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If you've sustained a shoulder injury in an accident caused by somebody else's negligence, you should be entitled to claim compensation
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Shoulder Injury Claims

The shoulder joint consists of three bones, the scapula, humerus and collarbone, held together by muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Shoulder injuries can cause intense pain and limit a person’s ability to perform daily tasks and work, potentially affecting their earnings.

Common causes of shoulder injuries include car accidents, slips, trips and falls, accidents at work and medical negligence. These may range in severity from minor bruising and soft tissue trauma to fractures and dislocations. If someone else’s actions or negligence caused your injury, you might be entitled to start a shoulder injury claim.

The first step in the claims process is having your case assessed by an experienced legal adviser. They will listen to the circumstances that caused your shoulder injury and let you know if you have a valid claim. This service is completely free and provided without any obligation to proceed.

To arrange your free case assessment, call 0800 032 3660 or enter your details into our claim form if you would prefer a legal adviser to call you back.

The following guide provides information on shoulder injuries and claiming shoulder injury compensation if you have been a victim of an accident that was not your fault.

Am I eligible to make a shoulder injury claim?

To be eligible to make a shoulder injury claim, your case must meet the following criteria:

  • The injury must have been caused by the negligence or actions of another person
  • You were owed a duty of care by that person or entity
  • With a few exceptions, the injury must have occurred within the last three years

If you believe you might have a valid claim for shoulder injury compensation, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. A free consultation over the phone can let you know whether your case has merit and what steps you should take next.

Your solicitor will help you identify the liable party for your injuries. Based on the circumstances of your accident, this could be:

  • A driver or another road user, such as a pedestrian or a cyclist
  • The local council, if they did not properly maintain a public road or walkway
  • An employer who has failed to follow health and safety legislation
  • The manufacturer or distributor of a defective product
  • A landlord who has neglected to carry out regular repairs and maintenance activities
  • The owner of a private business such as a shop or restaurant
  • A healthcare professional if they failed to provide adequate care and treatment

In the UK, several pieces of legislation set a duty of care, including:

Your solicitor will refer to the relevant legislation to show that another party has breached their duty of care towards you. They will also help you gather evidence to support your shoulder injury claim.

What steps should I take to make a shoulder injury claim?

A shoulder injury can cause severe pain and discomfort and have multiple consequences, such as chronic pain, mobility issues and lost wages. If your employer or another person caused your accident by acting negligently, you might be entitled to compensation.

To make a shoulder injury claim, you should follow these steps:

Seek medical attention

It is essential to seek prompt medical attention for your injury to ensure it is properly treated and documented. Your medical records will serve as crucial evidence in your claim and determine how much compensation you will receive, based on the type and extent of your injury and its long-term effects.

Gather evidence

Collect any evidence related to the accident and your injury, including:

  • Medical records of your injury, treatments you received and recovery prospects
  • Photographs or videos of the accident scene and any visible trauma
  • An accident report filed with the responsible party if you had an accident at work or in a public place
  • Contact details of witnesses who could give a statement to support your shoulder injury claim
  • Police reports if you were injured due to a hit and run or a violent crime
  • CCTV or dash cam footage of the accident, if available
  • Your notes about how the accident took place and how it has affected your life
  • Evidence of financial losses and expenses, such as receipts, pay slips or invoices

Contact a personal injury lawyer and provide information about your circumstances

A personal injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and assist you during the entire claims process. Provide your solicitor with information regarding the accident, such as the date, place, and time, along with any relevant details. They will assess liability and offer guidance and support throughout the process.

Filing the claim

Your solicitor will assist you in preparing and filing your shoulder injury claim, including gathering supporting evidence to build a strong case. They will contact the other side and inform them of your decision to take legal action. The defendant has up to three months to investigate your claim and deny or admit liability.

Negotiating a settlement

In most cases, a settlement can be reached between the parties involved without needing a court hearing. Your solicitor will negotiate on your behalf to secure the best possible compensation. Usually, both parties will make multiple offers until they agree on a final settlement.

Attending court

If necessary, your solicitor will represent you in court and help you pursue the compensation you are entitled to receive for your injury. Although this is unlikely, as more than 95% of all personal injury claims settle without a trial, it could be necessary if the defendant denies liability or you cannot negotiate a settlement.

Time limits apply when making a claim, so acting quickly to preserve your rights to take legal action is essential. A personal injury solicitor can advise you on the specific time limits that apply to your case.

Common causes of shoulder injuries

The shoulder is a complex joint frequently used for everyday activities, which means it can be injured in many different ways. Shoulder pain and discomfort can heavily affect your daily life and leave you unable to work, carry out domestic tasks and enjoy simple routines. Moreover, damage to the shoulder can impact your ability to use the arm, neck and even lower body parts.

Shoulder injuries can be sustained in a wide variety of accidents, but some of the most common causes that may result in shoulder injury compensation claims include:

  • Car accidents

A car accident could cause a shoulder injury in several ways, including due to whiplash, seatbelt strain and airbag deployment. Impact trauma from being thrown against the car’s door or steering wheel could also lead to shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff tears, bruising and dislocations.

  • Bicycle and motorbike accidents

Cycling and motorbike accidents can lead to shoulder injuries, including impact trauma leading to fractures and dislocations, road rash or overuse injuries due to repeated stress, especially in long-distance cyclists. If another person was responsible for your accident, you might be able to make a shoulder injury claim.

  • Sport injuries

Almost all sporting activities can pose a risk for injury, including harm to the shoulder. Both contact and non-contact sports can cause severe shoulder injuries such as dislocations, fractures, and rotator cuff tears. Repetitive motions and excessive use of the shoulder joint can also result in conditions like bursitis or tendonitis, especially in sports that involve throwing or serving a ball, such as tennis, cricket or basketball.

  • Physical and criminal assaults

A physical attack involving blows to the shoulder, such as punches or kicks, can cause a range of injuries, including bruises, fractures, dislocations, or rotator cuff tears. Blameless victims of violent crimes could claim shoulder injury compensation through the CICA within two years after sustaining the injury and reporting the incident to the police.

  • Work accidents

Repetitive lifting or carrying heavy objects can strain the shoulder joint, leading to injuries such as rotator cuff tears, tendonitis, or bursitis. Shoulder injuries can also occur from blunt force trauma or impact, such as a collision with machinery or a fall from a height. If your employer has failed to take reasonable measures to protect your health and safety, you might be able to start a shoulder injury at work claim.

  • Medical negligence

Medical negligence can cause a shoulder injury in several ways, including misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a shoulder condition, improper or delayed treatment and surgical errors. These medical mistakes can lead to further damage and long-term complications such as nerve damage and mobility issues.

  • Slips, trips and falls

Falls can cause the shoulder to twist or wrench, leading to a shoulder injury such as a dislocation or rotator cuff tear. Falling on an outstretched arm or onto a hard surface, such as concrete, can result in a shoulder injury from the force of impact.

Providing somebody else was at fault for your accident, the exact cause of your injury will not affect your eligibility to start a shoulder injury claim.

Common types of shoulder injuries

Various types of shoulder injuries can be sustained during an accident or through overuse. The type of injury you suffered will determine the recovery time, treatment requirements and overall prognosis. This will also affect the amount of shoulder injury compensation you could receive following a successful claim.

Some of the most common types of shoulder injuries include the following:

  • Bursitis

Bursitis is a condition where the small fluid-filled bursae sacs in the body become inflamed, leading to pain and discomfort. These sacs act as cushions to protect joints from damage, and excessive use of the shoulder can result in subacromial bursitis, impacting a person’s ability to carry out daily tasks and work responsibilities.

Bursitis is common in physically demanding jobs, such as construction, plumbing, carpentry, and factory work. If your employer has failed to protect you from developing this condition, you might have grounds to start a shoulder injury at work claim.

  • Tendonitis

Tendonitis is a condition where tendons, which connect bones and muscles, become worn down due to prolonged use. There are two main types of tendonitis:

  • Acute: This refers to the form of tendonitis that is due to excessive use of the joint, such as through work or sporting activities.
  • Chronic: Chronic tendonitis is usually caused by degenerative diseases such as arthritis or age-related wear on the tendons.

The most commonly affected tendons in the shoulder are the rotator cuff and the biceps tendon. Shoulder tendonitis can cause significant pain and hinder mobility as the rotator cuff is responsible for providing stability to the shoulder.

  • Dislocated shoulder

A dislocated shoulder is a common injury caused by a slip, trip, or fall and can take several weeks to recover. It happens when the ball joint of the shoulder becomes displaced from its socket, potentially causing damage to surrounding bones and tissues.

This injury can result in intense pain and decreased shoulder, arm, and neck mobility, severely impacting your ability to work and carry out daily activities such as driving, lifting, and carrying objects. If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, you might be entitled to make a shoulder injury claim.

  • Frozen shoulder

This is a term used to describe a condition where shoulder mobility is greatly limited. Also known as adhesive capsulitis in medical terms, it is characterised by discomfort and stiffness, and the joint becomes so rigid that even simple movements become difficult to perform.

A frozen shoulder can be caused by injury or trauma to the shoulder, overuse or excessive strain, as well as surgical mistakes or illnesses such as diabetes or stroke. If another person or company was responsible for your injury, you might be entitled to claim shoulder injury compensation.

  • Rotator cuff tears

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that attach the upper arm bone (humerus) to the shoulder blade (scapula). A rotator cuff tear can occur due to injuries from a fall, blunt trauma and lifting a heavy object, or degeneration over time.

Symptoms of a rotator cuff injury may include pain, weakness, and difficulty lifting or rotating the arm. Treatment options may include physical therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), cortisone injections, and in some cases, surgery.

  • Sprains and strains

A sprain refers to an injury to a ligament, which is the tissue that connects bones to one another. Strains, on the other hand, refer to an injury to a muscle or tendon, the tissue that connects muscle to bone. Shoulder sprains and strains can result from sudden or repetitive movements that overstretch or tear the ligaments, muscles or tendons in the area.

This can occur due to sports-related activities, falls, lifting heavy objects, or sudden movements of the arm. Symptoms may include pain, swelling, and reduced range of motion in the shoulder.

If you believe someone else’s negligence caused your injury, call 0800 032 3660 or request a call back to speak to a legal adviser. If you have a valid shoulder injury claim, your solicitor will offer you a no win no fee service. This means there are no upfront costs to worry about, and you will only pay your solicitor a fee if they win your case.

The impact of a shoulder injury

The shoulder is one of the most frequently used joints and is essential for a person’s ability to perform countless tasks. Thus, the impact of a shoulder injury on a person can be severe and affect most of their daily activities.

Personal injury solicitors will have experience managing many types of shoulder injury claims, with the severity and impact of the injury varying on a case-by-case basis. The short and long-term effects of your condition will be one of the factors determining how much compensation you might receive in a shoulder injury claim.

Some of the most common consequences that a shoulder injury can have include the following:

  • Difficulty in caring for children, such as lifting, dressing and bathing a child
  • Inability to drive
  • Impact on work capacity and decreased earning potential
  • Discomfort and detrimental effect on sleep
  • Psychological and emotional effects, such as stress, anxiety and depression
  • Constant pain and loss of strength
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Limited range of motion and reduced flexibility
  • Increased chance of developing arthritis and other chronic conditions
  • Wear and strain on surrounding body parts
  • Inability to play sports, exercise or continue with hobbies

In severe shoulder injury cases, a person may require painful surgery, leading to extensive delays in recovery. Such delays can cause extreme discomfort and disturbances to a person’s life, affecting their ability to earn money and enjoy life fully. This can significantly impact your life, so getting the shoulder injury compensation you are rightfully owed is crucial.

The solicitors we work with are skilled in securing the highest compensation awards possible for shoulder injury claims and are focused on ensuring that all areas of suffering and loss are considered when negotiating your settlement.

How much compensation will I receive?

The compensation awarded for a successful shoulder injury claim is determined by how the injury affected your life. A skilled and experienced solicitor will strive to secure the highest possible compensation by evaluating all aspects of your losses and suffering during negotiations.

The following factors are considered when determining the amount of compensation that you are entitled to receive:

  • The type and severity of the injury
  • The level of pain and suffering
  • Any loss of earnings that you have incurred
  • The impact on your future work and earning capacity
  • Medical expenses for treatments, prescriptions and mobility aids
  • The cost of rehabilitation, counselling and physical therapy
  • Costs of care and assistance with daily tasks during recovery
  • Any emotional distress you suffered
  • Impact on your independence, such as inflictions on your ability to drive
  • Negative impact on your personal life, such as your ability to play with your children.
  • Travel costs associated with treatment

The factors above are grouped into two types of damages, known as general damages and special damages. Special damages refer to compensation for out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the injury, such as medical expenses and lost earnings. These losses are quantifiable in monetary terms and are typically compensated by reimbursement of losses or payment to cover future expenses.

On the other hand, general damages refer to compensation for non-economic losses such as pain, suffering and emotional distress and are hard to quantify in monetary terms. These types of losses are typically compensated by a lump sum payment, according to the guidelines and recommendations published yearly by the Judicial College:

Injury Type Description Compensation
Shoulder Injuries Severe shoulder injury causing significant disability £15,510 to £38,830
Serious shoulder injuries such as dislocation or a fractured humerus causing restricted movement of the shoulder £10,340 to £15,510
Frozen shoulder or soft tissue damage with minimal symptoms lasting over two years £6,380 to £10,340
Fractured clavicle without permanent damage £4,180 to £9,900
Minor shoulder injury with a full recovery within one to two years £3,520 to £6,380
Minor shoulder injury with a full recovery within 12 months Up to £3,520
For a free consultation to find out if you have a valid claim for shoulder injury compensation, call 0800 032 3660 or arrange a call back today. A friendly and experienced legal adviser will be pleased to answer any questions you have, assess your case and provide an experienced estimate of the amount of compensation you could be eligible to claim.

Is there a time limit to claim shoulder injury compensation?

According to UK legislation, you typically have three years to start a shoulder injury claim, starting from the date of the injury or from the date you received a diagnosis (the date of knowledge). The time limit is set by the Limitation Act 1980, beyond which you may no longer be able to seek compensation for your losses.

The Limitation Act 1980 aims to ensure that claims are brought within a reasonable time and that evidence is not lost or destroyed over time. It also provides for different limitation periods for different types of cases, including specific provisions if:

  • The injured person is a minor

In this case, the three-year countdown begins after the child turns 18. However, a litigation friend (typically a parent, sibling or guardian) can start legal proceedings on their behalf at any point before their 18th birthday, regardless of when they suffered a shoulder injury.

  • The claimant is mentally incapacitated

If the person that has been injured lacks the mental capacity to conduct legal proceedings, there is no limitation date to claim compensation. This could be due to an intellectual disability, mental health issue, neurodegenerative disease, or a traumatic brain injury. Like child accident claims, a litigation friend can claim on their behalf at any point. However, if the victim regains mental capacity, they will have three years to start a claim from that point.

  • You suffered a shoulder injury due to a violent crime

If the shoulder injury was due to an assault or another violent crime, a criminal injury claim could be made through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICIA). The CICA imposes a two-year time limit to claim compensation in these circumstances.

  • The injury was due to a faulty product

If a faulty product caused your accident, you typically have three years from the date the defect was discovered to claim shoulder injury compensation. Furthermore, you cannot take legal action later than ten years after the product was first released on the market.

  • You were injured in a military accident

If you suffered an injury on duty, the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) has a time limit of seven years from the date of your shoulder injury or the date of knowledge to make a claim.

  • You were injured abroad

The time limit to claim if you suffered an injury abroad may vary depending on the country where the injury occurred. It is recommended to seek legal advice as soon as possible, as the limitation date might be as short as six months in some foreign countries.

Will I be offered a no win no fee service?

If you have a valid shoulder injury claim with a fair chance of success, you will be offered a no win no fee service. This is an arrangement between you and your solicitor, where the solicitor takes on the financial risk of the case. The benefits of a no win no fee agreement include:

  • Access to justice – By offering a no win no fee service, solicitors make it possible for people who could not otherwise afford legal representation to access justice.
  • Reduced financial risk – With a conditional fee agreement, you only pay your solicitor if they secure shoulder injury compensation. There is no need to pay any money upfront for legal representation, eliminating the financial risk of pursuing a personal injury claim.
  • No legal costs if you lose your claim – As part of your no win no fee agreement, your solicitor will take out After the Event (ATE) insurance on your behalf. The ATE is an insurance policy that covers the costs of legal proceedings if a case is lost, including the cost of solicitors’ fees and any expenses incurred during the legal process.
  • Increased chances of success – The experienced personal injury solicitors we collaborate with only work on a no win no fee basis. This means they only take on cases they believe have a strong chance of success, increasing the odds of winning your case.
  • Cost-effective – Working on a no win no fee basis often makes solicitor fees more affordable than those charged through the traditional hourly billing method. Your solicitor will only get paid a percentage of the shoulder injury compensation award, which is always agreed upon in advance. This is called the success fee, which can be up to 25% of the awarded compensation.
  • Improved focus on the case – When solicitors work on a conditional fee agreement, they are more incentivised to secure the best possible outcome for their client, as their fee is contingent on the case’s success.

To find out if you can start a shoulder injury claim on a no win no fee basis, call 0800 032 3660 for a free consultation today. Alternatively, please enter your details into our online claim form to receive a call back with no obligation to proceed.