Cumulative Trauma claims are commonly filed as workers’ compensation injuries.
A cumulative Trauma Injury means that due to repetitive job duties performed over a long period of time, injury was caused to certain body parts. Repetitive job duties include repetitive bending, stooping, or reaching above the shoulder level. An injury due to a cumulative trauma injury can be a sprain or strain, degradation of joints, muscles or tendons, or even the tearing of tendons, and breaking of bones. The combined effect of these repetitive job duties is what causes disability. For example, a laborer at a warehouse lifting heavy objects daily at work could have sustained injury to the back and other body parts over time.
Improper ergonomics in the work place can also be the cause of this type of injury. An office worker on the computer all day with improper work equipment could be subject to this type of work injury. Thus, even a job that is not particularly arduous can cause disability.
An employee may not know about a cumulative trauma injury caused by work unless told by a doctor. The statute of limitations on this type of injury does not begin tolling until an injured worker has knowledge that the injury was caused by work. It is important for an injured worker to report an injury that was caused by work on a cumulative basis to a supervisor immediately once it is apparent that the injury was caused by work. Documenting this reporting will be useful if one decides to file a claim later.
Filing a workers compensation claim after you have been terminated from your job without reporting any injury to an employer can be harmful to your case if you knew about your injury and never reported. Most insurance defense attorneys raise the defense of post-termination in an attempt to bar a claim from compensation for workers who failed to report an injury during the course of their employment. However, it is very hard to prevail on this defense as the law is in the injured workers favor. Kesh Law has many years of experience dealing with these issues and is well-equipped in handling these matters.
Please contact Kesh Law, a Los Angeles workers compensation attorney, for a free consultation and analysis to see whether you have sustained a cumulative trauma injury in the work place.