Work-related injuries come in many forms, some more difficult to recognize and diagnose than others. Sometimes, a worker may worry that their injury does not qualify for workers’ compensation coverage because it is a cumulative injury and did not occur all at one time. Repetitive stress injuries are some of the most common, and it is not always clear if an employee should cover them.
If you developed a repetitive stress injury and have concerns about coverage and care through workers’ compensation in California, a strong legal strategy can help. With a clear understanding of the steps you can take to document your injury and a well-built legal strategy, you can build a strong claim and follow it through to receive the care you need to heal.
Relating your injury to your work
One of the most difficult things about filing a claim for a repetitive stress injury is that it is not always easy to prove that your work caused or contributed to it in the first place. If you slip and fall at work, breaking your arm, it is much easier to show how the injury is related to your work. With a repetitive stress injury, many workers worry that their employer may claim that the job did not cause the injury.
While some employers may balk at the claim, almost all states recognize repetitive stress injury claims through workers’ compensation. It is also worth nothing that a worker cannot typically gain compensation for an injury they suffered prior to their employment, but they may make a claim if their current work aggravates or worsens an existing injury.
To make your claim, you must document the activities within your work that aggravate or cause your injury. While it is not guaranteed that the insurer will approve the claim, the more documentation that you have demonstrating the link between your work and your injury, the more likely you are to succeed.
You may have to fight consistently
Insurers are businesses, and just like any other business, they seek to minimize their expenses anywhere they can. If you do not build a strong claim, you may simply waste your time and energy and be no better off for it. Your employer’s insurer may not approve your claim initially, but this does not mean you should give up hope.
Make sure that you have good legal resources and guidance available as you work through these issues, to keep your rights secure along the way. With some careful preparation and a clear understanding of the laws that apply to your circumstances, you can keep your attention on recovering from your injury and getting back to the activities you enjoyed before your repetitive stress injury occurred.