Can You Receive Compensation for Cumulative Trauma through Workers’ Comp in California?

Can You Receive Compensation for Cumulative Trauma through Workers’ Comp in California?

Many individuals understand that all U.S. states’ workers’ compensation systems cover medical expenses and some lost wages for workers who have been injured on the job in a single accident. However, not many know that in a minority of states, including California, workers’ comp also considers cumulative trauma as a result of injuries to be compensable. If you have developed injuries over time as a result of your job, you may be eligible to qualify for coverage under your employer’s workers’ comp insurance.

What Is Cumulative Trauma?

Cumulative trauma refers to an injury that has developed over time due to repetitive use or exposure while at work, which contrasts with specific injuries that have occurred as a result of one single accident. Since the injuries are formed over time, many workers don’t know they have cumulative trauma until they’re told by a physician, meaning that it’s possible for workers to not realize their injuries are work-related until years after they’ve stopped working.

Common cumulative trauma injuries include:

  • Wrist carpal tunnel, which many employees can develop from frequent typing or the use of certain tools
  • Elbow cubital tunnel
  • Back and neck disc herniation
  • Heart disease from stress
  • Lung and breathing issues from continued exposure to dust or chemicals

Navigating the Statute of Limitations

Knowing how much time you have to file a workers’ compensation claim can be challenging when you have cumulative trauma. The statute of limitations in California for a claim is one year from the date of injury, which can be relatively simple to determine if you’re suffering from a single accident. However, 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 becomes aware of their injuries.

What If I’m No Longer Working?

Even if injured workers are no longer working or retired, they are still eligible to file a claim for workers’ compensation in California if they’re able to prove their cumulative trauma was caused by work.

What to Do If You Suspect You Have Cumulative Trauma

If you’re beginning to show signs of injury and you believe it to be cumulative trauma, it’s important that you seek medical attention immediately. A physician can run tests, diagnose your condition and help you determine the cause. You can also use your doctor’s report as evidence when filing your claim. After you’ve been treated, seek legal counsel from a dedicated workers’ compensation attorney, like ours at Leigh Law Firm.

Our attorney has handled countless workers’ compensation claims and knows what you need to have it approved. Because the statute of limitations is limited, it’s crucial that you act quickly.

Well-Versed on California Laws

When you fall victim to injuries after a workplace accident, you may be wondering where to start in filing a workers’ compensation claim, how you can prove your injuries are work-related, and what benefits can cover. You can trust our workers’ compensation attorney, who has years of experience helping injured individuals recover and thoroughly understands California’s workers’ comp system. At Leigh Law Firm, we fight for our clients’ rights to the compensation they deserve. No case is too simple or daunting for us to take on – we use our resources and skills because we want to give you a better future.

When you’ve been injured due to negligence at work, you deserve to be taken care of by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Whether you need assistance filing a claim or making an appeal, you can contact Leigh Law Firm online or by phone at (619) 473-7569 for a free consultation. Our team puts our clients’ well-being first in all we do.

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