There are several steps you can take to prove your cumulative trauma injury at the workplace. These steps include gathering your medical and employment records, identifying your employer’s insurer, documenting issues at work, and hiring a workers’ compensation attorney. By following these steps, you could have a better chance of receiving the workers’ compensation benefits you need.
Five Steps to Prove You Sustained a Cumulative Trauma Injury in the Workplace
You must provide specific documentation to prove you suffered a cumulative trauma injury in the workplace. An attorney can help you gather that evidence, support you throughout the claims process, ensure you meet deadlines, and correctly fill out your claim.
Gather Your Medical Records
When proving you sustained your cumulative trauma injury at work, gathering your medical records and other related documentation can greatly benefit your case. You can include these documents in your claim as an attachment.
Providing records of how much you paid for medical treatment over time can also improve your claim and provide a more accurate dollar amount for reimbursement. You could receive benefits for past and future medical bills.
Gather Your Employment Records
Gather all employment-related information proving you worked at your job while you developed the cumulative trauma injury. Employment records could include:
- Pay stubs
- Contracts of employment
- Performance reviews
- Any information that referenced you missing work because of an injury
- Employer benefits you received
These documents can prove you worked at your job long enough to sustain the injury. Be sure to include information about how you sustained the injury while in the workplace, such as tasks that required you to make the same movement repeatedly.
Identify Your Employer’s Workers’ Compensation Insurer
Next, gather information about your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer. Get the insurance company’s name, policy number, and phone number. When you hire a workers’ compensation attorney, they can handle communications with the insurer on your behalf.
Your attorney can contact the insurer, get the necessary information to complete the claim, and provide evidence of your injuries and how your injuries have impacted you financially.
Document the Issues That Led to Your Cumulative Trauma Injury
Write down a timeline of events from the first time you noticed the injury to when symptoms started to increase. Include any doctor’s visits or medical treatments you went through. By creating a timeline, you can prove your injuries worsened because you continued working. A written timeline can also help your attorney to build a stronger case.
Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney to Help With Filing a Claim
As stated above, an attorney can do a lot to help a workers’ compensation case, especially if your injuries occurred because of cumulative trauma. Workers’ compensation attorneys can take the following steps to prove your cumulative trauma injury at the workplace:
- Review your employer’s workers’ compensation policy
- Assist with gathering medical and employment documentation
- File your claim with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company
- File a case with the state if your employer refuses to provide benefits
Many legal barriers could arise when trying to prove your cumulative injuries were caused by your work. A workers’ compensation attorney can navigate through those barriers, helping you seek the benefits you deserve.
Common Cumulative Trauma Injuries
You could sustain a cumulative trauma injury if your job has the following risk factors:
- Repetitive motion: Performing the same action repeatedly, including bending, twisting, or reaching.
- Forceful exertions: The amount of effort exerted by muscles to complete a job. Your job could involve high amounts of force, such as lifting heavy objects. Conversely, lifting lighter loads often can cause a build-up of force on the body, possibly leading to another injury.
- Fast movement: Moving body parts quickly can cause more wear and tear, eventually leading to an injury.
- Mental stress: An accumulation of stress that impacts bodily functioning and cognitive output. Eventually, it could cause mental health issues such as anxiety or depression.
- Lack of recovery time: Working long hours without sufficient recovery time or necessary breaks.
Regardless of which risk factor caused your injury, a workers’ compensation attorney can help you prove that it stemmed from your job. Some of the most common work-related cumulative trauma injuries include:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Pressure on the median nerve causes carpal tunnel syndrome. This injury impacts the bones and ligaments on the palms of your hands. Symptoms include:
- Weakness in the impacted area
If you work with vibrating tools or on an assembly line continuously performing the same movement, you could be at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Tendinitis (inflammation of the tendons) typically occurs in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and heels. Symptoms can include:
- Pain in the affected area
Tendinitis can develop through repetitive movement over time. Thus, you could experience this cumulative trauma injury if you perform the same task at work repeatedly.
Lateral epicondylitis (aka tennis elbow) can occur when your elbow’s tendons are overloaded due to repetitive motions of the wrist or arm. Many jobs require this type of continuous motion.
Symptoms include feeling pain when you shake someone’s hand, turn a doorknob, or even hold a coffee cup. It can greatly impact your everyday life.
A Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help to Prove Your Cumulative Trauma Injury
If you’ve developed a cumulative trauma injury and need help proving you sustained it because of your job, the attorneys at KJT Law Group can help. We have settled many workers’ compensation claims and know how to prove your cumulative trauma injury happened at work. Contact our firm today at (818) 507-8525 for a free consultation. We can review your case at no cost and explain how our attorneys can help.