Understanding Overuse Injuries at Work
One of the most common types of personal injury cases revolves around overuse. Continuously moving parts of your body in the same way can actually become dangerous for your body, leading to injuries that can have lasting implications.
If you suspect that you have an overuse injury, you have legal options. Read on to learn more about the choices ahead of you and identifying these issues in the meantime.
How Do Overuse Injuries Happen?
Overuse injuries are typically related to repeated movements. While many people consider overuse injuries to be linked to sports and athletics, you can actually endure one of these injuries by performing the normal tasks associated with your job. Whether you work in an office or on the football field, you can find yourself dealing with overuse injuries.
Typing is a common overuse injury. People who type a lot at work can come down with issues like carpal tunnel that severely impact their ability to continue working. Even working on a factory assembly line can lead to an overuse injury. Placing items on or off an assembly line can lead to severe issues that impact your ability to move in similar ways.
You should also note that overuse injuries can be exacerbated by an inefficient work station. For example, the work station could be situated too high or too low, or the tools you are required to use are not ergonomic. Some workplaces strive to make ergonomic changes for this reason.
What Are the Symptoms of Overuse Injuries?
Pain is one of the first signs of an overuse injury, sometimes leading to weaker muscles. Swelling and numbing of the affected area can also develop over time, leading to incredible discomfort when you try to repeat those movements again.
Many people believe they can work through the symptoms, but in reality, this may only exacerbate the symptoms. You can worsen your symptoms by ignoring that you are injured, which can be difficult to manage when you have a job you love.
What Should You Do If You Have an Overuse Injury?
At the first signs of an overuse injury, you should consult with a doctor for a diagnosis of your concerns. Your doctor will provide you with a treatment plan, which could involve medication, taking time off work, or even surgery.
You must also file an injury report with your employer. While these injuries often do take time to really set in, you need to report symptoms as they increase over time. Otherwise, the court may not have any evidence that the symptoms or your condition are related to work.
In the meantime, make sure to document your progress and any potential changes. Take picture or videos of symptoms when they emerge, and make sure you log the pain and numbness you experience regularly.
What Legal Options Do You Have?
First, some people consider filing for workers’ comp. The problem is that these issues are difficult to diagnose because they may not show up on an X-ray, for instance. Workers’ comp may not cover the injury if you cannot provide enough data about the injury.
Keep in mind that you may need to act quickly. Iowa’s statute of limitations for injuries is two years. Speak with your attorney now to figure out the best time to pursue legal action.
While it is not possible to determine exactly how much you can receive from a personal injury lawsuit before actually following through, you have several types of fees you can sue for.
Galligan Law understands the impact of overuse injuries in the workplace. Call our office today to consult with an attorney about a personal injury case for overuse.