How Does Workers’ Compensation Handle Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSIs)?
Most of the time, when someone thinks about injuries that happen on the job, that may be eligible for workers’ compensation, one thinks about a fall or other physical injury caused by negligence. However, work injuries can be more gradual, and nowhere is this more common than in dealing with repetitive stress injuries (RSIs), such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendinitis. It is possible to apply for and receive workers’ compensation benefits in Connecticut if you develop an RSI on the job.
While carpal tunnel syndrome is perhaps the most common RSI, there are several that can affect areas all over the body, including degenerative disk disease, bursitis, Dupuytren’s contracture (in which one’s fingers become contracted, preventing them from being straightened), and epicondylitis, also known as “tennis elbow.” Establishing that you contracted this condition at work is possible, though it will usually require more evidence than would be necessary for a simple one-off accident.
Generally, workers’ compensation in Connecticut is paid from the date of injury, but with an RSI, it can be very difficult to pinpoint one specific date at which the injury occurred in order to begin payments. It is, however, possible to use the date on which you were last “adversely affected” by your injury, which can also start the clock running on the statute of limitations in some situations (for an occupational disease, which most RSIs are classified as, one has 3 years from the “first manifestation of a symptom”). Sometimes, however, an RSI will be classified as an accidental injury instead of an occupational disease, which means that your statute of limitations will be much shorter (usually the clock runs out within 1 year of the last time you were exposed to the conditions that caused the injury).
If you file a claim for workers’ compensation, you should receive appropriate medical treatment from the doctor you want, as well as the monetary compensation you are entitled to. In most RSI-related cases, that compensation will be equal to 75 percent of the wages that you would have earned prior to the accident, though if an injury is particularly severe, more may be forthcoming. However, insurers will very often balk at paying for injuries that do not have a specific onset date because they will often believe you are faking. This is one of the most compelling reasons to enlist an experienced attorney to help with your case – very often, insurers will respond to potential action from an attorney more quickly than they will to someone who is representing themselves.
Contact A Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
A repetitive stress injury is just as potentially painful and life-changing as any sudden one-time accident, and if you have developed one through the work you do, you are generally entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits so that you can focus on healing and recovery. An experienced Stratford workers’ compensation attorney can help to ensure you get the best chance possible to recover the benefits you need. Contact the Morizio Law Firm today for a free consultation.