Repetitive Stress Injuries and Florida Workers’ Compensation Claims
In Florida, individuals who have been hurt on the job are entitled to recover benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation law. This concept seems straightforward enough, but in reality these claims often become extremely complex. Perhaps no workers’ compensation claims are more complicated than ones related to injuries that have developed slowly over time. These long-term injuries are known as repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) or repetitive trauma injuries (RTIs). Victims of RSIs are entitled to full and fair workers’ compensation benefits just the same as any worker injured in a single accident.
Common Types of Repetitive Stress Injuries
RSIs can come in many different forms. In fact, all types of workers, from those on construction sites to those in the office, are at risk of developing repetitive strain injuries. Most often, these injuries occur because the same task is performed over and over again for many years. Over time, gradual degeneration takes places, and an employee can be left with a debilitating medical condition. Indeed, RSIs can come with severe pain including, swelling, stiffness, weakness, numbness and even permanent nerve damage. Some of the most common examples of workplace RSIs include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome;
- Cubital tunnel syndrome;
- Degenerative disk conditions;
- Other back problems;
- Neck strain;
- Rotator cuff damage and other shoulder injuries; and
- Loss of hearing.
Repetitive Stress Injury Workers’ Compensation Cases Are More Challenging
Under Florida law, you may only recover workers’ compensation benefits if you can prove that your injury or medical condition is actually linked to your job. On the surface level, this certainly seem sensible and obvious standard. However, in reality, it can create some major challenges for workplace RSI victims. When a single accident results in an acute injury, it is typically
easy to pinpoint the cause. However, inherently, it is far more difficult to pinpoint the cause of an injury that developed slowly over time. Victims of job-related RSIs need to be ready for this challenge. Their employer or the insurance company may reject the claim that the RSI actually developed because of a work-related activity. Is is imperative that victims get themselves the appropriate medical treatment as soon as possible. By doing so, victims will be able to obtain
necessary medical documentation that can help to establish the work-related basis for their RSI. If you developed a repetitive trauma injury at work, you need to consult with an experienced lawyer early in the claims process. Your lawyer will be able to determine what needs to be done to help you secure the medical, income and disability benefits that you rightfully deserve.
Were You Injured on the Job in Florida?
The dedicated Tampa workers’ compensation lawyers at Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group are ready to help you. Our team has extensive experience handling workers’ comp claims, including complex claims involving repetitive stress injuries. To learn more about our services, please get in touch with us today to set up a free review of your claim. We protect the rights of injured workers throughout the Tampa Bay region, including in Pasco County and Hillsborough County.