YOUR RIGHTS TO CARE AND BENEFITS ARE IMPORTANT.
We understand traumatic, sudden, or immediately occurring accidents are not the only type of workers’ compensation injuries that are recognized by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. All kinds of injuries are painful, may take you out of work, and can be very scary. Work-related injuries can happen under a variety of circumstances. If you injure yourself on the job, you have rights to medical care and income benefits if your injury arose out of and was in the course of your employment.
In many cases, work-related injuries occur over time and are known as “cumulative trauma disorders, occupational overuse syndrome or repetitive motion injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) adopted regulations for occupational risk factors of repetitive force, posture and tasks which may be persuasive to medical providers and the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
Our team can answer your questions and help you find the appropriate medical care for common repetitive motion injuries that occur on the job.
Common repetitive motion injuries
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The most well-known repetitive motion injury is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). This condition occurs when the median nerve is compressed at the wrist level, causing pain, numbness, and muscle weakness in the hands. CTS is common in factory, assembly, construction, and office/clerical workers. However, CTS has been traced to using vibrating construction tools and jack-hammers. Common symptoms include waking up at night with tingling or numbness and general weakness in the hands. Most treatment plans include corticosteroid injections, medication, and surgery.
Gunyon Syndrome is a common diagnosis of workers complaining of hand and wrist pain that causes weakness, pain, numbness, and tingling in the ring finger and pinky finger. Entrapment of the ulnar nerve on the inside portion of the wrist causes Gunyon Syndrome.
Tennis Elbow & Golfer’s Elbow
Another common repetitive work injury is epicondylitis. With this diagnosis, the tendons around the elbow become inflamed, causing significant pain and loss of use. Medial epicondylitis is also known as "golfer’s elbow", while lateral epicondylitis is regarded as "tennis elbow". With a "golfer’s elbow", you have overused the flexor muscles. If you have a "tennis elbow", you have injured your extensor muscles. There is little debate that both of these conditions are caused by repetitive use of wrist extensors or continual strenuous gripping.
Rotator Cuff Syndrome
Employees who have jobs where repetitive overhead reaching is required may develop "rotator cuff syndrome". This condition affects the shoulder region causing immobility, weakness, and pain. The rotator cuff consists of a collection of tendons that support the shoulders, and the tearing of these tendons cause a significant amount of discomfort and loss of range of motion. It is often difficult, if not impossible, to lift the arm over a 90-degree angle. Employees in the factory, retail, restaurant, and manufacturing sectors commonly develop this injury. Steroid injections, therapy, pharmacology, and surgery are standard methods to treat the repetitive shoulder condition.
Get Proper Diagnosis & Care
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms from work-related injuries, you should consult an extremity orthopedic specialist. Diagnostic films, studies, and scans will be used for diagnosis. With carpal tunnel syndrome, electromyography (EMG) will be used to determine any nerve latency. With rotator cuff syndrome, a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan will be used. In addition to these diagnostic tools, the doctor may perform clinical evaluations such as Tinel’s sign testing to detect evidence of irritated nerves.
Anyone who has had these repetitive injuries can attest that they are very painful and can significantly impact the ability to return to work and carry out the normal daily activities of life. These repetitive motion injuries are serious, should not be taken lightly, and require treatment.
Ramos & Law has represented many repetitive motion injury cases and can help you find the proper treatment, care, and compensation results. Contact us for a free consultation.
These case studies are not meant to promise or guarantee a certain or similar result, but rather to demonstrate the legal attention and work ethic our attorneys assert in our cases. Every case is different and is fact sensitive. Certain facts can greatly influence and determine a client’s award, outcome, and recovery.
An employee worked for a manufacturer of outdoor power products in Middle Georgia. His job required him to pull pallets of material across the work area. As a result, he experienced a back strain. The manufacturer denied the claim and contested his need for medical care. Ramos & Law was able to secure helpful diagnostic scans and meaningful medical care for the injured worker. After a few months of litigation, the parties reached a settlement of $65,000 with a complete resolution of all outstanding medical bills.
An employee was stocking heavy merchandise for a large retailer in Columbus, Georgia. During the course of her job duties, a stocking cart of the merchandise fell on her right foot and great toe. The national retailer directed her to its company doctors but she received very little relief. The attorneys at Ramos & Law were able to navigate her medical care to more qualified doctors where she received a better overall results. As she reached maximum medical improvement, the large retailer settled the claim for over $100,000 and paid for all of her past medical treatment.
Failed Back Syndrome
An employee was working part-time for a large automotive parts store. The employee fell off a ladder injuring his teeth, neck, ribs, and low back. After exhausting conservative medical care, physical therapy, injection regimens, and medication, it became clear that this injured employee required the need for spinal surgery. While the insurance company fought the surgery, Ramos & Law was able to force the insurance company into paying for the surgery and associated therapies including the implant of a spinal cord stimulator. Given the severity of the injury, Ramos & Law was able to refer the client to a federal disability benefit specialist who assisted him in securing Social Security. This part-time employee settled his case for $185,000 plus almost $300,000 in future medical care.
Low Back Herniations
A pediatric physician injured his back while assisting a child off an examining room table. As a result, the physician herniated several discs in his spine which also triggered depressive mental episodes. While the insurance company denied medical coverage for his numerous symptoms, Ramos & Law was able to secure quality medical care for the employee including orthopedic care, psychiatric treatment, a spinal cord stimulator, and physical therapy. Additionally, the employee received on-going income benefits at the maximum workers' compensation rate. At the end of the case, the matter settled for a figure close to $250,000 in addition to payment of previous medical bills.
An employee at a beverage maker in Atlanta was stocking heavy cases of merchandise when she felt severe neck and shoulder pain. It was revealed that she suffered a torn rotator cuff. While the beverage maker initially denied her medical care, Ramos & Law was able to convince the employer to approve her treatment plan and accept the case. After months attempting to return to work, it was clear that the employer was not able to accommodate her medical limitations. As a result, the case settled for $115,000, along with all her medical bills being paid.
A part-time grocery employee fell into a tub of “degreaser” that caused severe third degree burns over his torso and buttocks region. The employee required immediate medical care and several weeks in the intensive care unit within the local burn center. The costs of the care reached in the millions of dollars. While the grocery store denied liability for the accident, the attorneys at Ramos & Law were able to secure a settlement of $250,000 in addition to the employer’s acknowledgment to pay for all past medical bills.