Cumulative trauma injuries often occur from work activities which over a period of time result in a painful or disabling medical condition. Cumulative trauma happens gradually at work, over a period of time or during a course of repetitive action. These injuries can be considered a work-related injury, and therefore covered under CA Worker's Compensation.
Common cumulative trauma claims happen to office staff by doing repetitive typing, laborers, factory workers, and construction people from doing repetitive lifting, pushing, pulling, bending and using machinery, delivery drivers from repetitive bending stooping and lifting and more. Even psychological injuries are often the result of cumulative trauma claims when exposure to hostile work environment or stress out of the norm. Even high blood pressure, diabetes and dental problems can be the result of a cumulative trauma. One of the trickiest parts of cumulative injuries is determining the date injury occurred. The insurance company will often ask you to put down the date of reporting but that is then listed as a specific date and is likely not the actual cumulative trauma date range.
If you suspect that you have such a claim from your work activities, you should give notice to your employer immediately, explaining you have a medical condition which you believe is related to your work activities. Again, follow-up with your physician right away and describe in detail what your job duties were and how they seemed to cause or increase your symptoms. Be sure to report all the symptoms even the ones that are not the primary issue. One of the biggest factors for an injured worker to considered is what the end game looks like. If you indicate that repetitive tasks at work have injured you, the doctor will likely restrict an injured worker from those tasks. Therefore, think in advance if your employer may be able to accommodate you with restrictions or whether you are prepared to move on from that employment to other employment with less physical demands.