A significant bulk of worker’s comp cases in Missouri see injured workers facing cumulative trauma. Though the nature of this condition is rather common, it doesn’t necessarily mean the compensation process always runs smoothly.
Cumulative injuries are some of the most challenging ones to argue for in a worker’s comp case.
What Is Cumulative Trauma?
Cumulative injury is a term that refers to a medical condition that is not caused by just one event, but the result of long-term exposure to an environment or performing the same activities. They are also known as ‘repetitive stress’ injuries.
In Missouri, the worker’s comp program does recognize that these injuries can affect many workers, so if you do have a cumulative injury, you are generally eligible for compensation. However, the road could be bumpy.
What Can Go Wrong?
In a typical injury, you have one event that leads to your medical condition. This event was likely witnessed by co-workers or even your boss, and you may even gather additional evidence (such as surveillance footage) to show definitely how you got hurt.
With cumulative injuries, that doesn’t happen. There is no one, single event to speak of, since the injuries are caused over time, and the symptoms can also appear gradually. This can create some problems for injured workers when they file a claim, as their compensation process can be delayed quite a bit as the insurance company investigates.
What’s worse, if you do not provide sufficient evidence to your claim, the insurance company may even deny it.
What Are Your Options?
Cumulative injuries are almost always hard to prove, but not impossible. Like all worker’s comp cases, your success here depends on how much evidence you manage to gather, and how well you can argue in your favor.
If you are in this situation, you should consider hiring a St. Louis worker’s compensation attorney to help you build a case, and win. A lawyer knows those small details that really count in a cumulative trauma case, and can even get in touch with medical experts who can help establish a clear link between your job and your cumulative trauma.
Additionally, a lawyer is your best bet to make sure your claim does not get denied, leaving you uncovered and faced with paying for your medical bills yourself. Even if you do have medical insurance, if the other insurance company does believe your cumulative injury is work-related, it may not cover your medical treatment.
Were You Denied Compensation?
Cumulative injuries are often difficult and complex, which means worker’s comp cases that contain them are very much the same. However, if your claim was denied, you still have a chance of winning. Reach out to an experienced St. Louis worker’s compensation lawyer for a case consultation and find out what you need to do moving forward to get compensated for cumulative trauma.
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