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Are Repetitive Stress Injuries Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

 Posted on November 16,2023 in Workers' Compensation

repetitive stress injury

Workers' compensation is a crucial form of financial protection for employees who are injured while working or experience illnesses or health issues due to the work they have performed. It provides financial support and medical benefits to help workers recover from their injuries and return to work. While most people are aware that workers' compensation covers workplace accidents such as falls or equipment malfunctions, there is often confusion about whether repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) are also covered. While filing a workers’ compensation claim, an injured worker can help improve their chances of success by working with an experienced attorney.

What Are Repetitive Stress Injuries?

Repetitive stress injuries, also known as repetitive strain injuries, occur when a person performs the same motion repeatedly over an extended period. These types of injuries can affect various parts of the body, including the hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, neck, and back. Common examples of RSIs include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, bursitis, and rotator cuff tears.

In many cases, RSIs develop gradually over time due to activities like typing on a keyboard for hours each day or performing repetitive tasks on an assembly line. The symptoms may start with mild discomfort, but they can progress to severe pain and limited mobility if left untreated.

Workers’ Compensation Coverage for RSIs

The coverage provided by workers' compensation varies depending on state laws and regulations. In Illinois, all employers, regardless of the size of a company or its number of employees, are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage.

This means that if you sustain a repetitive stress injury while performing your job duties in Illinois, you will likely be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. Workers' compensation covers medical expenses related to the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of RSIs. It also provides wage replacement benefits if you are unable to work due to your injury.

The key factor in determining workers' compensation eligibility for a repetitive stress injury is whether the injury is work-related. If you can demonstrate that your RSI was caused by repetitive motions or activities required by your job, you should be covered. For example, if you develop carpal tunnel syndrome from typing on a keyboard all day as part of your job responsibilities, you would likely qualify for workers' compensation benefits.

However, it is important to note that proving the connection between an RSI and work-related activities can sometimes be challenging. Insurance companies may try to argue that the injury resulted from non-work-related factors or pre-existing conditions. You may need to provide information such as a medical diagnosis stating that your condition was likely to be caused by the types of activities you perform at work on a regular basis.

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for an RSI

If you believe that your repetitive stress injury is work-related and eligible for workers' compensation benefits, it's essential to take certain steps:

  1. Report your injury promptly: Contact your employer as soon as possible after discovering symptoms of an RSI. Reporting promptly helps establish a clear timeline and ensures that there are no delays in receiving benefits.

  2. Seek medical attention: Schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional who treats occupational injuries. The doctor will evaluate your condition and provide documentation supporting your claim that the injury is work-related. By informing the provider that your injury is related to the work you have performed, this will ensure that your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer will be billed for the services you receive.

  3. Document everything: Keep detailed records of your medical appointments, treatments, and any expenses related to your injury. This documentation will be crucial when filing a workers' compensation claim.

  4. Consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney: A lawyer who assists injured workers in addressing issues related to workers' compensation can guide you through the claims process and ensure that your rights are protected. They will help gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you if your case goes to court.

Contact Our Will County Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you have sustained a repetitive stress injury while performing your job duties in Illinois, Flaherty Law, LLC can advise you on how to proceed as you seek workers’ compensation benefits. Our experienced Plainfield repetitive stress injury lawyer understands the complexities of workers' compensation cases, and we can provide legal guidance to ensure that you will be treated fairly throughout the process. To schedule your free consultation, contact our office today at 815-577-7500.

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