Industrial Disease Claims

Osteoarthritis Claims

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the UK. A serious and painful condition, osteoarthritis occurs when there's damage in and around your joints that doesn't fully heal. If you've developed osteoarthritis as a result of your work, our solicitors could help you claim compensation.

The pain caused by osteoarthritis can affect mobility and seriously reduce your quality of life. It most commonly impacts the following joints:

  • Hips
  • Knees
  • Elbows
  • Fingers and thumbs
  • Wrists

The full causes of osteoarthritis are unknown, but a common contributing factor is an injury to a bone or joint that can be caused by certain kinds of work:

  • Repeated impacts on the joint
  • Repeated forceful actions or movements by the joints
  • Regularly moving the joints to their extremes, causing strains

Examples of this include using road drills, which place stress on your elbows, but there are many circumstances in which our lawyers have helped people make osteoarthritis claims.

We have a proven track record of helping people claim compensation for osteoarthritis, and access rehabilitation support that they need to live with a chronic condition. Our aim is to make the claims process as simple as possible for you, handling every aspect of your case and offering expert advice in plain English at every step of the way.

Contact us today on 0800 056 4110 for a free initial consultation on your claim. We'll advise you on whether we think you've got a case, with no obligation to continue.

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Experienced workplace illness solicitors
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  • Mark Allen
  • Associate Director
Meet the team
Osteoarthritis Claims - More Information
    • How Much Compensation Can I Expect?
    • How much compensation you receive after a work-related illness will depend on a few factors related to your illness, its circumstances, and the support and rehabilitation you need.

      The amount of compensation you could claim is based on:

      • Current and future loss of earnings
      • Medical and travel expenses you've had to pay
      • Your care and support needs – both now and in the future
      • Modifications to your home
      • Mobility aids
      • Your pain and suffering

      For more information, call us on 0800 056 4110 and we'll be happy to discuss your options in a free initial consultation.

    • Can I Make A No Win No Fee* Claim?
    • Many of our cases are funded with a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that there’s no financial risk* to you when making a compensation claim.

      At the start of your case, we'll discuss funding options with you, advising you which we think is most suitable. If you have legal expenses insurance (LEI) or are covered by a trade union policy, these may be best for you. Legal expenses insurance is included in many household or car insurance policies, so it’s always worth checking whether you’re already covered.

      If we think you're best supported by a No Win No Fee* agreement, we'll explain the process clearly. You'll only have to pay anything if your claim is successful – your opponent will pay most of our fees, with the remaining costs coming out of your compensation settlement.

      Please visit our No Win No Fee page for more information on how it works.

    • How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim?
    • Usually you need to make a compensation claim within three years of becoming aware that your illness might be linked to your work.

      In fatal cases, the family of the deceased has three years to make a claim, starting from either the date your loved one died, or the date you received the post-mortem results.

      If your illness occurred while working outside of the UK, then the time limit can be shorter. In this instance, it's vital that you contact us as soon as possible.

      If you have any concerns or questions about the time limit for claiming compensation, call our team today on 0800 056 4110 for free initial advice and to talk through your options.

    • Can I Get Early Compensation Payments?
    • Early compensation payments, also known as interim payments, are made in advance of any final settlement. They’re only made in an agreement with your opponent, if they admit that they're responsible for your illness.

      Interim payments can be used to replace lost earnings, so you can afford to pay essential bills if your illness has meant you’ve been absent from work, as well as covering the cost of specialist medical care or mobility equipment.

      We'll work hard to get an early admission of fault, and also to obtain early compensation payments to relieve any immediate financial pressures you’re feeling.

    • Will I Lose My Job If I Claim Against My Employers?
    • If you wish to make a claim against your current employer, then any compensation would be paid by their insurer. It has been compulsory to have insurance for many years, so it’s highly likely that they will have this in place. There are also legal safeguards in place to protect you from unfair dismissal.

      This basically means that your employer must be able to justify their reason for dismissing you in relation to your claim, which is highly unlikely. If you want to discuss this subject in more detail, our workplace illness solicitors will be able to talk you through your rights and what you can expect.

I was very impressed. They were professional and friendly.”

Caroline, client

Frequently Asked Questions

How Should My Employer Have Protected Me From Osteoarthritis Risks?

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act, employers have a duty of care to their employees, and must protect them from health risks in the workplace. Your employer should carry out a risk assessment under the 2002 Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations if their employees have to work with substances that could cause issues like eczema and dermatitis.

The Health and Safety at Work Act states that employers have a duty of care to their employees, and must protect them from health risks in the workplace. This includes the risk of arthritis.

When you're undertaking work that could put you at risk of osteoarthritis, particularly repetitive tasks using hammer-action tools, your employer should:

  • Tell you what the hazards and risks are
  • Inform you of any exposure limits
  • Train you in what to do if there is an accident or an emergency
  • Provide mechanical aids where possible
  • Rotate staff to different work types to avoid overexposure
  • Allow employees to take regular breaks
  • Provide seating where possible
  • Provide personal protective equipment (PPE), such as knee pads, anti-fatigue matting, wrist supports and gloves

If you've not been provided with enough information, training or PPE to work safely, then your employer's negligence could have put you at risk. If you’re unsure, contact us today on 0800 056 4110 for a free consultation on your case.

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What's The Process For An Osteoarthritis Claim?

When you make an osteoarthritis compensation claim with us, we aim to make the whole process as straightforward as possible for you, handling every aspect of your case while you focus on dealing with your injuries.

We'll let you know exactly what we're doing at every stage, helping you to make any decisions, and letting you know exactly what we need from you. Getting a claim started is simple, all you need to do is contact us.

You can call us today on 0800 056 4110 for a free initial consultation – we'll discuss your condition, and whether we think you can claim. If we think you've got a case, your claim will usually progress through these four stages:

Stage One: Information Gathering

You'll have a medical examination with a medical expert, who will report on your symptoms, their extent, and whether you're suffering from osteoarthritis. Establishing that the condition is definitely work-related is also important at this stage, as arthritis can have a number of other causes related to age and family history. It's possible to link certain medical conditions with specific occupational causes thanks to previous judgements and case precedents that are supported by medical evidence, so we'll discuss your work environment with you and look for things that could have contributed to your symptoms.

The main symptoms of osteoarthritis that the medical expert will be looking for are pain and stiffness in the joints, though increased tenderness, weakness and muscle loss, joints appearing larger than usual, and grating sounds or feelings in your joints are also common.

Stage Two: Rehabilitation

If you have any care or support needs as a result of your osteoarthritis, we'll identify exactly what these are and help you access them conveniently, from a provider close to your home.

Osteoarthritis is, unfortunately, incurable, but medication to ease pain is often prescribed. Supportive physiotherapy is also a common part of the rehabilitation process, and can help make everyday activities easier – essential for regaining your independence while suffering from a chronic condition.

If your employer accepts liability for your condition early on in the process, we may be able to negotiate interim payments – otherwise known as early compensation payments – which can help cover any rehabilitation costs in the short term.

Stage Three: Compensation

We'll calculate how much compensation you'll receive based on a few factors, including:

  • The severity of your condition
  • Medical expenses you’ve had to pay, or will have in the future
  • Your occupation, and the impact your condition will have on your ability to work
  • Your pain and suffering

Osteoarthritis can be caused by intensive industrial work, and it can make continuing with this kind of work impossible. Because of this, your ability to return to work could be a big factor in the compensation you receive.

We'll then put the case to your employer (or former employer). They may accept blame early on, or could challenge the findings, which may result in the claim being settled in court. Most claims settle out of court; however, if you do have to go to court, we'll be there to support you. If your former employer has gone out of businesses, we will track down their insurer, who will be responsible for paying your compensation.

Stage Four: Conclusion

When your case concludes, you'll be awarded compensation if you're successful. Our fees will mostly be paid by your opponent, with a portion of your compensation settlement covering the rest.

If we agreed to handle your claim under a No Win No Fee* arrangement, then you won't have to pay anything if you were unsuccessful.

If you have any questions about the claims process for occupational osteoarthritis, please contact us today on 0800 056 4110.

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Why Choose Irwin Mitchell For A Workplace Osteoarthritis Claim?

Claiming against an employer or former employer can be a daunting prospect. That's why we aim to make things as simple and straightforward as possible for you.

There are legal safeguards in place that prevent employers from disciplining or dismissing employees who make compensation claims. No one who has developed a workplace illness due to employer negligence should be put off from claiming the compensation they're entitled to.

We have a great deal of experience claiming from employers, including those who have since gone out of business. In these cases, we'll track down your former employer's insurers, who are responsible for your compensation. Our lawyers work on individual cases and also on behalf of a number of trade unions.

We can call on a number of medical experts to support your claim, and find out exactly what rehabilitation and care you need.

We know that arthritis is very painful, and can limit what you're able to do. We want to make sure that you receive the best compensation possible, which reflects that suffering, and helps you access the medical care that you need to enjoy life.

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Awards & Recognition

We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK


"They are forensic and analytical as well as campaigning and careful. All of the lawyers work tirelessly for the smaller cases as well as the bigger cases."
We're delighted to have been named Claimant Solicitor of the Year in the 2016 Post Magazine Rehabilitation First Awards, an award we've won on seven previous occasions.
"One of the best’ and ‘go-to firm’ Irwin Mitchell covers the full range of work, and specialises in complex, unique cases."

What Our Clients Say

We truly value and appreciate the feedback we receive from our clients, as we look to improve the services we offer on an ongoing basis.

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Making a difference – specialist care and support services.

Rehabilitation means different things to different people. For some it’s being able to return to work, while for others it’s being able to become more independent around the house. Our personal injury solicitors are here for you whatever your situation is, and you can be reassured that we’ll help you access the care and support you need to make the best recovery possible.


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Our offices are located in major cities throughout the UK and have excellent transport links.

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