Repetitive Stress Injury

The Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates are dedicated to defending the rights of victims injured in job-related accidents. For over 20 years, we have built a successful track record recovering compensation for occupational disability and illness. Our Boston office represents workers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.

Repetitive Stress Injuries

Repetitive stress injuries refer to over 100 job-related conditions caused by cumulative trauma or wear and tear. They account for the most rapidly-expanding source of occupational disease and workers’ compensation claims. These injuries are caused by many factors, including:

  • Repeated motion
  • Awkward positions
  • Heavy lifting, pulling
  • Poor ergonomic design
  • Repetitive force, impact
  • Continuous use of keypad
  • Increased factory line speed

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, one in three workers’ compensation dollars go to repetitive stress injuries, costing employers more than $100 billion each year. Insurers estimate that an individual injury generally costs double the average for other claims.

Repetitive Stress Injury Conditions

Most repetitive stress injuries involve inflammation of tendons, ligaments, and soft tissues caused by the simple incapacity of the human body to perform the physical requirements of a job. Workers are constantly compelled to bend, move, and sit in unnatural positions that eventually result in mechanical fatigue. Common repetitive stress injuries include:

  • Neck pain
  • Shin splints
  • Epicondylitis
  • Trigger finger
  • Scapular injury
  • Compressed nerves
  • Bursitis or swelling
  • Tendon sheath cysts
  • Degenerative arthritis
  • Diffuse nerve damage
  • Anterior cruciate laxity
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tendonitis, tenosynovitis
  • Contracture of deep tissue

One of the best-known injuries is carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful progressive condition that occurs over time. Carpel tunnel damages a cartilage-like structure in the wrist made of tendons, ligaments, and bones. The nerve that controls the hand passes through this tunnel and can swell after only a few months of intensive typing. The wrist may eventually fracture, requiring surgery.

Effect on Work

Repetitive stress injuries may begin as a tingling or numbing sensation in the affected body part, but can develop into a serious disability. Carpal tunnel and epicondylitis, for example, inflame crucial parts of the wrist and elbow, eliminating use of the hand. Without the hands and elbows, workers lose the ability to input data, use tools, or lift. Left untreated, the hand muscles atrophy, making it impossible hold any object or perform work with the hands. Similar repetitive stress injuries can also completely destroy the workers’ chances of keeping their job.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Most repetitive stress injuries are job-related. Workers are entitled to benefits for their injury without proving fault or tracing the harm to a single, specific event. Workers’ compensation awards injured workers a variety of benefits, including:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical costs
  • Future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Future medical care
  • Average weekly wage
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Death or survivor benefits

Payments begin after the 5th day out of work. Benefits are paid by the employer and the insurer and continue until the employee returns to work. Those with pre-existing conditions, including repetitive stress injuries, are also entitled to compensation if the job exacerbates the injury.

Maximizing Your Award

If you have a work-related repetitive stress injury, the Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorneys at Kantrovitz & Associates can help. For over 20 years, we have obtained generous benefits for disabled and injured workers throughout the state. Our Boston office is proud to represent workers in and around Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Plymouth, Merrimack River, and beyond. Call (800) 367-0871 to speak with one of our lawyers or contact us online.