Is It Possible To Make A Workers' Comp Claim For Repetitive Stress Injuries?

When you repeat a motion, over and over, for months or years, you run the risk of injury. This is the reality for people all over the world in various industries. These repetitive stress injuries are absolutely grounds for a workers' compensation claim, but you have to know how to present your case.

Repetitive Stress by Different Names

You may hear repetitive stress injuries under different names.

  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Cumulative trauma disorders

No matter the term, it describes injuries that occur from using the same muscles repeatedly. For example, if you type constantly in the office, you can develop carpal tunnel syndrome. If you do a lot of overhead lifting at your job, you can develop a form of tendonitis.

There are any number of injuries that can occur from repeating the same movements. You can even suffer from just having to stand still or sit down for abnormal amounts of time.

While you can start a workers' compensation claim for these types of injuries, you have to prove the injuries are from work. After all, many of these repetitive motion injuries can occur from your day-to-day life. Things like angling your neck downward to stare at a screen for long lengths of time can also lead to repetitive motion injuries. Working out can lead to them as well.

The Burden of Proof

In most cases, it's not difficult to tie a repetitive stress injury to your working conditions. If your job description says that you stand in one place and scan bar codes all day, it's no surprise if you develop carpal tunnel in the wrist you use to do that job. If you constantly employ the use of heavy, vibrating power tools, there's a good chance you can develop a form of bursitis.

Here's what you can do to make sure that you have a solid case.

Report the injury. Do it as soon as you notice it. Make sure you report to your human resources group as well as to your supervisors. There's often a time period allotted to you to report any injury, so you need to make sure you look into your local workers' comp guidelines.

Have the injury checked. You will need documentation of the injury, and the only way to get that is through your doctor. Make sure that you tell your physician that you believe the injury is work related, and let him or her know everything that led up to you realizing you had an injury.

Always follow up. Workers' compensation claims are not a set-it-and-forget-it affair. You need to make sure you're doing everything the insurance company wants you to do. Don't miss any appointments and follow up with your human resources department to make sure everything is happening as it should.

Speak to a professional. Workers' compensation law can vary from place to place. Your employer may have different ways of doing things than others. You should take a moment to consult with a workers' compensation lawyer such as Franco Law Firm about your claim. There are some things about the process that they will know that you simply won't.

People make claims for repetitive stress injuries all the time, so you don't have to go into the situation thinking it's impossible. Just do it right, follow through, and speak with a professional. And always remember that you can appeal a negative decision.