Workers’ Comp also Provides for Repetitive Motion Illnesses
Workers’ comp insurance is required by law. The coverage is meant to provide medical assistance as well as loss of income for workers who may be injured in workplace accidents or who may develop occupational illnesses and problems. Workers’ comp supersedes the employee’s right to sue the employer for negligence, unless the employer fails to provide coverage.
Employers may choose to self-insure, in which case the employer is liable for all expenses that is mandated by state law as covered, or pay an insurance company to provide the coverage. In either case, workers who develop repetitive motion injuries, also called repetitive stress injuries, should be able to claim from their workers’ comp insurance.
Repetitive motion injuries have only recently been added to the list of occupational illnesses covered by workers’ comp. It used to be that claims can only be made for accidental injuries. The dawning of the computer age, however, has brought with it a whole slew of health problems, including repetitive motion injury. Today, this type of workers’ comp claim is the most common in the US, costing in excess of $20 billion annually. Coverage will vary from state to state.
However, repetitive motion injuries will only be covered if it develops because of the claimant’s work. A data entry encoder will likely make a successful claim for carpal tunnel syndrome; a security guard is less likely to meet with success, because it is unlikely to be due to work-related activities. Because repetitive motion injuries develop gradually over time, it is excluded from the usual requirement for workers’ comp claim to provide a specific time and place of the causative incident.
In Missouri and Arkansas, workers’ compensation laws recognize repetitive motion injury as an occupational disease, including trigger finger, carpal tunnel syndrome and epicondylitis. It is perfectly possible to make a workers’ comp claim for this type of injury even if the claimant has left the workplace where the injury developed, although it may be more complicated.
Here are a few sources about different these workplace place injuries:
- Trigger Finger: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00024
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/carpal_tunnel/detail_carpal_tunnel.htm
- Epicondylitis: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/tennis-elbow-lateral-epicondylitis
Workers’ comp claims are not always straightforward, and insurers will invariably look for ways to minimize their exposure. If you developed a repetitive motion injury in the workplace and you are having a hard time making a claim, consult with Madison, Wisconsin lawyers for assistance. Attorneys are aware of the paperwork and processes involved with filing a workers’ compensation claim and can work to avoid potential hangups.