Repetitive stress injuries at work are common, but they can happen anywhere. These injuries often create challenging workers’ comp claims because they do not happen in a single incident. A repetitive stress injury (RSI) occurs slowly and over time. This makes it harder to prove it is job-related. Employees with an RSI may often wonder if they can still qualify for workers’ comp benefits.
Jay Trucks provides more insight about repetitive stress injuries below. Learn how to recognize the early signs and gather evidence of your work-related RSI.
Our firm has years of success handling workers’ comp claims, including those involving repetitive stress injuries. Our workers’ compensation attorneys in Flint are well-versed in state laws and ready to help you with your claim.
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How to Recognize a Repetitive Stress Injury at Work
Repetitive stress injuries can be tricky to recognize if you are not familiar with the signs and symptoms. Unlike a slip and fall or car crash, an RSI is not caused by a one-time incident.
What Are the Symptoms of an RSI?
A doctor’s diagnosis is the only sure way to know you have a repetitive stress injury. However, there are some early symptoms and warning signs to watch for, including:
- Cramping or throbbing in the affected area
- Swelling, pain and tenderness
- Blue or white tinges to the skin
- Sharp, burning or shooting pain
- Numbness, tingling or a loss of sensation
- Increasing muscle weakness
You could suffer an RSI in multiple areas of your body. Most often, however, workers may develop an RSI in their wrists, back, neck, shoulders or knees.
What Can You Do If You Suspect a Work-Related RSI?
You should always report a work injury immediately. Injured workers in Michigan have 90 days to notify their employer. However, waiting only makes it harder to prove your injury was job-related. That said, since an RSI happens over time, how do you pinpoint a date for reporting it?
These are some steps to help you find a general starting point for your injury and build evidence for a claim:
Document Any Suspicious Pain
Documenting every minor twinge, scratch or bruise is unnecessary. However, you should pay attention to your body. If you have pain that lasts more than a few days, it may be something that will not heal on its own. Begin taking notes at this point. Document what it feels like, when it happens and what you were doing. These details can be helpful when you see a doctor.
Get Diagnosed by a Doctor
Seek medical care as soon as you recognize your pain and symptoms may be from a repetitive stress injury at work. Once the doctor examines you and provides a diagnosis, you can begin getting treatment. However, make sure you are specific when you talk to the doctor about your injury.
- Show the doctor where you are hurting and approximately when it first began
- Describe the pain specifically (shooting pains, cramping, etc.)
- Explain the specific work task that causes your pain, such as lifting or typing
The details of your injury, including when you first discovered it, will be documented in your medical records. These records can help to support your workers’ comp claim.
Once the doctor examines you, he or she will give you a diagnosis. In some cases, you may need to get additional testing, such as an MRI, to confirm what the doctor suspects is going on.
Report Your Injury to Your Employer
If you are diagnosed with an RSI or other work-related injury, you should immediately report it to your employer. From that point, your medical care should be fully covered under workers’ compensation.
Once you begin medical care under workers’ compensation, your employer can initially choose your doctor. If, after the first 28 days, you decide to change doctors, you can do so. However, you must tell your employer and insurer – in writing.
Seek a Qualified Attorney to Help With Your Repetitive Stress Injury Claim
Do not be surprised if you get some initial push-back when seeking workers’ comp for an RSI. This is not uncommon with harder-to-prove injuries. In this situation, seeking legal advice sooner than later could greatly benefit your claim. We know how to help you provide the proof of a work-related RSI that your employer and insurer need.
Do Not Miss Doctor’s Appointments
When you miss doctor’s appointments, it is the same as telling your employer and insurer that your injuries are not that bad. This could result in your benefits being stopped before you fully recover. You should also be on time for your appointments and follow up exactly as recommended by your doctor. Your ongoing medical care is also documented in your medical records and provides additional evidence of your job-related injury.
Jobs That Are High Risk for Repetitive Stress Injuries
Repetitive stress injuries can happen in any type of work. However, some jobs are more likely to cause an RSI. This is especially true in careers where you repeatedly put stress on certain parts of your body, such as:
- Office workers
- Truck drivers
- Construction workers
- Textile workers
- Professional athletes
- Grocery and stock workers
Call Jay Trucks for Trusted Legal Help Today
If you are suffering from a work-related RSI, you should not have to put off treatment that could help you to recover. The sooner you get the medical care that you need, the better chance you have for a full recovery.
At Jay Trucks, we have extensive experience helping injured workers get the compensation and benefits they need. Learn how we may be able to help you obtain medical care, lost wages and other benefits.
Contact our law offices anytime, night or day, to schedule your free initial consultation. If you have a workers’ comp claim and hire our firm, we are prepared to work tirelessly on your behalf.
Proven Results. 989-244-0356