How Do You Prove Cumulative Trauma?
Workers' compensation claims focus on injuries resulting from accidents on the job. However, employee accidents don't usually result from a single event. Injuries may result from repetitive motion or strain on the muscles, bones, or organs. These are known as cumulative trauma injuries.
Cumulative trauma injuries are valid when resulting from an accident, as you can get compensation. Proving its link to your work is complicated. Occupational accidents are easy to point out as the causes of injuries to the employer and insurance company.
However, cumulative trauma can't be traced to a single event. The employer may use this to discredit your compensation claims. You must understand how to prove the connection between cumulative trauma and your work to build a strong case and receive compensation. Also, understand what PDA in workers compensation is.
Types of Cumulative Trauma Injuries
Various injuries of this kind result from cumulative strain on your body parts. These injuries may result from straining or pulling the muscles or tendons. Cumulative injuries are excruciating and cause mobility problems.
Cumulative trauma injuries you may get at work include:
Carpal tunnel syndrome
If your job requires exposure to toxins or chemicals over time, there's a risk of developing medical problems after some time. A working environment exposed to loud noise encourages hearing problems. Regular exposure to stress encourages anxiety and depression.
How To Prove Cumulative Trauma
It's a bit challenging to connect cumulative trauma to your work so you can claim compensation. However, here are some ideas you can consider or even contact workman's compensation lawyers in Des Moines for more information.
Medical Insights From the Worker’s Compensation Plan Doctor
After an accident at work, employees usually receive medical treatment from a doctor working with the workers' compensation plan. The doctor is usually familiar with work-related injuries and may offer suggestions on how cumulative trauma may have happened.
You must describe your working conditions to the doctor for him to determine how your role contributed to the injury. The doctor's insight linking the trauma to your work is very useful to prove to the workers' compensation insurance company that you deserve compensation.
Testimonies From Colleagues and Witnesses
You can use colleagues and witnesses to prove cumulative trauma. If you have repeatedly suffered injuries at work while your colleagues or witnesses are around, these can prove your claim for compensation. You can get them to prove to the workers' compensation insurance company that you have been subjected to that particular injury multiple times.
Safety Guidelines at Work
Companies have safety guidelines at work. However, these guidelines may not effectively protect workers from workplace injuries. You can use these to claim compensation for cumulative trauma injury. Evidence that you followed these guidelines every day at work but developed cumulative injuries is very important to prove your case.
The daily checklist for following safety guidelines at work and that you always wore personal protective equipment is enough proof that you followed the company's policy to be safe, but it could have been more effective.
Evidence of Attending Safety Training at Work
Companies usually hold safety training workshops to ensure workers aren’t injured. If you have regularly attended these safety pieces of training but ended up developing cumulative trauma, you can use evidence of attending these to get compensation.
If the training was meant to limit injuries at work, but you ended up falling victim, then the employer's inadequate safety training contributed to your cumulative injuries.
Keep This in Mind
What you post on social media may work against you when claiming compensation for cumulative trauma. The information you share on Facebook or Twitter may be used against you to invalidate your workers' compensation claim.
Companies handling workers' compensation insurance always look for anything that may invalidate claims by employees from claiming compensation. These may pick proof of an injury from a non-work related activity not covered by the worker's compensation plan to invalidate your claim. Also, learn about the 52 week rule compensation if you're interested.
When looking for a local worker's compensation attorney in Des Moines, Iowa, consider Tom Fowler Law. You will get an experienced attorney to help file your cumulative trauma claim with evidence from the compensation plan doctor, colleagues, or witnesses. This will prove to the insurance company that you undoubtedly got the injury while on the job and are entitled to compensation.