Can You Receive Compensation for Repetitive Motion Injuries in South Carolina?
Many workers’ in South Carolina will experience a repetitive motion, repetitive trauma, or repetitive stress injury due to their regular work responsibilities. Yet, when they file for workers’ compensation coverage, they are surprised to find that the employer or the insurance company denies their claim. The unfortunate thing is that a lot of people will accept this denial and assume that they cannot pursue workers’ compensation for their injuries, that their injuries are not covered, and that they have no further options.
The reality is that you do have a right to workers’ compensation coverage for these repetitive motion injuries, even if your employer or the insurance company denies your claim, even if they argue that your injury is not work related. The reason that employers and insurance companies feel confident in denying these claims is that they believe your injury is not provable when it happens over time, instead of happening as a single, sudden event injury.
Workers’ Compensation Laws Regarding Repetitive Trauma Injuries
So, how can you fight for your right to workers’ compensation for a repetitive trauma injury? The first thing to know is that your injury is addressed by South Carolina law in S.C. Code Ann. § 42-1-172. Here, it is clarified that repetitive trauma injuries are caused by the cumulative effects of repetitive traumatic events and are identified as gradual onset injuries.
To establish that your injury is truly related to your work duties, you must prove that there is a connection between your repetitive work related tasks and the injury. This can be proven through medical evidence and expert testimony, with corresponding records and documentation from licensed medical professionals.
If your doctor will testify with confidence that your injury is a repetitive trauma injury that is directly caused by your work related activities, then you can seek compensation.
Most Common Work Related Repetitive Motion Injuries
As more and more workplace involve the use of computers, more and more workers are suffering from repetitive motion injuries. In fact one out of every eight workers in the US will experience such an injury, and these injuries make up 60% of injuries that occur through the course of work related activities. Thanks to the use of computers, carpal tunnel syndrome is the most frequently diagnosed work related repetitive motion injury. Carpal tunnel syndrome affects the hands, wrists, and arms, and can result in ongoing pain and weakness. This can be caused by frequent typing, though it can also be caused by frequent use of certain tools (like screwdrivers, drills, etc).
Other common repetitive trauma injuries include injuries to the legs, back, neck, arms, shoulders, and more. It all depends on the type of work you’re doing and which part of your body is being overused. If you do not seek treatment for repetitive motion injuries, they can become permanently disabling.
Be Aware of the Statute of Limitations on Workers’ Compensation Claims
The statute of limitations on workers’ compensation claims in South Carolina is two years from the date of the injury – or the date that you became aware of the injury. This means that you only have two years to file a claim for workers’ compensation before you forfeit your right to do so. It is essential to take prompt action and avoid running out the statute of limitations. Your best course of action is to contact a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.
Beyond this, you will need to notify your employer of the injury within 90 days of the date that you discover the injury. You will need to seek treatment and maintain adequate records. Failing to adhere to these deadlines could cost you your claim.
Contact Double Aught Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation
When you are dealing with a work related injury caused by repetitive trauma, you may be denied for workers’ compensation when you initially file. However, you should not give up on pursuing compensation for your injury. Rather, you should continue to document your medical treatment and contact a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you don’t miss deadlines or run out the statute of limitation and that you take all of the necessary steps to prove your injury and right to compensation. The skilled Greenville work injury attorneys at Double Aught Injury Lawyers have the experience and knowledge to help you to pursue your claim. Contact us today for a free consultation and guidance with your South Carolina workers’ compensation claim.