Getting Workers’ Compensation Benefits For Repetitive Stress Injuries
Often, when people think of work-related injuries, they think of a sudden accident, such as a slip and fall, that results in a life-altering injury. However, many employees suffer life-changing work-related injuries from the cumulative effect of repetitive motions or postures on the job. Repeated stress injuries are estimated to affect more than 1.5 million workers yearly. Cashiers, construction workers, drivers, factory workers, and healthcare workers are just some of the professionals at a high risk of repetitive stress injuries. Fortunately, employees who suffer repetitive stress injuries can get workers’ compensation benefits as long as they can prove that their injuries are work-related. Below, we discuss what a repetitive stress injury is, some types of work-related repetitive stress injuries, and how to make a workers’ compensation claim for a repetitive stress injury.
What Is a Repetitive Stress Injury?
A repetitive stress injury is damage to a person’s muscles, nerves, or tendons caused by constant use, repetitive motions, or repetitive awkward postures. Often, these injuries affect a person’s fingers, elbows, shoulders, knees, arms, or wrists. Repetitive stress injuries can also be referred to as repetitive strain injuries, overuse injuries, or cumulative trauma. However, cumulative trauma also includes injuries that may develop over time due to repeated exposure to things such as loud sounds. In Vermont, the term repetitive stress injury is commonly used.
Types of Work-related Repetitive Stress Injuries
There are many types of repetitive stress injuries that workers can suffer. Below are some examples;
- Carpal tunnel syndrome: This repetitive stress injury is said to affect 1 to 5 percent of the adult population in the United States of America. When most people hear of repetitive stress injuries, this is the condition that comes to mind. CTS occurs when a nerve in the hand and forearm called the median nerve is compressed within the carpal tunnel. Some causes of this condition are repetitive gripping, forceful gripping, and using vibrating tools. The most frequent cause of this injury is constant typing and movement of a computer mouse.
- Tennis elbow: This injury involves the inflammation of the tissue connecting the forearm muscle to the elbow.
- Bursitis: This repetitive stress injury occurs when the sacs that act like cushions for the muscles, tendons, and bones attached to your joints, also called bursae, become inflamed.
- Tendinitis: This injury occurs when a tendon, which is the thick fibrous cord connecting muscle to bone, becomes inflamed. Tendinitis is common around elbows, shoulders, knees, wrists, and heels but can happen in any tendon.
- Rotator cuff syndrome: This injury affects the rotator cuff muscles and tendons of the shoulder.
Making a Workers’ Compensation Claim for a Repetitive Stress Injury
If you believe you have a repetitive stress injury, you should report the injury to your employer. In Vermont, you must inform your employer of a repetitive stress work-related injury as soon as you find out about the injury. Seek medical attention for your injury and contact a qualified workers’ compensation attorney. In Vermont, your employer may direct you to a company doctor for your first medical visit, but after that, you can pick your own doctor.
Contact a Vermont Workers’ Compensation Attorney
It is crucial that you retain an attorney to help you with your workers’ compensation claim for a repetitive stress injury because proving that you developed a work injury over time can be a challenge. Our Vermont workers’ compensation attorney at Sluka Law PLC is here for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.