Workers sustain overexertion injuries when they lift and carry heavy objects, push and pull heavy loads, assume awkward postures and hyperextend their arms, legs or back.
Overexertion causes about one third of all work-related injuries and is the No. 1 nonfatal cause of lost workdays. Overexertion injuries cause damage to muscles, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissue.
If you have suffered a sprain, strain, tear or similar soft-tissue injury and are unable to work, the attorneys at Calhoon & Kaminsky P.C. can help you claim all the workers’ compensation benefits provided by Pennsylvania law. Our Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorneys have recovered more than $221 million for injured workers like you. We have been fighting for decades to uphold the rights of hardworking residents of the Harrisburg, PA, area.]
Contact Calhoon & Kaminsky P.C. in Harrisburg today to discuss your legal options after a work-related injury so you can make well-informed choices. We are committed to doing all we can to help Pennsylvania workers seek the full benefits they deserve. Our compassionate legal team offers trusted guidance and is ready to answer all your questions about your workers’ compensation claim.
Call us at 877-291-9675 or reach out online to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Harrisburg workers’ comp lawyers.
Is Your Work Injury Caused by Overexertion?
You might suffer a stress or strain injury from overexertion while performing a single task or because of cumulative trauma from a strenuous repetitive daily work task.
Even a sedentary job can cause overexertion that leads to back pain. Workers sometimes sustain overexertion injuries if they are asked to perform jobs they are not properly trained to do or are not physically capable of doing without undue physical stress and strain.
You may be overexerting yourself and risking injury if you are experiencing:
- Sharp pain or throbbing in certain parts of the body
- Sore muscles or joints
- Muscle cramps
- Rapid breathing or losing your breath
Common Types of Overexertion Injuries Suffered on the Job
An actual overexertion injury may be diagnosed as:
- Muscle strain
- Tendon or ligament tear
- Pinched nerve
- Herniated disc (back injury)
- Meniscus tear causing knee injury
- Bursitis (shoulder injury)
- Brachioradialis pain (elbow and/or forearm injury)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome (wrist injury)
- De Quervain’s tendonitis – (wrist injury)
- Heat exhaustion / heat stroke.
An overexertion injury may include everything from posture problems and intermittent discomfort to inflammation, chronic pain and disability.
Initially, a worker may treat an overexertion injury with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine, such as high-dose aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Midol), or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) along with rest and minor physical therapy, such as ice or heat. If necessary, a doctor may prescribe a stronger anti-inflammatory medicine. If the injury is isolated, such as a shoulder tendon, a cortisone injection may help relieve pain and inflammation.
Advanced treatment may include complete rest, more advanced physical therapy, such as time in a whirlpool; or a series of cortisone injections. If non-surgical treatments do not address the injury, a last resort would be surgery, such as for a severe tendon injury, meniscus tear or serious back injury involving a disc or vertebrae.
When a worker becomes disabled because of their job duties and unable to work for seven days or longer, the worker typically qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ comp is designed to pay for all medical procedures needed to treat your injuries, from medication to surgery and rehab. Additional workers’ compensation benefits are meant to replace a portion of the wages lost while a worker is temporarily disabled and unable to work.
What to Do If You Suffer a Job-Related Overexertion Injury
There are certain steps you should take after suffering a workplace injury to initiate a proper workers’ compensation claim.
- See a doctor and obtain a diagnosis. Because many overexertion injuries develop over time, a formal medical diagnosis is crucial for establishing that you are unable to work. It is also necessary if you are to obtain proper treatment. Be sure any doctor you see knows that you have suffered an occupational injury and explain the aspects of your job that led to your condition.
- Report the injury to your employer. A worker in Pennsylvania has up to 120 days to notify his or her employer about a work-related injury. However, you should always report a workplace injury as soon as possible. Use a company form if available, but be sure to submit a written report of what happened (accident, injury and/or diagnosis) that states the date and time and a description of incident(s) and/or work duties that caused your injury.
Pennsylvania employers are required to immediately report all employee injuries to their insurer or, if self-insured, to the person responsible for managing the employer’s workers’ compensation program. Employers are also required to file a First Report of Injury with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
Within 21 days of the date that the employee provides notification of an injury:
- the employer/insurance carrier may accept liability for the injury and issue a Notice of Compensation Payable to the injured worker, or
- the employer/carrier may accept liability for the injury and issue an Agreement for Compensation to the injured worker, or
- the employer/carrier may issue a Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable to extend the investigation period to 90 days before accepting or denying full liability for the injury, and
- when the employer elects to stop paying the injured worker temporary compensation, a Notice Stopping Temporary Compensation is completed and the employer must then issue either a Notice of Workers’ Compensation Denial, Notice of Compensation Payable or Agreement for Compensation.
- the employer/carrier may deny liability and issue a Notice of Workers’ Compensation Denial to the employee and the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
When the employer/carrier denies liability and issues a Notice of Workers’ Compensation Denial to the employee, the claim is closed. The injured worker can seek legal advice to pursue a claim through the litigation system.
How a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help You
Many overexertion injuries develop over time and do not have single precipitating event, such as a slip-and-fall accident. This can make it difficult to convince an employer that you are injured and deserve compensation, particularly if you try to pursue a claim on your own.
It’s not unusual for an employer or the workers’ compensation insurance administrator to claim that an overexertion injury is not a work-related injury. Back pain, for example, is a common complaint among people as they age. Your employer might acknowledge your injury as job-related but argue that it isn’t as bad as you claim and that you should continue to report to work.
Our skilled Harrisburg workers’ compensation attorneys can help you appeal a denied claim and seek work-related injury benefits so you can focus on healing and moving on with your life. We can help you file an initial workers’ comp claim and ensure that it is as thorough as possible.
Your attorney will help you establish and submit the evidence that is necessary to fully support your claim or appeal. For example, we can help you gather medical records and expert testimony that shows the symptoms of your injuries, such as pain, numbness and loss of mobility, and proves that your work activities caused your injuries. If necessary, we can refer you to medical specialists who know the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system and what a claim requires.
If your claim is approved, you may still face the insurance company’s attempt to downgrade your disability rating, which results in a lower payment, or to get you to accept a low settlement offer. Our attorneys are experienced with workers’ comp claims and know the tricks that insurance companies use to avoid appropriate benefit payouts. We negotiate aggressively with insurers to obtain fair settlements for our clients.
Let Calhoon & Kaminsky P.C., help you file a workers’ compensation claim if you have been diagnosed with an overexertion injury and your employer is disputing your claim. If your claim has been denied, let us review your benefits application and advise you about the appropriate next steps. We can handle all the work of filing a new claim or an appeal, and we can represent you in court if that’s what is necessary to obtain justice for you.
Contact Our Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Contact the workers’ comp attorneys at Calhoon & Kaminsky, P.C., today to see how we can help you get the full compensation available by law. Call us today at 877-291-9675 or reach us online to schedule your free consultation about how we’ll fight for the benefits you qualify for after suffering a workplace overexertion injury.