Repetitive Stress Injuries
At Pulgini & Norton, we counsel and represent Boston employees who were injured or became ill as a result of their jobs. Our workers’ compensation lawyers have a combined 40 years of experience representing people with repetitive stress and other work-related injuries. If you were hurt by repeatedly performing the same task at work, you may be eligible for medical, wage, and other workers’ compensation benefits.Repetitive Stress Injuries
An accident at work can occur suddenly and without warning, but some injuries are the result of long-term stress on a particular part of the body. A repetitive stress injury occurs when the cumulative and consistent exertion, force, or compression of a body part damages nerves, muscles, and tendons. The stress can cause severe pain, muscle strain, tissue and nerve damage, and swelling.
Repetitive stress injuries are often associated with the workplace. Some types of work-related activities that can lead to repetitive stress injuries include:
- Prolonged sitting or standing;
- Use of the computer and keyboard without proper ergonomic support;
- Jackhammering, sawing, or cutting; and
- Lifting, stocking, and packing shelves.
Repetitive stress injuries primarily affect the upper extremities. Carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs when the nerve between the forearm and the hand is compressed, is one example of a repetitive stress injury that affects the function of the hand and wrist. Other repetitive stress injuries, such as a herniated disk, can affect the lower spine and cause substantial pain, numbness, and muscle weakness in the legs.Seek Benefits Based on Job-Related Harm in Massachusetts
You may have suffered a repetitive stress injury as a result of your work. The damage to your muscles and nerves can take you out of the workforce, and you may need to reduce your work hours or change jobs as a result of the injury. If you have a work-related repetitive stress injury, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Under the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act, all employers in the state must carry this form of insurance coverage. It provides people who were hurt or became ill on the job with partial wage compensation, medical care, and other benefits. To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you must miss work for at least five days because of the injury, and the injury must have a causal connection to your work. Your employer’s insurer will examine your medical records and recommended course of treatment, and it will determine if your repetitive stress injury is work-related.
If the insurer approves your claim, you will receive medical benefits to cover the treatment of your injury. You will also receive a portion of your average weekly wage based on whether your disability is:
- Permanent and total, which means it is expected to last for the rest of your life and you are unable to perform any type of work as a result of your condition;
- Temporary and total, which means that the injury will take you out of the workforce, but only for a limited amount of time; or
- Partial, which means that you can perform some type of work despite the injury.
The insurer may determine that your repetitive stress injury is not work-related, or that the proposed medical care is unnecessary. The insurer could also pay you benefits initially but then decide to reduce or cease paying your benefits altogether. If your claim is denied, or if the insurer wants to modify or stop your benefits, you can appeal the decision with the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA). The appeals process can take several stages to complete. You will need to present evidence to prove that your injury was in fact work-related, and that your medical care was necessary.Discuss Your Work Injury Claim with Knowledgeable Boston Lawyers
The work injury attorneys at Pulgini & Norton advise individuals throughout the Boston region with repetitive stress injuries. We will assess your claim for workers’ compensation benefits based on your injury and the nature of your job. We can answer any questions about your claim and help you appeal an insurer’s denial before the DIA. Our attorneys represent injured individuals in New Bedford, Cambridge, and Andover, as well as throughout the state. Call us at 781-843-2200 to schedule a consultation, or you can reach us by completing our online form.