How to Win Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Repetitive Motion Injuries
When office workers begin to experience back pain after years of toiling away at a computer; or when cashiers complain of carpal tunnel after decades of completing the same scanning motion over and over again; or when construction workers accrue bad joints and are unable to lift heavy objects after so many years in the field, people just say that it is “par for the course.” When you perform a certain job, you know what to expect, and if you know what to expect, you should not have signed on for it in the first place, right?
That rationale is a cop-out, for everyone who is too afraid or worried to pursue a personal injury claim, and for anyone who would deny a person’s claim because he or she “should have known.”
Working is not like going on a cruise or getting on an airplane, activities that both involve some inherent risk. People need to work to make a living and contribute to society, amongst a number of other reasons. If a person is injured as a result of his or her contribution and due to repetitive motion, that person deserves to be compensated for said injuries.
If you suffer from repetitive work-related injuries, you may have a workers’ compensation claim. Call the Tampa workers’ compensation lawyers at Barbas, Nuñez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian to discuss your case today.
About Repetitive Motion Injuries
Repetitive motion injuries, or repetitive stress injuries, refer to injuries or cumulative trauma that develop after years of performing the same motions over and over again. Though repetitive stress injuries can develop as the result of a hobby or non-work-related activities, they are often work-related. Common repetitive motion injuries include:
- Carpal tunnel;
- Back pain;
- Tendonitis; and
Though none of these injuries are life-threatening, they can make life extremely uncomfortable for sufferers. For instance, carpal tunnel is characterized by numbness, tingling, and pain. If left untreated, the muscles in the hand begin to deteriorate, making it difficult for a person to perform other work with his or her hands.
Bursitis is characterized by pain that is either gradual or sudden. Eventually, the pain can lead to complete loss of mobility at the affected location.
The symptoms of tendonitis are more or less the same as the symptoms of bursitis. A person with the condition may experience gradual or sudden severe pain and loss of motion in the shoulder. However, tendonitis can also occur in the hand, hip, knee, and at the Achilles tendon.
Though any worker in any field can develop an RSI, those who work at computers, in construction, or on assembly lines are most likely to cultivate cumulative trauma.
Options for RSI
All work-related injuries, no matter how minor, should be reported to employers. If you have developed a repetitive stress injury, it is better to deal with it in the early stages than to wait until it causes significant harm and damage. Your employer is not legally allowed to fire you or retaliate against you in any way for complaining about an RSI. Instead, he or she must help you get the right care to treat the injury and help you return to the highest level of function and independence. To help you reach those goals, your employer and his or her insurance company may recommend motion injury rehabilitation programs, which may include:
- Occupational therapy;
- Heat or cold therapy;
- Exercise programs to strengthen and stretch the damaged areas;
- Pain management therapy;
- Conditioning exercises; and
- Patient and family education.
Hire a Tampa Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
In the best-case scenario, you can file a claim and your employer will deal with it in a professional and adequate manner, meaning you will get the care and compensation you need to recover fully. In the worst-case scenario, your employer will deny that the injury is work related and therefore, deny your request for workers’ comp and therapy. Unfortunately, the worst-case scenario is not uncommon.
If your workers’ compensation claim was denied, it may be because the insurance company argues that there is no connection between the injury and your job duties. If that is the case, it is your job to prove that the connection exists via medical testimony. Our Tampa workers’ compensation lawyers at Barbas, Nuñez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian can help you collect the evidence and testimonies that you need to prove a connection and validate your claim. If you developed a repetitive stress injury, you should not have to suffer any longer. Call our law firm today to schedule your free consultation.