If you are injured in a work-related accident, your employer very likely covers you with a form of insurance known as workers' compensation. This insurance is offered to employees free of charge and pays for their related medical expenses and a partial salary. While most people associate this coverage with sudden injuries, it also covers those that are caused by repeated actions. Read on to find out more.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
Injuries that can be caused by repeated movements are called repetitive stress or strain injuries. This is not just a single injury but can encompass several muscle and joint disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, bursitis, and more.
Every industry offers jobs that can put employees at risk of overusing certain muscles and joints, and it's not just from factory work. Anyone who types a lot can be affected by carpal tunnel syndrome, and even those who do light work can have issues with strains caused by repetitive movements. In most cases, bodies are not meant to perform the same movements over and over again without causing harm. What makes repetitive injuries unique is the way they happen slowly over time and that creates a need for more care when attempting to be paid workers' comp benefits.
Workers' Compensation and Repetitive Strain Injuries
Just as it covers sudden forms of harm, workers' comp is supposed to cover repetitive injuries as well. It can be more difficult, however, to have claims approved when dealing with injuries that may have begun many weeks or months ago. To help ensure your claim is successful, take the following steps when dealing with a repetitive stress or strain injury:
- Get medical help and tell the doctor about your job and the way it impacts your muscle group or joints.
- Let your supervisor at work know about your injury and inquire about filing a workers' compensation claim. Some states require the supervisor to file a claim and some states allow the hurt worker to file a claim.
- Take a good look at the claim form before you submit it and check it for errors, omissions, or inaccuracies. Mistakes on claim forms can cause the claim to be denied or make it appear that you are exaggerating your problem, faking your illness, or lying about it being a work-related issue.
- If your doctor orders you to stay home from work, do so until further notice.
- If your claim is denied, if your superior won't file a claim, or if you have any problems with your claim, speak to a workers' compensation attorney for assistance right away.