Repetitive Stress Injuries Attorneys in Anchorage, Alaska

When most people think about sustaining an injury at the workplace, they imagine a one-time accident that leaves the worker incapacitated in some way. Although these unforeseen accidents do happen, it’s also true that injuries can happen over longer periods of time and slowly build up after months or even years of performing the same activity.  

These repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) are eligible for workers’ compensation, but since they aren’t associated with a single incident, they can be harder to document. Because of this, you may want to work with a workers’ compensation attorney with experience defending these cases. If you’re in the Anchorage, Alaska, area, including Fairbanks, Juneau, Wasilla, or Palmer, call us at the Law Office of Justin S. Eppler, LLC for legal help. 

What Is a Repetitive Stress Injury?  

Repetitive stress injuries (also called repetitive motion injuries) include conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, tendonitis, and trigger finger. These all occur when a worker is required to perform the same movement over and over throughout the course of their workday. This could apply to manual laborers who have to lift and carry heavy items, construction employees who work with vibrating equipment like a jackhammer, or even office workers who type on a keyboard all day.  

Other occupations that are prone to RSIs are delivery drivers, nurses and healthcare workers, athletes, firefighters, agricultural workers, store clerks, and those in the janitorial or housekeeping professions. These workers may start to feel mild pain in their joints or muscles, a tingling sensation, numbness, or reduced range of motion. It’s common for RSIs to build up gradually over time, so it can take years for a worker to fully realize the damage that’s been done. 

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Can I File a Workers’ Comp Claim?  

Yes, workers who suffer from RSIs are eligible to file a workers’ comp claim. However, these can be more complicated cases since most injuries can’t be clearly dated back to a single event. When there is a precipitating event (like a fall), an injury report is typically made that same day and the worker would receive medical care immediately afterward. This makes accumulating documentation and doctor’s evaluations much easier. With RSIs, on the other hand, there often won’t be an obvious paper trail, and gathering the needed evidence is much harder. 

Deadline to File   

Typically, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a workers’ comp claim, and the timeline starts from the date of the injury. In cases of repetitive stress injuries, the timeline starts from the date you discovered the injury was connected to your duties at work. If you suspect an RSI, you should see a doctor and explain to them you believe the injury to be related to your work duties. If their evaluation proves this correct, you can usually use this date of diagnosis to start the clock for filing.  

Benefit Types  

After your case has been reviewed, you may be awarded temporary or permanent total disability (TTD or PTD) benefits, temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits, or permanent partial impairment (PPI) benefits. The nature of your case and the extent of your injuries will determine the type of benefits received. The amount of pay you’ll receive during this time period is based on your gross weekly earnings, and most recipients earn 80% of this amount.