Cumulative Trauma and Your Work: Could You Be a Victim?

Stout Law Firm May 31, 2017

As a Colorado employee, you know that a workplace accident can happen to anyone. From slip-and-fall accidents to illnesses caused by dangerous or toxic exposure, injured or ill employees have certain rights to seek restitution for medical care through their employer's workers' compensation insurance.

These rights are also the same for workers who find themselves suffering because of injuries that happen not as the result of an accident but as the result of their job duties over time. Cumulative trauma injuries are not only painful, they are debilitating, expensive and last for a long time. 

What is cumulative trauma?

Cumulative trauma is damage done to the body over time, most likely caused by repeating the same motion or doing the same thing over and over. If you are suffering from a cumulative trauma or repetitive stress injury, it is possible that it is the result of you doing your job over the course of several months or years. The most common types of these injuries include:

  • Repetitive strain injury

  • Tendinitis

  • Tennis elbow

  • Golfer's elbow

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Trigger finger

  • Ganglion cyst

  • Bursitis

These syndromes and medical conditions develop as a direct result of repetitive overuse. Employees are often unaware that their pain and difficulty could be the result of their job, but in actuality, they could have a valid claim to workers' compensation benefits. While any type of worker could develop a cumulative trauma injury, those who do the following tasks as part of their jobs may be more likely:

  • Writing

  • Typing

  • Lifting

  • Driving

  • Assembling

There are many factors that ultimately determine the severity of the cumulative trauma injury, but more severe cases could eventually lead to loss of motion, chronic pain and an inability to do the same work as before. If you are suffering from this type of injury, you would be wise to seek experienced legal guidance and the care you need for recovery and management of your condition.

The complex nature of workers' comp claims

Even with a valid claim, it can be incredibly complex to secure the workers' compensation benefits that you deserve. It can be useful to secure the help of an experienced attorney to help you walk through the entire process, from the initial application to fighting through any appeals.

A cumulative trauma injury that developed as the result of your job is grounds for a workers' compensation claim, but you do not have to navigate the tricky claims process alone.