Often there is a lot of confusion surrounding workers’ compensation, what it is, how it works, and what it covers. A common question that often comes up is, does workers’ compensation cover repetitive physical injuries?
What is Workers’ Compensation?
All companies that have 4 or more employees (1 or more in the construction industry) have to carry workers’ compensation insurance. It is an insurance policy that pays injured workers lost wages and medical expenses after they experience an on-the-job injury.
There can be questions surrounding the cause, responsible party, and severity of the injury, and some employees have trouble getting their claims paid.
What is a Repetitive Physical Injury?
A repetitive physical injury occurs when someone performs the same motion over and over again for long periods of time. Often the issue is nerve damage or muscle or tendon rips and/or tears. One example is carpal tunnel syndrome. Other examples are trigger finger, rotator cuff syndrome, bursitis, tendonitis, epicondylitis (often called tennis elbow), and lower back pain.
Symptoms of a Repetitive Physical Injury
Sometimes the afflicted person may not notice any symptoms of a receptive physical injury when it first occurs, but as the condition worsens, they may start to experience some of the following symptoms:
- Dull aches or throbbing
- Loss of movement or strength
- Reduced coordination, range of motion, or flexibility
The pain may come and go or only show up when you make the same motion.
At-Risk Jobs for repetitive physical injury
Some jobs require repetitive motion and are more at risk for these injuries. Those jobs include:
- Computer Operators (data entry clerks)
- Health Care Aides
- Bus Drivers
- Grocery and Store Clerks
- Delivery Workers
- Pipe Fitters
- Meat Processing Workers
- Assembly Line Employees
- Professional Athletes
Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Repetitive Physical Injuries?
Workers’ compensation should cover repetitive physical injuries, but it depends on the situation, your employer, and the state where you work.
If you are diagnosed with a repetitive physical injury, you should start the claims process immediately with your employer and the workers’ compensation insurance company.
Some states, like Florida, impose limits on repetitive physical injury, and often you have legal hurdles to surmount to prove that your employment caused the condition. There are also specific deadlines to be aware of, so be sure to notify your employer as soon as possible.
Help for repetitive physical injuries and Workers’ Compensation Insurance
If you have suffered a repetitive physical injury from your job and are having trouble getting workers’ compensation benefits, contact Barry Stein. We want to help you get the benefits you deserve.