Repetitive and Cumulative Injuries in the Workplace

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Often, individuals are injured as a result of workplace accidents. These incidents happen in an instant and cause acute physical trauma. In these cases, the cause of injury is clear. But what happens when the injuries develop slowly and cumulatively?

Cumulative or repetitive injuries can occur in nearly any workplace. These injuries can occur as a result of:

  • Repetitive movements in a factory or production environment

  • Repetitive hand movements, such as using a mouse, typing, or clicking

  • Frequent lifting, especially of large or awkward loads

  • Regular use of vibrating tools or instruments

  • Repetitive twisting, bending, or stretching

  • Hyperextension of the arms over an extended period of time

  • Awkward workstations or tools

  • Regular grasping, gripping, or straining

  • Many other repetitive movements

Initially, the pain or discomfort from these injuries may go away with rest. Over time, however, the pain will grow as the injury worsens and becomes more debilitating. The pain can limit range of motion and the ability to lift and maneuver. Examples of repetitive injuries include:

  • Tendonitis and tenosynovitis: the inflammation of the tendon or the sheath surrounding the tendon

  • Epicondylitis: the inflammation of the area where the tendon attaches to the bone

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: a pinched nerve in the wrist

  • Cubital tunnel syndrome: a pinched or stretched nerve on the inside of the elbow

  • Thoracic outlet syndrome: the compression of blood vessels in the chest and shoulders

  • Trigger finger: an inflammation of the tissues in the finger from overuse

  • A number of other nerve disorders

Iowa law provides for workers’ compensation in cases of repetitive or cumulative injuries. In other words, an injured worker can make a claim even if they cannot pinpoint a single event that caused the injury. A claim can be made even if there is a pre-existing injury as long as the worker can show that their level of disability has increased based on the functions they must perform at work. Injured workers are entitled to receive compensation for medical bills as well as lost wages.

Insurance companies, however, may either deny these claims or insist that the injuries are not serious. They may insist that the injuries did not occur at work or that the injuries are a result of other factors, such as advanced age. Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys will work with your physicians and medical professionals to present a clear explanation of how your injuries affect your ability to work. We recognize that these injuries can be very serious, and therefore we relentlessly pursue your claim so that you have adequate time to heal.

If you believe you suffer from repetitive or cumulative injuries, time is of the essence! You may only have a limited amount of time to file your claim. At Pothitakis Law Firm, our attorneys will take the time to understand your injuries and how they affect your livelihood so that we can represent you effectively. Contact us today for a free consultation.  

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