Repetitive Stress Injuries
Work-related injuries can happen in many different ways. One worker might herniate a disc while doing heavy lifting on a construction site. Another may suffer gradual hearing loss due to exposure to loud noise in the work environment. Still another employee might have a repetitive stress injury caused by doing the same movements over and over again for weeks, months, or even years. While their injuries are very different, these three workers are similar in that they are each entitled to pursue workers’ compensation benefits under New York law. The Rockland County workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., help those who have been hurt on the job, including those suffering from a repetitive stress injury, in their efforts to obtain the benefits due them under the law.
Under the workers’ compensation laws of the State of New York, most employers are required to carry a policy of workers’ compensation insurance. When an employee suffers an on-the-job injury, he or she may file a claim with his or her workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Unlike other types of personal injury cases, such as a car accident or a slip and fall at the grocery store, the employee does not have to prove that the employer was “at fault” or “caused” the accident or injury. In fact, even if the employee was at fault, he or she may receive workers’ compensation benefits (the exception being an intentional injury, for which the employee would not receive benefits). Likewise, the employee’s workers’ compensation benefits are not reduced by any contributory negligence or comparative fault attributable to him or her.Possible Benefits Available Under New York Workers’ Compensation Law
To obtain workers’ compensation benefits, the employee has the burden of proving that a work-related injury did occur and that timely notice was given. Due to the nature of repetitive stress injuries, the issue of notice can sometimes be problematic, so it is important to consult an attorney as soon as you believe you have such an injury. Once this process is completed, the employee should be able to see a doctor at the expense of the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. However, there are some limitations on which doctor(s) the worker may see in relation to his or her injury, and health insurance typically does not pay for medical treatment necessitated by a work injury. The employee may be due temporary disability payments as he or she recovers from the injury. Generally speaking, disability prior to the employee reaching a point of maximum medical improvement is considered “temporary,” while disability thereafter is referred to as “permanent.”
If the employee suffers a permanent physical impairment, he or she may be entitled to permanent partial disability or permanent total disability benefits. The exact amount of compensation due usually depends on the employee’s average weekly wage prior to the injury and impairment ratings assigned by his or her doctor and the insurance carrier’s doctor. In addition to medical expenses and disability payments, a worker who has suffered a repetitive stress injury (sometimes called an RSI, a repetitive strain injury, a repetitive motion disorder (RMD), cumulative trauma disorder, or overuse syndrome) may be entitled to rehabilitation services, mileage, and other benefits.Rockland County Attorneys for Injured Workers
Those who work in certain occupations, especially those involving vibrating equipment, work in cold temperatures, or hold jobs requiring the overuse of a particular muscle or group of muscles, can be particularly susceptible to repetitive stress injuries. While prompt medical treatment may be helpful, many employees with these types of injuries are left with at least some permanent disability. If you have suffered a repetitive stress injury and want to talk to a Rockland County lawyer about your legal rights, call the Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., at 845-708-5900, call Valerie’s cell phone cell phone 24/7 at 845-598-8253, or contact us online. We offer a free consultation to injured workers throughout the New York City area and Rockland, Westchester, Orange and Dutchess Counties.