You probably know that if you are hurt in a sudden, violent accident on the job in South Carolina, you can get workers’ compensation benefits. But you may not know that some injuries caused by simply doing your job are also covered.
A repetitive trauma injury comes from performing the same tasks over and over for a long period of time. The same parts of the body are moved repeatedly in the same manner to create stress, injury and disability.
Here are some examples:
- Years of typing at a keyboard can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Lifting heavy boxes in a warehouse can lead to permanent back injuries.
- Assembling parts on a factory line can result in shoulder joint damage.
Watch Our Video on Repetitive Trauma Injuries
If you have suffered a gradual, long-term injury from your workplace activities, workers’ compensation law could provide relief. Call Joye Law Firm. Talk with a South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer to find out how to recover money to pay for your medical treatment, physical therapy and lost earnings.
Repetitive Trauma Injuries in South Carolina
Some workplace accidents happen quickly. A power saw malfunctions and cuts off a worker’s arm. An uninsulated switch box causes an electrocution. A puddle of water on the floor creates a slip-and-fall hazard. A scaffold collapses.
Repetitive trauma, on the other hand, occurs over time. The injury is not caused by a single, specific event, but happens gradually as the result of repetitive motion or pressure on a particular part of the body.
Often the onset of injury is so gradual that the worker is not even aware of the problem until it has become disabling.
Repetitive trauma can happen anywhere — even in a seemingly safe workplace such as a business office or a retail store. Common injuries include:
- Wrist and hand injuries from long hours sitting at a desk and working on a keyboard.
- Back injuries from stooping and bending to stock store shelves.
- Knee, leg and hip injuries from climbing ladders and stairs.
- Spine trauma from operating heavy equipment.
- Neck and back pain from driving a forklift.
Repetitive Trauma Can Be Covered by Workers’ Compensation
Repetitive injuries were first accepted under the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation system in 2002. That year, the S.C. Supreme Court ruled that repetitive trauma injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome meet the legal definition of “injury by accident” and are covered by workers’ compensation.
Since then, changes to the law have made it difficult for some workers with repetitive trauma injuries to prove their claims. For example, one provision of the law requires a qualified physician to state in writing that there is a direct link between the job duties and the injuries.
A South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer can help you get the proper medical documentation to begin receiving compensation payments.
Other legal hurdles require workers to report a potential repetitive trauma injury and file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits within strict time deadlines. This can be a challenge for workers to do on their own.
Our repetitive trauma claim attorneys can help you make sure your injury is properly reported and that all necessary paperwork is completed and filed on time.
Suffering from Repetitive Trauma? Talk With a SC Workers’ Comp Lawyer
If you have suffered a repetitive trauma injury at work, you might be concerned about reporting the problem to your employer. Or you might be unsure if you even have a claim.
Let us help you. Call Joye Law Firm. We have been fighting for injured workers in South Carolina since 1968. Call 877-936-9707 or use this online contact form for a free case evaluation and consultation.
- South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission
- S.C. Supreme Court – Pee v. AVM Inc.