Hardworking individuals often suffer the consequences of their hard work. Long hours on the job doing similar motions over and over again can put a strain on a person’s body. In many cases, this manifests itself in repetitive trauma, where doing the same work over time leads to a physical injury. Repetitive injuries are a serious problem in U.S. workplaces, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) reports that over 1.5 million workers sustain repetitive injuries every year.
Osvaldo Rodriguez, P.C. is a skilled and results-focused advocate for workers. He knows how to help clients navigate the complexities of the workers’ comp claims process. If you or your loved one suffered a repetitive injury on the job, Osvaldo Rodriguez, P.C. will help you maximize your benefits. To schedule a no fee, no commitment consultation with an experienced Illinois workers’ comp lawyer, then please call our office today!
What Is A Repetitive Injury?
A repetitive injury is simply an injury that develops gradually as a consequence of repeated strain or repeated trauma. Unlike other work injuries, they do not occur as a result of a single accident. You may hear these types of injuries referred to as repetitive stress injuries (RSIs), repetitive trauma injuries (RTIs), or even overuse injuries. Whatever the name, repetitive injuries can be extremely painful and completely debilitating. These injuries come in different forms. Here are some examples:
- A construction worker or factory worker may lift heavy weight throughout the day causing back or neck injuries
- Overhead work frequently causing shoulder injuries
- An assembly worker or cashier might use his/her hands frequently causing carpal tunnel or elbow injuries
- An office worker required to sit at a desk for many years develops back issues
- A plumber or a flooring contractor that may have to kneel frequently often resulting in knee conditions
Many times workers who suffer from repetitive injuries do not know what rights they have under Illinois worker’s compensation laws. However, persons suffering from these types of injuries are entitled the same benefits as any other worker injured on the job. If you or your family member suffered a repetitive stress injury on the job in Illinois, then Osvaldo Rodriguez, P.C. is here to help.
Why Repetitive Injury Claims Are Denied or Underpaid
Just like any other workplace injury, if your repetitive injury resulted from your job, you have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits to cover the costs of all of your medical care and to reimburse you for a percentage of your lost income.
However, too many people with work-related repetitive injuries are shocked to learn that their claim for benefits was partially or even totally denied. Insurance companies and your employer are both trying to avoid liability whenever possible and so they will often try to find reasons to deny your claim. Some reasons you may be denied benefits can include:
- Your employer does not have the coverage required by Illinois law
- You were misclassified as an independent contractor
- You did not inform your employer of the injury within 45 days
- Your employer claims your injury was not work-related
Because there was no single accident or event that caused your repetitive injury, insurance companies often try to claim that your injury was not caused by your work. Indeed, this is one of the primary challenges of bringing a repetitive injury claim: establishing a connection to your job. Insurance companies may try to argue that your injuries actually stem from activities you perform at home or recreationally and, therefore, deny your workers’ compensation benefits. Osvaldo Rodriguez, P.C. has many ways to fight against workers’ compensation denials.
Take Immediate Action To Protect Your Rights
If your RSI claim was delayed, denied, or underpaid, you need to take immediate action to protect your rights. There are strict deadlines to file an appeal. Waiting too long to take action could undermine your ability to recover benefits. The workers’ compensation appeals process in Illinois can be complicated and it is critical to have quality legal representation throughout this process. Osvaldo Rodriguez, P.C. can negotiate with the workers’ compensation insurance company to see if we can get you the benefits you need.
If the company still refuses to approve your claim, you will need to file certain paperwork and Osvaldo Rodriguez, P.C. can represent you at a hearing in front of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. If you still receive a wrongful denial, he can file an appeal of the hearing decision and even file a claim with the state court if necessary to secure benefits for you. In addition, all our cases are taken on a contingency fee basis, so you never have to pay upfront legal fees. Call us today for your free consultation.