For those that suffer from repetitive motion injuries or repetitive strain injuries, you know how devastating these injuries are to your life. They are common to all forms of work and affect workers throughout Scranton, Pennsylvania, and northeastern Pennsylvania. But, since they are cumulative injuries, how do you prove them?
What are repetitive motion injuries?
Repetitive motion injuries occur when you perform the same or similar tasks over and over again. This causes damage to your muscles, tendons, nerves, joints or some combination thereof. These injuries cause stiffness, weakness, tingling, reduce your range of motion and pain. The injuries interfere with your ability to live your life and your ability to work, sometimes, permanently. But, these injuries also may qualify you for workers’ compensation benefits that can pay for your medical expenses and lost wages.
Repetitive motion injuries are hard to prove
Unfortunately, proving a repetitive motion injury is not always straightforward. Unlike an acute injury that happens suddenly and visibly, a repetitive motion injury develops gradually and may not be noticed until it becomes severe. Your employer or their insurance company may deny your claim, argue that your injury was not caused by work or that it was pre-existing.
How can I prove it for workers’ compensation benefits?
First, at the first sign of pain or discomfort, seek medical attention. If you notice any signs or symptoms of a repetitive motion injury, see a doctor immediately. A doctor can diagnose your condition, provide treatment and document the cause and extent of your injury.
Second, notify your employer promptly. Under Pennsylvania law, you have up to 120 days after a work-related injury has occurred (or been diagnosed) to notify your employer or supervisor in order to seek workers’ compensation benefits. You should notify your employer in writing and keep a copy.
Third, get your workers’ compensation claim form. After you notify your employer, they should provide you with a claim form that you need to fill out and submit to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
Finally, gather evidence to support your claim and file the form. To prove that your repetitive motion injury is work-related, you need to provide evidence that shows a causal link between your work activities and your injury.