Work-related accidents are commonly covered by the employer's insurer. Some injuries, though, are unique in the way they occur. Not all work-related accidents happen in an instant. Read on to find out about repetitive strain injuries and the workers' compensation benefits victims can receive.
Understanding Repetitive Strain Injuries
Any time a body part is used in a repetitive fashion, an injury can occur. Tennis elbow, for example, is caused by straining the elbow by repeatedly swinging a tennis racket. Jobs can also call for workers to make repetitive actions and that can create an injury situation that is gradual but debilitating. A couple of common repetitive strain injuries workers may encounter are carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis.
Workers in almost any industry or position can fall victim to repetitive strain injuries. From office workers to assembly line workers to drivers, you can overuse your joints, muscles, nerves, and tendons, and that can result in severe injuries. While some minor injuries can be resolved with rest, some hurt workers have to undergo surgery. In the worst cases, workers are left with permanent injuries.
What to Expect From Workers' Compensation Insurance
Repetitive strain injuries are covered by your employer's workers' compensation coverage just as it would cover a sudden accident or occupational illness. In most cases, workers are entitled to be paid for all medical expenses related to the injury. Additionally, you can be paid a partial salary while you stay home and rest your injury. Finally, workers who are permanently injured are entitled to a lump-sum payment.
How to Ensure a Successful Claim
Your actions when dealing with this type of injury can strongly influence your ability to be paid benefits. Once you suspect an injury, do the following:
- See a doctor and explain how your position and the required tasks contributed to the injury.
- Inform your supervisor and file a workers' compensation claim.
- In some cases, you must use a doctor of the insurer's choosing.
- Follow all orders from the doctor, paying particular attention to when you can return to work and what type of work you can do upon your return.
- If you are unable to return to work and have been told you have a permanent injury, speak to a workers' compensation lawyer. The lawyer will negotiate on your behalf for a settlement that is adequate for your needs, is properly structured, and that takes government benefits into account.
If you have any trouble with the benefits you need from workers' comp, speak to a workers' compensation attorney.