Can You Get Workers’ Comp for Repetitive Stress Injuries?
Workers' Compensation - November 17, 2020
Workplace injuries can lead to significant setbacks for a victim. Not only do work injuries cause significant pain and suffering, but they can lead to lost income and a loss of future earnings. Repetitive stress injuries are not uncommon, though insurance carriers and employers often push back when it comes to paying compensation for these injuries. It is vital that all Illinois employees understand what is covered under Illinois workers comp in the event they sustain a repetitive stress injury caused by the workplace.
What is Repetitive Stress Injury?
Repetitive stress injuries are different from acute work injuries that are immediately apparent, such as broken or dislocated bones, lacerations, traumatic brain injuries, etc. Repetitive stress injuries, on the other hand, tend to happen over longer periods of time. These injuries occur when a person performs the same motion over and over again. RSIs can affect workers in all industries, though workers who operate in the following face a higher risk of sustaining RSIs:
- Assembly line industries
- Data entry
- Shelf stocking
In each of these professions and many others, you will find one common thread – workers performing the same motions over and over again for months or years at a time. Perhaps the most common and well-known RSI is carpal tunnel syndrome. This RSI affects as many as 2.7% of the total US population. Other common repetitive stress injuries include tendonitis and bursitis.
How to Prove Your RSI Was Caused By The Job?
If you or somebody you love has sustained a repetitive stress injury due to job-related duties, proving the injury can be difficult. Repetitive stress injuries tend to develop over longer periods of time, sometimes months or even years. Because these injuries are not immediately apparent, employers and workers’ compensation insurers often delay or deny a claim because they doubt the injury happened in the workplace.
If you suspect that you have sustained an RSI caused by your workplace activities, you need to seek medical assistance as soon as possible. The key to obtaining workers’ compensation for an RSI will be providing medical documentation that backs up your claim that this injury happened due to the work you do. You need to report any suspected workplace injury to your employer as soon as possible. This can be from the time you begin to feel pain or from when you have been diagnosed with an injury by a physician.
Most employers and insurance carriers will try to fight in RSI claim, usually by saying that the injury did not occur while the employee was working at the job site. For example, an employer or insurance carrier could argue that age, not workplace conditions, caused an employee’s arthritis. An employer could claim that outside activities caused a worker’s carpal tunnel syndrome, not repetitive workplace activities.
Proving a RSI Workers’ Comp Claim
If you or somebody you care about has sustained a repetitive stress injury that you think was caused on the job, you need to seek assistance from a skilled workers’ compensation attorney in Chicago as soon as possible. An attorney will have the resources and legal expertise necessary to fully investigate your case, employee the assistance of trusted medical professionals, and help calculate your total losses. Additionally, an attorney will stand up to aggressive employers and insurance carriers in order to secure full compensation on your behalf.