Repetitive motion injuries are a common problem for workers in a wide range of industries. Factory jobs can often involve doing the same action many times a day, but so can desk jobs. Doing a simple task like using a stapler, typing on a keyboard, or answering a phone too many times in a day can lead to injury. These types of injuries usually require a long process of healing, during which the affected tissues need to be rested. In serious cases, repetitive motion injuries can jeopardize someone’s ability to continue working.
Repetitive motion injury and workers’ compensation
Nevada’s workers’ compensation system provides medical payments and other benefits for employees whose injuries arise in the course and scope of employment. To be eligible for benefits, the injured worker needs to establish that the injury’s cause was work-related. Insurers will often deny claims for injuries that they determine could have been caused by something beyond the scope of the employee’s work.
This can often be a problem for people who develop repetitive motion injuries at work. Even when an employee’s work environment lends itself to the development of this kind of injury, other causes that are unrelated to work can still contribute. For example, rheumatoid arthritis and gout are linked to repetitive motion injuries. An insurer may deny a worker’s claim if it can blame the injury on an “external” cause like this.
Repetitive motion injury and disability benefits
People who suffer from repetitive motion injuries sometimes need to take a prolonged break from their ordinary work duties. In some cases, the injury can qualify as a temporary or permanent disability under the terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). An employer cannot fire an employee solely on grounds that the employee has developed a disability or filed a workers’ compensation claim.
In many cases, an employer will offer an injured worker the option of performing light duty work until the injury has healed. Where the employer has a policy requiring injured workers to accept light duty as a condition of continued employment, the employee generally must accept. Employers adopt these policies in part to give themselves a way to terminate workers who they otherwise couldn’t, by creating conditions that force an employee to choose between an undesirable job or quitting.
Let GGRM answer your repetitive motion injury questions
For over 45 years the attorneys at the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have handled complicated workers’ compensation cases in the Las Vegas area. If you have questions about your legal options after suffering a repetitive motion injury at work, contact us for a free attorney consultation. We can be reached at 702-388-4476 or send us a request through our site.