Repetitive Stress Injuries Covered By California Workers’ Comp

BY: Koszdin | Wednesday, October 12, 2016.

The ability to work is part of your livelihood — without it, you wouldn’t know where to begin in paying your bills and providing a roof over your head. At times, it’s easy to take safety at work for granted. Many people do not realize that working in almost any job poses risks for injury – even in an office setting. With that, comes the question of what you would do if you were injured and unable to continue working, either temporarily or permanently.

Did you know that not all physical work injuries are ones that happen in a split second – like slipping and falling, or getting into an accident? Many work injuries can be gradual, such as a repetitive stress injury like carpal tunnel syndrome from years of doing office work at a computer. Did you know workers’ compensation in California covers these types of cumulative injuries? Workers’ compensation is insurance that your employer is required to carry by law, and should you suffer from a work-related injury, it would provide you with:

  • Replacement income while you are unable to work
  • Payment of your medical expenses related to the injury, including doctor visits, physical therapy, prescription medications and sometimes surgery, depending on the case
  • Training to help you qualify for a different position, should you not be able to return to your previous position because of the injury

What types of repetitive stress injuries can happen at work?

Approximately 20 percent of all workplace injuries are not from accidents, but rather from doing the same work over and over that causes harm to your body. Overuse or repetitive motion causes cumulative trauma injuries or repetitive stress injuries. This repetitive motion or overuse of something like your hands can put strain on certain muscles, tendons or bones in your body. This usually results in pain or injury. Examples of repetitive stress injuries include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (usually in the wrists or hands)
  • Tendonitis (usually in your elbow or knee)
  • Bursitis
  • Shoulder injuries, such as in your rotator cuff
  • Back strains (usually in your lower back) from repetitive lifting, bending or hunching
  • Vibration injuries (in fingers and hands)

Without the right medical care and treatment, these conditions can worsen and cause nerve damage, chronic pain or even loss of motion. But because these injuries happen over time, and often require lengthy recovery time if you need surgery, employers and insurance companies may challenge your claim. An experienced workers compensation attorney can help represent you against the insurance company for your repetitive stress injury claim and make sure you get the help you deserve.

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