When discussing workers’ compensation, the term “work injury” is often used interchangeably with the term “work accident.” This can make it seem like an employee must be harmed in some sort of horrific event in order to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits — but this is not the case.
Workers’ compensation insurance is in place to provide financial assistance to people who sustain work-related injuries. Relevance to your job is the primary requirement for recovering benefits. There are few parameters that define specific injuries (or injury causes) that are covered.
So if a work injury isn’t caused by an “accident,” how do they happen? There are two reasons a person can be harmed at work that do not fit the traditional definition of an accident: Occupational illnesses, and repetitive strain injuries (RSI). Both of these types of work-related harm generally accumulate over time, and cannot be attributed to a single event.
Occupational Illness / Toxic Exposure
In some industries, there is a high risk of workers developing an illness as a direct result of their job. Often, these illnesses are caused by an exposure to toxic substances. These workers are often exposed to these hazardous chemicals every day, and the effects of that long-term exposure can develop into an occupational illness.
Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI)
Repetitive strain injuries are injuries that are caused by the long-term physical demands of a job. These types of injuries — such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tennis elbow — are often attributed to consistent, unvaried motion like typing or factory work. It is possible that these injuries can be exaggerated by a single incident, inspiring a workers’ compensation claim, but the effects could have been building for a while before the injury was reported.If you have a work-related injury, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Discuss your case with the attorneys of Alvandi Law Group, P.C. for free by scheduling a consultation online or via phone at (800) 980-6905.