Is My Repetitive Stress Injury Compensable?
Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) are one of the most frequently seen types of work injury, and in many cases, one of the most difficult to receive compensation for. RSI workers’ compensation claims can become quite complex under Florida law, and there are many injured employees who simply choose not to bother filing because they believe financial recovery is impossible. In the right situation, it is absolutely possible to receive monetary compensation for an injury acquired over time, but different types of evidence may be required in order to do it.
Was It Sustained At Work?
Most people think that RSIs only develop in office workers, but in reality any worker can develop one – all it takes is a job where one performs the same action over and over again. When this occurs, the muscles doing the task degenerate over time, leading to swelling, weakness, numbness, significant pain and possibly even long-term nerve damage. Carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel syndrome may be some of the most well-known, but conditions like rotator cuff tears, degenerative disk disease in one’s back, or hearing loss can also apply.
In theory, when an employee is diagnosed with an RSI, they can then simply apply for workers’ compensation, presenting the evidence of their condition. However, with an RSI, the process is much more difficult. This is because in order to be compensable, the major contributing cause of an injury must be at least 50 percent sustained on the job – and it can be very difficult to determine how much of an RSI came from work and how much did not.
How To Receive Compensation
If you have an RSI and believe it came from your work, the best thing you can possibly do is to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. The earlier point at which you can obtain medical treatment from a professional, the earlier you have documentation which definitively establishes your condition and where they believe it came from. It is not uncommon for insurers and employers to contest the origin of your RSI; after all, if it can be established that you were injured outside of work, it may lead to a lighter payday for them.
If you are forced to file a case with the relevant authorities, Florida case law explicitly created a ‘three-prong’ test under which repetitive stress injuries may be compensable: (1) prolonged exposure to the condition that allegedly created the injury; (2) the cumulative effect being injury or aggravation of a preexisting condition; and (3) that the employee has been exposed to a hazard greater than those greater than those facing the general public. If your injury meets all these criteria, you may receive the compensation you deserve.
Contact An Orlando Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Repetitive stress injuries can cause life-long pain and disability if not treated properly. If you believe you have developed one as a result of your work, contacting an Orlando workers’ compensation attorney from the Hornsby Law Group may help to get any questions answered or concerns managed. Call our offices today for a free consultation.