Repetitive Motion Injury Lawyer in Portland
Injuries caused by repetitive motions at work can be debilitating for workers in any industry. Employees may find themselves unable to perform their work duties and may experience a dramatic drop in their quality of life.
Many workers are unaware that they qualify for workers’ compensation benefits due to a repetitive motion injury. These employer-provided benefits give injured employees the means to seek treatment and support themselves as they recover.
If you’re dealing with repetitive motion injuries that you suffered on the job in the greater Portland area, turn to an experienced worker’s compensation lawyer for assistance with your claim.
Attorney Jodie Anne Phillips Polich has been helping people just like you seek the workers’ comp benefits they need for more than two decades. As a former member of the Oregon workers’ compensation board, she brings an insider’s perspective to each claim she handles and can put her knowledge and skills to work for you.
What Is a Repetitive Motion Injury?
Repetitive motion injuries go by a variety of names, including repetitive stress injuries, repetitive strain injuries, repetitive trauma injuries, and overuse injuries. They are also referred to as cumulative trauma, but this phrase is usually a larger class of injuries that includes several other types of harm.
Instead of arising from a single, instantaneous event, repetitive motion injuries stem from repeated actions that cause damage over time.
A repetitive motion injury typically affects some part of a person’s body, usually causing pain, immobility, or other symptoms. When these injuries are not properly treated, major debilitation can result, preventing the victim from being able to perform basic functions or even to care for themselves.
Examples of Repetitive Motion Injuries
Some of the most common repetitive motion injuries include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSDS)
- Lower-back strain
- Raynaud’s disease
- Repetitive shoulder strain
- Trigger finger
- Hearing loss (resulting from noise on the job)
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Dystonia (writer’s cramp)
- Chronic neck, shoulder, or back pain
- Nerve entrapment disorders
- Radial tunnel syndrome
- Impingement syndrome
- Ulnar tunnel syndrome
- Epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
- DeQuervain’s syndrome (Blackberry thumb)
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Rotator cuff injuries
While these injuries may be different from other common on-the-job injuries, they can still affect a person’s ability to do their job and may be covered by workers’ compensation. Proving many of the injuries listed above can be far more challenging than proving a broken bone or another injury that is usually more apparent and has a clearer connection to work.
How to Prove a Repetitive Motion Injury Occurred at Work
Repetitive motion injuries typically stem from people performing the same actions over and over, often over the course of a year or more. Proof of repetitive motion injury will usually require a diagnosis by a physician.
You may also need to demonstrate that your employment caused or contributed to your condition. Employers can cause this injury by having you perform the same task many times a day or in an awkward position. The equipment that you used on the job could be a factor in your repetitive motion injury case. These injuries can also be proven by showing the employer’s failure to provide necessary breaks after certain tasks were performed.
When you believe that your work area will be an important factor in your workers’ compensation decision, it can be beneficial for you to photograph your work station to provide visual evidence to support your claim. Many claims will hinge on the nature of the specific work that was performed.
What Causes Repetitive Motion Injury
Carpal tunnel and other repetitive motion injuries were once believed to be limited to employees in the manufacturing industry. However, it has become increasingly apparent in recent years that almost anyone is susceptible to repetitive motion injuries.
A wide variety of occupations and industries have workers who develop repetitive motion injuries after years of dedicated labor. Employees most at risk of repetitive motion injuries include:
- Seamstresses and sewing machine operators
- Nurses and health care aides
- Telephone operators
- Janitors and housekeepers
- Butchers and meat packagers
- Grocery and stock clerks
- Bus drivers
- Cleaning industry workers
- Delivery workers
- Mail carriers
- Plumbers and pipefitters
- Restaurant workers
- Agricultural workers
- Farm, dairy, and field workers
- Professional athletes
- Truck drivers and bus drivers
- Loaders, movers, stock handlers, general transport
- Manufacturing and assembly line workers
- Construction workers
You need to recognize the symptoms of a repetitive motion injury, which may include pain, tenderness, numbness, stiffness, tingling, weakness, or cramps. Always seek medical attention when you believe any part of your body may be suffering from a repetitive motion injury.
If you want to take measures to avoid developing a repetitive motion injury at your job, make sure that you are practicing proper posture while working. Also, optimize your work area so that you are not creating any unnecessary strain on your body.
When to Contact a Portland Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
You should speak to an attorney before you file your workers’ compensation claim for a repetitive motion injury. A lawyer will help ensure that your application is properly filed and free from some of the most common errors that delay claim resolutions.
An attorney will also be beneficial if your employer attempts to deny your claim for any reason or pay you fewer benefits than you deserve. Your lawyer will be able to assist with any necessary appeals so you can fight to recover all of the compensation you are entitled to.
Keep in mind that some employers will fight repetitive motion injury claims and may argue that such injuries were the result of actions a victim took outside of work. You need an attorney who can launch an independent investigation into your claim and collect all of the evidence you need to successfully prove that your injury arose from your work.
How Can Jodie Anne Phillips Polich Help Me With Repetitive Motion Injury and Workers Compensation
Jodie Anne Phillips Polich has more than a quarter-century of legal experience. She was awarded the prestigious Doug Swanson Outstanding Workers’ Compensation Attorney Award by the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA).
Jodie will be ready to discuss your repetitive motion injuries and your rights to worker’s comp benefits when you call or reach out online to take advantage of a free consultation.