Do repetitive work injuries count as work-related injuries in Pennsylvania?
Yes! Whether your injury was sustained suddenly, or from repetitive work activities, it is a work injury so long as 1) you were an employee at the time, 2) it occurred in the course and scope of your employment (ie, while you were working), and 3) your doctor agrees that it was caused by your work activities. (also make sure to meet the 120 day notice requirement under the Act)
Now, this doesn’t mean that your Employers’ doctors or an IME doctor won’t have another opinion. For example, in carpal tunnel cases, many times the medical experts will have different opinions as to what caused the condition. These claims are frequently denied. Do not let this discourage you! You can, and should, pursue any repetitive work injury. How is this done? Hire an experienced Pennsylvania repetitive work injury lawyer. We are here to help you at The Cardamone Law Firm, LLC– a specialty boutique firm solely dedicated to injured workers. TCLF gives you the individual attention your case needs to succeed.
If my injury occurred from repetitive work activities, what is the date of my injury? Good question. If you are not working currently, it’s usually the last day of work-since each day of work is considered a new injury under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law. If you are continuing to work, it’s often the day you gave notice of the injury to your Employer. Sometimes, the date of injury is the day of the diagnosis by a doctor. It’s obviously not as cut and dry as a traumatic work-related injury, but it’s just as valid as a matter of law.
The most common repetitive trauma work injury that I see in Pennsylvania is carpal tunnel syndrome. Some other repetitive work injuries in Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation cases are low back injuries from repetitive lifting, or shoulder injuries from repetitive lifting or assembly line work. These are just a few examples.
It is very important for an injured worker in Pennsylvania to describe the specific mechanism of injury– that is, a description of what work activities caused the symptoms. This is a key foundation for the medical expert opinions. Sometimes the doctors will race through the history portion of the examination, so be sure to slow them down to explain and document what you were doing at work which caused your problem. Make sure to tell the provider if you had previous symptoms in the same body part- even if it was many years ago. Sweeping a prior injury or treatment under the carpet can significantly damage a work comp case. Always always always tell the truth. And remember, an aggravation of a pre-existing condition is still a work-related injury under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.
Repetitive work injury cases in Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation cases are not treated any differently regarding the litigation process. You still need to produce a medical expert who opines, within a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that the work activities caused the diagnoses- or were a substantial contributing factor. In addition, the injured worker will have to testify about the circumstances surrounding the injury.
If you need a Repetitive Work Injury Lawyer in Philadelphia or Pennsylvania, call one of Pennsylvania’s Most Experienced Work Comp Lawyers Michael W. Cardamone, Founder of The Cardamone Law Firm, LLC 7 days a week at 215-206-9068 to reach him directly or email Michael@cardamonelaw.com for a free analysis of your case. TCLF is here for you.
TCLF– 100% Work Comp; 100% For Injured Workers