Speak to a representative at California Work Injury Law Center.
If you have a work-related injury or illness, your employer is required by law to pay for workers’ compensation benefits. You could get hurt by repeated exposures at work, such as hurting your wrist from doing the same motion over and over or losing your hearing because of constant loud noise.
A cumulative trauma disorder, also known as CT, is defined as the excessive wear and tear on tendons, muscles and sensitive nerve tissue caused by continuous use over an extended period of time. CTs can develop from improper work positioning, repetition or force. Cumulative trauma are also known as repetitive strain injuries, repetitive motion disorders (RMDs), overuse syndrome and work-related musculoskeletal disorders. CTs are injuries of the musculoskeletal system, which includes joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels. CT’s can include mental trauma as well.
What are the Risk Factors Contributing to Cumulative Trauma Injuries?
Instead of the claimant having to prove that an injury is work-related as with a specific injury, an employer has the burden of proving that the CT injury wasn’t caused or contributed to in the course of employment.
Labor Code 5412 specifies that the date of injury in cases of occupational diseases or cumulative injuries is “that date upon which the employee first suffered disability therefrom and either knew, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have known, that such disability was caused by his present or prior employment.”
Johnson 50 CCC 53 (1985) established that “an employee clearly may be held to be aware that his or her disability was caused by the employment when so advised by a physician. Generally, until he receives such medical advice, he is not chargeable with knowledge of his condition and its relation to his work…”
Pursuant to case law, an employee is not expected to know they have an injury, until a doctor informs them of an industrial injury.
If you feel that you have sustained a cumulative trauma from repetitive work duties, please contact California Work Injury Law Center.
Common cumulative trauma injuries include:
As published in independent reports from the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) & the California Workers’ Compensation Institute (CWCI)
The statute of limitations in California for a workers’ compensation claim is one year from the date of injury, which can be straight forward if you’re suffering from a specific injury. Ascertaining how much time you have to file a workers’ compensation claim can be challenging when you have cumulative trauma.
If your injuries have developed over time, the date of injury may be when a disability finally occurs, and the worker knew it was caused by work. It’s important to stress that the date of injury for cumulative trauma is not the date of exposure, but the date when the worker has knowledge of their injuries.