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Repetitive Stress Injuries Attorney in Greenwood, South Carolina

We often hear about injuries caused by sudden accidents at work. However, on-the-job injuries come in all forms, including those caused by repetitive motions that a worker must make in order to complete their tasks. If you’re wondering if you can file a workers’ compensation claim for a repetitive stress injury, it's natural to feel overwhelmed. 
Reach out to us at Powers Law, LLC. We know that repetitive stress injuries can often be overlooked and that workers who suffer from them can face many challenges. Ultimately, our attorney is here to help you pursue the compensation you need. 

What Is a Repetitive Stress Injury?

A repetitive stress injury (RSI), also known as a repetitive strain injury, repetitive use injury, and overuse injury, is an injury caused by repetitive motions that a worker makes on the job. In South Carolina, these injuries are called “repetitive trauma injuries.” For an injury to be classed as a repetitive trauma injury, it must be proven that the stress of the repetitive motion necessary to complete the job gradually causes an injury. These motions can include: 

  • Typing (can cause Carpal Tunnel syndrome) 

  • Bending to pick up objects (can cause knee or back injuries) 

  • Lifting objects, even light ones (can cause back, shoulder, and hand injuries) 

  • Standing on your feet for long periods of time (can cause foot and leg injuries) 

Symptoms of RSI/RTI 

Every case is different. You may notice many different symptoms or just one. Typically, though, these symptoms can include: 

  • Tenderness in joints  

  • Tingling or numbness  

  • Stiffness or loss of flexibility/range of motion 

  • Pain that ranges from a slight ache to serious discomfort or throbbing/stabbing feeling

Common diagnoses following repetitive motion for a long period of time can include tendonitis, bursitis, trigger finger, and Carpal Tunnel syndrome. No matter your situation, it’s vital to contact a workers’ compensation attorney for guidance.  

Who Is At Risk? 

People who hold specific types of jobs, often involving manual labor or lots of standing or walking, are most at risk for repetitive stress injuries. However, keep in mind that you can get a repetitive stress injury even if you work in an office and spend lots of time typing on a computer. People with the following jobs are most likely to suffer the effects of repetitive stress injuries:  

  • Factory/assembly line workers  

  • Agricultural workers 

  • Delivery workers 

  • Drivers  

  • Grocery store workers 

  • Nurses 

  • Plumbers 

  • Certain office workers and typists 

  • Janitors/cleaners 

  • Musicians and athletes 

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Can I File a Workers’ Comp Claim for an RSI?

Yes, but it can be difficult, as insurance companies sometimes look suspiciously at repetitive strain claims. Since the injury is not likely to be linked to one incident or accident, the insurance company may try to find ways to state that there isn’t enough proof that the repetitive motion caused an injury.

This is one reason you should contact a workers’ compensation attorney right away. A skilled lawyer can help you gather evidence that will support your claim and then present that claim convincingly.

You and your attorney will need to prove that the injury occurred while you were working and that there is a clear connection between your injury and the repetitive motions you are required to make at your job. Medical records are an excellent form of evidence, so make sure to visit a doctor as soon as possible after you start to experience pain. Tell the doctor that you believe your injuries were caused by repetitive motion on the job, and make sure that your medical records also state this. If the doctor states that the injury was most likely caused by a repetitive motion, the insurance company will find the claim difficult to fight. 
Above all, keep your attorney in the loop so you have a better chance of a favorable outcome. 

Deadline to File

You have 90 days from the date on which you discovered the injury to report the injury to your employer in South Carolina. Following that, your employer should provide you with a workers’ compensation claim form. You then have two years from the date of discovery of the injury to file the claim with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission.  

Types of Benefits 

Permanent Disability

You can get permanent total disability if your doctor has determined that you are completely totally disabled—that is, you have lost the use of both of your hands, arms, shoulders, feet, legs, or hips, or you have lost a combination of the use of two of the above—or permanent partial disability if you have lost the use of one part of your body. You will be able to receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage with a maximum of $1,035.

Temporary Disability 

Temporary total disability covers you for any period during which you must miss work, while temporary partial disability helps you if you can only return to work for a shorter amount of time or with reduced duties while you recover. Temporary total disability benefits are typically paid out at the same rate as permanent total disability benefits. Temporary partial disability covers two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury wage and the wage you can reasonably earn at present while working reduced hours or with reduced responsibilities. 

Repetitive Stress Injuries Attorney in Greenwood, South Carolina

If you’ve suffered a repetitive stress injury, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney. Reach out to us at Powers Law, LLC here in Greenwood. Our attorney, Michelle Powers, is a former ER nurse and brings this unique focus to every workers’ compensation case she handles. Our entire team offers skilled, professional service and communicative support throughout this process. We’re honored to serve clients throughout South Carolina, including Saluda, Edgefield, McCormick, Abbeville, Laurens, and Newberry.