Many workers’ compensation claims are the direct result of a work-related accident. However, employees who sustain an injury caused by repetitive work activities may also be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
The dedicated Cincinnati workers’ compensation attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy are experienced at handling cases involving a variety of work-related injuries. We welcome the opportunity to review your claim to determine whether you may be eligible for benefits.
What Is A Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI)?
A repetitive stress injury is caused by a repeated action such as typing or bending over to lift heavy objects. These injuries occur when there is too much pressure on one area of the body. Workers who perform the same actions each day are at a higher risk of sustaining an RSI. Typically, the injury involves inflammation and damage to a muscle, nerve, tendon, tissue or ligament.
When a worker performs a task daily and in a certain way – especially when it is not performed ergonomically – exceptional force is applied to his or her muscles, nerves, tendons and ligaments. Sometimes awkward positioning, poor posture or unsafe lifting practices can increase the chances of developing an RSI.
Other RSIs may be caused by vibrations and compression, which could occur when a worker uses a jackhammer regularly. In an office, repeated typing and computer use are also common triggers for repetitive stress injuries.
RSIs often affect the upper body, including the arms, legs, hands, wrists, shoulders, neck and back.
Common repetitive stress injuries include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Rotator cuff syndrome
- Trigger finger
- Focal dystonia
- DeGuerin’s syndrome
- Lower back pain
- Knee injuries
Proving An RSI Is Work-Related
To obtain compensation for your RSI, you must be able to prove that it is work-related. Because RSIs often take a long time to develop, there may not be a straightforward or easy way to show the causal connection between your current job and the injury you sustained.
However, there are some steps you can take to help establish evidence of your injury:
- Seek medical attention as soon as you notice any symptoms. Describe your job duties to your treating doctor as that will help him or her to make a more accurate diagnosis.
- Keep an accurate account of your medical records, including details of your first appointment and all treatments that follow. Your workers’ compensation lawyer will want to review these records, which can be very helpful in linking your injury to your work duties.
Are There Warning Signs?
There are often warning signs for RSIs, but they take time to develop. You may not notice all of the symptoms right away.
Common warning signs of RSIs include symptoms to the affected portion of the body, including:
- Muscle cramps
- Loss of coordination
- Reduced range of motion
These symptoms may not be noticeable at first, or you may only experience them when completing certain activities that trigger them. However, left untreated, RSIs can cause considerable pain and other symptoms that make it difficult for you to continue properly performing your job duties or other daily activities.
Many workers are in jobs that make them more susceptible to developing a repetitive stress injury, especially:
- Stockers and grocery clerks
- Bus drivers
- Delivery workers
- Nurses and health care aides
- Factory workers
- Plumbers and pipefitters
- Janitors and housekeeping workers
- Anyone who uses a computer on a daily basis
Contact Oal To Discuss Your Work Injury
If you sustained an RSI and would like assistance with filing your workers’ compensation claim, contact O’Connor, Acciani & Levy. Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys are prepared to review the specifics of your potential claim to determine whether we can assist you.
If you have a valid claim, we are prepared to guide you through every step of the workers’ compensation process, including an appeal if your claim is denied. Because we work on a continency fee basis, you owe us nothing unless we obtain benefits.