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wheaton workers comp lawyerWhen your job involves making the same movements or performing the same tasks every day, it may be easy to fall into a routine. You may not even notice the minor pain which is slowly developing. However, repetitive motion at a job has the potential to cause serious medical conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, bulging discs, lower back injuries, tendonitis, and bursitis. Not every worker is at risk for these injuries equally. Some jobs are more prone to cause repetitive injuries than others. No matter what your line of work is, if you have suffered a repetitive stress injury or any other workplace, it is important that you contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.

Common Repetitive Stress Injury Jobs

While injuries caused by repetitive motion may seem minor at first, they can develop into more serious medical conditions. Depending on your job and the motions involved, they can affect any part of your body. Here are some of the most common types of jobs that tend to produce repetitive stress injuries:

  • Office jobs, including clerical and coding jobs, involve constant typing. Carpal tunnel syndrome is commonly associated with these jobs.

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DuPage County workers compensation lawyerWhen dealing with aggravated existing injuries or repeated injuries on the job, it can be more challenging for individuals to obtain workers’ compensation. When receiving financial payment for a work-related injury or illness, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission must determine that the injury occurred due to the job at hand and not other outstanding factors. If a worker had a pre-existing injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, that was aggravated at work, a skilled workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help pursue financial compensation. Below are the steps to follow if you want to seek compensation for an aggravated work injury. 

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is an orthopedic condition in the wrist that causes numbness, tingling sensations, and severe pain that can radiate into the hand and forearm. Carpal tunnel can be aggravated over time by excessive use of one’s hand or by leaving the issue untreated. Persistent, untreated pain can cause permanent damage to the hand or wrist. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), 3 to 6% of the general adult population in the United States suffers from carpal tunnel. This condition is often acquired or exacerbated while working with your hands.

Many occupations can aggravate carpal tunnel syndrome, including:

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Wheaton workers compensation attorneyThere are many instances of workplace hazards that can lead to injury on the job. Most of the time, people picture workplace accidents as the primary source of workers’ compensation available to employees, such as falls or trucking accidents. However, other hazards can be prevalent on the job. Employees such as healthcare personnel, sanitation workers, factory employees, or even skilled construction workers are exposed to dangerous occupational hazards that can result in occupational disease. With the help of a knowledgeable lawyer, employees who have contracted an occupational illness can file for worker's compensation.

What is an Occupational Disease?

According to Illinois law, an employee is deemed to have contracted an occupational disease when they contracted an illness after being exposed to hazards in the workplace. The condition must have become debilitating due to a task at hand that the job requires. Dangers in the workplace that may lead to an occupational illness could include:

  • Chemical or radioactive exposure 
  • Gasoline, fuel, or other diesel exposure
  • Factory smoke
  • Particles in the air from construction 
  • Latex allergens 

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 30% of all COPD and adult asthma cases directly correlate to occupational diseases. The CDC explains that more than 20 million United States employees work in a setting that places them at risk for airway diseases. Common occupational diseases can include:

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IL job injury lawyerThere are a variety of situations where employees may suffer work-related injuries, and they will typically be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of who was at fault. However, both employers and employees may be unsure about how to approach injuries that occurred while a person was working at home. This is an increasingly important issue, because the number of people who work remotely has grown significantly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. By understanding what types of injuries are considered work-related, employees can make sure they will be able to receive workers’ comp benefits in these cases.

Workers’ Comp Covers All Work-Related Injuries, Including When Working From Home

It is important to understand that workers’ compensation applies in any situation where a person is injured while working or when they suffer injuries that arose out of the work they performed. As long as injuries are considered to be work-related, an employee will be able to receive workers’ comp benefits. However, there are some cases where employees may be unsure about whether an at-home injury was truly work-related.

Generally, an injury that occurred during remote work will be considered work-related if it arose out of the work a person performed. If a person spilled water in their kitchen while getting a drink, then slipped on the spill and hurt their wrist, this may not be considered a work-related injury, since it did not occur while they were performing work. However, if a person injured their back while lifting a box of documents that they had brought home from the office, this will most likely be considered a work-related injury.

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wheaton workers compensation lawyerOccupational injuries can come in many forms, including muscle sprains, broken bones, and slips and falls. Sometimes, the injuries sustained by an employee on the job are severe enough to cause long-term inability to work. In these scenarios, the employee may end up losing money they would have otherwise earned due to their reduced capacity to work from the injury or their employer’s unwillingness to accommodate for the injury. The implications can be life-changing and cause hardworking individuals to lose income. 

Understanding Your Work Injury

Depending on the occupational injury sustained by the individual, they may be entitled to receive benefits that compensate for wage loss. Some types of injuries, including a traumatic brain injury, long-term back or neck injury, or even carpal tunnel syndrome, can cause workers to lose their ability to work in the same capacity they were before. For example, a truck driver who has developed carpal tunnel syndrome from driving over the course of many years may still be eligible to work, but unable to continue driving. If the employer is unwilling to accommodate the driver by giving them a new role that doesn’t aggravate their injuries, that driver may be entitled to compensation for lost earning capacity. Similarly, if an employee sustains a brain or spinal injury on the job and is no longer able to work, that individual may also be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits including compensation for lost income. 

Filing for Workers’ Compensation

If you or a loved one has sustained a workplace injury that resulted in wage loss or reduced earning capacity, a workers’ compensation attorney can help guide you through the process of filing for benefits. The Workers' Compensation Commission of Illinois offers paperwork that can be filled out and filed detailing the injury and request for compensation. Then, an arbitrator from the court will listen to each party’s side and determine a decision on the case. If you feel that you were not awarded your rightful compensation or wage loss benefits, your attorney may file a court appeal to review the decision that was made. 

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