As your typical work injuries go, repetitive stress injuries are easily the most common, but it is also the most difficult to get worker’s compensation for. Typically, most worker’s compensation claims for repetitive stress injuries are rejected because the worker can’t properly prove that the injury was caused because of their job. However, if you take measures early when you suspect you are developing a repetitive stress injury, it might save you some pain, but if it doesn’t, it establishes a long paper trail that will help get your worker’s compensation claim improved.
What to Do After the First Signs
The symptoms of repetitive stress injuries can vary depending on the part of the body, but universally, the first sign of the injury is discomfort when doing tasks you do frequently. When this happens, the first step you should take is to tell your superior. OSHA actually requires employers to identify and correct hazards in the work place, and that includes things that can cause repetitive stress injuries.
This means that your employer might be able to change what is causing you discomfort and prevent you from have to deal with a whole stack of doctor’s bills and the headache that can be worker’s compensation. If they can’t change the problem, you could also ask if they have a different position open for you.
However, after you have informed your employer, even if they do change the circumstances that may be causing the injury, you should still see a doctor to assess and treat the injury.
Choosing a Doctor for Treatment
Unlike other states, you have the right to choose a doctor for treatment of work injuries in Minnesota, especially for repetitive stress injuries that may still not be serious enough to classify as a full-on work injury. If you do not have a specific physician, you should try to find a specialist in the area of your discomfort, for example, a doctor that specializes in carpal tunnel. Unfortunately, there is no doctor that specializes in repetitive stress.
By finding a doctor that is skilled in that specific area of the body, they may be able to suggest things you can do to stop the progression of the repetitive stress injury and ease the pain. However, if there is treatment for a repetitive stress injury available in its beginning stages, and you can get your doctor to attest that your injuries are the result of your job, you can still get worker’s compensation to cover your treatment.
Challenges of Repetitive Stress Injuries and Worker’s Compensation Claims
Repetitive stress injuries are the most difficult work injuries to get worker’s compensation to cover. The primary reason for that is often because they are difficult to prove. After all, you can’t capture tendon pain on an X-ray and without a need for surgery, it can be hard to prove you were actually hurt, much less that it happened at work.
Another potential problem is procrastination. You start feeling the discomfort of a repetitive work injury, and you decide to tell no one and do nothing. Then one day you realize that you can no longer put up with the pain, but now there is no paper trail that would have shown the progression of the injury.
If you are developing a repetitive stress injury, it will be difficult, but you qualify for benefits. However, you will face a pretty difficult battle with worker’s compensation, which is why it is more important than ever that you seek representation that can help you get the compensation you need for your injury. Contact us today to learn how the Meshbesher Law Firm can help you prove your work injury.