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Repetitive trauma cases are almost denied by insurance companies or at least heavily investigated. That’s because unlike a specific incident such as a slip and fall or a car accident, it’s not always obvious that doing the same thing over and over caused an injury.
When it comes to typing injuries like carpal tunnel or tendonitis, insurance companies will get a doctor to say you are really hurt because you’re overweight or diabetic or pregnant or that typing doesn’t cause any injuries. Other doctors will say that you type all of the time on your phone and personal computer so there’s no way to tell how you really got hurt.
So with obstacles like these, how do you win a case?
When you do have to go to trial at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, it’s all about presenting credible and detailed evidence. What’s different between these two responses to a lawyer asking you how much do you type every day at work.
- A lot. I’d say about 90% of my day is typing.
- A lot. I’d say about 90% of my day is typing. For the last six years I’ve transcribed on average 57 letters a day, most of which are at least two pages long, averaging about 325 words. There is nothing to rest my wrists on so I have to arch them and I noticed pain while doing that which got worse over time.
The difference obviously is the amount of detail provided. A good lawyer would probably ask 7-10 questions that had you discuss the amount of work you did, the force required, the frequency, what you noticed, when you noticed it, how you felt at the end of the day compared to the beginning of the day, etc.
This doesn’t guarantee a win, but it’s what you need to do to win. Going to trial, especially in a repetitive trauma case, is about painting a picture for the Arbitrator who knows nothing about your situation. You start with a a blank canvass and then fill it in so it’s clear to them what you happened to you.
And that’s not all. You must paint the same clear picture of your job duties to your doctor so they understand what your activities were and can credibly testify as to how your job caused or contributed to your problem.
We wouldn’t expect you to figure this all out on your own. That’s why you get a good attorney in your corner and avoid the ones who only dabble in it.