Repetitive Injury & California Workers’ Compensation
Dedicated California Workers’ Compensation Attorney Helping Employees Get Coverage for Repetitive Stress Injuries
Not every injury in the workplace results from an impact such as a slip and fall or getting caught in a machine. Some injuries arise over time from the regular performance of a particular task or a series of physically stressful tasks. California workers’ compensation is meant to protect workers who are injured in any manner as a result of their job duties, not just those who get struck in the head or experience some other sudden trauma.
Injuries that arise over time or those that are cumulative from various injuries can be difficult to prove, however. The California workers compensation law firm Invictus Law is prepared to help you file your claims and maximize your coverage for your workers’ comp claim, regardless of the nature of your injury. If you have sustained harm because of the nature of your work, you are entitled to coverage. We can help you get it.
What is a Repetitive Motion Injury?
A repetitive motion injury, also called repetitive stress injury (RSI), repetitive strain injury, or cumulative trauma, is a form of injury that builds over time rather than occurring all at once. RSI incorporates a variety of different conditions including carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, tendonitis, trigger finger, rotator cuff syndrome, epicondylitis (a.k.a. “tennis elbow”), Raynaud’s disease, and lower back pain, among others.
The common factor of these conditions is that they are injuries that occur over time due to the regular performance of a stressful or limiting task on a daily basis. When a worker uses the same muscle in a repetitive manner every day, such as typing on a keyboard, working on an assembly line, or lifting heavy boxes, they are at risk of developing a repetitive motion injury.
Does Workers’ Comp Cover Repetitive Motion Injury?
In California, employees are guaranteed workers’ compensation coverage for any illness or injury incurred as a result of performing their job duties. Compensation is guaranteed for impact-based injuries or loss of limb, mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety disorders, illnesses such as cancer, as well as cumulative injuries such as repetitive stress injury. The fact that an illness or injury developed over time, as opposed to all at once, does not preclude coverage.
Obtaining coverage for repetitive motion injury, however, can be more difficult than a standard impact injury. An injured worker must show that they sustained the injury as a result of performing their workplace tasks over time and not due to other non-work factors such as playing sports, doing chores around the house, or engaging in other activities. A person who regularly plays tennis, for example, would have a more difficult time claiming that their epicondylitis was caused by moving furniture at work rather than their leisure activities.
Most RSIs are musculoskeletal disorders, meaning that they affect the muscles, nerves, tendons, and ligaments. You may be suffering from an RSI if you are experiencing numbness, tingling, or burning sensations; if you lose mobility or function in a limb or extremity; or if you experience chronic pain in a particular body part. Proving that an RSI results from job-related tasks can be tough. It helps to seek medical attention as soon as the symptoms appear, and make sure to tell your doctor that the symptoms are job-related. As soon as you get a diagnosis or have reason to believe you have a repetitive motion injury, report the injury to your employer to trigger the workers’ compensation process. A knowledgeable California workers’ compensation attorney can help ensure you put your strongest foot forward when filing your claim, and help you fight back against any denial or limitations of your coverage.
Get Help with Repetitive Motion Injury Claims in Orange County and the Inland Empire from a Dedicated California Workers’ Compensation Attorney
For help getting the care and compensation you need after developing a repetitive motion injury from performing your job duties in Orange County or the Inland Empire, call Invictus Law, P.C. in Orange or Ontario at 949-287-5711 or 888-9-WORKLAW for a free consultation with a seasoned and passionate California workers’ compensation lawyer.