Gradual Injuries Can Qualify You for Workers' Comp Benefits
Not every workplace injury that is eligible for workers' compensation benefits is something sudden, dramatic, and extreme. In fact, many injuries are ones that develop over time; these are called cumulative trauma injuries, or sometimes referred to as repetitive strain injuries or overuse syndrome.
Repetitive movements, prolonged static posture, or a combination of both causes cumulative trauma. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says that repetitive strain injuries are the nation's most common and costly occupational health problem, costing more than $20 billion a year in workers' compensation costs.
There are many different types of situations where a worker may develop a cumulative trauma injury:
- Professional movers who have to bend down and pick up heavy boxes all day
- Secretaries who spend their days sitting down and typing at computer keyboards
- Factory workers who do the same repetitive motion for their entire shift
- Construction workers who are consistently exposed to the repetitive rhythms of jackhammers and other heavy equipment
- Auto mechanics who are exposed to toxic chemicals on a daily basis
Cumulative trauma injuries can even be psychological. Employees who are exposed to extremely stressful, overwhelming, or frightening situations regularly may find that they become less emotionally stable over time.
It can be more difficult for a worker with cumulative trauma injuries to obtain workers' compensation benefits because the cause of the injury is not as blatantly obvious. The insurance company may try to deny your claim, so it is important that you see a doctor who can properly diagnose whether your pain is the result of a cumulative trauma injury.
If you've been injured on the job and you're having trouble with filing for workers' compensation benefits, contact the Accident & Disability Attorneys of Monge & Associates at (800) 860-8021.