Repetitive Stress Injuries
Doing the same task every single day can adversely affect the body and lead to repetitive stress injuries. If you or someone close to you has suffered a repetitive stress injury on the job, or if your job exacerbated your injury, it is important to seek the help of a skilled Wheaton or Schaumburg workers’ compensation attorney. At Therman Law Offices, we understand how to handle these types of injuries and can guide you through the entire legal process, including any appeals that may be needed.Pursuing Benefits Based on Repetitive Stress Injuries
A repetitive stress injury is any injury that arises from the same movements repeated over and over again. Typically, these movements involve the use of fingers, hands, and wrists, and they can result in damage to the muscles, tendons, and nerves. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), repetitive motion injuries take an average of 23 days to fully recover. This is 14 days more than the average for all other injuries, most of which take only nine days to recover.
The most common example of repetitive stress injuries is carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful condition of the hand and fingers that causes numbness, tingling, and other symptoms in the hand and arm. The condition is caused by a compressed nerve in the carpal tunnel – a narrow passageway on the palm side of a person’s wrist. It affects more than 8 million Americans. Other examples of repetitive stress injuries include tendonitis, rotator cuff injuries, chronic knee injuries, bursitis, hearing or vision loss, nerve compression or disorders, and spinal disc injuries.
In Illinois, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, employees can seek workers’ compensation benefits for any injuries occurring in the line of work. An employee who had a pre-existing condition is not prohibited from seeking compensation for a repetitive stress injury. However, the employee must establish that the specific demands of the job worsened the pre-existing condition. In other words, conditions that are exacerbated by the employee’s job will likely be covered by the workers’ compensation system.
Workers’ compensation claims are governed by certain statutes of limitations. These are typically based on the date of the workplace accident. Since there is no specific date on which a repetitive stress injury takes place, Illinois law requires victims to notify their employers of a repetitive stress injury within 45 days of discovering the injury. It is recommended that an injured employee notify the employer in writing of the date that the repetitive stress injury was discovered, including a brief description of the accident in which the injury was caused.
Depending on the nature and extent of the harm suffered, the injured worker may be able to recover a variety of benefits, including:
Medical expenses: these are required to cure or relieve the employee of the effects of the injury;
Temporary total disability: these compensate a worker who is totally prevented from performing work for a temporary period of time;
Temporary partial disability: these compensate a worker who is recovering from an injury but working light duty for less compensation;
Permanent partial disability: these compensate an injured worker for permanent damage, even if the employee returns to work;
Permanent total disability: these compensate an injured worker who is rendered permanently unable to work;
Lost wages: these provide a worker with up to two-thirds of their average weekly wage if they cannot work while they recuperate from their injuries.
Sometimes the biggest threats to our health are tasks that we do repeatedly, whether it is typing, bending over too often, lifting heavy objects, or some other motion. At Therman Law Offices, our attentive attorneys can advocate for your rights at every step of the way. We proudly represent people in Schaumburg, Wheaton, Lombard, Villa Park, Addison, Elmhurst, West Chicago, Lemont, Westmont, Oakbrook Terrace, Clarendon Hills, and Downers Grove, as well as other Cook County cities. To speak to an attorney in more detail about your case, call us today at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.