Work-related injuries can happen in any profession. Construction jobs and other professions involving manual labor are typically thought of as the most dangerous types of jobs. However, even someone working at a computer in an office chair may suffer a work injury.
Many work-related injuries are caused by sudden accidents. However, some injuries occur over time. These are called cumulative trauma injuries or repetitive stress injuries. Examples of cumulative trauma injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and bursitis.
Cumulative trauma injuries often happen to workers who perform the same type of motion over and over again during their shifts. For example, someone who types all day may develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Or someone who works on an assembly line and twists his or her body the same way to reach for tools may suffer from tendonitis.
If you have suffered a cumulative trauma injury at work, you may be wondering if you can recover compensation through workers’ compensation. Read on to learn more.
Repetitive Stress Injuries and Workers’ Compensation in Illinois
In Illinois, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means that you do not need to prove that your employer was at fault for your injury in order to recover benefits.
To receive workers’ compensation benefits for a cumulative trauma injury, you must be able to show that:
Your injury was caused by your job
Your injury occurred while you were performing work duties
You notified your employer of the injury within 45 days
If you meet these requirements, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can include:
Medical expenses related to your injury
Lost wages if you are unable to work
Vocational rehabilitation if your injury prevents you from returning to your previous job
Challenges with Repetitive Stress Injuries
One of the challenges with cumulative trauma injuries is that it can be difficult to determine when the injury actually occurred. For example, if you have worked at your job for 10 years and suddenly develop carpal tunnel syndrome, it may be hard to say for sure that the symptoms are work-related.
Additionally, some employers may try to downplay the severity of cumulative trauma injuries. They may argue that the injury is not work-related or that it is a pre-existing condition.
If you are having difficulty getting workers’ compensation benefits for a cumulative trauma injury, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney. A lawyer can help you gather evidence to support your claim and fight for the benefits you deserve.
Contact a Wheaton Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
DuPage County workers’ compensation attorney David W. Clark can help you navigate the workers’ compensation claims process. Call Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C. at 630-665-5678 for a free consultation to learn more.