Some work-related injuries are a bit more straightforward than others. For instance, if you drop a piece of heavy equipment on your foot, or alternatively, seriously injure your back after lifting 200 pounds worth of metal piping, the fact that you suffered an injury while on the job is pretty apparent. However, sometimes a work-related injury isn’t so clear and concisely decided. In fact, often the injured worker may fail to realize the nature and extent of his or her debilitating symptoms. Especially if it is a repetitive strain injury.
When an injury develops over time from repetitive and regular job-related duties, the progressive nature of the illness and the slow yet unavoidable increased severity of the underlying symptoms may slide under the radar. However, over time, the symptoms will likely become so debilitating and difficult to manage, that continuing to carry out one’s job-related duties is nearly impossible.
What is a Repetitive Strain Injury?
Lifting heavy equipment all day for years on end, or even slumping over a desk for years many can lead to repetitive strain injuries that may eventually become just as debilitating, if not more so, than the more straightforward and recognizable type injuries that occurred with an immediate onset.
Failing to recognize a repetitive strain injury is completely understandable. After all, when there is no single identifiable injury that one can pinpoint as the cause, these symptoms are often ignored and attributed to “getting older” or some other natural cause. Even if the source of such a symptom is recognized for what it truly is – years of monotonous and strenuous strain on the body – many understandably feel that an absence of an immediate injury hinders them from any recovery under Georgia Workers’ Compensation legal system.
Thankfully, this isn’t the case. If you are experiencing symptoms of a repetitive strain injury, you may very well be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits. The first step is recognizing the common signs associated with a repetitive strain injury. The next step is understanding how to approach your present employer to give notification of your job-related injury, so as to start the process necessary to receive the compensation that you are entitled to under the law.
This is not a simple task, to say the least. To start the process of your injury claim off correctly, consult and retain an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. A Georgia workers comp attorney will know the laws, deadlines, and procedures one must follow to get the benefits available for injured workers.
How Do I Know if I Have a Repetitive Strain Injury?
Any repetitive motion can result in a repetitive strain injury that can progressively become worse over time. However, there are certain types of employment where this type of progressive injury is more commonly seen. They are as follows:
- Truck driving
- Janitorial work
- Computer/typing/desk work
- Any type of assembly line job
- Operating heavy machinery
- Checker at a supermarket or retail store
Facts are that the human body was not intended for years of constant physical repetition. Variation of movement is key to a healthy and pain-free body. Any one movement or position that is maintained or repeated for an extended period of time is likely to lead to some chronic, lasting symptoms. Nevertheless, the first step in avoiding an advancing and debilitating repetitive strain injury is recognizing that you may be starting to experience the early onset of symptoms commonly associated with such injuries. The next step is to take the necessary precautions so that your repetitive strain injury does not progress.
Signs That You Might be Developing a Repetitive Strain Injury
Some signs of early RSI include the following sensations in the muscles and/or nerves:
- Dull pain evolving to sharp pain
While a repetitive strain injury can happen just about anywhere, it is most often seen in the hands, back, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and neck.
What Can I Do to Stop it?
While the stress and pressures of workplace often distract from taking care of one’s body, some simple steps may help protect one from the further progression of RSI. For starters, take the breaks to which you are legally entitled. If your body is constantly uncomfortable and you are starting to regularly notice pain or cramping in a particular part of your body, you should see a medical professional as soon as you are able. You can also work on trying different techniques to stop the progression of this progressive injury.
Can I Get Workers’ Comp Benefits?
Believe it or not, you may very well be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits for a repetitive strain injury sustained on the job. A critical and often challenging step is recognizing that you are in fact suffering from a work-related repetitive strain injury. However, as soon as you recognize the cause of your related symptoms, it is essential that you seek medical treatment and make your employer aware of your work-related injury.
As soon as you become aware your symptoms are likely a work-related strain injury, it is imperative that you claim worker’s compensation benefits. Although, you may find yourself worried that you may face retaliation or termination as a result of seeking worker’s compensation benefits, take solace in the fact that your employer cannot legally fire you or retaliate against you for making a workers’ compensation claim.
Contact an Experienced Georgia Workers Comp Lawyer Today
If you are experiencing repetitive strain injuries, consult a skilled Georgia workers’ comp lawyer to determine what resources are available to you. Experienced workers compensation attorney John B. Jackson has extensive experience helping injured workers in the Atlanta, Georgia area understand this often misunderstood work-related injury. He is ready and willing to ensure that you receive the workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve.