West Palm Beach Repetitive Trauma Lawyer
Dedicated Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Helping Employees Hurt through Repetitive Trauma
On-the-job injuries are not always the result of one-time accidents or injuries. In fact, repetitive trauma injuries, which often arise only after a long period of time, are the fastest-growing category of workplace injury, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA reports that musculoskeletal disorders caused by repetitive motion account for a third or more of all worker injury and illness cases. Like occupational disease claims, workers’ compensation claims based on repetitive trauma are more difficult to prove and are aggressively challenged by employers and their workers’ comp carriers. Speak to an experienced West Palm Beach repetitive trauma lawyer at Nicole Hessen, P.A. for help with your repetitive trauma claim.
What are Repetitive Trauma Injuries?
A repetitive trauma injury occurs when the same muscles and tendons are repeatedly used in the same manner over a period of time which pushes them beyond their capacity. Ligaments, joints, cartilage, spinal discs and nerves may all be damaged due to repetitive trauma injuries, which are also known as repetitive stress or repetitive strain injury, cumulative trauma disorder, ergonomic injuries, cumulative trauma disorders, repetitive motion injuries and musculoskeletal disorders. Some of the most common repetitive trauma injuries include:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – The median nerve is compressed in the wrist, causing pain, numbness or loss of function in the fingers and hand. Workers who use a computer keyboard and mouse or touchscreen, along with assembly line workers and machine workers, are most at risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Tendinitis – Inflammation of a tendon (tissue that attaches muscle to bone) caused by the tendon repeatedly rubbing up against a bone. As one example, a worker whose job requires repeatedly swinging a hammer is at risk of developing tendinitis.
- Bursitis – Inflammation of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion between tendons and skin in the knees, elbows, wrists and shoulders. Bursitis causes pain, stiffness and loss of range of motion.
Other examples of repetitive trauma include hearing loss due to working in the presence of loud machinery, or working in the music industry or sound engineering fields. Workers who constantly lift heavy boxes and objects may also develop a back injury over time, such as from a bulging or herniated disc. Jobs that require the worker to maintain an awkward or static posture for a prolonged period, or where excessive force is required to be applied, also run the risk of developing a repetitive trauma injury. Another common cause is when vibrations are constantly transferred to the body, such as from working with a jackhammer or other power tools, or working on heavy machinery.
Employers Try to Make Repetitive Trauma Claims Difficult to Prove
Under Florida workers’ compensation law, the burden is on the worker to prove the connection between the work performed and the disability. Meanwhile, the employer and insurance carrier will argue that some other non-work tasks could be responsible for the injury. They may argue that the condition was present long before the employee started working at the company; they may also argue there is no medical evidence supporting that a specific work task caused a specific injury over time.
Medical evidence is key to proving a case for workers’ compensation benefits for a repetitive trauma injury, but the medical evidence may not always be conclusive. It is often necessary to build a strong case from the medical evidence along with all the surrounding, supporting facts. Our attorneys have been helping injured workers in Florida for decades and know what it takes to prepare and present a persuasive case for a workplace repetitive trauma injury, even in the face of objections by the employer and their workers’ comp insurance carrier.
Get the Benefits You Deserve after a Repetitive Trauma in the Workplace
For help obtaining Florida workers’ compensation benefits for a repetitive trauma injury, call Nicole Hessen, P.A. at 561-246-6666 for a free consultation with a team of aggressive and successful West Palm Beach workers’ compensation attorneys.