When most people hear "on-the-job injury," they think of a disaster involving machinery or a fall that leads to severe damage. However, an on-the-job injury can also refer to injuries caused by repeated motions or lifting at work. Those who suffer from carpal tunnel, back pain, or other similar conditions because of their job duties can legally seek help and compensation.
Common injuries associated with repetitive strain
Those whose jobs require many repeated motions or constant lifting are at risk for repetitive strain injuries. Carpal tunnel syndrome and back injuries are common conditions from repetitive motion. These conditions can be serious, requiring physical therapy or possibly surgery to correct them. Continuing to work the same job duties while afflicted with one of these conditions can do lasting damage to your body.
Repetitive strain injuries can be harder to detect than other injuries, and harder to prove too. Generally, you will need a doctor's testimony to show that you have a repetitive strain injury as a result of your job duties.
Contact a doctor immediately if you notice tenderness, redness, or general pain around joints, especially in the wrist, shoulders, or back area. It may take several hours for pain to appear after a repetitive strain injury, but this does not mean that your job was not the cause.
Time limit on filing for workers' compensation
You legally have the right to seek workers' compensation after any job-related injury, even a repetitive strain injury. However, there is a time limit on when you can file. You must file for workers' compensation within 3 years of the injury or within 2 years of the last payment from that employer.
Because repetitive strain happens over time and may not be noticeable right away, you should consult a doctor and a workers' comp attorney as soon as you suspect you are injured. Make sure you also inform your employer of your injury. It is important to have the injury on record, especially if you need to prove that you were injured due to your job. Otherwise, your employer may question why you did not report the injury earlier.
Repetitive strain injuries can be hard to prove and insurance companies will try to give you as little as possible for medical coverage. If you have been injured on the job, an attorney can work with you to prove that your job caused the injury and fight for the full compensation you deserve.