Many workplace injuries are the result of a single or sudden accident. However, some workplace injuries are developed over time due to repetitive stress, and this type of injury is eligible for workers’ compensation.
Maybe you are often tasked with running a jackhammer for a construction company and are experiencing debilitating pain in your shoulders or elbows. Perhaps you work on an assembly line and have begun feeling every movement that you repeat every day. It could be that you work at an office where you sit for hours typing away, and your doctor just diagnosed you with carpal tunnel syndrome. Whatever the case may be, if you are experiencing anything similar to these scenarios—you may be eligible for compensation for cumulative injuries.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a medical condition caused by damage to the median nerve which runs from the forearm to the palm of the hand. When there is pressure on that nerve, it can cause a tremendous amount of pain and limited mobility. When carpal tunnel syndrome develops over time from repeated motions, a worker could be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
According to the Mayo Clinic, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms start gradually and become more persistent over time. Most workers report the feeling of numbness or tingling in their thumbs, index and middle fingers. They often try to shake their hands out to relieve the symptoms. That may work at first, but over time, the numb feeling will become constant. The condition can also cause pain in the wrist and the palm of the hand.
Workers who experience these symptoms often describe the sensation as an electric shock through their fingers, traveling from their wrist up through their arm. The symptoms often happen when the worker is holding a steering wheel, a phone, a magazine, or some other small object.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has broken down the incidence rates by occupation per 10,000 full-time workers. The professions putting workers most at risk include:
The BLS also breaks down the reported incidents of carpal tunnel syndrome into different industry sectors. Not surprising, manufacturing workers who work assembly lines have significantly higher rates of this type of injury.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with occupational carpal tunnel syndrome, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. Benefits generally include reimbursement for medical and therapy bills, related out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages.
Cumulative injuries may also be referred to as repeated motion injuries, repetitive stress injuries, or cumulative trauma disorder. All of these involve repeated motion. The key causes of cumulative injuries include:
Injuries from these types of actions are made much worse when the body does not have a chance to recover.
Whatever the cause of the injury or the symptoms, it is important to notify your employer as soon as your symptoms appear and to seek medical care. When documenting this type of injury with an employer and doctor, tell them when you first started noticing symptoms, what you were doing when you noticed the symptoms, and how it affects your ability to complete tasks both on and off the job.
Claims for repetitive stress injuries can be tricky, and your employer and its insurer may try to stand between you and the benefits you deserve. Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys will fight to get you what you deserve while navigating the complicated process for you.
We’re available 24/7 and will come to you for a free consultation. We never collect a fee unless we get money for you. Contact us today and we’ll handle everything from here!
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