Repetitive stress injuries – also known as repetitive strain injuries or repetitive motion injuries are one of the most potentially devastating types of workplace injury. Repetitive stress injuries result from overuse of certain parts of the body, frequently the hands, arms and neck. They cause damage to muscles, tendons and nerves from overuse or mis-use. An employee can suffer cumulative trauma to a body part by performing a repetitive task over months or years.
Many workers mistakenly think such gradual injuries and joint aches are just part of the cost of doing their jobs. However, no matter how gradually the pain develops, repetitive stress injuries are compensable workplace injuries.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a work-related repetitive stress injury, contact our experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney about the benefits you are entitled to claim, including lost wages, medical treatment expenses and vocational retraining costs.
Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C. is a workers’ compensation law firm with almost 30 years experience fighting for the rights of individuals injured in the course of their employment. The workplace injury attorneys at Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C. exclusively represent individuals injured in the course of their employment.
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, our job injury lawyers help injured workers across Massachusetts, including but not limited to Boston, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Plymouth and Merrimack River. We also represent Rhode Island and New Hampshire residents whose injuries occurred in Massachusetts or who were hired in Massachusetts but who were injured out of state.
Types of Repetitive Stress Injuries
Repetitive stress injuries are a type of musculoskeletal disorder and are one of the fastest growing types of workplace injuries. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one type of repetitive stress injury to the wrists and arms. Several body movements that are repeated over a long period may result in repetitive stress injuries. Those movements and the symptoms of injuries include the following:
- Repetitive, horizontal or vertical movements of the wrist — repetitive stress injuries to the wrist;
- Moving fingers while the wrist is in an extreme position — repetitive stress injuries to the wrist;
- Bending or straightening of the elbow from its neutral position at a right angle — repetitive stress injuries to the elbow; and
- Reaching above shoulder level or behind the body– repetitive stress injuries to the neck and shoulders.
- Reaching below the waist and lifting heavy weights–repetitive stress injuries to the back or to the knees.
Jobs Prone to Repetitive Stress Injuries
Highly repetitive tasks such as word processing, manufacturing work, electronics assembly and seafood processing can cause injuries to the hands, wrists, neck, shoulder, elbow and knee. Many tools that workers use every day to perform their job have the potential over time to cause serious repetitive stress injuries.
- Computer keyboards – Anyone who types or enters data is at risk of a repetitive stress injury.
- Computer mouse – Clicking a computer mouse is a common cause of repetitive stress injuries among office workers.
- Vibrating Tools or Equipment – Jackhammers are the classic example of a vibrating tool that causes workplace injury such as hand-arm vibration syndrome. But reciprocating tools, drills, motorized saws, even dentist’s tools, can cause repetitive stress injuries
- Forklifts – Repeated extreme neck rotations required by forklift drivers cause a common repetitive stress injury to the neck.
- Heavy Loads – Regularly lifting heavy loads on the job can cause wear and tear to the discs in the spinal column, eventually resulting in a repetitive motion injury to the back. Warehouse workers, delivery drivers, truck drivers and construction workers frequently have these workplace injuries.
- Painting – The repeated back-and-forth motion of painting with a brush can cause a repetitive stress injury to the wrist.
- Sewing Machines – Workers in knitting mills, textile mills and footwear manufacturers have high rates of repetitive motion injuries.
What Workers’ Compensation Disability Benefits Are Available?
If you have suffered an incapacitating repetitive stress injury, you may be eligible for temporary total disability, partial disability or permanent and total incapacity. Employee’s workers’ compensation benefits are determined by several factors including your average weekly wage and your degree of incapacity from a workplace injury. A knowledgeable workplace injuries attorney can review your repetitive stress injury and advise you about which benefits you may collect.
Why You Need a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
The Massachusetts’ workers’ compensation system is set up to ensure that employers have insurance to cover employees who are injured or disabled by workplace injuries or illnesses including repetitive stress injuries and repetitive strain injuries. All employees have legal rights to workers’ compensation for work-related injuries. Yet, employees often have trouble obtaining their rightful workers’ compensation when an injury occurs gradually.
A repetitive stress injury may occur from months or years of performing the same task. The employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier may deny your injury was a workplace injury. At a hearing to decide your workers’ compensation claim, the insurance company will have a lawyer arguing on its behalf. You should too. You should have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney standing up for your legal rights to benefits for a repetitive stress injury.
Contact Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today
While many Massachusetts lawyers practice in a number of different areas of the law, our firm concentrates exclusively in the area of workers’ compensation. Our firm believes in a proactive educational approach to the law. Each client is an active participant in all facets of their case. Our workplace injury lawyers do not pass off cases to other Massachusetts law firms or to junior associates. A client will have the same attorney handling his or her claim from start to conclusion.
We handle claims for Massachusetts workers who were injured in Massachusetts or while working out of state. We also represent Rhode Island and New Hampshire residents whose injuries occurred in Massachusetts or who were hired in Massachusetts but injured out of state.
For a free, no obligation evaluation of your repetitive stress injury workers’ compensation claim, contact the Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C., contact us online or call us toll free at (800)-367-0871.
Remember that if you hire a workers’ compensation attorney because you have been denied benefits, Massachusetts’ workers’ compensation law states that the workers’ compensation insurer will pay the majority of your attorneys’ fees.