis, then you may be able to claim for personal injury compensation. This includes an injury of bursitis which you might have developed over a period of time, or if it has been aggravated and was a pre-existing injury.

Note: Weekly WorkCover payments exist separate to compensation under a ‘no fault’ scheme. What this means is that you can receive weekly payments to cover lost income even if your injury was not caused by your employer’s negligence.


Grace stacks shelves in a supermarket and is not given sufficient supervision for her stacking technique. She is also working under strict targets and if she does not meet a set target for stacking cartons - some of which weigh up to 16 kg - she is sent home. Within a year Grace has developed bursitis of her shoulder which goes on to develop into chronic pain. Grace may be able to make a bursitis workers compensation claim from her supermarket employer for her bursitis injuries.
Bursitis caused by stacking shelves
Larry is building a shed at home and over the three months in which he is building it he develops bursitis in his knee. Larry has a desk job and it is unlikely that his knee bursitis is linked to his employment. Larry would likely not be able to claim compensation for his injuries.

Bursitis from a car accident - can I claim compensation?

Bursitis can be triggered or caused by an injury. A common cause of bursitis is a car accident. If you have been in an accident and gone on to developer bursitis - and the car accident was due to another driver’s fault - then you can claim compensation for your injuries from the owner of the vehicle’s Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance.


Harold is waiting at an intersection when he is rear-ended by another driver. He is pushed into the road where he is hit from the side by another motorist. The injury sustained causes bursitis of the shoulders. Harold can claim compensation from the owner of the car who rear-ended him through their CTP insurance provider.
Car accidents and bursitis injuries
Margaret is speeding and crashes into another driver. Luckily the other driver is unharmed but Margaret suffers an injury in the accident which leads to bursitis of her hip appearing within the year. Due to the fact that the accident was her fault, Margaret is unlikely to be able to make a bursitis compensation claim on CTP insurance for her injuries.

Bursitis compensation claim when on someone’s property

If you have been injured on someone else’s property you may be able to claim compensation. This is because the occupier of land - including private land and public authorities - have a duty of care to ensure that people entering their land are safe. If you are injured on someone’s land as a result of their negligence then you may be able to claim for compensation.


Troy slips on some lettuce leaves in a supermarket causing inflammation to his elbow. This develops into bursitis. Due to the fact that the supermarket did not have a system for warning people of slip hazards Troy may be able to claim for his bursitis injury.
Bursitis caused by fall at supermarket
Helen is at a fairground when she climbs up onto a plastic unicorn in the kids’ playground and jumps off into a ball pit. There is a sign specifically prohibiting this which Helen has ignored. Helen suffers an injury which develops into bursitis of her ankle. Due to the fact that Helen’s injury was caused by her own negligence it is unlikely that she can make a bursitis compensation claim.

Workers compensation bursitis claim - what can I claim for?

When you are suffering bursitis you will know how painful it can be. When you are claiming compensation for this type of injury you may claim the following:

General damages

This will compensate you for the pain and suffering involved with an injury of this type. You will also be compensated for any loss of enjoyment of life that you will suffer due to having this bursitis condition. Injuries in Queensland are calculated with reference to something called the ISV Scale which places every injury on a scale between one and 100 and provides a monetary value for each injury and its rating.

Medical Costs

When diagnosing and treating a bursitis injury it is likely that you will need to attend your doctor and possibly visit hospitals to identify your injury and to properly diagnose it. You will be able to claim back any medical costs which are associated with diagnosing and treating your bursitis injury.

Hospital and surgical costs

Medical treatment and bursitis recovery

The condition of bursitis may be treatable or manageable through surgery. You will be able to claim compensation for treating your condition so long as it was necessary for your bursitis.

Rehabilitation costs

You can seek rehabilitation for your bursitis and you may be able to make a bursitis compensation claim for any rehabilitation costs.

Loss of income and future earning capacity

A bursitis workers compensation injury can be severe. You will likely require time off work as you recover and heal. You can claim compensation for any lost earnings, as well as compensation for any lost earnings in the future.

Loss of Superannuation

When you are not working you are not receiving superannuation, but with a workers compensation bursitis claim you can make a claim for lost superannuation.

Assistance and Care

You may not be able to do the same tasks around the home that you could once do prior to your bursitis injury - and if you need help to do these tasks you can claim for compensation for care provided by friends, relatives, or paid contractors.

Injured? Get expert advice now: Smith's are Queensland's only 100% risk-free injury compensation lawyers. Insist on our 'No Win. No Fee. No Catch' ® promise. Check your rights with no risk or obligations now and talk direct to our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith. Call 1800 266 801 OR  check if you can claim

How much compensation can I expect for a bursitis compensation claim?

Estimating bursitis compensation claim

When you have suffered a bursitis injury you will be able to seek worker’s compensation provided that the injury was caused by your employer’s negligence. The amount of compensation you are likely to receive will depend on the severity of your injury and how great the impact of your injury is on your life. If your bursitis impacts on your life in a significant way then you will likely receive greater compensation than someone whose life is impacted in a minimal way.  

Compensation payable will depend on a range of variable including:  

  • your age: people who are younger will likely receive greater compensation due to the impact on their life for a longer period of time.
  • your injury severity: if you have a severe case of bursitis this will attract a higher amount of compensation.
  • your health and wellness prior to your injury: if you were active, fit and healthy prior to your bursitis injury then you may be entitled to greater compensation due to the impact on your life. Plus, you may not be able to exercise and stay fit as easily which can lead to mental health problems later on down the line.

There are also other factors which will be taken into consideration when assessing a claim for bursitis compensation.

Claim time limits for a bursitis compensation claim

For most personal injury claims, a legal action must be commenced within 3 years of the date of the injury. If you miss this deadline, you will lose the right to claim compensation.

However, depending on where your injury occurred or who you are claiming against, specific pre-court procedures may apply which may have much shorter time limits. If you miss these time limits you may lose your right to claim unless you can provide good reason for delaying and why you should be allowed to proceed with your claim. 

Those aged under 18 will typically have until they are 21 to start the claims process.

Time limits apply to start a bursitis compensation claim

In addition, getting accurate records such as CCTV or reliable witness statements for example may be difficult if starting a claim several years after the incident.

In summary, it’s best to seek expert legal advice as soon as possible to ensure you understand your rights and the required evidence to make a strong claim can be gathered. View time limit information article for more detail.

Common causes of bursitis

You can incur a bursitis injury through a variety of ways, including:

Overuse: You can develop bursitis by working on a production line or performing the same task over and over again.

Falls and slips: Bursitis can occur when you fall or injure yourself by slipping over, causing trauma to the area and resulting in inflammation.

Infection post-injury: You can experience bursitis due to an infection which gets into the joint.

Long-term impact of bursitis

Bursitis must be treated by using things like pain-relief medication, cold packs, physiotherapy, and rest. You may need to use anti-inflammatory medication in cases of severe pain. If you have an infection in your joint you may need to use antibiotics as well. Bursitis may result in chronic pain which can cause problems with mood, sleeping, activity and general wellbeing. It is important to seek treatment for a condition of bursitis.

Medication to ease bursitis chronic pain

What to do if you have a bursitis injury - seeking a bursitis compensation claim

If your bursitis injury has been caused by negligence at work then you may be able to seek compensation. Your first step should be to seek legal advice and help so that you can find out if you can make a claim for compensation for your bursitis injury.

How helpful was this article?

Not at all
Not much
Sort of
Thanks for your feedback! This will help us improve our content.
If you still need help or guidance:
Contact us
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Last update on:
July 7, 2021
Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For expert advice call 1800 266 801 or chat via live chat to arrange free initial advice with our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.

Next steps — get advice now

It’s important to get advice for your specific situation. Check if you can make a risk-free compensation claim and get free initial advice from our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.

Get Advice Now