Workers’ compensation claims tend to be associated with sudden accidents that happen on the job—crashing a car during a routine delivery, for instance, or falling from scaffolding while performing construction work. However, some work injuries slowly develop over long periods. If you use any part of your body in a similar, repetitive way every day, you may experience a repetitive stress injury (RSI). Our Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorneys explain the most common types of RSIs and how to file a claim against your employer.
Types of Repetitive Stress Injuries
People of many professions are at risk of suffering repetitive stress injuries, also sometimes known as cumulative trauma disorder (CTD). From office workers who spend much of their day typing to assembly line workers who perform a single task over and over, any job conducive to repeated activity poses a risk.
Other professions at a high risk of RSI are:
- Construction workers
- Delivery drivers
- Electrical workers
- Physical or massage therapists
- Warehouse employees
RSIs often come in the form of damage to one’s back, fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, joints, and/or hips.
Some of the most common types of repetitive stress injuries include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome: Painful inflammation and swelling of the hands, fingers, and/or wrists resulting from overuse, common in people who heavily use computers.
- Rotator cuff tear: This occurs when one's work involves repetitive overhead motion and/or lifting.
- Bursitis: The inflammation of bursae, cavities that provide cushions between tendons and bones throughout your body.
- Tendinitis: This condition develops when a tendon, or the sheath surrounding a tendon, becomes inflamed.
- Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis): A condition resulting in pain and tenderness of the elbow. Tennis elbow often occurs from playing sports and the repetitive arm movements of mechanics or painters.
Filing an RSI Claim
In Massachusetts, you have until four years after the discovery of your injury to file for a worker’s compensation claim. If you try to file once the statute of limitations runs out, your claim will likely be denied.
Before you file a claim, get a diagnosis from a medical professional and then inform your employer, in writing, of the injury and how it occurred. Then, contact an attorney to help with your claim or file one on your own.
If you filed a claim correctly and within the statute of limitations and it was denied, contact a lawyer. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney familiar with Massachusetts law can help you appeal your denied claim and get the compensation you deserve.