4701 Oleander Drive, Suite A
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Repetitive motion injuries are common on-the-job injuries that are covered by workers’ comp insurance in South Carolina.
In most cases, workers’ comp coverage is limited to 1) injuries caused by an accident 2) while on the job, and accident implies a single traumatic event. Repetitive motion injuries are included, even though they are caused by a series of traumatic events instead of a single accident.
In this article, we will look at repetitive motion injuries and SC workers’ comp laws, including:
Repetitive motion injuries are caused by repeated motions over time. Any job duty that requires a repeated task with the same body part – arm, leg, wrist, finger, or foot, it doesn’t matter – can result in a repetitive motion injury.
Any repetitive movements of a body part, pushing, pulling, carrying, lifting, using vibrating tools, or repeatedly placing pressure on one body part can result in a repetitive motion injury over time.
Some of the more common types of repetitive motion injuries that happen in the workplace include:
To get workers’ compensation coverage for a repetitive motion injury, you will need to prove through medical evidence that the injury was caused by your job duties – this is why it is critical that you seek medical attention as soon as you recognize the signs of a repetitive motion injury and document 1) the fact that you are injured, 2) the effect of the injury on your everyday life and your ability to perform your job duties, and 3) that the injury was caused by your job duties.
Another reason to immediately seek medical attention when you recognize the signs and symptoms of a repetitive motion injury is that these injuries can result in permanent damage if they are not treated.
If your job requires you to make repeated movements, try to vary the body parts used and take appropriate breaks from the movement to prevent repetitive motion injuries, and be on the lookout for symptoms like pain, tingling, numbness, redness, swelling, stiffness, or weakness in the affected body parts.
In most cases, “accident,” for purposes of SC workers’ compensation coverage, means a single, traumatic event like falling from a roof or crashing a forklift. It does not mean a series of events.
SC Code § 42-1-160(F) provides an exception for repetitive motion injuries, however, and says that “accident” can mean “a series of events in employment, of a similar or like nature, occurring regularly, continuously, or at frequent intervals in the course of such employment, over extended periods of time,” when it results in a “compensable repetitive trauma pursuant to Section 42-1-172 or an occupational disease…”
SC Code § 42-1-172 defines “repetitive trauma” as “an injury which is gradual in onset and caused by the cumulative effects of repetitive traumatic events,” and provides for workers’ comp coverage when the injury is connected to the employee’s job duties by medical evidence.
If you have an on-the-job repetitive motion injury in SC, the Myrtle Beach Workers’ Compensation attorneys at Axelrod and Associates can help you to determine whether your injuries meet the definition of “injury” and “accident” under SC’s workers’ compensation laws, file your claim, gather and present your medical evidence to the Workers’ Compensation Commission, and file any necessary appeals.
The fields marked with * are mandatory.