When you think about work-related injuries, you probably think about a single event. You may think about a person who slipped and fell while at work or an equipment malfunction that led to the injury. Of course, you can file a workers’ compensation claim for these injuries too, but what about injuries that occur over time. Not all injuries manifest at once. Sometimes, you may develop a condition due to repetitive movement over time.
This is where repetitive stress injuries or RSIs come in. Is it possible to develop an RSI like carpal tunnel and still file a workers’ compensation claim? The answer is that yes, you can still file for workers’ compensation but you have to prove that the RSI was work-related and developed at your current job.
What Are RSIs?
Carpal tunnel and other repetitive stress injuries can happen to anyone. The majority of workers who suffer from RSIs are those who work with computers or touchscreens regularly. The types of occupations that may suffer from carpal tunnel include nurses, grocery store clerks, delivery workers, firefighters, athletes, secretaries and more. If you have a job that requires repetitive movement, then you could be at risk for an RSI.
Repetitive stress injuries are also over-use injuries. These are cumulative traumas that occur over time. Some of the most common repetitive stress injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, bursitis, back pain and more.
How can You Prove RSIs are Work-Related?
This is the hardest part of a workers’ compensation case. You have to prove that your injuries were caused by your occupation. You must go to the doctor as soon as you first present symptoms of an RSI. This way that you can document the medical journey. If you try to deal with it on your own, then it may be more difficult to receive workers’ compensation benefits. You need to tell the doctor when you first experienced the symptoms and what you were doing. In many cases, the doctor may prescribe certain work-restrictions to treat conditions like carpal tunnel. Keep documentation of all prescriptions and recommendations.
Many workers’ compensation insurers will try to fight you on your claims. It is important that you have documentation and do not be afraid to file a claim. Most people need assistance when it comes to filing a claim. Consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer, like a workers compensation lawyer from The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, for a better chance of receiving your benefits.