There are many injuries covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Unfortunately, workplace accidents occur on a regular basis and this type of insurance coverage is what ensures workers can cover their medical bills and expenses while they recover.
One type of injury that occurs often is repetitive use injuries. This is a subset of on-the-job injuries that relate to specific wear and tear on a person’s body because of job functions that must be done to perform a certain job. In fact, occupational repetitive stress injuries include over a hundred different types of illnesses and injuries that cause wear and tear on the body.
Repetitive Use Injuries and Workers’ Compensation in Florida
Repetitive use injuries are usually one of the fastest growing workplace injuries and they may occur in any time there is a mismatch between the job’s physical requirements and the human body’s physical capacity. Certain risk factors that cause RSIs (repetitive stress injuries) include heavy lifting, awkward posture, force, repetitive motion or a combination of these factors.
Florida’s Law Related to Workers’ Compensation for RSIs
In the state of Florida, an injury doesn’t have to occur because of a single traumatic event to be considered compensable under the Workers’ Compensation Act. However, there is a three-pronged test needed to determine if exposure injuries and repetitive trauma is compensable:
- Prolonged exposure: There’s no minimum temporal threshold and a period as brief as two weeks can be sufficient.
- The cumulative effect is an injury or the aggravation of any pre-existing condition.
- The worker has been exposed or subjected to a hazard that was greater than what the general public is exposed to. This is a prong that is now an alternative theory for the compensability of an injury. An injured worker only has to show a series of occurrences, with the cumulative effect being the injury. The law in Florida doesn’t require an injured worker to show that the job they were working exposed them to a hazard that was greater than what the public is exposed to.
- Back in 1992, there was a fourth prong added by the Florida Supreme Court: In order for a pre-existing condition to qualify for compensation, it has to be exacerbated by some type of non-routine physical exertion related to the job, or by some type of repeated physical trauma.
Seeking the Help of a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Florida
If you have suffered any type of repetitive stress injury due to work-related activities, you may need to hire a workers’ compensation attorney in Florida to help prove your case and help you acquire the compensation you deserve. If you need more information about workers’ compensation benefits and repetitive stress injuries, contact the attorneys at Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A. by calling 561-687-5660.