The California Labor Code defines cumulative trauma injuries as repetitive activities, performed over a period of time, that lead to disability or the need for medical care. Each work day, your body endures more wear and tear as a result of harmless tasks you complete, from lifting to typing to manufacturing. According to the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California cumulative trauma cases accounted for 18% of indemnity claims in 2014 (up 10% since 2005).
Cumulative trauma injuries frequently occur in the hand-wrist-forearm area and also in the neck, shoulders, and back area. They are the result of muscle, tendon, or nerve injuries. Common examples of these injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, thoracic outlet syndrome, and tension neck syndrome.
While the statute of limitations in most California workers’ compensation claims is one year, in a cumulative trauma case you have one year from the last day you were exposed to the occupational hazard causing the health condition.
If you have suffered from cumulative trauma injuries because of your employment, you need aggressive legal representation. Unfortunately, these types of injuries are often the easiest to dismiss by insurers. An insurance company might claim that there is no medical evidence to support that your cumulative trauma injuries were caused by your job.
This will put the burden of proof on you and you will have to show:
Whether you are experiencing aching, tiredness, reduced capacity for repetitive work, inability to sleep or to perform light duties, you should consult with a medical professional and retain the services of a Fresno workers’ compensation attorney. If you do not receive proper medical care for a cumulative trauma injury, you can expect severe pain and many doctors’ visits in your future.