Workers’ Compensation Lawyer San Diego, CA

Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) and Workers’ Compensation

An attorney can help you pursue full and fair compensation

Not all work injuries happen at a single moment in time. Some accumulate over a long period of time, but they’re just as painful and life-altering as any other. Among those injuries are repetitive strain injuries (RSI), such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

The workers’ compensation system is meant to protect all workers who are hurt by their job duties, whether that harm happens all at once or over time. As such, if you sustained a repetitive stress injury, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, insurance companies often dispute these claims, and getting full compensation can be an uphill battle. That’s why you need Robert A. McLaughlin, APC on your side.

What is a repetitive strain injury?

Repetitive strain injuries, also known as repetitive motion injuries, repetitive stress injuries, and cumulative trauma, are injuries that occur over time due to repeatedly using the same muscle in the same manner, often at work – for instance, if your job includes typing, working on an assembly line, lifting and moving objects, or other repetitive motions. Examples of repetitive strain injuries include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Bursitis
  • Tendinitis or tendinosis
  • Neuritis
  • Myositis
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Degenerative arthritis
  • Focal hand dystonia
  • Low back pain

Most RSIs fall in the broader category of musculoskeletal disorders – that is, injuries and illnesses that affect the muscles, nerves, tendons and ligaments. Symptoms may include pain, numbness, tingling, burning, or loss of mobility or function in a limb.

What body parts are most affected by a repetitive strain injury?

The wrist, hands, and shoulders are the most common parts of the body affected by RSIs. Carpal tunnel syndrome is perhaps the most common RSI wrist injury. Tendonitis (or tendinitis) usually affects the hands and fingers. Bursitis can affect a joint like the shoulder, and the surrounding area.

Carpal tunnel vs. RSI

While many people use the terms “carpal tunnel” and “RSI” interchangeably, RSI is more precisely a mechanism of injury – that is, it describes how the injury happens. Carpal tunnel is one type of injury that can result from repetitive stress.

Does workers’ compensation pay for repetitive strain injuries?

Workers’ compensation covers all work injuries, regardless of whether they are sustained at a single moment in time or over a longer period. As such, if your RSI was caused by your job responsibilities or conditions in your workplace, then you have a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ comp should pay for the full cost of medical treatment for your RSI – including medication, medical procedures, physical therapy and so on – with no co-pays or deductibles. It will also pay a percentage of your lost wages if you are unable to work because of the RSI, with additional benefits if you are permanently disabled or need to change careers due to the injury.

As a practical matter, though, proving that your RSI was work-related can be more difficult than an injury sustained in a work accident. If you fell and broke your leg at work in front of witnesses, it’s fairly straightforward to show that your injury happened on the job. There’s no single incident to point to for an RSI, though, so the onus is on the injured worker that the injury was sustained due to workplace tasks as opposed to household chores, sports or other activities.

That’s one of the reasons you need to get medical attention and documentation of your injury as soon as possible. It’s also why you need a California workers’ compensation attorney who knows the system and knows how to prove a work injury.

Schedule your free consultation today

If you have been diagnosed with an RSI or suspect you may have an RSI that is work-related, it’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. There are critical deadlines to be met and documentation to be completed to show that your RSI should be covered by workers’ compensation. The choices you make today could affect your future. The sooner you have an attorney on your side, the better.

We have the experience, resources and knowledge needed to get real results for San Diego workers who have sustained repetitive strain injuries on the job. If you’ve been hurt, we may be able to help. Give us a call or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation.