Repetitive strain injury is exceedingly common among people who perform manual labor, like construction workers, professional athletes, and others who consistently perform repetitive motions. And so, whether you’re a receptionist, hairdresser, or golfer, a repetitive strain injury could happen to you or someone you love.

In other words, years of putting in your best effort on the job can take a toll on your body. Importantly, however, if you’ve sacrificed your well-being for your career, you’re likely entitled to workers’ compensation — but how much financial compensation for a repetitive strain injury can you get?

The experienced New York workers’ compensation attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers are ready to help you get the full compensation and benefits you deserve. Call us now at 516-342-2200 for a free consultation and so much more!

What Is A Repetitive Strain Injury?

A repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a type of pain caused by repetitive straining of the same part of the body. This injury usually occurs through repetitive motions over a long period. For example, construction workers can experience RSI in their hands from the constant vibrations jobs like hammering and drilling entail.

Significantly, while repetitive strain injuries can affect any part of the body, they are most common in the joints, where they can affect the hands, fingers, wrists, shoulders, elbows, and knees.

For someone suffering from an RSI, the pain can feel like cramping, burning, or throbbing. Unfortunately, these symptoms usually get worse with physical movement. As well, the affected area may swell up and stiffen, thus hindering the injured person’s general and/or specific range of motion.

Who Is Most Likely To Experience A Repetitive Strain Injury?

A repetitive strain injury can affect anyone. It’s most common in athletes and people who work with their hands. Laborers like construction workers, landscapers, and factory workers often perform largely repetitive movements as a part of their job. Moreover, those who work with computers sometimes experience repetitive strain from typing most of the day.

Athletes and people who exercise often, especially if they lift weights, are also vulnerable to repetitive strain injuries. Every drill you run or set of weights you lift involves repetitive motion. Tennis players and bodybuilders are among the most RSI-vulnerable athletes.

What Are The Long-Term Consequences Of A Repetitive Strain Injury?

If left untreated, a repetitive strain injury can severely weaken muscles or wear away at joints. This can lead to temporary or permanent loss of use in a body part, and you may significantly lose function in an affected joint. In rare cases, surgery is the only option to correct extensive damage.

Your muscles need a break from repetitive movements and appropriate medical treatment to heal properly, and this may involve taking time off from work. In some cases, a doctor may recommend physical therapy to strengthen a muscle properly or promote better alignment of a joint.

The earlier you begin to manage your repetitive strain injury, the better you’ll be in the long term. So, please, don’t let things get any worse. You need to take your repetitive strain injury seriously, especially if it isn’t the first time you’ve experienced a repetitive strain injury due to your job.

What Should You Do If You Experience A Repetitive Strain Injury?

The worst response to an RSI is to ignore the pain and carry on. If you’re working through the pain of a repetitive strain injury, you’re likely only doing more damage to your body. Pain is a sign that something is wrong, and it needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Icing the achy muscle and taking over-the-counter pain relievers isn’t a long-term fix — you need to see a doctor and have a proper examination.

If you or a loved one has experienced a repetitive strain injury at work or while in the performance of job-related duties, you should file a formal report with your employer within (30) days of the onset of the pain. This serves as proof that your injury occurred at work or while in the performance of job-related duties. You have up to two (2) years from the time you file your official injury report to make a workers’ compensation claim.

If you or a loved one needs legal assistance with a workers’ compensation case, the skilled New York workers’ compensation attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers are prepared to fight — and win! — for you. Simply dial 516-342-2200 or visit us online to schedule your free case evaluation today.

Can You Make A Workers’ Compensation Claim For A Repetitive Strain Injury?

Some states don’t cover RSIs under workers’ compensation or provide limited compensation for RSI. New York State provides full workers’ compensation coverage for RSI. As long as you reported the onset of your injury to your employer within (30) days and filed a workers’ compensation claim within two years of your report, you’re likely eligible to claim workers’ compensation benefits.

What Happens If Your Workers’ Compensation Claim For A Repetitive Strain Injury Is Denied?

Repetitive strain injuries can be tricky with workers’ compensation. They aren’t clear-cut, like breaking your arm in a truck accident or being injured by a piece of machinery. These injuries develop over time, and it can be difficult to prove how they started.

If you develop an RSI, workers’ compensation insurance adjusters may attempt to argue that your activities outside of work may have started or contributed to your injury. They may make excessive requests for more information or delay your treatment, which can result in a denial of your claim.

If your workers’ compensation case is dragging along, or if your claim has been denied, you should seek out qualified legal assistance without delay. The seasoned legal team at Schwartzapfel Lawyers has successfully defended countless injured workers in actions where workers’ compensation benefits were unfairly denied. To this end, please visit us online or give us a call at 516-342-2200 as soon as your case gets denied or if you have concerns that your case may be denied.

How Much Compensation Can You Receive For A Repetitive Strain Injury?

If your workers’ compensation claim for a repetitive strain injury is approved, you can receive assistance for medical expenses and wage replacement. Please note, however, that the total amount of compensation you receive will likely depend on your normal wages.

New York State adds up your total wages for (52) weeks prior to the approval of your workers’ compensation claim. They total up the average and award you two-thirds (⅔) of your weekly average pay as wage replacement compensation.

Medical expenses can vary depending on the type of treatment a workers’ compensation board-approved doctor recommends for you. That said, medical expense awards may be used to cover over-the-counter devices like braces or wraps, as well as pain relievers that are either over-the-counter or prescribed by a qualified physician.

Then, too, while it’s rare that an RSI will require surgery, if it does, you may also be eligible to receive compensation to help with your hospital and/or surgical bills.

In addition to workers’ compensation benefits, you may also receive temporary disability benefits. And if your RSI has caused permanent loss, meaning that the damage is so severe that the affected part of your body will never work properly again, you may be eligible for permanent disability payments.

How Long Does Workers’ Compensation For A Repetitive Strain Injury Last?

Workers’ compensation for a repetitive strain injury will likely hinge on the extent of your injury and the medical recommendation(s) of your provider(s). Regardless, in New York State, the maximum number of weeks you can collect workers’ compensation is usually (225) weeks. This is because the current consensus is that most repetitive strain injuries can improve with proper medical care long before the injured worker reaches their maximum allowance under the workers’ comp pay-out system.

What Happens If Your Repetitive Strain Injury Returns When You Go Back To Work?

There’s always a chance that a repetitive strain injury can return if you go back to working the same position you previously worked. For one thing, you’ll likely be repeating the same motions that caused you pain in the first place.

With this in mind, as a worker, you have the right to ask your employer for accommodations when returning to work after a doctor has cleared you. You may also ask to switch positions within your company or to change your duties to avoid aggravating your injury.

Once back on the job, if you get hurt again, you can follow the same steps you did the first time by pursuing a new workers’ compensation claim. That said, if your injury is progressively worsening, it may be worth pursuing permanent disability benefits instead of returning to work. Here and elsewhere, it is likely in your best interests to first consult with an experienced New York State personal injury attorney before deciding one way or the other.

Let Us Help You Get The Compensation You’re Owed

It’s not always easy to prove a repetitive strain injury in a workers’ compensation claim, even though New York State law clearly states that a repetitive strain injury may serve as a valid reason when filing for workers’ compensation.

To that end, the skilled legal team at Schwartzapfel Lawyers has more than (150) years of combined experience with getting clients the full compensation and benefits they deserve. Call us now at 516-342-2200 for a consultation, or visit us online to schedule your free case evaluation today.

Please, don’t wait for your injury to worsen. Your future is too important to leave to chance. Put your health first and call now!

DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. You should seek the appropriate counsel your situation requires. For more information, call 516-342-2200 now!

Sources:

Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. | Fighting For You

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI): Causes, Symptoms & Treatment | Cleveland Clinic

Chronic occupational repetitive strain injury. | Official Publication of The College of Family Physicians of Canada | National Library of Medicine

Workers’ Compensation Understanding Your Schedule Loss of Use Award | New York State Workers’ Compensation Board

The Claims Process – The First Steps – What to Do When an Injury Happens | New York State Workers’ Compensation Board

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