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Seasoned Sacramento Injury Attorneys

How Do You Prove a Cumulative Trauma Injury is Work Related?


Workers’ compensation claims often focus on injuries caused by on-the-job accidents. However, employee injuries are not always caused by one-time incidents. An injury may arise from repetitive motion or other issues that, over time, cause strain on an employee’s muscles, bones, and organs. These injuries are known as “cumulative trauma injuries.” While these injuries are just as valid as any injury caused by an accident, and it is possible to recover compensation for cumulative trauma injuries, proving their link to your work can be more complicated.

In cases of occupational accidents, it is often simple for an injury victim to point to an incident as the cause of their injuries and prove that link to their employer and the workers’ compensation insurance company. Cumulative trauma injuries cannot be traced to a single event, so demonstrating a relation to work is not as easy. Employers may use this fact to discredit an employee’s claims. There are ways to prove a link between your work and a cumulative trauma injury, build a strong case, and recover the compensation you deserve.

Types of Cumulative Trauma Injuries

Cumulative trauma injuries are any type of injury that is caused by repetitive strain. Typically, these injuries result from the stretching or pulling of muscles and tendons. Cumulative trauma injuries can be very painful and cause mobility issues.

Some common types of work-related cumulative trauma injuries include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Muscle strain

  • Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)

  • Tendinitis

Medical Records, Evidence, and Witness Input

Following a work accident, injured employees typically receive medical treatment from doctors who work within the workers’ compensation system. These doctors are familiar with common work injuries, and can generally offer informed insight into how a cumulative trauma injury may have occurred.

By describing your job responsibilities to your doctor, they should be able to establish a case that demonstrates how the nature of your role led to your injury. Further evidence and the input of coworkers and other witnesses can substantiate your claim. The input of your doctor and evidence that shows the link between your work and your injury can be utilized if your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance company attempts to deny you benefits based on the claim that your injury is not work related.

The Smolich and Smolich legal team can help you build a workers’ compensation case and recover the benefits you deserve. Contact us today to get started on your case.

To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys, send us a message or call (916) 571-0400.