Repetitive Stress Injuries: A Closer Look
Our bodies are not designed to do the same thing over and over. If we push them too hard, especially at work, they eventually break down.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a repetitive stress injury often related to keyboard use, is the classic example. Excessive typing, especially when the wrists are elevated above the elbows, collapses the tiny carpal tunnel, compressing the nerves which pass through it. Rest and physical therapy often corrects mild CTS cases. More serious cases usually require risky and invasive surgery.
Other types of repetitive stress injuries include bursitis, which is basically inflammation in knees, ankles, and other joints due to overuse, tendonitis, which is a similar condition, epicondylitis (tennis elbow), shin splints, and stress fractures.
If you cannot work because of a repetitive stress injury, a Florida repetitive motion injuries attorney may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries, as outlined below. Typically, this compensation is available even if the victim was partially at fault, mostly at fault, or entirely at fault for the injury.
Legal Issues in a Repetitive Stress Injury Claim
A repetitive stress injury is an occupational disease for workers’ compensation purposes. These injuries build up slowly over time. Because of the nature of these injuries, the legal claims are rather complex.
Most people do not immediately go to the doctor the first time they feel pain in their joints. Instead, they usually take a mild pain reliever and get back to work. They only seek medical help when their symptoms become unmanageable.
By that time, their repetitive stress injuries and other occupational diseases are much more difficult, and much more expensive, to treat. Workers’ compensation insurance company lawyers often push back if the medical bills are higher than they anticipated. Also by that time, the workers’ compensation claims deadline has usually passed.Not to worry. A Tampa workers’ compensation attorney advocates for victims in these situations. Attorneys obtain testimony from top-notch doctors to substantiate medical bill claims. Furthermore, victims do not have a legal duty to report their injuries until they know the full extent of their injuries and they connect those injuries to the defendant’s wrongful conduct or, in this case, their work environments.
Workers’ compensation usually pays all reasonably necessary medical expenses. This category usually includes every doctor bill from the first physician visit to the last day of physical therapy.
Additionally, workers’ compensation pays ancillary costs, like transportation expenses (e.g. ambulance rides), prescription drugs, and medical devices. These ancillary expenses, especially if the victim needs a new kind of drug, could be even higher than the doctor bills.
Frequently, the insurance company drags its feet in this area, citing concerns like the aforementioned unusually high costs. If that happens, attorneys send letters of protection to medical providers. As a result, these providers charge nothing upfront for their services. So, out-of-work job injury victims don’t have to worry about additional unpaid bills.
Workers’ compensation also replaces lost wages. Generally, work injury victims receive two-thirds of their average weekly wages for the duration of their temporary disabilities. If their disabilities are permanent, either wholly or partially, a lump sum payment is usually available. This payment’s amount usually depends on the nature and extent of the disability.
Connect With a Tough-Minded Hillsborough County Attorney
Job injury victims are entitled to important financial benefits. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Tampa, contact Kobal Law. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.