It is possible that an elbow injury could leave you with a permanent disability, dramatically affecting all spheres of your life. Injuries such as repetitive strain injury (RSI), tennis elbow syndrome, and elbow pain are all debilitating injuries that can cause great amounts of pain and suffering.
There are ways to claim compensation after an elbow injury to help alleviate the costs of being unable to work. However, the claims process can be complicated, but with the assistance of a qualified lawyer, the process can be streamlined, with your focus kept solely on the healing process. In this article, we will discuss some of the elements that are a part of elbow injury claims.
Firstly, we will discuss the various kinds of elbow injuries and what claims you may be able to make.
There are several different varieties of elbow injury claims. These are, elbow injuries from work activites, due to a motor accident, and injuries caused by in a public place.
The throughline between each of these types is that you are owed compensation if you suffer an elbow injury due to someone else's negligence.
Suffering an elbow injury at work can be incredibly painful, especially depending on how severe the injury is. Broken elbows and torn ligaments in the elbow region can leave you unable to work for months while you recover.
As mentioned previously, even comparatively more minor injuries such as repetitive strain injury and tennis elbow can significantly impact your quality of life, making it hard to perform the same routine tasks as you did before, both at work and elsewhere.
When making a compensation claim for injuries sustained at work, keep the following in mind:
The Duty of Care: Employers have a duty of care towards their employees, meaning they must take reasonable steps to protect their employees' well-being. Reasonable steps include providing sufficient training, a safe working environment, and necessary equipment.
Employers may be liable: When employers fail in their duty of care to their employees, and injury results, this usually will result in an amount of liability being apportioned to the employer, anywhere up to 100%. Even when injured people do not initially see liability on the employer's side, it does not mean that the employer is not liable, and this is why it is important to reach out to a legal professional who can help you understand who maybe liable for the injury.
Injury claims must be from injuries caused by the job: It must be proven that any elbow injuries were caused by an event or series of events directly related to the job. While this is relatively simple when discussing trips and falls, liability for longer-term problems can be harder to determine. Once again, speaking to a solicitor can assist with better understanding this.
During car accidents, your elbow and arm may experience high levels of trauma. Sprains, tennis elbow, and more serious elbow injuries, such as when the elbow bone breaks, are unfortunately common.
The effects of accidents can take months, if not years, to recover from. Making a claim after a car accident involves a number of interesting facets, including:
Who was at fault?
Determining who is at a fault in an accident is essential when determining compensation. However, liability is not always clear. In some cases, a reckless driver may be the direct cause of a car accident. In other circumstances, poor construction practices or a lack of signage may mean the blame lies elsewhere. A solicitor can assist in ensuring that fault is apportioned correctly in a claim.
Another element of a motor vehicle claim, is to attribute how much of an elbow injury was caused by an accident or exacerbated by it. For example, if you suffered from sporting injury involving the elbow beforehand, an insurance company may argue that the accident did not cause the injury, only made it worse. These factors can affect the amount of compensation you may be entitled to, and having a legal professional to assist in your claim.
Whilst often not the most dramatic, many elbow injuries are caused by simply falling down and landing on your elbow. A fall accident can cause many common elbow injuries, such as elbow fractures, muscle or tendon sprains, and elbow hyperextension (a form of severe over-stretching).
One major complicating factor when discussing slips and falls is:
Injuries in Public Places: If you experience a slip and fall, it is likely to be in a public place. In these cases, the owner or manager of this public place may liable for the injuries you sustain, if they have not taken sufficient steps to prevent it. However, if all proper steps were followed and you were still injured, you may be held partly liable.
When you are filing an elbow injury claim, you will need a variety of evidence to make sure that your case is as strong as possible. Some types of evidence that you should collect before making a claim include:
Medical information is some of the most important evidence required when making a claim. This may include X-Rays of your injury or records of surgeries you have or will undergo. By providing this evidence, you can show solid proof that your elbow injury is legitimate and debilitating. If you require medical treatment while recovering from an elbow injury, make sure to keep track of all relevant documents.
Expert testimony, such as from a doctor experienced in this field, is another way to strengthen your claim. This testimony can help convince a court of the veracity of your elbow injury and the necessity of your claim.
While not as reliable as medical records, witness testimony can help corroborate your account. Character testimony can also be valuable when trying to prove pain and suffering. For example, testimony from family, friends, and coaches, can be used to demonstrate the mental strain caused by the elbow injury when claiming pain and suffering.
The scene of the accident is perhaps the most vital piece of evidence. By keeping detailed records of the accident scene, you may be able to demonstrate unsafe practices or a lack of care. For example, if you suffered elbow injuries while at work, having a few images of the accident scene can strengthen your case significantly.
While many lawyers operate on a no-win, no-fee principle, you may have to pay a fee to lodge a compensation claim for an elbow injury. There are several fees that you may have to pay when bringing your case to court. Smith's Lawyers operates a 'No Win. No Fee. No Catch" policy, ensuring that our clients are never out of pocket.
Some costs associated with lodging a claim include:
Court costs are a small fee used to help the court conduct its business. For example, you may be asked to pay a fee to help pay for the juror's stipend. However, these fees rarely cost more than a few hundred dollars.
If you need to call in an expert witness to help with your case, you must pay for their time. In an elbow injury case, you may request an expert in the medical field to appear in court. The use of an expert witness can strengthen various aspects your claim, they can perform investigations and provide reports stating their expert opinion. Some examples of expert witnesses include personal injury specialists, medical experts, investigators and more.
Administrative costs include printing, postage, travel, etc. They are costs normally incurred in the everyday running of any legal claim, and personal injury claims are no exception.
Yes, there is a time limit for making an elbow injury compensation claim. The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is between six months and three years from the date of the accident, depending on the circumstances surrounding the claim. However, if you are beyond this time limit, speak with a lawyer, as there sometimes can be exceptions to this.
Several factors will determine how long it will take for your claim to be processed. The three main factors you should keep in mind are:
As we will discuss later in this article, elbow injury compensation claims can be sizeable. Medical expenses from a broken elbow, for example, can be costly. Based on this, both your lawyer and the insurance company on the other side, may want to send you for a number of medical assessment, and this will scale with the perceived value of your claim. Although this may add to the time it takes to settle your claim, it is an important part of the process, and if you have solicitors acting for you, they will ensure your rights are protected.
In many jurisdictions, you will not be able to make a claim or appear in court until you achieve what is called Maximum Medical Improvement (or you may have heard becoming 'stable and stationary')- a point beyond which medical treatment is not likely to significantly produce significant improvements. Unfortunately, recovery times can be long with elbow injuries and may even require surgery. Elbow strains, soft tissue injuries, and other common injuries can take months to heal.
Personal injury claims are surprisingly complicated; you may need to call expert witnesses and use a medical report throughout your case. If there is a disagreement between the claimant and the defendant about the facts of the case, this can cause proceedings to drag on, possibly for years.While many people choose to settle personal injury claims outside of the courtroom, these are some issues that you should keep in mind if you wish to claim compensation in the courtroom.
How much compensation can you expect? Well, elbow injury compensation amounts vary depending on the severity of the injury - elbow dislocations and elbow breaks are usually compensated more heavily than elbow strain, for example. In Australia, Whole Person Impairment is the standard used to determine how much compensation you are owed based on your injury. The circumstances surrounding the injury can also affect payouts (e.g. were you working in an unsafe environment).
Yes, you are legally allowed to represent yourself when making an elbow injury claim. Even so, many legal firms do not recommend doing so. There are several reasons for this, including the strict procedures, the difficulty of attaining evidence, and the legal team working for the insurer (the other side) to keep payouts low.
Engaging a law firm to assist with your claim not only allows you to focus wholly on the recovery process and your overall health, whilst the firm works on your personal injury claim, but takes away much of the significant stress, education, time, and focus that running an elbow injury claim, that would normally be required. Smith's Lawyers provides an initial consultation at no out-of-pocket cost, and with no obligation so you can better understand your rights, obligations and what would be involved in running a claim.
If you suffer injuries whilst at work, and you are looking for further information in terms of making a claim. Here at Smith's Lawyers, we offer a free consultation for injured people looking to seek compensation. As mentioned before, we also have a "No Win. No Fee. No Catch." policy, which means you will never be out of pocket.
Get in touch with us today to give yourself the best opportunity to understand your rights.
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