There are many different types of injuries that workers may suffer on the job. Most of these injuries can be categorized as either traumatic injuries or wear and tear injuries. A traumatic injury involves a one-time traumatic event that causes injury to the body. The other major category of work-related injury includes wear and tear injuries, which are also known as repetitive-use injuries. These injuries tend to occur over a longer period of time than traumatic work injuries do.
If you have suffered a wear and tear work injury in the state of California, it is crucial to speak with an experienced California workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. The attorney at Kneisler and Schondel has successfully handled many different types of workers’ compensation cases, including cases involving wear and tear injuries. Give our office a call today to schedule a consultation so that you can move forward with your wear and tear injury case and begin fighting for the workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve.
What Are Wear and Tear Injuries?
Wear and tear injuries do not occur as a result of one singular event; rather, they occur over time. These injuries can develop due to stress put on muscles or other parts of the body over time. Repetitive motions performed during work tasks can also lead to the development of wear and tear injuries.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
One example of a wear and tear work injury is carpal tunnel syndrome. Though it can occur organically, it is also a common work-related injury that can occur over time as a result of performing certain repetitive motions—particularly those involving the wrists.
The carpal tunnel protects the primary nerve in the hand, along with the tendons that control your fingers. If this nerve becomes inflamed, compressed, or pinched, then carpal tunnel syndrome can develop. Some common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are numbness, tingling, loss of dexterity, and loss of strength and grip.
Tendonitis is another example of a wear and tear injury that in some cases, is caused by the performance of work duties. Tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon, often in the elbow, shoulder, or wrist. This injury can cause severe pain and loss of mobility.
Another type of wear and tear injury are back injuries. Back injuries can occur as a result of a one-time traumatic event, but they can also occur due to wear and tear over a longer period of time. Some common work-related back injuries include lumbar strains and disc herniations. Spinal injuries and back strains can be caused by lifting heavy objects without proper support. Workers at jobs where they are required to lift heavy machines or equipment, as well as jobs that require repetitive bending and lifting, are at risk for serious back injuries.
Workers who frequently lift heavy objects are also at risk for shoulder injuries. Work-related shoulder injuries may include muscle strains, frozen shoulder, and rotator cuff injuries. These injuries can be serious and may even require surgery to resolve. If you think you may have developed carpal tunnel syndrome, or a back or shoulder injury over time as a result of performing your work activities, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss your work comp claim.
How to Proceed with a Wear and Tear Work Injury Case in California
In some cases, you may not have any idea that your wear and tear injury was caused by your work duties until you receive your diagnosis from your doctor. These types of injuries occur over a longer period of time, and symptoms may not be immediately noticeable.
If you do not have a definitive date of injury, keep in mind that it does not preclude you from pursuing a workers’ compensation claim for your injury. The date of injury will be considered the date that you first learned your injury or condition was work-related. Once you learn that your injury is work-related, you should report the injury to your employer immediately.
Wear and tear work injury cases can be more complicated and more difficult to prove than traumatic event cases. In order to have a successful claim, you will need to prove a causal connection between your injury and your work duties. You can prove a causal connection through medical records and your testimony at trial, as well as using other supporting evidence.