Visalia Repetitive Motion Injury Lawyer

California requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance to provide benefits for employees who are injured or become ill because of their jobs. You do not have to suffer a sudden injury to qualify. When performing the same motion, such as typing or unloading cartons from trucks, you will likely suffer injuries over time.

The worsening aches, pains, and tingling you feel may be symptoms of repetitive stress injuries. Workers’ compensation covers these injuries when your job caused them. You must prove the job connection if the claims administrator believes otherwise; for instance, your daily tennis game is to blame. Injuries over time are harder to prove; contact a Visalia repetitive motion injury lawyer to fight for your benefits.

Cumulative Trauma and Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation benefits include payments for medical treatment and two-thirds of an employee’s wages while they cannot perform their job. Disability and death benefits are also part of the benefits. Repetitive motion or cumulative trauma injuries (RMI) are often musculoskeletal, affecting muscles, tendons, ligaments, or nerves. But can also be internal, psychiatric, or neurological in nature.  They may not manifest themselves for years, but when they do, an employee will experience any of these symptoms:

  • Loss of a limb’s function
  • Sharp or chronic pain localized in one area of the body
  • Numbness
  • Burning or tingling sensations

Some commonly diagnosed conditions include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, bursitis, damage to the rotator cuff, and lower back pain. All these conditions will worsen over time. An employee should seek medical attention once symptoms become chronic. To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, a physician must provide a diagnosis and that the injury is work-related after the employee explains how the job caused it. Consult a dedicated repetitive motion injury attorney in Visalia to file a claim or appeal a denial.

State Code Requires Employers to Implement RMI Programs

Under California Code of Regulations § 5110(b), employers must implement programs that minimize RMIs. The three-part mission includes evaluating the workplace for situations that cause RMIs, correcting or minimizing employees’ exposure, and training employees about the program. Employees are encouraged to understand how and why their bosses implemented specific RMI protocols, be mindful of symptoms associated with RMIs, and report them immediately to supervisors.

What To Do When a Repetitive Motion Injury Claim Is Denied

Workers’ compensation claims administrators may deny claims more often because repetitive stress injuries are more difficult to link to a job than an obvious one-time accident like falling from scaffolding. An employee or claims administrator can request an evaluation from a qualified medical evaluator, a physician who meets the high standard set in workers’ compensation guidelines to help appeal a denial.

An employee disputing a claim must submit an Application for Adjudication of Claim with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. The employee must file a Declaration of Readiness to Proceed to schedule a court hearing. A knowledgeable repetitive motion injury lawyer in Visalia could handle all aspects of a workers’ compensation claim.

Workers’ Compensation Hearing and Trial

The judge will schedule a settlement conference, and the employee’s attorney and the claims administrator will attend to resolve the claim denial. If the dispute remains unresolved, the presiding judge will schedule a trial, which a second judge will conduct. The trial judge will usually issue an opinion within 90 days. A lawyer familiar with litigation should defend an employee’s position because evidence and arguments must convince a judge.

A Visalia Repetitive Motion Injury Attorney is Your Advocate

When you are suffering from a repetitive stress injury caused by your job, you have dedicated many years to your employer because these injuries take time to develop. The state and your employer reward your loyalty by paying your medical bills and lost wages while you are recovering.

Applying for benefits and complying with the workers’ compensation system requirements can be complex, especially if an administrator denies your claim as unrelated to your job. Let our team advocate for you by filing your claim correctly or appealing a denial. A Visalia repetitive motion lawyer is available to discuss your situation now.