If you are noticing lingering pain that becomes more pronounced when making certain movements, it’s possible that you have a repetitive stress injury. These injuries can start off minor but can quickly develop into something much more serious if you don’t give your body a break. Of course, requesting time off for an “invisible injury” isn’t always easy. However, under New Jersey workers’ compensation laws, employees who develop a repetitive stress injury that is related to their employment can not only get the time off they need to recover but may also qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
What Is a Repetitive Stress Injury?
A repetitive stress injury, also called a repetitive motion injury or RSI for short, occurs when the body’s soft tissues—i.e., ligaments, muscles, nerves, or tendons—suffer damage as a result of frequently making certain movements. Notably, while some RSIs develop more quickly when the movement is intense, even seemingly harmless, minor movements can lead to the development of a repetitive stress injury.
This is because RSIs occur as a result of microscopic tears in the strained tissues. These small and frequent tears happen so regularly that the body does not have time to heal itself as it normally would. These minor tears then lead to inflammation and, if a worker doesn’t take a break from the activity, possibly a repetitive stress injury.
Repetitive stress injuries can be serious and may cause workers to suffer ongoing pain and even lifelong limitations. While there are many types of RSIs, some of the most common include:
- Back strains and sprains,
- Carpal tunnel syndrome,
- Osgood-Schlatter disease,
- Shin splints,
- Tennis elbow, and
- Trigger finger and trigger thumb.
Generally, repetitive stress injuries affect the hands, fingers, wrists, shins, elbows, hips, and shoulders, although they can occur in other areas as well.
What Are the Symptoms of Repetitive Stress Injuries?
The symptoms of a repetitive stress injury will often start off minor and progress as the damage to the tissue worsens. While symptoms can vary depending on the type of injury and which body part is affected, they typically include the following:
- Dull pain that becomes more pronounced when making certain movements,
- Stiffness or weakness in the affected area,
- A tingling or “pins and needles” sensation, and
Of course, everyone’s experience with RSIs is slightly different, so it is important to pay close attention to even minor aches and pains, as it may be an early sign of a more serious injury.
When Is Your Employer Liable for Repetitive Stress Injuries?
If you’ve suffered tendonitis or another repetitive stress injury, you may be wondering who is liable for repetitive stress injuries. The answer requires a closer look at the laws that control New Jersey workers’ compensation claims.
As a general rule, the workers’ compensation system provides medical and income-replacement benefits to workers who suffered an injury on the job. The workers’ compensation system allows injured workers to recover benefits regardless of whether anyone else was at fault. In fact, even workers who contributed to the accident resulting in their injuries may still be eligible for benefits.
However, under NJ workers’ compensation law, only those injuries that were the result of a worker’s employment qualify. Of course, when it comes to repetitive stress injuries, this is where the difficulty often comes into play. It can be challenging to prove that an injury like an RSI was caused by your employment. That isn’t to say that it is impossible, however, these cases often require additional proof, such as the testimony of an expert witness or treating physician.
Speak with a Respected Workplace Injury Lawyer About Your Condition Today
If you suspect that you developed a work-related repetitive stress injury, you really need the help of a workers’ compensation attorney. Repetitive stress injuries present unique challenges in the workers’ compensation context. This means that you need not just a workers’ comp attorney but a lawyer with experience in pursuing claims involving repetitive stress injuries. Contact Petro Cohen, P.C. today.
Call the Experienced Workers’ Comp Attorneys at Petro Cohen
Petro Cohen, P.C. has assisted injured workers in South Jersey for decades. 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.