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Seeking compensation for work-related repetitive stress injuries in PA

On behalf of Michael Vanasse at Vanasse Law LLC

Repetitive stress injuries may qualify for workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania if victims can meet claim deadlines and document the origins of the injury.

Many people in Lancaster appreciate the danger of traumatic or accidental work-related injuries. For many workers, the threat of repetitive stress injuries may be more easily overlooked. However, these injuries are fairly common, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2013, repetitive stress injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders represented 33 percent of all workplace injuries.

Repetitive stress injuries occur when muscles or joints become strained due to repetitive motions. Carpal tunnel syndrome and low back strains are a few common examples of these conditions. These injuries develop gradually, but over time, they can become highly debilitating. Eventually, repetitive stress injuries may even prevent a person from performing his or her work. Fortunately, Pennsylvania workers who suffer these injuries may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Qualifying injuries

Under state law, Pennsylvania workers may receive compensation for any injuries that arise directly in the course of their work. Workers may be eligible for medical benefits, wage loss benefits and disability benefits. Injuries involving illicit activity, intoxication or intentional self-harm aren’t compensable. Otherwise, a worker or employer’s fault in an injury has no effect on the claim process or the benefits awarded.

Workers who have suffered repetitive motion or stress injuries must show that their injuries developed primarily because of their work. A pre-existing repetitive stress injury that became exacerbated in the course of a person’s work may be compensable. Similarly, a stress injury that developed due to a person’s work and other activities may qualify for benefits. However, the person’s work must be a clear, substantial factor in causing the injury, rather than a minor contributing factor.

Reporting deadlines

In Pennsylvania, work-related injuries typically are not compensable if employees do not report them within 120 days of the injury date. This can be problematic for the victims of repetitive stress injuries, since these injuries occur gradually. Pinpointing an exact date of injury can be difficult or impossible.

Fortunately, an employee may qualify for a longer reporting deadline when a repetitive stress injury is considered an occupational injury. Occupational diseases or injuries must be reported within three years of the date that the condition became apparent. To qualify as an occupational disease or injury, a condition must meet the following criteria:

  • The employee’s work must expose the employee to the injury or disease.
  • Some aspect of the employee’s job must create a significant risk of the injury or disease.
  • The employee must face a greater risk of the injury or disease than the general public does.

Regardless of how a repetitive stress injury is classified, employees typically benefit from reporting these injuries early on. Employees may even want to consider filing claims as soon as the injury and its origins become clear. This reduces the risk that a claim will be dismissed because relevant deadlines were not met.

Protecting legal rights

In the wake of a disabling repetitive stress injury, proving the injury is compensable and meeting relevant deadlines can be challenging. To improve the likelihood of a favorable outcome, injured workers may want to consider partnering with a workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney may be able to help a worker document an injury and prepare a claim that is more likely to yield a favorable outcome.

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Why Vanasse Law?

See the many reasons Vanasse Law’s dedication, expertise and personal attention makes us THE best choice for injured workers in central Pennsylvania.

Learn More >

Testimonials

“I am so thankful that I was referred to Vanasse Law for my workmans comp claim. Mike & Loraine put me at ease and the outcome was better than I expected…”

More Testimonials >

Get a Free Case Evaluation

*Required

I have read the disclaimer.
Privacy Policy