Work injuries come in all types. When many people think of a New Jersey work injury, images of catastrophic falls, burns, or equipment-related injuries come to mind. However, some of the most common types of work injuries are repetitive stress injuries. With the increased prevalence of technology in the workplace, repetitive stress injuries are making up a larger percentage of workplace injuries than ever before.
A repetitive stress injury (RSI) refers to gradual damage that is caused by performing the same motion repeatedly. A repetitive stress injury can affect the muscles, tendons, or ligaments. One of the most common examples of a repetitive stress injury is carpal tunnel syndrome. Other types of repetitive stress injuries include bursitis, tennis elbow, and rotator cuff tendonitis. Most often, repetitive stress injuries affect the hands, wrists, elbows, neck, and shoulders.
Like other types of work injuries, those who suffer from a work-related repetitive stress injury may be entitled to New Jersey workers’ compensation benefits. However, it is crucial that employees suffering from an RSI consult with a compensation attorney, because there are strict guidelines when it comes to obtaining treatment. An employee’s failure to follow the proper procedures can jeopardize their ability to collect workers’ comp benefits.
Causes of Repetitive Stress Injuries
Employees who work at desk jobs are at an especially high risk of developing a repetitive stress injury. However, any time an employee’s job requires they engage in small, repetitive movements, there is the chance that they will develop a stress injury. By definition, these injuries are caused by seemingly harmless movements that are performed over and over again. For example, some of the most common actions that may cause a repetitive stress injury include:
- Using a computer mouse
- Scanning items at a cash register
- Working on an assembly line
- Frequently using tools or devices in the same manner
Repetitive stress injuries can occur in almost any occupation, including professional drivers, construction workers, nurses, home health aids, dental hygienists, and cooks. Those who suffer from repetitive stress injuries frequently experience nagging pain, making it difficult to impossible to continue performing their job.
Symptoms of Repetitive Stress Injuries
The symptoms of repetitive stress injuries vary, depending on the affected body part and the severity of the injury. While the movements that cause a repetitive stress injury may not seem like they could cause severe damage, that is not the case. In many situations, a repetitive stress injury requires serious medical intervention; otherwise, the condition could worsen or become permanent. Common symptoms of repetitive stress injuries include:
- Loss of strength
- Loss of sensation
- Tenderness or pain
- Tingling in the hand or arm
- A throbbing or pulsating sensation
Those suffering from an injury caused by repetitive stress may not necessarily associate the daily pain that they are experiencing with their job. Thus, it is essential for workers who notice a sudden onset of any of these symptoms to obtain medical attention. Before seeking medical attention, however, employees should consult with a compensation attorney to determine how to preserve their rights.
Pursuing a New Jersey Workers’ Comp Claim
The New Jersey workers’ compensation system provides ongoing benefits to employees who suffer an on-the-job injury, preventing them from performing their job. Because the workers’ compensation program is a no-fault system, injured employees do not need to prove an employer is to blame for their injury. However, there are strict rules that must be followed to preserve a worker’s benefit eligibility. Thus, it is imperative that any employee, who suffers a repetitive stress injury, reaches out to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to assist with preparing their claim.
Contact a Trusted Compensation Attorney for Immediate Assistance
If you recently suffered a workplace injury, including a repetitive stress injury, contact the experienced advocates at the New Jersey workers’ compensation law firm of Petro Cohen.
At our firm, we represent workers who have been seriously injured in all types of work-related accidents, helping them obtain the medical treatment and compensation they need to recover from their injuries and return to work.
We have successful handled thousands of repetitive stress injuries and commonly refer to these types of injuries as WEAR and TEAR, when over time, the physical demands of your job take a toll on your body. We hear from so many workers with these types of injuries who had no idea that they may legally qualify for compensation. Often they think or are told that they are “just getting older,” or that workers’ compensation only covers injuries caused by accidents. At Petro Cohen, we know better.
Could you be at risk? We have found that repetitive stress injuries are becoming increasingly common in certain industries. Approximately 60 percent of work-related injuries involve RSI, also known as occupational overuse syndrome or WEAR and TEAR. The following list represents some examples of industries and jobs with potential WEAR and TEAR claims due to repetitive, job related physical stress.
- Almost all construction trade employees/construction labor
- Many casino positions, including food and beverage servers, housekeepers, dealers, EVS/maintenance, HVAC mechanics, etc.
- Medical professionals, including nurses, nurse’s aides, and physical therapists
- Emergency response/law enforcement personnel, including police officers, firefighters, and EMTs
- Trucking and delivery employees
- Secretarial/computer/data entry employees
- Warehouse and retail operations positions, including stockers/material handlers
- Landscaping/excavation and heavy equipment operators
- Utility workers, including cable, telephone, electric, etc.
- Highway maintenance and service industry employees
A WEAR and TEAR injury may be a legitimate workplace injury for which you should receive workers’ compensation benefits. If you believe you suffer from a WEAR and TEAR injury and it may be work-related, don’t be afraid to seek medical help. Let your doctor know you believe it is a workplace injury.
And make sure you have a skilled attorney by your side to ensure you receive compensation that you rightfully deserve. At Petro Cohen, our respected attorneys have decades of experience successfully handling New Jersey workplace accident claims, and know what it takes to succeed on your behalf. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with an attorney, reach out to one of our dedicated injury attorneys today by calling one of our offices in Northfield, Cherry Hill, Cape May Courthouse, or Hamilton. You can also contact us by completing our online form.