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Challenges of Repetitive Stress Workers’ Compensation Claims

construction worker with back injuryManufacturing workers do a lot of repetitive motions each day and this could increase their risk of suffering an injury. These workers may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, but it can be tough to prove a connection between their injury and their work. This is because their injury was not caused by one specific accident.

If you suffered an injury caused by repetitive motions at your job, contact our experienced Lancaster workers’ compensation attorneys at Schmidt Kramer. The consultation is free and comes with no obligation to take legal action.

Burden of Proof is on the Victim

In a workers’ compensation claim, the victim or his or her attorney must establish that the injury is work-related. While this may be relatively simple in cases involving an accident, linking a repetitive stress injury to your job can be much more difficult. The injury developed over a longer period of time and you may have worked different jobs or performed other activities that contributed to your injuries.

One of the most important things in a repetitive stress workers’ comp claim is the diagnosis from the doctor. There must be clear evidence that establishes a connection between your injury and your job.

Importance of Reporting Injuries Right Away

In Pennsylvania, an injured employee must report his or her injury or occupational illness to his or her employer within 21 days of discovering it. If you do not provide notice within 120 days of the date of the injury you may lose the right to pursue benefits.

However, it is important to avoid having a significant gap of time between when you discovered the injury and when you told your employer. Employers and insurance companies will look at a delay suspiciously and may say it means your injury was caused by something other than your job.  

Common Repetitive Stress Injuries

There are numerous types of repetitive stress injuries. These medical conditions are not always quickly diagnosed. Common symptoms associated with repetitive stress injuries include pain, tenderness, numbness, throbbing or weakness in the affected body part. These symptoms may vary from mild to severe. In many cases, the worker only experiences symptoms while working. Symptoms may become more prevalent as time goes by.

Some conditions caused by repetitive stress injuries result in fluid build-up in the body, tissue damage, degeneration of tendons or the compression of blood cells.

Common repetitive stress injuries include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tendonitis
  • Tendinosis
  • Rotator cuff syndrome
  • Edema
  • Herniated discs
  • Medical epicondylitis
  • Ulnar nerve compression
  • Raynaud’s disease
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Myositis
  • Bursitis
  • Tenosynovitis
  • Intersection syndrome
  • Lateral epicondylitis
  • Radial tunnel syndrome
  • Stenosing tenosynovitis

Industries Where People Are More Prone to Injuries

Repetitive stress injuries are small traumas affecting muscles, tendons, nerves and soft tissue due to strain. These injuries can occur in a person’s hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, back, legs and elbows. The continued trauma causes inflammation of the tendons and other medical issues.

The underlying reason for these injuries is repetitive motion, especially of the hands and arms. While anyone can potentially work a job where these motions are routine, certain workers are more susceptible to suffering repetitive stress injuries, such as:

  • Manufacturing workers
  • Assembly line workers
  • Meatpacking workers
  • Warehouse employees
  • Operators of jackhammers
  • Construction workers
  • Mechanics
  • Truck drivers
  • Tailors
  • Massage therapists
  • Musicians
  • Painters
  • Computer operators
  • Data entry workers

Contact an Experienced Attorney for Assistance

If you have suffered a repetitive motion injury that you believe is caused by your work, it is important to contact Schmidt Kramer to discuss the situation.

Repetitive motion workers’ compensation claims can be very difficult to prove without the assistance of an attorney. Your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance carrier may try to claim that your injury is due to recreational activity, a previous job or something else.

Our attorneys are prepared to guide you through the claims process, including an appeal if your claim is denied.

Schedule your free consultation. Call (717) 888-8888