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The Risks of Overexertion and Overuse Work Injuries

  • Published: September 2, 2021

Some occupations are more physically demanding than others. It is not uncommon for firefighters, construction workers, or warehouse employees to overexert themselves while carrying out their jobs. Overexertion can result in serious injury to an employee. California employers must provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage for work-related injuries to employees. Does that coverage include overexertion or overuse injuries?

What Is Overexertion or Overuse?

Overexertion or overuse occurs when you push yourself to the point of pain, inflammation, or injury. Overexertion or overuse can result from repetitive movements over long periods. For example, overexertion or overuse can be caused by lifting or carrying a heavy object, performing physical labor in extreme conditions, or laboring at a task for too long.

There are several consequences of overexertion or overuse. Such consequences include:

  • Muscle or ligament sprains, strains, and tears
  • Tendinitis/tendonitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Dehydration
  • Joint dislocations
  • Torn meniscus
  • Herniated discs
  • Stress fractures

Many jobs can cause overexertion or overuse. If your work-related injury is due to overexertion or overuse, that injury should be covered by workers’ compensation in California.

How Workers’ Compensation Works in California

California is a no-fault workers’ compensation state. California requires all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover work-related injuries to employees. In return, employees cannot sue their employers for a work-related injury. Employees do not have to prove the employer was at fault, but they must verify that the injury was work-related.

Employees are entitled to many benefits under workers’ compensation. The benefits you receive will depend on the nature and extent of your injury. Benefits under workers’ compensation can include:

  • Medical treatment: Injured workers may be reimbursed for all necessary and reasonable medical care.
  • Wage replacement:  If you cannot return to the job, workers’ comp pays a portion of your weekly wage for each week you are disabiled. There is a specific limit set by the state for this amount.
  • Permanent partial disability: If your injury leads to a permanent loss of function, requiring performance of a lighter duty, workers’ comp pays a cash benefit to compensate for some of your lost income.
  • Permanent total disability: An estimate of your lifetime career will determine your compensation if you become totally disabled permanently.

While an employee that experiences a work-related injury is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, employers and their insurance companies do not automatically distribute those benefits. You are required to notify your employer and insurance company of the injury and file a workers’ compensation claim. The insurance company reviews the claim and determines if there is any reason to deny the claim.

Reasons a Worker’s Compensation Claim Could Be Denied

While workers’ compensation sounds like a simple system, filing a claim can be challenging. If you do not follow proper filing procedures or miss something in the filing, you may be denied coverage. Additionally, an employer or insurance company can deny your claim for any of the following reasons:

  • You did not prove that the injury occurred during the course and scope of your employment.
  • Your work did not directly cause your injury.
  • You did not notify your employer or the insurance company within 30 days of your injury.
  • There are no witnesses to support your injury claim.
  • There are discrepancies between your workers’ compensation report and the medical record.
  • A pre-existing condition caused your injury.
  • Your injury was due to you not following workplace safety rules.
  • Your injury was due to the use of illegal drugs or alcohol.

Do not let this happen to you. Contact an experienced attorney who knows how to handle workers’ compensation matters.

When to Talk to an Attorney About an Overuse Injury

Most workers’ compensation cases will require the assistance of an attorney at some point to ensure maximum benefits. When accidents happen, and employers and insurers face large payouts for workers’ compensation, they may resort to the following tactics to reduce their liability:

  • Challenge your claim: Employers and their insurance companies might seek to reduce their liability and the money they must pay by finding ways to get the claim thrown out or reduced.
  • Neglect to advise you of all benefits available to you: Employers and their insurance companies are not always upfront with you about all the benefits you can take. Other sources, such as a third party, might be liable to pay compensation for your injury.

Under California laws governing workers’ compensation, the amount of benefits under workers’ compensation might be capped or limited by several factors. It would be wise to hire an attorney to help you with your workers’ compensation claim. Experience interpreting the law and following it to the letter is essential to receive benefits. 

Talk to a Workers’ Compensation Attorney at KCNS Law Group Today

KCNS Law Group is an award-winning Southern California law firm specializing in workers’ compensation. Attorney and Practice Magazine awarded one of their attorneys the 2021 Top 10 Workers’ Compensation Attorney Award. When you need help getting the maximum amount of benefits, look no further than KCNS Law Group.

The attorneys at KCNS Law Group are well-versed in the laws and filing rules controlling workers’ compensation claims in California, and our track record of success speaks for itself. 

KCNS Law Group specializes in representing clients in the areas of workers’ compensation and personal injury. Our legal team has forty years of combined experience, and we possess the knowledge and expertise to advocate for your rights. We represent clients in Alhambra, Burbank, Glendale, Monterey Park, Pasadena, and South Pasadena.

If you have been injured on the job in Southern California, you should seek medical care and notify your employer immediately. If you experience a problem with your workers’ compensation claim, contact the experienced attorneys at KCNS Law Group for a free consultation by calling (877) 513-9007 or visit us online.

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