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How To Prove Repetitive Strain Injury

How To Prove Repetitive Strain Injury

On balance, repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) aren’t usually as dramatic as some of the other kinds of workplace accidents. Still, they shouldn’t be underestimated. They result from performing the same motions over and over again, causing gradual wear and tear on your body.

Proving that you have an RSI can be tricky because they often don’t show up on scans or tests. However, if your work caused your RSI, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Sorting out the details of a workers’ comp claim can be tough, especially when you’re already dealing with pain. The experienced New York construction accident attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers know this, which is why it will be their honor and privilege to help you gather evidence and fight for the money and benefits you’re entitled to.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Reach out online or call us today at 516-342-2200. No matter your situation, we at Schwartzapfel Lawyers will do all that we can, as best we can, to help you recover.

What Is A Repetitive Strain Injury?

RSIs are like a slow-motion breakdown of your body. Every time you do the same task — like hammering, typing, or lifting boxes — you run the risk of causing microscopic damage to your muscles, tendons, and nerves.

And while it’s normal for your body to heal in most ways with respect to minor strains, sprains, and tears, after too much repetition and stress, it often can’t keep up as it once could. That’s when the pain and other symptoms start. Here, some of the more common types of RSIs include but are not limited to:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tendonitis
  • Back strains
  • Bursitis
  • Trigger finger

Significantly, ignoring RSIs rarely helps with the healing process. In fact, they’re likely to worsen without adequate rest and proper medical treatment. And so, proving your injury and getting the help you need is absolutely vital to your long-term recovery.

To learn more about this condition and how to prove repetitive strain injury, please continue reading. Alternatively, you can call the award-winning personal injury team of Schwartzapfel Lawyers to schedule your free consultation today. Simply dial 1-516-342-2200 or visit us online to start recovering now.

What Are Common Causes of Repetitive Strain Injury?

Think of the types of movements you repeat again and again at work or while in the performance of job-related duties, and you’ll start to understand where RSIs come from. Assembly line tasks, where you do the same motion hundreds of times a day, are a prime example.

Using a computer for hours on end, texting, or swiping items at the checkout counter can also lead to RSIs. And, of course, the heavy lifting common in construction can result in back, shoulder, and knee injuries.

Still, RSIs aren’t always caused by a single dramatic motion. Sometimes, it’s simply an awkward position you have to hold for extended periods or the constant bending and twisting involved in your job. These repetitive actions and sustained postures can lead to cumulative trauma, slowly compromising your physical health.

Note: Your employer has a responsibility here. As such, they should provide you with sufficiently ergonomic tools and equipment to help minimize the strain on your body. Adjustable chairs, proper lifting techniques, and frequent breaks can make a big difference in preventing RSIs. In this way, by prioritizing proper equipment and encouraging healthy work practices, employers can greatly reduce the risk of RSIs among their workers.

How Do You Prove Repetitive Strain Injury In Court?

Proving an RSI in court can be an uphill battle. The challenge lies in the fact that these injuries are often not immediately apparent. X-rays, or even MRIs, may not show anything obviously wrong. Sometimes, even highly trained doctors will struggle to pinpoint the exact cause of pain.

On top of that, there are many issues that can cause similar symptoms — maybe you have arthritis, or it’s the result of an old sports injury. To demonstrate that your injury is an RSI, you need strong evidence, including but not limited to:

Detailed Medical Records

Doctor’s notes are your best weapon. Make sure they clearly document your symptoms, how they started, and how they affect your daily life and your ability to work. It’s important to be honest and thorough when describing your pain levels and limitations.

Expert Witness Testimony

In some cases, you may need a medical expert to testify on your behalf. They can explain the connection between your work duties and your specific RSI and address any other potential causes your employer’s insurance company might try to bring up.

Your Own Documentation

Keep a log of the specific tasks that cause or worsen your pain. Note how long you spend doing these tasks each day and the ways in which they have impacted your ability to perform your job.

A seasoned workers’ comp attorney is invaluable because they understand how to build a strong case for an RSI. They’ll help you gather the right evidence, work with medical experts, and fight to prove that your work caused your injury.

The stakes are high when proving an RSI. Don’t take on this fight alone. The experienced New York construction accident attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers can guide you through every step of the process. Call us now at 516-342-2200 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation today.

How Can You Prove Repetitive Strain Injury In A Workers’ Comp Claim?

Don’t let anyone tell you that repetitive strain injuries don’t qualify for workers’ comp. They often can, but you need to prove that your RSI is directly related to your work activities.

The process can get complicated, but having the right lawyer on your side makes all the difference. We’ve outlined the steps to take to point you in the right direction:

Document Everything

You should start tracking your pain and limitations from the moment you suspect you might have an RSI. To this end, it will likely serve you well to keep a detailed log of:

  • The specific work tasks that cause pain or make it worse
  • When the pain started and how it has changed over time
  • How long you spend performing these tasks each day
  • Any comments from coworkers about how your injury impacts your work

Seek The Right Medical Attention

While you should never put off getting appropriate medical care for an injury, it’s incredibly important that you don’t go to a doctor chosen by your employer. This is because, under the circumstances, they may be more likely to downplay your injury or find reasons unrelated to your work.

And so, it’s virtually always in your best interest to see your own doctor, and to be specific about your work duties when explaining your symptoms.

Get A Doctor’s Statement

The most powerful evidence is a written statement from your doctor. It should clearly link your RSI to your specific work tasks. Make sure your doctor understands the requirements for a workers’ comp claim.

Consult A Skilled Workers’ Comp Lawyer

A seasoned workers’ comp law firm like Schwartzapfel Lawyers is truly your best ally when it comes to recovering all the money and benefits you’re entitled to after suffering a work-related injury. We know the system inside and out and will fight for your rights no matter the playing field. Moreover, we’ll go above and beyond to help you gather and present the right evidence while also providing personalized support throughout the process.

Now, it’s important to understand that even with the best evidence, your employer and their insurance company may still try to deny your claim. That’s why it pays to have an experienced trial attorney protecting your interests.

What Do Workers’ Compensation Investigations Look For?

Don’t be surprised if your employer’s insurance company investigates your case thoroughly. Sometimes, they become suspicious that a claim might not be legitimate. They may fear that the injury happened outside of work or is related to a pre-existing condition, especially with RSIs.

Their goal is to find any reason to deny your claim and avoid paying out any benefits you might be entitled to. Here’s how they might try to catch you in a lie:

Surveillance

They may hire a private investigator to follow you. This could include videotaping you doing everyday activities like shopping, exercising, or even just doing yard work. They’re looking for any sign that your injury isn’t as severe as you claim.

Social Media Monitoring

Your online life isn’t private, especially when there’s money on the line. Investigators often scour social media looking for photos or posts that could contradict your claim. A simple picture of you lifting your child or a comment about a weekend hike could be twisted to undermine your case.

This might feel invasive and even underhanded, but it’s all part of the tactics some insurance companies and employers use. Be mindful of what you do in public and what you share online. Most importantly, be completely honest with your doctor and seasoned lawyer throughout the process.

Having a skilled lawyer on your side can help protect you from some of these investigative tactics. With Schwartzapfel Lawyers in your corner, we’ll advise you every step of the way and help you build a case that can stand up to scrutiny. Simply dial 516-342-2200 or visit us online to discuss winning strategies with one of our in-house attorneys today.

What Is The Deadline For Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim For Repetitive Strain Injury?

Time is of the essence. Each state has specific deadlines for both reporting your injury to your employer and filing an official claim. These deadlines can be surprisingly short. In New York, for example, you generally have (30) days from the date of your injury to notify your employer and up to two (2) years to file a claim.

Why does acting quickly matter?

  • Get Medical Treatment Sooner: The faster you report your RSI, the faster you can start getting the treatment you need to recover.
  • Secure Benefits Quickly: Filing a claim starts the process of getting wage replacement benefits and covering your medical expenses. Don’t delay getting the financial compensation you’re entitled to; act now!
  • Preserve Evidence: The longer you wait, the harder it might be to gather proof that links your RSI to your work. Memories fade, and witnesses might become harder to track down.

Your best bet is to consult the right lawyer as soon as possible. They can advise you on your state’s exact deadlines and ensure that you take all the necessary steps.

Call Schwartzapfel Lawyers To Prove Your Repetitive Strain Injury

Repetitive strain injuries are serious, even though they can develop slowly. They can limit your ability to work and cause long-term pain and disability, which is why you should know that if your RSI is caused by your job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Still, successfully proving an RSI claim can be difficult. Your employer and their insurance company may try to downplay your injury or find reasons to deny you the benefits you deserve. Please, don’t fight this battle alone.

If you suspect you or a loved one is suffering from a work-related repetitive strain injury, the clock is ticking; don’t let time run out on your rights. To help you recover in time so that you can keep your finances in bounds, the experienced New York construction accident attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers are ready to fight for you.

For a free consultation, call us now at 516-342-2200 or schedule online today. One conversation may be your ticket to financial security down the line, so, please, don’t put off doing today what may pay its way many times over tomorrow. 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

Tendinitis – Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic

Diagnosis of repetitive strain injury (RSI) | News-Medical

Repetitive strain injuries | NIH

Claims Process | WCB

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