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Workers' injuries: Repetitive stress injury claims may be tricky

Some California employees may feel they can no longer perform their duties without experiencing pain. It is not uncommon for workers whose daily tasks require repetitive actions for extended periods to develop workers' injuries classified as repetitive stress injuries. It typically develops over time and can result from several hours of typing, continuous bending and lifting of objects, long hours of standing, and even having to perform tasks in an uncomfortable body position for extended periods.

When tendons are overused, they can become inflamed and cause swelling and pain. Two repetitive stress injuries that are common in many industries are carpal tunnel syndrome and epicondylitis -- also known as tennis elbow. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by hand, finger and/or wrist movements that are repeated for many hours every day. As the name suggests, epicondylitis affects the elbow that becomes tender and painful due to continuous strain. Repetitive stress injuries can also affect workers' backs, knees, shoulders, necks and more.

Workers may not realize that this type of injury is compensable under California workers' compensation laws. Similarly, aggravation of pre-existing injuries may also be compensable. If left unattended, a repetitive stress injury can progress until a worker's daily life is affected because of the inability to work or perform daily tasks. The difference between this type of injury and other catastrophic injuries is that it does not occur in a single workplace accident but, rather, over time.

Because repetitive stress injuries are not workers' injuries that resulted from single identifiable workplace accidents, it can be challenging to prove as work-related injuries. Fortunately, the lawyers at Leviton Diaz & Ginocchio, Inc. in California have had decades of experience in securing workers' compensation benefits for injured workers. We understand how repetitive stress injuries can affect the long-term health of workers and the ability to continue working. After assessing the circumstances that led to the debilitating condition, we will work on pursuing the appropriate compensation.

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