Effective Accident Claim

Effective Accident Claim

What is repetitive stress injury and how can you claim it?

On Behalf of | Jul 11, 2023 | Workers' Compensation |

Repetitive stress injuries are the result of damage to muscles, tendons, and nerves. These injuries are, as the name implies, the result of a repeating motion and can occur in the fingers, wrists, elbows, arms, shoulders, and knees.

Can repetitive stress injuries qualify for workers’ comp benefits?

Workers’ compensation benefits are available for those who suffer an on-the-job injury or work-related illness. The workers’ comp system generally puts the injury and illness into one of two categories: a traumatic injury or an occupational disease.

What is an occupational disease?

Occupational diseases are often more difficult to define compared to traumatic injuries. The cause of a traumatic injury is generally clear. The worker suffers an injury in a number of different ways, like getting hit by a moving object or falling due to a tripping hazard. The connection between the cause and effect is easy to establish.

This is not always the case with occupational diseases. These injuries are often the result of continuous exposure or repetitive motions and build over time. A common example are repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that occurs when the major nerves to the hand are squeezed or compressed as they travel through the wrist. This compression results in pain, numbness, and tingling of the forearm and hand. If left untreated, it can escalate and result in permanent dysfunction of the hand.

Do occupational diseases qualify for workers’ comp benefits?

Occupational diseases often qualify for workers’ compensation and are not uncommon. A recent report out of the University of Connecticut found that a large portion of workers’ compensation claims were connected to carpal tunnel. The researchers report that the most common causes connected to workers’ compensation claims in the state included:

  • Lifting and carrying
  • Tool use
  • Computer use
  • Data entry
  • Pushing and pulling motions

The researchers also note tendonitis was another commonly claimed repetitive stress injury.

How do I file a claim for benefits?

In Connecticut, the process generally begins with reporting the incident to the supervisor. Next the third-party claims administrator gets a first report of injury and will either approve or deny the claim.

Unfortunately, making the connection between the repetitive motion and the workplace is not always easy. The insurance provider will push back and try to avoid covering the claim or make a low offer. Do not settle for less than you deserve. You can fight back and challenge the initial determination.