Going to work can seem like a tedious task that never seems to change very much. One day is much the same as the day before for many people in a variety of different occupations. And this repetition may not just be boring and predictable: it could actually be bad for your health.
As defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, repetitive stress injuries are injuries that can develop when a person performs the same function over and over. In a workplace, this could include activities like typing, working on a manufacturing line or leaning and lifting objects all day. These can be intensely painful and limiting injuries, but they aren't always considered work-related.
Whether your RSI is considered a work injury may not seem like a big deal, but if it prevents you from working and requires medical attention, making this distinction can be critical. This is because you could qualify for workers' compensation if you are able to file a successful claim.
In order to do this, you will need to show that your workplace and/or specific elements of your job contributed to or put you at a higher risk of suffering your injury.
This can be more difficult than you expect due to the nature of RSIs. They are not the type of injuries that you can immediately spot after a specific accident, and they can be exacerbated through a variety of actions. Because of these factors, it can be easy to challenge a connection between the injury and work.
This is why it can be so critical to work with an attorney who is familiar with workers' compensation regulations in North Carolina and the specific challenges RSIs present.
With a legal representative by your side, you can examine your options for building a strong claim for workers' compensation benefits. If you have already had an application denied because you did not make a strong enough connection between your repetitive stress injury and the workplace, an attorney can also help you navigate the appeals system.