REPETITIVE STRESS INJURIES
June 30, 2021
Every year, countless workers are affected by carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive strain injuries. According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), repetitive stress injuries affect about 1.8 million workers annually.
Thankfully, workers' compensation laws are designed to protect employees against such work-related injuries. If you suspect that your injury or condition is due to work-related tasks, you may be eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits.
At the Law Office of Justin S. Eppler, LLC, we are committed to offering legal services and comprehensive representation to clients in their workers' compensation cases. Our experienced Alaska workers' compensation team can fight aggressively on your side to protect your rights and help you negotiate a fair financial settlement with the insurance company for your work-related or repetitive motion injuries.
Our firm is proud to serve clients throughout Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Wasilla, and Palmer, Alaska. Reach out to us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation.
Common Repetitive Stress Injuries
A repetitive stress injury or repetitive motion injury is a temporary or permanent injury to the wrist, shoulder, elbow, or another joint that is often caused by repeatedly performing a particular motion. Common examples of repetitive stress injuries include:
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Rotator cuff injuries
Chronic knee injuries
Chronic neck pain
Epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
Back injuries from heavy lifting
Symptoms of Repetitive Stress Injuries
Some common symptoms of repetitive stress injuries include:
Pain, tenderness, or aching
Tingling sensation or numbness
Sensitivity to heat or cold
Who Is at Risk?
Anyone in any field of employment can suffer from a repetitive stress injury, but employees who perform repetitive activities — such as doing a high-intensity activity for a long period without rest — are at risk of repetitive stress injuries. Employees who perform activities that involve working in a poor posture or awkward position also have an increased risk of repetitive motion injuries.
Workers’ Compensation Claims for Repetitive Stress Injuries
Repetitive stress injuries are work-related injuries, so an employee can file a workers' compensation claim and receive benefits for their repetitive stress injuries. To receive your workers' comp benefits, you must:
Report the problem, injury, or condition to your employer
File a workers' compensation claim
See an approved physician or healthcare provider
In most cases, using your own doctor requires getting approval from the insurance company. Once you file your work comp claim, the insurance carrier will do the following:
Evaluate the circumstances surrounding your injury
Review your employment history information
Calculate your weekly disability compensation rate
Within 21 days of knowing about your injury, the insurance provider must decide whether to pay your work comp benefits or deny your claim.
Time Limit for Filing
According to Alaska Statutes Section 23.30.100, you must report your injury in writing to your employer or the Workers' Compensation Division within 30 days of your injury. If your benefits are denied, you will have two years to file a claim (Alaska Statutes Section 23.30.105). Otherwise, you may be barred from receiving workers' compensation benefits.
Types of Benefits
In Alaska, insurance providers must pay for all reasonable and necessary injury-related medical treatments for at least two years. You will also be entitled to receive disability benefits in addition to medical benefits. There are two types of disability benefits, including:
Temporary Disability Benefits
Employees who need time off from work to recover from their injuries will receive temporary total disability benefits. These benefits are 80% of your spendable income or weekly wages, subject to a maximum amount set by Alaska state law.
Permanent Disability Benefits
Permanent total disability benefits are available to employees whose injuries have left them permanently and totally disabled. These benefits are available to employees who suffer severe injuries, such as the loss of arms, hands, legs, feet, or eyes. Your doctor will evaluate your condition and determine whether you have a permanent disability.
How an Experienced Attorney Can Help
Workers' compensation laws in Alaska are established to help employees recover their rightful compensation after suffering a work-related injury. Unfortunately, receiving these workers' compensation benefits often involves several complexities. Since repetitive stress injuries develop gradually over time, proving that your injury or condition is work-related can be difficult. Hiring an experienced workers' compensation attorney is crucial to protect your rights and help you seek your rightful compensation.
At the Law Office of Justin S. Eppler, LLC, we have the experience and resources to assist and guide clients on matters of personal injury and workers' compensation-related matters. As your legal counsel, we will carefully examine your situation, explore your legal options, and determine the best way to proceed with your claim. We will fight diligently on your side to protect your rights and help you seek your rightful workers' compensation benefits. Having us on your side can make a big difference in your work comp claim.
Get Help from the Law Office of Justin S. Eppler, LLC
Contact us today at the Law Office of Justin S. Eppler, LLC, to schedule a consultation with experienced workers' compensation attorneys. Our team will handle all communications and negotiations with the insurance provider while protecting your best interests. We proudly serve clients throughout Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Wasilla, and Palmer, Alaska.