Cumulative injuries are one of the most common types of injuries in the United States. In the context of California workers’ compensation law, an injury is considered cumulative when it occurs “as repetitive mentally or physically traumatic activities extending over a period of time, the combined effect of which causes any disability or need for medical treatment.” In this way, a cumulative injury is contrasted with a single specific injury, which arises from a single incident. The peculiarity of these injuries is that it is generated over a period of time.
Because this is not a single incident, an employee may not know that he has cumulative trauma until told by a doctor. Unfortunately, this means that it can take years after an employee stops working before realizing they have a work-related injury.
An employee has one year from learning that cumulative trauma was created by work to file a workers’ compensation claim. One of the biggest challenges in cumulative injury workers’ compensation claims is proving that the job was the cause of the new condition.
Since employers ‘insurance companies often contest cumulative injuries, hiring a workers’ compensation attorney can significantly benefit an injured worker who probably doesn’t know how to handle a disputed case successfully.
For you to be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, your attorney will have to prove that your injury happened because of your work. This can be done through the evidence found in the injured worker’s medical records generated after treating the injury. In addition, a formal job description and understanding of the environment the injured worker was exposed to can also be essential tools that can be used to prove a cumulative injury claim.
If you have suffered a cumulative injury due to your work activities or environment, our team at Grupo Via Dorada can help. We have many years of experience handling all the different types of workers’ compensation cases in California, and we know how to fight and win for you.