Wrist injury compensation claims are extremely common because in the event of a trip, slip or fall your first instinct is to put out your hands to break your fall and many times this results in a wrist injury. There are many other occasions where wrist injuries occur with by far and away the most common complaints being sprains, breaks, strains and fractures.
If you are involved in a no-fault accident which results in a wrist injury there is every chance that you could be entitled to compensation. The strength of a wrist injury compensation claim will depend upon the details of the accident, where it occurred and where liability may lie.
Common Wrist Injuries
The wrist is an extremely strong joint which consists of two forearm bones and eight carpal bones all of which are connected by ligaments, tendons and muscles. GPs and accident and emergency departments up and down the country see an array of wrist injuries on a regular basis from relatively minor strains right up to fractures and breaks. The most common types of wrist injury include:
- Sprained wrist where the ligament is stretched and torn.
- Strained wrist where muscle and tendon is stretched and torn.
- Fractures and breaks where bones are damaged.
- Tendinitis, a form of repetitive strain injury, caused by inflammation of the tendon.
The reality is that a wrist injury can occur in some of the most innocuous circumstances although the vast majority seem to revolve around:
- Trips, slips and falls in the workplace and public areas.
- Road traffic accidents with motorcycles a particular danger.
- Sporting activities.
- Repetitive activities in the workplace.
As we touched on above, when we fall our natural reaction is to put out our hands to break the fall. This is common in trips, slips and falls not to mention sporting activities where there is physical contact. Motor vehicle incidents tend to be more crush injuries and RSI/ tendinitis is more commonplace in the workplace. Over the years we have seen actions taken to reduce the chances of wrist injuries, such as the use of safety equipment and better working environments, but wrist injury compensation claims are still extremely common.
Who Is Liable In A Wrist Injury Claim?
There will be incidents where through no fault of any third party, or indeed the victim, a wrist injury can occur with no liability. However, there is an array of accidents for which third parties may be liable such as:
In The Workplace
It is worth noting that employers have a legal duty of care to ensure the “health and safety” of their employees. There are a number of statutory health and safety acts which protect employees but this does not protect employers from potential liability in the event of an accident. Whether we are talking about a slip, trip, fall or a repetitive strain injury there are many different environments in which an injury to the wrist can occur. All employers have an obligation to carry out risk assessments in the workplace and ensure that procedures are in place to protect employees as much as possible. These will include:
- Cleaning up spillages as quickly and safely as possible.
- Providing employees with suitable footwear.
- Ensuring that the working environment is clear of hazards.
Legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 is just some of the legislation protecting employees from personal injuries. While any claim for a wrist injury will be separate from any legal action by the authorities, proven negligence under any of the health and safety acts could strengthen a personal injury claim. When an employee is on their work premises the employer has a liability to ensure their safety.
Road Traffic Accidents
Aside from the common sense approach to negligent driving, or negligent action taken by a pedestrian, there is a legal framework which deems that road users have a “legal duty of care” for other motorists. As a consequence, careless driving, failing to signal during a turn, speeding and other common occurrences regularly result in prosecution for negligence and liability for any damages such as wrist injuries. Impact and crush injuries are fairly common in road traffic accidents and even if at first glance it is difficult to see who was negligent and potentially liable, the courts will get to the bottom of the issue.
Wrist Injuries Caused By Sports Activities
Before we look at wrist injuries caused by incidents on the sports field it is worth noting that not all injuries will result in successful compensation claims. The vast majority of sports have an element of physical contact and danger which individuals willingly enter into having been fully aware of the risks. However, when a third party, whether a person or a company, has a legal responsibility for the health and safety of participants in a sporting activity they could be liable for compensation in the event of injury to your wrist – if proven to be negligent.
On rare occasions we have seen incidents end up in the courtroom where a third party has deliberately injured a claimant. The vast majority of wrist injury compensation claims do not include any deliberate actions but tend to revolve more around negligence. There is an assumption that just because a wrist injury occurs while participating in sporting activity that somehow the parties responsible for the health and safety of others are above the law. This is simply not the case and has been proven time and time again in the courts.
In Public Or Private Areas
The most common cause of injury in public or private areas tends to revolve around damaged pavements with local authorities and private landowners often held responsible. There are however an array of other injuries common to public/ private areas such as slips, trips and falls in the supermarket often due to spillages. As well as the potential to claim compensation for wrist injuries, public and private parties may well be prosecuted under the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 and other relevant laws.
These are examples of more common environments in which wrist injuries can occur. Once negligence and liability have been proven claims are often settled out of court but some may still travel the full legal route.
Claiming Compensation For A Wrist Injury
The wrist is such an important part of the body that any minor or major damage can have a significant impact upon a claimant’s ability to work and carry out their daily duties. If you have suffered a wrist injury through no fault of your own it is advisable to contact a personal injury solicitor to discuss your situation in more detail. They will be able to advise you on the evidence required, actions to be taken and the strength of any potential compensation claim.
While some wrist injuries heal fairly quickly, with minimal medical attention, more serious injuries can take some time to heal. Indeed we have seen incidents where the wrist never actually fully heals despite long-term physical therapy or even surgery. These are many issues to consider when putting forward a wrist injury compensation claim. Aside from compensation for the pain and suffering caused by the actual injury, claimants may also be able to claim for loss of earnings and any additional expenditure such as long-term medical care.