When many people think about workers' compensation claims, they tend to think about single event injuries that happen on the job. However, this is just one of the situations that could lead to you being eligible to collect workers' compensation benefits. In addition to benefits that are paid as the result of an on-the-job accident, workers' compensation laws also cover what is known as repetitive motion injuries. These are injuries that occur as the result of performing the same task over and over again in the completion of your job duties. For example, someone who works in data entry may develop carpal tunnel as a result of performing their job duties over the course of several months or years. When filing a claim in situations such as this one, there are a few facts that you will need to know.
Fact #1: Repetitive Motion Injury Claims Are Harder To Prove Than Single Incident Injury Claims
The key to being able to successfully collect compensation as the result of a repetitive motion claim is the ability to prove that your injuries are directly related to the completion of your job duties and not the result of activities that you choose to participate in outside of work. For instance, using the example described above, you would need to prove that your carpal tunnel is the result of your data entry tasks at work and not the result of your computer usage outside of work. For this reason, it is important that you report your injuries to your supervisor as soon as possible and begin seeking medical attention for these injuries immediately. This will help you to develop a clear timeline and make proving liability easier when pursuing your claim.
Fact #2: Workers' Compensation Is A No-Fault System
If your employer or a co-worker tries to discourage you from seeking workers' compensation benefits because you hold some fault in the development of your repetitive motion injuries, you should not give in to the temptation to avoid filing a claim. The workers' compensation system is a no-fault system. What this means is that it doesn't matter whether you are to blame or not for your injuries, if these injuries are the result of you doing your job, you are entitled to collect benefits.
Fact #3: You Have The Right To Hire A Workers' Compensation Lawyer
You do not need to go through the process of filing a claim on your own, you have the right to hire a workers compensation lawyer to represent you through every step of the process. More importantly, you have the right to seek this legal counsel without any fear of your employer retaliating against you in any way. This means that your employer cannot fire you, cut your hours, demote you, or cause an uncomfortable work environment because you have chosen to hire a lawyer to represent you in your workers' compensation claim. If you feel that your work environment has been negatively impacted by your decision to consult a lawyer, you should share this information with your attorney immediately as you may be entitled to additional compensation if your rights have been violated under existing workers' compensation laws.
Reach out to a local workers' compensation lawyer to learn more.