Many different injuries can occur while a person is working. Some of these are the result of accidents, but they can also be due to the repetitive motions that some workers do. Regardless of the cause, all workers who are injured while carrying out their job duties should be able to receive workers' compensation for those.
When it comes to repetitive trauma injuries, it can be difficult to file the workers' compensation claim simply because you can't narrow down when you were injured to one specific date. Below are a few things you need to know about these cumulative trauma injuries:
Injuries might not be immediately apparent
When a person is hurt in an accident, the injury is usually apparent right away. This isn't the case with cumulative trauma. Instead, the injury might start off as something that is bothersome but not painful. As time progresses, the symptoms might get much worse.
Often, employees don't seek treatment for cumulative trauma until their injuries have progressed considerably. It might only be when the pain is unbearable that the worker will go to the doctor. By this point, there might be a lot of damage done to the affected area of the body.
Types of cumulative trauma varies
Damage to nerves and tendons are common with these types of injuries. The problem is that when you work a lot, your body doesn't have time to heal from microtraumas that come with many jobs. For example, teachers who have to bend over to read papers on students' desks might have microtrauma to the lower back from that repetitive motion. Cashiers may have this type of injury from the wrist motion used to ring up items.
Without a chance to heal, the problem will get progressively worse. In some cases, workers who could have received non-invasive treatments will need to have surgery once they finally get medical care.
Conditions already present
It might be possible for cumulative trauma injuries to be compensable under workers' compensation if they are worsened by work-related conditions. The point to remember here is that there must be a tie between the job duties and the problem.
Any worker who thinks they have suffered a repetitive- motion injury should get medical care to determine exactly what's wrong. From there, a treatment plan can be devised. If this includes more medical care and time off work, the worker might need to get their workers' compensation claim in quickly.