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What Is a Repetitive Trauma Injury?

If you don’t know what a repetitive trauma injury is, it can sound like something much different than it is. Lots of people get thrown off by the word “trauma” because they more readily associate that term with severe psychological distress, but that’s not what’s happening here.

A repetitive trauma injury is a physical injury that can happen to parts of your body that you use to perform repetitive tasks. This isn’t the kind of injury that happens in a single instant, but rather one that develops over a longer period of time.

Examples of repetitive trauma injuries and their possible causes include the following:

  • Hand and wrist injuries (including carpal tunnel syndrome) from using a keyboard all day
  • Chronic knee and shoulder injuries from having to stoop down or lift heavy items in a warehouse
  • Back and neck injuries from operating a forklift or another kind of heavy machinery
  • Leg and hip injuries from climbing stairs and ladders

Is a Repetitive Trauma Injury Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

If you believe you have developed a repetitive trauma injury, you are likely concerned about getting medical intervention or physical therapy to improve your quality of life. In California, employees are guaranteed workers’ compensation coverage for any illnesses or injuries that occur as a result of their job duties.

This is widely understood to mean that injuries and illnesses that happen because of a single identifiable instant are covered, but many might be surprised to know that repetitive trauma injuries are included in coverage, too. Any illness or injury developed over time as a result of someone’s work is covered by workers’ compensation in California.

How Do I Prove My Repetitive Trauma Injury Is Because of My Work?

Your employer’s insurance company might push back against your repetitive trauma injury claim if it believes the injury is the result of another factor in your life. You might engage in activities outside of work that involve similar movements or there could be doubt that the injury is serious enough.

Repetitive trauma injuries musculoskeletal disorders, which means they affect your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. In addition to pain, you could be experiencing sensations such as burning, numbness, or tingling in the affected body part. You can even lose a whole or partial function of an affected limb and experience a limited range of motion.

Your best chance for successfully proving your claim is to seek medical attention as soon as you notice symptoms. When you do, be sure to tell your doctor about what you do for a living and the kinds of daily physical activity perform. He or she may be able to order tests or provide treatments that can help to validate your claim that the injury was sustained as result of repetitive motion at work.

What If I’m Still Having Trouble with My Claim?

If you need help filing your workers’ compensation claim or have received a denial from your employer’s insurance company, you should seek assistance from a qualified legal professional. Our attorneys at Smolich and Smolich share more than 100 years of combined experience in dealing with claims like yours. You can learn more about what we can help you accomplish by scheduling a free initial consultation.

Get in touch with us today by calling (916) 571-0400">(916) 571-0400 or by connecting with us online.