When most people think about a workplace injury, they picture a slip and fall or an industrial accident. And while these incidents are extremely serious, the majority of workplace injuries do not involve such obvious injuries. A repetitive strain injury occurs as a result of frequently performing the same seemingly harmless actions. Workers may go years without noticing the signs of a repetitive strain injury, and then the next day, they experience tremendous pain.
The good news is that employees who develop a repetitive strain injury as a result of their employment can qualify for New Jersey workers’ compensation benefits. However, these claims tend to be among the hardest to prove because repetitive stress injuries can have a variety of causes and often do not result in visible symptoms.
At Petro Cohen, P.C., our New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers have more than 200 years of combined experience helping our injured clients obtain the workers’ compensation benefits they need, deserve, and are legally entitled to. We offer all prospective clients a free consultation, during which we will explain the workers’ compensation process and how we can help. Contact us today.
What Is a Repetitive Strain Injury?
A repetitive strain injury, also called a repetitive motion injury, is a type of wear and tear injury that happens when the muscles, ligaments, tendons, or nerves suffer damage from making the same motion repeatedly. These injuries arise as a result of microscopic tears in the affected tissue. Typically, the body will heal small tears as they occur; however, if the body is continuously experiencing minor trauma to the same area, it cannot heal as quickly. This can lead to inflammation and possibly a repetitive stress injury. Depending on the severity of the damage, repetitive motion injuries can cause temporary or permanent symptoms. Some examples of repetitive strain injuries include:
- Back strains and sprains
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Osgood-Schlatter disease
- Shin splints
- Tennis elbow; and
- Trigger finger and trigger thumb
These injuries, while tempting to work through, generally do not improve over time without rest and the appropriate medical care. That’s why it’s important to make a report of your injury as soon as you notice it. Then you can begin the process of getting the medical care you need so that you can get back to work.
How Do You Prove Repetitive Strain Injury in Court?
Proving a repetitive stress injury in court can be difficult. Primarily, this is because these injuries—while just as serious as those that occur in an instant—tend to be “invisible,” meaning they do not manifest in any visible symptoms. Additionally, some repetitive strain injuries can also occur naturally over time, which can make establishing a link between your injury and your employment more challenging. You can bet that in any claim you make for a repetitive strain injury, your employer and their insurer will argue that your injury was due to something other than your work duties. This is one of the central reasons you will likely need a workers’ comp attorney in your corner—an attorney will help you establish the crucial connection between the duties of your job and the injury you sustained.
Evidence of a Repetitive Strain Injury
The key to proving repetitive stress injury is obtaining as detailed a medical report as possible. Given that repetitive strain injuries can stem from various causes, doctors will often provide less -than-definitive diagnostic information to patients. However, the more specific information you can obtain from your doctor, the better. In any case, getting a prompt medical examination as soon as you notice the pain from repetitive motions is essential. As in most workers’ compensation cases, the records from your doctor and other healthcare providers will provide the primary evidence for your claim.
In some repetitive strain injury cases, the testimony of an expert witness is necessary to establish a connection between a worker’s injuries and their employment. Getting an expert opinion about your injury is something a workers’ compensation lawyer routinely handles for an injured worker.
Speak with a Respected NJ Workers’ Compensation Lawyer About Your Injuries Today
If you are dealing with the lingering effects of a repetitive strain injury, it is essential that you know that you have options and understand what they are and how to pursue them. At Petro Cohen, P.C., we’ve assembled a team of workers’ compensation lawyers who are committed to ensuring our clients recover the benefits they need and deserve. Contact us today.
Trust Petro Cohen for Your WEAR and TEAR Claim
Petro Cohen, P.C. has assisted injured workers in South Jersey for decades with an emphasis on WEAR and TEAR™ or repetitive stress injuries. The firm’s Workers’ Compensation Department has more than 100 years of combined experience, among Department Head and Senior Partner Frank Petro, Partners Suzanne Holz Meola, and Terri Hiles, and attorneys Daniel Rosenthal and Sam Scimeca. Working together with you, they will ensure you receive the medical treatment you need and the compensation you deserve. Petro Cohen, P.C. has offices to serve you in Northfield, Cape May Court House, Cherry Hill, and Hamilton, NJ. To determine if you may have a potential workers’ comp and/or personal injury case, schedule your free and confidential consultation with a Petro Cohen, P.C. attorney by calling 888-675-7607. You can contact us through our online form or via 24/7 live chat at PetroCohen.com.