If you have worked in the same profession for several years, you might have encountered pain resulting from repetitive trauma and stress. As an example, continuous hand and wrist movements of the same nature can lead to wear and tear of tendons, joints, and muscles. These are painful injuries that can be debilitating. This repetitive motion and stress can cause serious damage that leads to pain and the inability to function as you once did. However, workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state, so in some states, repetitive trauma injuries might not have the same coverage or protection as they would in other states. Of course, repetitive trauma happens over time, and therefore, it is more difficult to prove when and how the injury occurred.
What is Considered a Repetitive Trauma Injury?
As previously mentioned, a single, specific event does not cause repetitive trauma injuries. Instead, the injury happens over time as the result of repetitive motion, strain, and pressure on a particular body part such as the wrist, the ankle, the knee, or the elbow. Pursuant to SC Code Ann. 42-1-172, repetitive trauma injuries can be covered by workers’ compensation. According to state law, an injury that has a gradual onset and that results from the cumulative effects of events that are traumatic is considered a repetitive trauma injury. The only reason that such an injury is not deemed a compensable injury resulting from repetitive trauma is that the Workers Compensation Commissioner uncovers information through a specific fact-finding effort that reveals that there is evidence showing that there is no connection established by the medical evidence between repetitive activities that happened while the employee was performing his regular employment duties and the injury that resulted.
In order to meet the qualifications for an injury to be covered by workers’ comp, the medical evidence that is provided must be presented through testimony or expert opinion that shows to a reasonable degree that the injury was work-related. Evidence can be provided through documents, records, and material provided by a qualified, licensed medical physician and that show to a reasonable degree of medical certainty how the injury occurred can be submitted to help in proving that an injury is indeed eligible for workers’ comp benefits. Basically, a licensed physician must state without a doubt that the injuries were sustained during the course of the individuals work day and while performing the assigned work duties. So, if you have suffered carpal tunnel or a similar injury from your job duties in Greenville, SC you might be eligible to claim workers’ compensation benefits.
What Are Some Common Workplace Repetitive Trauma and Stress Injuries in Greenville, SC?
There are different repetitive trauma and stress injuries that can be suffered from Greenville, SC work duties. Studies show that the number of workers suffering from repetitive stress injuries or disorders has increased significantly. The increased use of computers and technology in the workplace are being credited for the increased number of traumatic injuries. About 60% of work-related injuries are repetitive trauma. One out of every eight Americans is diagnosed with a repetitive stress injury at some time or another during his or her life. There are several different injuries that can result from work-related duties.
One of the most common repetitive trauma injuries is carpal tunnel syndrome. Any job hazard can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Examples of work duties that can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome include using tools such as screwdrivers or hammers or typing and using a computer. The condition can lead to permanent and debilitating pain in your arms, wrists, and/or hands. Repetitive trauma can also lead to leg, neck, and back injuries and pain depending on the specific job duty requirements. It is imperative to get the proper treatment for your repetitive trauma injury, or the trauma might become permanent and irreversible.
There are several different work-related activities that lend themselves to repetitive stress injuries. Some of the professions that lead to repetitive stress injuries include assembly line jobs, sanding, painting, polishing, sawing, hammering, setting, cutting, writing, stocking shelves, packing, climbing, playing musical instruments, administrative tasks, secretarial duties, pipe setting, driving, packing, bending, massing, mechanic duties, or working construction.
What Are the Deadlines for Filing Workers’ Compensation Claims in Greenville, SC?
To file a timely South Carolina workers’ comp claim for repetitive trauma, you must provide your employer with notice of the injury or condition within 90 days of the injury being discovered or when it would have been discovered when exercising reasonable diligence. You will also need to show that your condition is compensable. Unless you can provide a valid reason to the commission for timely notice not being given, your claim must be filed within the specified time frame. You cannot be compensated unless the commission receives a claim within two years from the time you knew or should have known that the injury was compensable through workers’ compensation. It cannot be filed any longer than seven years after the last date of exposure to the situation that caused injury, even if you were not sure or aware of the injury stemming from your work duties. As soon as you realize you have been injured, you should consult with a Greenville workers’ compensation attorney to ensure your rights are protected.
Consult with a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Greenville, SC
If repetitive trauma injuries from work have left you suffering, you deserve the medical attention required so you can recover. Because a repetitive trauma claim can be difficult to prove, you need an experienced attorney skilled in work injuries fighting for you. If you have suffered injuries that you believe are the result of repetitive trauma or stress from your job duties, call the office of Greenville workers’ compensation lawyer Dan Pruitt. The Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm has helped injured workers throughout the Greenville area for more than 20 years. Offering a free case evaluation, you have nothing to lose when you call us for guidance on your work-related injury. Call (864) 280-7660 today to schedule your appointment. Remember, time is of the essence so seek help from our experienced legal team today!
Dan Pruitt is a Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from University of Georgia, and has been practicing law for 25 years. Dan Pruitt believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.