As a medical professional you spend hours on your feet every day, and perform intricate tasks with your hands day in and day out. You may also routinely squat and stretch to reach tools and supplies, and spend hours typing inpatient data. These tasks put you at risk for repetitive stress injuries (RSI).
Repetitive stress injuries are common in the medical profession. You may assume that most job-related injuries occur on construction sites, factories, or warehouses. They do, but a significant percentage of on-the-job work injury claims involve wear and tear. When you are experiencing pain and physical limitations, you need to remember to take care of yourself while you are caring for others.
Seeking Workers’ Compensation Benefits for RSI
It is a misconception that only traumatic on-the-job injuries are eligible for workers’ comp payments. Repetitive stress injuries are often covered as well.
Common RSI injuries that are common among nurses, therapists, and other health care professionals include the following:
● Carpal tunnel syndrome
● Stenosing tenosynovitis (trigger finger)
● De Quervain’s tenosynovitis
● Degenerative conditions
● Disc abnormalities
● Rotator cuff injuries
Interesting facts about workers’ comp claims and medical professionals.
1. The “No-Fault” Nature of Workers’ Comp
In Ohio, workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system. Employees can seek benefits for all injuries sustained within the scope of their employment, regardless of the cause. So, if you’re in pain because you are a devoted employee and you love doing what you do, you are within your rights to file a claim for benefits.
2. Provide Written Notice
In order to file for workers’ comp, you need to first provide written notice of your injury to your employer. Most employers have some kind of “Accident Form” that you fill out for this exact reason, but really you can use whatever form your employer provides you, even if it’s not considered an accident-related injury.
3. See the Company Doctor
One aspect of Ohio’s workers’ compensation system is that it gives employers the right to require employees to see their “company physician.” Once you’ve provided written notice of your injury, your employer should tell you where you need to go to seek a diagnosis and treatment. This won’t necessarily be your only option, but it’s where most employees need to start.
4. Thorough Documentation
Thorough documentation is key. You will need to be able to demonstrate that your injury developed at work rather than at home. Make note of when the pain began or when you first noticed symptoms. Document when the symptoms would flare (ex: after a long shift, when lifting a patient onto a gurney). Every detail can help with your claim.
5. Preparing for the Claims Process
Your case management will involve a review of workers’ compensation coverage including wages, medical coverage, work-related medical conditions, loss of function, and injuries that may not show up until years after you have left a job.
If you have questions about eligibility or would like help filing your claim, contact us now. Your confidential consultation is completely free.
Workers compensation attorney Tom Marchese has 35 years of workers comp experience, having successfully handled thousands of litigated workers’ comp cases. It’s all we do.