Repetitive motion injuries are increasingly common in the modern workplace, impacting a significant number of workers each year. These injuries can have a profound effect on a person’s professional and personal life, often leading to pain, reduced mobility, and even the inability to work.
If you develop repetitive motion injuries due to your job, you may wonder: does Minnesota offer workers’ compensation benefits to employees with this type of damage? The answer is yes: as long as you can prove that your injury was caused, aggravated, or exacerbated by your employment, you can recover benefits to aid in your recovery.
Repetitive motion injuries, also known as overuse injuries or repetitive stress injuries, encompass a variety of conditions that develop over time due to repeated physical actions in the workplace. These conditions include, but are not limited to:
Symptoms often start as minor discomfort, such as tenderness, tingling, or numbness. They can escalate to more severe pain, loss of strength, and reduced flexibility. Initially, these symptoms may only manifest while performing specific motions or maintaining certain postures. However, without proper treatment, they can become persistent and debilitating, affecting a worker’s ability to perform their job and carry out everyday activities.
While many people associate repetitive motion injuries with jobs involving extensive computer use, such as typing or using a mouse, the reality is that a wide range of occupations are at risk. Repetitive motion injuries can arise from various job-related tasks that involve repeated micro-movements, frequent lifting, using vibrating tools, or maintaining awkward postures.
High-risk professions extend beyond office settings to include:
In Minnesota, workers’ compensation has evolved to recognize and cover repetitive motion injuries. Initially, workers’ compensation only provided benefits for immediate injuries that result from sudden impacts.
With growing awareness of repetitive strain, these injuries are now included in coverage. This recognition is crucial for workers who develop injuries gradually due to repetitive tasks or those who experience exacerbation of prior injuries due to their work activities.
Minnesota’s workers’ compensation program offers several types of benefits for those suffering from repetitive motion injuries, including medical benefits, wage-loss benefits, vocational rehabilitation, and permanent disability benefits. These benefits aim to cover necessary medical treatments, compensate for lost wages, and help workers find a new position if the injury prevents a return to their previous job.
Despite this coverage, securing workers’ compensation benefits for repetitive motion injuries can be challenging. Proving the direct connection between the workplace and the injury is often complex, requiring thorough medical documentation and sometimes expert testimony. These cases can be further complicated if the worker has pre-existing conditions or if the symptoms of the injury are intermittent.
If you find yourself in this situation, you need a Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyer on your side. An attorney can help you gather the necessary evidence and build a strong case for your right to benefits. After seeking medical attention for your injuries, schedule a free legal consultation and take your first steps toward fair compensation.