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:
There are three main factors that lead to repetitive trauma injuries:
At Berry, Smith & Bartell, our Fresno 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.
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:
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 California 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.
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:
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:
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:
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 from Berry, Smith & Bartell to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to discuss filing a workers’ compensation claim for a repetitive stress 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:
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:
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:
For injuries that occurred in 2022, the amount of TD benefits employees may receive can be no less than $230.95 and no more than $1,539.71. For injuries suffered on or after Jan. 1, 2023, employees who qualify for TD benefits may receive a maximum of $1,619.15 and a minimum of $242.86, 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.
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:
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.
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.