Many people suddenly need workers’ compensation benefits after getting hurt in an incident at work. Someone might suffer an electrical shock or a fall, and that incident leaves them with injuries that then require treatment and a leave of absence.
Workers’ compensation claims based on traumatic injuries are often among the easiest to prove. There is clear documentation of an incident and an obvious injury resulting from it. Other times, the connection between a medical condition and work may require medical explanation.
Workers can develop a medical condition because of their job responsibilities without one specific event at work causing or triggering their symptoms. Thankfully, workers’ compensation benefits are still available for workers who develop a condition rather than suffer a specific traumatic injury.
Doing your job every day could eventually lead to an injury
Repetitive stress injuries are a perfect example of work-acquired medical conditions without a related workplace incident. Performing the same tasks for work every day causes a small amount of damage to the joints, bones and musculature of a worker’s body. Those tiny injuries can build up over time to become debilitating medical conditions.
For example, carpal tunnel syndrome can cause pain and limit the use of someone’s hands when they have had to repetitively type or grip something for hours a day over the course of many years. There are other repetitive stress injuries that people can develop that might affect their knees, hips or spines.
These injuries, just like a traumatic injury, can qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Claimants often need to see a doctor who can connect their issue with their work to pursue benefits. Understanding when you can claim workers’ compensation can help you protect yourself when dealing with a work-related medical issue.