Toll Free 1-800-848-6288

Repetitive Trauma

Bakersfield Repetitive Trauma Injury Attorneys

- Client Reviews

Workplace injuries are often associated with a single event or accident. However, many work-related injuries are due to repetitive use or trauma, often taking place over several months or years. If you suffered a repetitive stress injury during the course of your work-related activities, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for your medical expenses and partial lost wages. Although most employees are able to obtain benefits through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, it may be difficult to prove you suffered an injury due to work-related repetitive stress trauma. When this occurs, it may help to consult with a Bakersfield workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss your claim. Berry, Smith & Bartell has helped numerous workers in Bakersfield obtain the benefits they deserved after developing a repetitive trauma injury.

All too often, we find that employers and insurance companies are reluctant to pay employees the benefits they need after being injured in a work-related accident. We will carefully investigate your injury to craft a case that supports your claim and helps you get the medical benefits and wage reimbursement you deserve. Our attorneys have more than 60 years of combined legal experience and understand how to navigate California’s workers’ compensation process. We provide our services on a contingency fee basis, which means we only charge you for representing your claim if we recover compensation. There is no risk in contacting a Bakersfield repetitive trauma injury lawyer to discuss your workers’ compensation claim during a free, no obligation consultation.

Call 1-800-848-6288 for qualified legal help with your claim.

What is a Repetitive Trauma Injury?

Repetitive trauma injuries are painful medical conditions that cause damage to the muscles, nerves, tendons, and other soft tissue. These injuries are caused by repetitive tasks, forceful exertions, vibrations, mechanical compression, or your body being in an awkward position for a prolonged period of time. These movements damage the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, resulting in soft tissue damage.

Often, repetitive trauma injuries affect parts of the body that come under constant stress and overuse, such as the wrists, hands, shoulders and elbows. Additionally, you may suffer repetitive trauma injuries in your back, legs, feet, neck and ankles.

Repetitive trauma injuries are common and may be caused by several different types of activities, including:

  • Typing
  • Using a computer mouse
  • Constant wrist movement, such as swiping items in a grocery store checkout line
  • Grabbing and using tools
  • Lifting and carrying heavy objects
  • Controlling heavy equipment
  • Applying constant, direct pressure to the affected area
  • Holding the same posture for a prolonged period of time
  • Fatigue
  • Forceful activities
  • Law enforcement injuries, such as a tendon tear resulting from physical contact with suspected criminals  
  • Handling vibrating equipment or machinery
  • Overuse of a particular muscle or body part
  • Working on an assembly line
  • Training for sports or heavy exercise 
  • Correctional officer injuries, such as overexertion from physically restraining inmates

There are three main factors that lead to repetitive trauma injuries:

  • Poor posture: This often occurs in office-type settings where the worker is slouching in a bent or awkward positing while he or she is sitting at a desk throughout the day.
  • Poor technique: This may occur when the worker uses an improper technique to perform his or her duties. This may include lifting a heavy object without proper assistance or operating machinery in an unsafe manner.
  • Overuse: This occurs when the worker exerts too much physical stress on a part of the body by repeatedly performing the same task over a long period of time.

At Berry, Smith & Bartell, our Bakersfield repetitive trauma injury lawyers understand the effect that a repetitive trauma injury can have on your life. Obtaining this kind of injury through work-related tasks can have a serious effect on your ability to function independently and perform simple, everyday tasks.

Free Case Evaluation form us today to schedule a free consultation.

Who is At Risk of Developing a Repetitive Trauma Injury?

Many workers suffer repetitive trauma injuries to their back, shoulders, elbows, wrists, feet and knees. Workers in industries that require heavy lifting or repetitive motions are most frequently at risk of developing an injury due to overuse, poor posture or poor technique.

Workers who are employed in the following industries and occupations may be at risk of developing a traumatic stress injury:

  • Automotive repair
  • Police Officers
  • Construction workers
  • Health care providers
  • Carpenters
  • Transportation drivers
  • Firefighters
  • Athletes
  • Corrections Officers
  • Truck drivers
  • Postal workers
  • Office workers
  • Dancers
  • Musicians
  • Factory workers
  • Retail workers
  • Seamstresses
  • Welders
  • Packaging and assembly line workers
  • Food processing workers

Unfortunately, employers may not fully understand the significance of a repetitive trauma injury and how this condition can affect your life. When this occurs, it may be in your best interest to contact a skilled Bakersfield repetitive trauma injury attorney who understand California’s workers’ compensation laws and can help you obtain the benefits you need to recover from your injury and financial losses.

To find out if you have a case, call 1-800-848-6288.

Types of Repetitive Trauma Injuries

There are several types of work-related repetitive trauma injuries that you can suffer, depending on your job or occupation.

Some of the most common types of repetitive trauma injuries include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: The median nerve in your wrist is compressed, causing pain, numbness or loss of function in your hand and fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome is often found in workers who use a computer keyboard or touchscreen. However, assembly line and machine workers may also be at risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Tendinitis: Inflammation of a tendon caused by the tendon being constantly rubbed against a bone. Workers whose jobs require constant repetitive motion may be at risk of suffering tendinitis.
  • Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursa, fluid-filled sacs in your joints that separate your tendons and skin in the knees, elbows, wrists and shoulders. Common symptoms include stiffness, pain and loss of range of motion in the affected area.
  • Chronic neck pain: Poor posture and improper technique may lead to neck pain, with symptoms including stiffness, sharp or stabbing pain, soreness in the affected area, difficulty walking or balancing, or weakness in the shoulders, arms or fingers.
  • Rotator cuff injuries: Overuse of the muscles and tendons in the shoulder may result in a rotator cuff injury. This may cause a dull ache in the shoulder, which can worsen when you try to use, sleep on or put pressure on the affected side. This often occurs in people who make regular overhead motions in their jobs, such as painters, carpenters, or construction workers.
  • Spinal disc injuries: Repetitive movements, such as pulling, lifting, straining, reaching, twisting, and bending can weaken or stress the discs in the spine and increase the risk of injury.
  • Neck injuries: Muscle strain or tension in the neck is common and may be caused by overuse or poor posture, such as sitting at a desk or computer for too long in an awkward position.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Damage to your spinal cord may occur as a result of repetitive motion and stress, such as constantly lifting heavy objects.
  • Hearing loss: This may occur when the worker is constantly subjected to loud noises, such as noises from heavy machinery.

To get started, complete our Free Case Evaluation form.

How Repetitive Trauma Injuries May Affect You

The effects of a repetitive trauma injury can range from mild to severe, with more serious injuries requiring immediate medical attention. If you neglect to seek treatment, you may risk suffering permanent damage to your health, such as being unable to perform simple tasks or the required duties of your job.

There are several symptoms associated with a repetitive trauma injury, depending on the affected area and type of injury you suffer. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Chronic pain or tenderness in the affected muscle or joint
  • Loss of sensation
  • Loss of strength
  • Tingling in the affected area
  • Throbbing or pulsing sensation in the affected area
  • Inability to move the affected area
  • Difficulty lifting heavy objects

How to Avoid Repetitive Trauma Injuries

Repetitive trauma injuries are often associated with constant pain and may result in permanent disability. For this reason, it is imperative that you take steps to avoid suffering a repetitive traumatic:   

  • If you sit at a desk or a computer, make sure your seat, keyboard, mouse and computer’s screen are positioned so that they cause the least amount of strain on your hands, fingers, wrists, neck and back.
  • Maintain good posture throughout the day. If you work at a desk, adjust your chair so that your forearms are horizontal with the desk and you are positioned at eye level with the top of your computer screen.
  • If your job requires you to perform repetitive tasks, try to take regular breaks throughout the day. Taking small, frequent breaks reduces the risk of suffering a repetitive traumatic injury.
  • Do not hesitate to speak to your employer if you believe you are suffering from a repetitive traumatic injury.

By following the above tips, you may be able to reduce your risk of suffering a repetitive trauma injury. However, repetitive trauma injuries often develop over time and the symptoms may not appear for several weeks or months. Do not hesitate to contact a repetitive trauma injury lawyer in Bakersfield from Berry, Smith & Bartell to schedule a free, no obligation to discuss filing a workers’ compensation claim for a repetitive stress injury. 

Do not wait to seek legal help. Call 1-800-848-6288.

Pursuing Workers’ Compensation Benefits for a Repetitive Trauma Injury

If you believe you have suffered a repetitive-trauma injury that is work-related, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This may provide you compensation for the following expenses you may incur due to your work-related injury, including:

Medical Expenses

The cost of your medical treatment for your repetitive-trauma injury may be covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. This includes expenses you incurred for:

  • Doctors’ visits
  • Medical tests
  • X-ray and imaging scans
  • Prescription medication
  • Medical assistive equipment
  • Cost of travel to and from doctors’ appointments
  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation, if necessary

Temporary Disability

Employees who miss work while recovering from a repetitive trauma injury may be entitled to temporary disability (TD) benefits equal to two-thirds of their regular wages. You may only receive TD benefits if your treating physician requires you to miss work for more than three days or hospitalizes you overnight. Likewise, you may receive TD benefits if your employer does not offer you other work that pays the same amount as your usual wages.

There are two types of TD benefits you may receive:

  • Temporary partial disability (TPD): Employees may qualify for TPD if their injury limits the number of hours they can work or the duties they can perform.
  • Temporary total disability (TTD): Employees may qualify for TTD benefits if their treating physician determines they are unable to work while recovering from their injury.

For injuries that occurred in 2018, the amount of TD benefits employees may receive can be no less than $182.29 and no more than $1,206.92. For injuries suffered on or after Jan. 1, 2019, employees who qualify for TD benefits may receive a maximum of $1,242.78 and a minimum of $187.81, according to the California Department of Industrial Relations’ workers’ compensation benefits table.

You should receive your first TD payment within 14 days after your treating physician informs your employer that your repetitive trauma injury prevents you from doing your job. After the first payment, you will receive TD benefits every two weeks for as long as you are eligible.

TD payments will end once your doctor determines that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) or you have received 104 weeks of TD benefits, whichever occurs first.

Permanent Disability

If your doctor determines that you have reached MMI and are still disabled, you may receive payments for permanent disability (PD) benefits. The amount of PD benefits you can receive depends on the disability rating assigned to you by your treating doctor. A disability rating is a percentage between one and 100 based on the severity of your disability.

Depending on the disability rating you are assigned, you may be entitled to two types of PD benefits:

  • Permanent partial disability (PPD): If you receive a disability rating between one and 99 percent, you may receive PPD benefits. The amount of PPD benefits you may receive will depend on your disability rating.
  • Permanent total disability (PTD): If you are assigned a disability rating of 100 percent, you may receive PTD benefits. A 100 percent disability rating means that you are completely unable to work due to a disability that is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in your death.

Your PD payments should begin 14 days after you stop receiving TD payments. If you were not receiving TD payments, you will receive your first PD payment 14 days after your employer and its insurer learns receives your disability rating from your treating physician.

Vocational Rehabilitation

If you are unable to return to your previous job due to a repetitive trauma injury, you may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation to find a new occupation. California offers Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits (SJDB), a non-transferable voucher than can be used at state-approved or accredited schools to pay for educational retraining or skill enhancement.

To qualify, you must have suffered a work-related injury on or after Jan. 1, 2004, be assigned a PPD as a result of a work-related injury and have not been offered other work by your employer.

If you qualify, you will receive a Supplemental Job Displacement Nontransferable Training Form from the claims administrator handling your case. For injuries that occurred on or after Jan. 1, 2013, employees must visit CalJOBS to search for Approved SJDB Training Providers.

Contact us to find out which benefits you may be entitled to receive. 

Contact a Bakersfield Repetitive Trauma Injury Lawyer

Pursuing benefits for a repetitive trauma injury on your own can be complicated, especially if you are unfamiliar with California’s workers’ compensation laws. An experienced attorney will understand how to represent your claim to help you obtain the benefits you need.

The Bakersfield repetitive trauma injury lawyers at our firm we have represented numerous workers who were wrongfully denied workers’ compensation benefits. We will help you fight to obtain the benefits you deserve.

Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. We charge our clients on a contingency fee basis, which means you will only have to pay us if we recover benefits for your claim.

For a free case evaluation with Berry, Smith & Bartell, a Professional Law Corporation call 1-800-848-6288 today!

logo Berry, Smith and Bartell
Berry, Smith and Bartell logo

Decades of Workers' Compensation Experience in the Central Valley

Types of workers