Elbow Injury Compensation Claims

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If you, or someone close to you, have suffered an elbow injury in Queensland due to the negligence or fault of another party, you might wonder if you're entitled to elbow injury compensation.

This straightforward guide aims to help you understand the intricacies of claiming compensation, including your rights to compensation, common causes of such injuries, an overview of the claims process, frequently asked questions, and time limits for making a claim, specific to Queensland. 

Smith's Lawyers team of elbow injury claim experts offer free initial advice and no-obligation appointments at home, in hospital, in-office or via phone. We operate Queensland wide and all claims have no upfront costs or risks of being left out of pocket under our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise.

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Your Rights to Compensation Following an Elbow Injury in Queensland

If you’re a victim of an elbow injury caused by someone else's negligence or carelessness, you'll be glad to know that you can seek compensation. For instance, workers’ compensation claims are common for elbow injuries with 3,238 claims made in Australia in 2021. Unfortunately, the financial burden for such injuries often falls upon the families or partners supporting the injured person. 

However, there are several systems in place that cater to different accident scenarios in Queensland, ensuring that victims and those who are impacted financially are covered.

These compensation schemes include: 

  • Road accidents: The compulsory third party (CTP) claims scheme for any motor vehicle accident caused by another driver's negligence. Whether you are a driver, passenger, cyclist, or pedestrian, if the injury was caused by a road accident involving a motor vehicle, you can file a compensation claim.
  • Workplace accidents:  For workplace elbow injuries, there are two types of claims. The first is a statutory claim via Workcover Queensland (or your employer's workplace compensation insurer if they are self-insured), which guarantees compensation to injured workers regardless of fault. The second is for when you believe your employer was negligent and their negligence caused your injury, you are then entitled to file a common law claim.
  • Public place accidents: If you've been unfortunate enough to have an accident in a public place, the common law allows you to claim against the public liability insurer of the negligent party. Examples of this could be a local council, a supermarket, or a private property owner.
What is an Elbow Injury?

An elbow injury is an inclusive term referring to any kind of hurt or discomfort in the joint where your upper arm bone (humerus) meets the two bones in your lower arm (radius and ulna). These injuries can incorporate a range from minor ailments such as a slight strain or sprain, to more severe complications such as elbow fractures or dislocations. In more extreme cases, long-term problems may occur, such as tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow or elbow bursitis. 

Your elbow is a complicated joint that allows you to swing your arm, twist your hand, and lift objects. In an injury, any or all of these actions can cause pain, limit mobility, and affect your life quality. An elbow injury can involve damage to the bones, ligaments, tendons, or muscles that make up the elbow joint. This injury can occur suddenly (acute) or develop slowly over time (chronic).

Common Causes of Elbow Injuries

Elbow pain can be the result of several different situational factors, including accidents in the workplace, a public place, or on the road, and is often caused by overuse or injury.

Here are some common causes: 

  • Falls: A slip or fall may cause an individual to land on their arm, potentially resulting in sprains, fractures, or dislocations.
  • Sports Injuries: Sporting activities, particularly those involving throwing actions such as cricket or tennis, can put stress on the elbow joint, leading to injuries known as "tennis elbow" or "cricketer's elbow".
  • Road Accidents: Road accidents cause around 25% of elbow injuries that require hospitalisation. During road mishaps, the elbow can be injured on impact or through sudden, forceful movements.
  • Manual Labour: Over 30% of workplace injuries involve the upper limbs, including the elbow. Physically demanding jobs that require constant elbow movement or working with vibrating tools can result in gradual wear and tear of the elbow joint.
  • Accidental Impacts: Direct, sharp impacts, such as during a public place mishap, can lead to significant injury. This could be from colliding with a hard object or a heavy object falling on the elbow.

Common Elbow Injuries

If you've been unfortunate enough to have an accident in a public place, the common law allows you to claim against the public liability insurer of the negligent party. Examples of this could Elbow injuries stemming from accidents on the road, at work, or in public places vary in type and severity.

Here are some more common elbow injuries that often lead to compensation claims: 

  • Tennis Elbow: The most typical elbow injury demanding compensation is tennis elbow, impacting around 3% of the population.  Also known as lateral Epicondylitis, is mostly caused by overusing your forearm due to a repetitive or strenuous activity but is also seen in victims involved in a forceful or awkward elbow movement during an accident.
  • Golfer’s Elbow: Medial Epicondylitis, commonly known as Golfer's Elbow, may occur due to a sudden jolt to the elbow or when a large strain is applied, such as lifting heavy objects at work.
  • Broken Elbow: Common in road accident victims, elbow bone breaks occur when a large amount of force is applied to the area, causing one or several of the elbow bones to crack or break.
  • Elbow Sprains & Strains: These result from accidents that forcefully extend or twist the elbow, causing damage to the soft tissues there.
  • Bursitis: Accidents leading to a hard blow to the elbow can cause swelling and inflammation of the bursa - the small fluid-filled sacs that cushion joints.
  • Dislocated Elbow: Protruding from joint due to heavy falls or collisions commonly seen in vehicle or workplace accidents. This injury often requires immediate medical attention and may have long-term implications.be a local council, a supermarket, or a private property owner.
Workers Most at Risk of Elbow Injuries

Several sectors and professions have increased susceptibility to workplace such injuries due to the nature of the work required. Work-related elbow disorders are reported as frequently occurring compensation claims or occupational diseases in various jobs and sectors of industry. 

Some of these may include: 

  • Construction Industry: Workers frequently need to lift heavy materials and perform repetitive arm movements, leading to overuse strain on the elbow and repetitive strain injuries (known as ‘RSI’).
  • Manufacturing: The repetitive motion in assembly line tasks can often result in conditions like tennis elbow.
  • Agriculture: Tasks such as lifting and carrying heavy loads and using machinery can put significant pressure on the elbow, leading to potential injury.
  • Healthcare: Nurses and healthcare assistants who regularly assist patients to move can suffer from elbow strain.
  • Office Work: Prolonged computer use without properly set up workstations can increase the risk of elbow and other upper limb injuries.

If you’re in one of these professions and have suffered an injury at work, Smith’s Lawyers are here to help. We are experts in Queensland personal injury law and undertake all claims on a risk-free basis with our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

Understanding the Compensation Claims Process

Securing compensation for an elbow injury hinges on your ability to provide convincing evidence. It's not just about showing that an accident occurred; you also need to establish who was at fault and how the incident resulted in your elbow injury.

If you've suffered an elbow injury due to an accident at work, on the road, or in a public place in Queensland, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Here are the usual steps in an elbow injury claim. 

1. Seek free initial legal advice

The first step is to get in touch with a law firm that specialises in compensation claims for elbow injuries. Such a firm will have the necessary expertise and understanding of the complexities of Queensland law and can confirm your legal options including eligibility to make a claim.

2. Engage a personal injury lawyer

After an initial phone assessment, the next stage is a no-obligation consultation to explain the process and client agreement in more detail and to gather initial key information relating to your accident and injury to help assess your case and your injury and identify the liable party. The client agreement will also be explained so you can understand the terms under which the personal injury law operates on. Smith’s Lawyers runs all claims risk-free with no upfront costs.

3. Gather evidence to build your case

Once your compensation matter is opened you will be allocated a personal injury lawyer who will start gathering the required evidence to build a strong case and to determine liability. This may include medical reports, accident reports, witness statements, CCTV or dashcam footage or documentation of any loss of earnings due to your injury. Further down the track when your injuries have settled, your law firm may arrange for independent medical assessments such as occupational therapy assessment to assess your ability to work, long term recovery prospects and so on.

4. File your claim

Your personal injury solicitor will lodge a notice of claim and negotiate on your behalf with the liable parties, typically with their insurance companies (or their legal representatives) such as the CTP insurer of the at-fault party for car and road accidents or WorkCover Qld for workplace accidents. 

5. Negotiate with the at-fault party's insurer

Negotiations with the insurance company aim to reach a fair settlement that covers your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Most cases are settled out of court in a compulsory conference, an office based meeting involving yourself, your personal injury solicitor and a barrister they have engaged to lead the negotiations along with the legal representatives of the at-fault party's insurer. 

In the unlikely event that a settlement cannot be negotiated out of court, proceedings can proceed to court. In most ‘no win, no fee’ agreements, you could be liable for the other side's legal costs if your case is not successful in court. Smith’s Lawyers No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise protects you from this risk and means you cannot not be out of pocket.

6. Settlement payment

If your claim is successful, you will receive a lump-sum tax free compensation settlement. The amount received will depend on different factors, including the severity of your injury, any impact on your earning capacity, and any medical expenses incurred. Legal fees are charged for the work completed only if there is a successful outcome.

Seek expert advice ASAP: Remember, each case is unique, and the process can vary based on the specifics. It's suggested to seek professional legal advice and have your case reviewed by an expert team to guide you in this journey. Smith's Lawyers are experts in personal injury claims and offer a Queensland-wide service with free initial advice to get you started in your claim process.

What Evidence Do I Need To Support My Elbow Injury Compensation Claim?

Securing compensation for an elbow injury hinges on your ability to provide convincing evidence. It's not just about showing that an accident occurred; you also need to establish who was at fault and how the incident resulted in your elbow injury.

This evidence might include: 

  • Medical Records: This could be in the form of doctors’ reports, X-rays, scans, and treatment plans. Medical records will provide concrete proof of your injury and the treatment it necessitated.
  • Incident Report: If your injury happened at work or in a public place, there should be an incident report. This document can be instrumental in establishing where and when the injury occurred.
  • Witness Statements: If there were any witnesses to the incident, their accounts can be valuable. Witness statements can corroborate your claim about how the injury occurred.
  • Photographic Evidence: Photos of the injury scene or your immediate physical injuries can add weight to your claim.
  • Financial Records: To claim for financial losses, you will need to provide receipts related to medical expenses, loss of earnings, and other related costs.

How Much Compensation for an Elbow Injury

When calculating elbow injury compensation claims in Queensland, several factors are taken into account.

Here's a look at some of the key considerations: 

  • The Severity and Nature of the Injury: The more severe your injury, the higher your compensation will be. This will take into consideration if your injury is a fracture, dislocation, or soft-tissue tear, as well as any long-term impacts such as loss of movement or chronic pain. Naturally a minor elbow injury will be worth far less than a severe injury.
  • Medical and rehab costs: Compensation can help cover the costs of medical treatment such as surgery, consultations and rehabilitation such as physiotherapy.
  • Impact on Quality of Life: If your injury affects your ability to enjoy hobbies, sports, or other forms of recreation, you may be eligible for higher compensation. This also extends to any distress, trauma, or mental health struggles as a result of the incident.
  • Care and Assistance: Should your injury require extra care or assistance, whether it's in the form of professional help or support from loved ones, you could be entitled to claim these costs.
  • Loss of Income or Earning Capacity: Your current income, future earnings, and your ability to return to your same employment or access other types of work play a vital role in determining the compensation amount.

Remember that the same injury does not result in a universal payout amount.

For instance, consider two individuals both with a fractured elbow. One is a young professional tennis player, while the other is a retired individual.

The tennis player might get a more substantial claim considering their loss of future earnings and the impact on their career, as opposed to the retired person. It's these unique, personal factors that lead to different amounts of compensation, even with similar injuries.

These examples demonstrate why it’s essential to have expert representation from a law firm to ensure your claim accurately reflects the full impact of your elbow injury, and that you receive all the compensation you're entitled to.

Time Limits for Elbow Injury Compensation Claims in Queensland

Most accident compensation claims, including those for elbow injuries, have strict time limits regarding when you can file a claim for compensation. This includes incidents that took place on the road, in the workplace, or in a public place.

For work-related injuries, in Queensland you have: 

  • 6 months from the date of the accident/injury/illness to lodge a claim with WorkCover Queensland (or your employer's workers' compensation insurer if self-insured). This is an essential first step for all cases regardless of fault.
  • 3 years from the date of the accident/injury to start court proceedings for a common law claim. These claims can be run in addition to a standard WorkCover claim where the negligence of your employer or another party caused or contributed to your accident and injuries.

For motor vehicle related injuries, in Queensland you have:

  • You have 9 months from the date of the accident or when injuries first became apparent to lodge a Notice of Accident Claim Form (known as a 'NOAC') with the Compulsory Third Party Insurer (CTP Insurer). A “reasonable excuse for delay” can be provided outside the 9 months, but must be within 3 years of the accident or you will be barred from making a claim. 
  • Or, you have 1 month from when you first consult with a lawyer about the possibility of making a claim to lodge the form. When running a claim with Smith’s Lawyers, your appointed solicitor will help you complete and submit this form.  Note: This time limit is the earlier of the two (1 month vs 9 months), so if you have spoken to a lawyer about your potential claim, you must lodge the NOAC within 1 month.
  • Where the motor vehicle at fault cannot be identified (such as in a hit and run) or the vehicle was unregistered, you have 3 months from the date of the accident to lodge a Notice of Accident Claim form with the Nominal Defendant. For these claims, if you have missed the 3 month period, a reasonable excuse can be provided, but it must be provided within the standard 9 month limit otherwise you will be barred from making a claim
  • After the Notice of Claim Form is lodged, you have 3 years from the date of the accident/injury to start legal proceedings.

However, there are exceptions to this rule. If the victim is under 18 years old, the three year period starts from their 18th birthday

It's also important to note that the claims process may take a significant amount of time, so you should seek legal advice as soon as possible to avoid missing the deadline. Waiting longer can impact the ability to gather reliable evidence to prove liability.

Smith’s Lawyers offers risk-free, no-obligation case reviews to help you understand your legal rights and assess if you have a valid claim. Don't hesitate to protect your rights, get in touch with Smith’s Lawyers for expert advice.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

Frequently Asked Questions

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How can elbow injuries impact the ability to work?

Injury to the elbow can hamper an individual's ability to function optimally at work. Pain and restriction in movement are common consequences of such an injury. You may be unable to carry out usual activities such as lifting, typing, driving, or even simple tasks like picking up a cup. 

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How long do elbow injury claims take to settle?

Generally, these claims take between 12 to 18 months to settle. Factors such as the severity of your condition, delays in receiving medical opinion, the complexity of your claim, and how promptly the other party responds can often lead to additional time needed to resolve the claim.  

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What are the potential complications of elbow injuries?

Elbow injuries can lead to various complications, some of which may impact your daily routine and overall quality of life. You could experience issues such as chronic pain and a limited range of motion, causing difficulty of movement and impacting your carrying capability. In the worst cases, it can cause permanent disability.

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Are there any upfront costs or risks?

No, our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise at Smith’s Lawyers means there are no upfront costs and you can never be left out of pocket as a result of the claim.

Typically with ‘no win, no fee’ agreements, you could still be liable for the other side's legal costs if your case goes to court and is unsuccessful. In the unlikely event that your case goes to court, and you are unsuccessful, we'll cover the costs - so you won't pay a cent to us or anyone else.

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Get expert advice today

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers. We can explain your options Elbow Injury Compensation claims so you are clear on your rights during this difficult time.

Take our 2-minute free claim check

Fill in the form below to find out if you have a claim.

Last updated:
February 19, 2024

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 help understanding your rights, please call 1800 960 482 or request a free case review to talk to one of our lawyers today.