Some work injuries can happen in an instant when a workplace accident takes place. Other work injuries, illnesses and psychological damage can develop over time. From a workers’ compensation perspective, these are often the most difficult cases because there is a lot more gray area compared to a workplace accident case where the cause and effect are clearly determined.
What is Chronic Pain?
Any physical pain that lasts for more than six months is considered “chronic pain” by medical experts. Sometimes, the pain may be mild and we fight through it. Other times, it can be extremely debilitating and excruciating. Chronic pain is often caused by repetitive stress. For example, a job that requires a lot of heavy lifting may lead to lower back or knee pain. As time goes on, it becomes harder and harder to perform your job and you end up going home many nights in complete agony.
Some common examples of repetitive stress injuries include:
- Back & Neck Pain
- Joint Pain
- Muscle & Ligament Damage
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Vision Impairment
- Hearing Impairment
Workers’ Compensation for Repetitive Stress Injuries
If your job is primarily to blame for your chronic pain or debilitating condition, you need to take legal action. You don’t have to suffer through every day in pain. Chronic pain gives you just as much right to workers’ comp benefits as an accident-based injury.
Chronic pain can often be very complex to treat. It may involve physical therapy, medication and even psychological therapy. Your medical costs should be covered. If your pain ever puts you out of work for a significant period of time, you will also need your living expenses to be covered for as long as you are without a paycheck. You may also be entitled to job retraining and educational expenses. Working the same job will likely only compound your physical issues, so the opportunity may be there to find a different job that doesn’t cause you more pain.
The truth is that, though most of the chronic pain can be traced back to your job, there may be other factors outside of work that exacerbate the condition. Maybe you play sports or live an active lifestyle. Maybe you live a very sedentary lifestyle because of your injury, and that only leads to more pain when you are on the job because your body isn’t properly conditioned. Employers, along with their insurers and doctors, will look at these additional factors and may try to use them against you when you file a workers’ compensation claim.
Legal Support for Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Chronic pain and repetitive stress workers’ comp cases are notoriously more challenging than workplace accident cases. This is why you want to have an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer working for you. It’s very important to submit all the correct medical documentation and legal paperwork at the beginning of the claim. Then, you need an attorney to help if and when there are denials, appeals and settlement negotiations. Thomas F. Martin is the Orange County workers’ comp lawyer to count on for the best in legal representation.
When you suffer from chronic pain because of your job, you have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits. To learn more about filing your claim and to get started with the legal process, contact the law offices of Thomas F. Martin today.