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Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law
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What Should I Do if I’ve Suffered a Cumulative Injury at Work?

If you’ve experienced a cumulative injury at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Cumulative injuries - also known as cumulative trauma injuries - can be especially difficult to diagnose and prove so it is critical that you seek medical attention and consult an experienced workers' compensation lawyer.

Understanding Cumulative Injuries

A cumulative injury is one that develops gradually over time due to repeated exposure to workplace conditions such as:

  • Repetitive motions: These types of injuries occur when a person performs the same motion regularly over an extended period of time. Common examples include carpal tunnel syndrome from typing or tennis elbow from repetitive swinging motions.
  • Vibrations: This type of injury is caused by prolonged exposure to vibrations, usually in machinery or motor vehicle driving. Examples can include back and neck pain, hearing loss, hand/arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), and Raynaud’s disease.
  • Heavy lifting: Lifting heavy objects repeatedly can cause strain on the body which may result in chronic back pain, nerve damage, herniated discs, and other musculoskeletal issues.
  • Poor ergonomics: Working for long periods with poor posture such as hunched shoulders or an incorrectly angled keyboard can lead to cumulative trauma injuries including neck and shoulder pain as well as numbness in the arms or hands.

To understand if you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits after suffering a cumulative injury, it’s important to understand the definition of this type of condition. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), this type of injury occurs when an employee is exposed to “repeated physical stress from continuing or repeating job activities or conditions over a period of time.”

Determining if You Have a Cumulative Injury

There are several ways to determine whether you have suffered a cumulative injury:

  • Identify any changes in your condition: If your physical capabilities or pain level have changed in recent months or years due to work activities, this could indicate a gradual accumulation of damage and strain on your body.
  • Take note of specific activities: Pay attention to how often you engage in certain motions or activities at work and how they may be affecting your body over time.
  • Seek medical advice: Speak with a physician who can evaluate your condition and provide further insight into whether you may have suffered a cumulative injury due to work-related activities.

In addition, consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help ensure that the rights of employees who suffer these types of injuries are protected under the law. An attorney will be able to advise you on what steps need to be taken for you receive the full benefits that you deserve after suffering from a cumulative injury at work.

Proving Your Injury Happened at Work

The key to proving that a cumulative injury was work-related is to document and substantiate the activities that led to it. A reputable workers' compensation attorney can help you do the following to help prove that your injury happened while on the job:

  • Collect evidence of work activities: This can include medical records, job descriptions, timecards, witness statements, or photographs that show the type of physical activity you were engaging in at work.
  • Written employer notifications: When seeking workers’ compensation benefits, it is important to provide written notification of your injury to your employer. This document should include detailed descriptions of the activities that led to your injury and how you believe they are related to your job duties.
  • Discuss your injury with a workers’ compensation attorney: An attorney will be able to assess your situation and build a strong case for you by gathering relevant documents, conducting legal research, preparing legal documents, and speaking on your behalf during any proceedings or negotiations.

Taking these steps can help ensure that you receive the full benefits you deserve after suffering from a cumulative trauma injury at work. With the proper documentation and legal guidance from an experienced attorney, you will be in a much stronger position when seeking workers’ compensation benefits for these types of workplace injuries. You can also read our blog on how to prove an injury was work related.

Contact Michael J. Doyle, Attorney at Law Can for Experienced Legal Support

With over two decades of experience, Michael J. Doyle, Attorney at Law understands the complexities of cumulative injury cases and knows how to build a strong case. Our team is dedicated to helping injured employees receive the full benefits they deserve after suffering a workplace-related injury or illness.

If you have experienced a work-related cumulative injury, reach out to us online or call us at (505) 219-2176 to discuss your legal options.