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Repetitive Trauma and Illinois Workers' Compensation

We are Illinois attorneys who have helped tens of thousands of injured workers. For a free consultation, call us at 800-517-1614 or fill out our contact form and we will call you.

In Illinois, the most straightforward workers’ compensation cases involve injuries where a specific time and place of the incident can be identified. If you fall off a ladder and shatter your ankle, there really can’t be a legitimate dispute as to how you got hurt.

The reality is that most Illinois work injuries are not that obvious. It’s common for workers experience soreness that develops over time or wake up one day with significant pain. These types of injuries are known as wear and tear or repetitive trauma injuries.

What are Repetitive Trauma Injuries?

These problems happen due to the typical use of your body during work activities. Essentially, the repetitive actions required by your job lead to your body breaking down over time, resulting in an injury. There won’t be one moment that you can point to where you got hurt. Rather the description of your job shows it happened. It could be doing the same thing for years or a short period of time where you did a lot of the same movements.

Common Symptoms and Causes

The most common symptom of a wear and tear injury is persistent pain. This pain may improve temporarily with medication but often worsens gradually. In some cases, you might suddenly experience severe pain one day. Each case is unique.

While wear and tear injuries can occur in almost any profession, they are more common in certain jobs, such as:

  • Health Care:  Repeated movements and frequent lifting of patients lead to injuries. We have helped thousands of RN’s, CNA’s, home health professionals, etc.
  • Warehouse Workers:  Heavy lifting often results in back and shoulder issues. This is a huge problem at places like Amazon.
  • Machine Operators:  Continuous squatting, bending, and lifting contribute to injuries. And of course they lift a lot too.
  • Construction Workers:  Not only upper body injuries but also foot and ankle injuries from uneven surfaces.
  • Movers:  Regularly carrying heavy items like couches and dressers can cause injuries.
  • Carpenters:  Overhead work frequently leads to shoulder injuries.
  • Deli Workers:  Repetitive motions with slicers cause elbow injuries. It’s a big problem for Jewel employees and other grocery store workers.
  • Data Entry Workers:  Constant typing often results in carpal tunnel syndrome. Same for secretaries, admins and others who type all day.

Steps to Take If You Suspect a Wear and Tear Injury

If you start experiencing significant pain, go to the doctor. It would be smart to get a referral to an orthopedic doctor as they deal with these injuries every day. Make sure to give them a detailed description of your job duties. We can discuss with you what to say and how to say it. Also make sure to inform your employer that you believe your repetitive job activities have caused an injury. It’s crucial to report this as soon as you suspect your injury is work-related.

Overcoming Denial of Claims

Wear and tear injury cases are often denied by workers’ compensation insurance companies. Don’t get frustrated. You only need to show that your job played a role in developing this condition to get awarded benefits. We can connect you with an attorney who has a track record of winning these cases. We cover all of Illinois and have been helping injured workers since 2001. Call us any time for a free, confidential and no commitment consultation.  We can’t promise you a result, but do promise to treat you like a family member or friend.