Workers’ Comp for Repetitive Trauma Injury in South Carolina
Repetitive trauma injuries can occur as a result of overuse of particular muscles, nerves, or tendons to the point of damage and pain. Other terms for this type of injury include repetitive stress, repetitive strain, repetitive trauma, and occupational overuse injury. We’ll be using these terms interchangeably.
They’re commonly seen in relation to sports, playing a musical instrument, spending long periods of time at the computer, and workplace conditions. Jobs that require repetition of the same motion, such as bending, reaching, lifting, twisting, typing, or even standing still, can lead to repetitive strain injury. Common examples include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Tendonitis and bursitis
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Chronic neck, back, shoulder, or knee pain
Certain jobs may be more likely to lead to repetitive stress injuries; those on the factory floor, assembly line, or construction site that require the same motion; or those that involve staying in the same position without moving for long periods of time.
The Consequences of Repetitive Stress Injuries
For the individual suffering from a repetitive stress injury, the consequences can be substantial. Because of the nature of the injury, it often means the accompanying pain is chronic, which greatly affects quality of life. And if it’s not addressed in time, the damage (and pain) can become permanent.
The consequences to the workplace aren’t negligible, either. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2004 that these types of injuries result in the longest period of absence from work compared with other types of workplace injuries. On average, workers with repetitive trauma injuries were out from work a median of 23 days, compared to 14 days for falls to a lower level, 12 days for transportation accidents, and 12 days for fires and explosions.
For these reasons, prompt attention and care for a repetitive motion injury is beneficial to both employee and employer.
Getting Workers’ Comp for Your Repetitive Motion Injury
If you have pain from an occupational overuse injury that’s developed as a result of work, you can seek compensation through the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. To do so, you must be able to show that you have sustained an injury and that it’s the result of your workplace conditions.
In South Carolina, you have two years to file a claim for workers’ compensation but only ninety days to inform your employer of your injury. For repetitive strain injuries, which develop over time, in practical terms this means you should tell your employer as soon as you become aware of your injury. If you wait too long, there’s the chance that you’ll miss your opportunity to collect compensation altogether.
Call the Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at The Carolina Law Group
Contact the workers’ comp attorneys at The Carolina Law Group today to discuss your injury. They can help you understand the process and build a case so you can get the compensation you’re entitled to. Call today to schedule your free initial consultation.
The Carolina Law Group has four offices in upstate South Carolina for your convenience: Greenville (principal office; call 864.312.4444), West Greenville (864.312.4444), Greer (principal office; call 864.757.5555), and Spartanburg (principal office; call 864.757.5555). Call today.