Common Repetitive Stress Injuries in Workers’ Compensation Claims
In the 1990s and early 2000s, laser video and audio disks were all the rage. Such disks were a significant improvement over older delivery systems. Yet laser disks could not withstand very much abnormal wear and tear. More than a tiny scratch or two significantly affected performance.
The human body is much the same. It cannot withstand very much abnormal wear and tear, like loud noises or unusual movements. Such activities often create performance issues, particularly if the victim has a pre-existing condition.
Substantial compensation is available for work-related repetitive stress injuries. This compensation usually includes money for lost wages and medical bills. Additional compensation is available in some cases.
Primarily, knees were designed for walking and running. Continual bending and kneeling puts added stress on knee joints. The same is true for hips. Motions like stooping and bending at the waist are very hard on the hip joint, because it is essentially a ball-and-socket joint.
Most people do not immediately go to the doctor the first time their knees or shoulders hurt. Even if they do bring up the pain at a routine physical, doctors often dismiss such discomfort as soreness. So, by the time a doctor orders an X-ray or other test which reveals the true extent of the damage, the workers’ compensation claim deadline has usually passed.
These victims still have legal options, thanks to the discovery rule. Victims need not report their occupational diseases, like joint pain, until they realize the full extent of their conditions. Many times, that moment could be months, years, or even decades after the initial twinge of discomfort appeared.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
In this context, CTS is much like joint pain for office workers. Added stress on the wrists, usually because of an improper sitting or typing position, constricts the narrow carpal tunnel. This constriction pinches the nerves which pass through this tunnel. Frequently, the pain first appears in the upper arm and then radiates lower. Therefore, many victims do not immediately associate their discomfort with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Rest is pretty much the only cure for CTS. In advanced cases, the doctor might prescribe several weeks of rest. Several weeks without a paycheck could be financially devastating to many families. Fortunately, the aforementioned loss wages benefit usually kicks in quickly, so families can still make ends meet.
Computer Vision Syndrome is much like CTS. Many workers spend long hours at their computer workstations, and employers only provide limited breaks. Over time, the light these scenes emit seriously damages vision.
This repetitive stress disorder is the most common occupational disease claim in Mississippi. Hearing loss does not only have physical effects. Many of these victims withdraw from friends and family because they have trouble following conversations. This withdrawal often creates anger issues.
Much like joint pain, hearing loss creeps up very slowly over time. Exposure to sounds as low as 85 decibels, which is basically a busy street corner, could cause permanent hearing loss.
If caught early enough, hearing loss is usually not serious. Modern hearing aids are effective and discrete. But even the best hearing aid only amplifies sound and/or blocks background noise. If the ear muscle is damaged, doctors must resort to risky invasive surgery.
Count on a Compassionate Attorney
Many occupational diseases occur so slowly that victims do not realize they are hurt. For a free consultation with an experienced Jackson workers’ compensation attorney, contact Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe, PLLC. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these cases.