Worker's Comp Benefits for Repetitive Motion Injuries: What You Need to Know
When you do the same tasks at work – day after day, hour after hour – it takes a toll on your body. A construction worker, for instance, may have to constantly bend, twist and lift heavy materials, while a secretary may type throughout the day. Due to the continual stress on your neck, back, wrists, elbow, fingers, knees or shoulders, you may eventually suffer a repetitive motion injury (RMI) or repetitive stress injury (RSI). The injury can be painful and debilitating. Ultimately, it may prevent you from being able to work.
If you suffer from a work-related repetitive motion injury in Ohio, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. However, establishing your right to receive benefits can be a challenge. Workers’ compensation insurers frequently try to deny RMI claims. They often insist that the injury came from forces outside of the workplace.
At Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill, Co., LPA, our attorneys can bring more than 200 years of legal experience to your case. We have helped workers with repetitive motion injuries throughout the Mahoning Valley and northeastern Ohio to pursue the benefits they deserve. We are ready to go to work for you today. Call or reach us online to discuss your case in a free consultation.
Does Ohio Workers’ Compensation Cover Repetitive Motion Injuries?
Ohio workers’ compensation law treats repetitive motion injury as a type of “occupational disease.” If you suffer from this type of condition, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits just as you would if had suffered an injury in a single accident on the job. To qualify for RMI-related workers’ compensation benefits, you generally must show that:
- You suffer from a medically diagnosed repetitive motion injury.
- Your steady exposure at work to physical vibrations, constant pressure on certain areas of your body or repetitive use of certain body parts caused the injury.
- The conditions of your employment created a greater hazard to you than to the general public.
If you can establish that you suffer from a work-related repetitive motion injury, then you may qualify for benefits such as:
- Medical benefits – These benefits can cover all of the costs of treating your work-related RMI, including tests, surgery, medication, assistive devices and rehabilitation.
- Wage-loss benefits – These benefits can cover a portion of the wages you have lost due to a total or partial disability brought on by your RMI. Depending on your condition, you may qualify for temporary or permanent benefits.
- Rehabilitation – As you move forward, workers’ compensation benefits may also cover your physical or vocational rehabilitation. For instance, if a doctor advises you to change jobs so you can avoid further exposure to the forces that caused your RMI, workers’ comp may cover your training for a new job.
Your attorney from Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill, Co., LPA, can thoroughly review your case and help you to determine which types of workers’ compensation benefits are available to you. We will guide you through the entire process and work hard to pursue all benefits that you are due.
What Are Different Types of Repetitive Motion Injuries?
Every day, our attorneys work with people in Ohio from a wide range of industries who suffer from repetitive motion injury. These injuries frequently occur among those who work in physically demanding jobs such as construction, manufacturing, landscaping and health care. However, these injuries can also affect people who spend most of their day sitting at a desk such as data entry clerks.
Some of the most common types of repetitive motion injuries are:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome – When you suffer pain, tingling or numbness in your arms, wrists, hands and fingers due to constant pressure on a nerve that runs through your arm. Many people suffer from this nerve problem after working at a job that involves heavy typing over a prolonged period of time.
- Tendinitis – When tendons that connect your muscles to your bones become inflamed or damaged due to your repetitive movements. “Tennis elbow,” for instance, is a condition that arises from constantly moving your arm and wrist in the same motion. “Trigger finger” is another common form of tendinitis.
- Bursitis – When the fluid-filled pads, or bursae, which cushion your joints become inflamed. The condition typically arises from repetitive movement of your hips, elbows, knees or shoulders.
Any type of RMI that causes you pain, requires medical treatment, limits your ability to work or prevents you from working at all can be highly serious. You owe it to yourself to contact Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill, Co., LPA, and learn about your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.
How Long Do You Have to File a Repetitive Motion Injury Claim?
If you have a work-related RMI, you should take immediate steps to protect your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits. For instance, you will need to make sure that you file your benefits claim within two years after the date your disability began, which could be any one of these three dates:
- When a licensed doctor diagnosed your condition
- When you first got treatment for the condition
- When you quit your job because of your condition.
If more than two years have passed since your disability began, you may still be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim as long as six months have not passed since the date of your diagnosis by a licensed doctor.
Keep in mind: When you file a claim for workers’ compensation based on an occupational disease such as RMI, you must provide proof in the form of a medical examination or medical records. You will also need to establish the connection between your work and the condition.
Our Ohio Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Are Here for You
Our experienced and compassionate workers’ compensation attorneys at Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill, Co., LPA, take repetition motion injuries seriously. We know how RMI can cause tremendous pain, require extensive medical treatment and prevent a worker from doing his or her job. We are here to help. If you suffer from a work-related RMI, don’t try to go through the workers’ compensation process on your own. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us go to work for you right away.
A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Richard L. “Pete” Magill worked in mills during the summer to help finance his education. He went on to earn his undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University and his law degree from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, where he was a member of the Law Journal and graduate cum laude. Throughout more than three decades as a lawyer, he has dedicated his practice to helping injured workers. Several of his cases have resulted in appellate court decisions that have helped to change Ohio law in ways that benefit the state’s workers as a whole. In addition to his practice, he is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association’s Workers’ Compensation Committee and also the liaison committee between the Bar Association and the Industrial Commission.