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Can you get Workers’ Compensation for repetitive stress injuries?

The California Workers’ Compensation program is part of a nationwide effort to balance the scales between powerful employers and injured employees. The system contains many organizations and individuals that could have an interest in the outcome of your case, including insurance companies, medical providers, your employer, attorneys and, of course, you.

People do receive benefits for repetitive stress injuries, but that does not necessarily mean you will automatically receive benefits. Your situation is unique.

Looking at the law

According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, there are two types of injuries that Workers’ Comp covers: those that come from one event in those that come from repeated exposures. An example of a single event might be a slip or fall.

Repeated exposures might include chemicals, pathogens, physical stressors or psychological stress. In the case of a repetitive stress injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, having certain job activities might make your claim significantly easier to pursue.

Thinking about employer response

Even though it is not acceptable for employers to retaliate against your Workers’ Compensation action, some still tend to fight against repetitive stress injury claims. Because of this, you might want to take strategy into account as well as the letter of the law.

If you have any question about an injury that you received at work — or an injury that your work made worse — the fact is that no source of general information is really going to help you make the best possible decision for your situation. Especially in the case of repetitive stress injury, the rules might seem counterintuitive to you at first. For most people, the best course of action is to get as specific as possible as soon as possible.

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