Can You Receive Compensation for Cumulative Trauma through Workers’ Comp in California?

Many people acknowledge that workers are entitled to recover compensation for lost wages and medical expenses for injured workers. However, few people deem cumulative trauma injuries compensable.

Suppose you gradually acquire workplace injuries. In that case, you may be eligible for coverage under your organization’s workers’ compensation insurance. Also, if you experience cumulative trauma, scheduling a confidential consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer from a reputable law firm is advisable.

What is Cumulative Trauma? 

Cumulative trauma is an injury that develops over a long period due to recurring tasks, exposure to a harmful substance, and sustained irregular or improper postures at the workplace. Cumulative trauma injuries are different from injuries suffered from a specific solo accident.

Since the injuries develop over time, most workers do not know about the situation until a physician informs them or the injury has worsened to a point where healing is a long or expensive process. Unfortunately, workers might fail to realize that they have on-the-job injuries long after they have retired or ceased working.

Common Examples of Cumulative Trauma

  • Back injuries
  • Rotator cuff tendonitis
  • Disc herniation
  • Carpal tunnel due to frequent use of specific tools or typing
  • Heart disease as a result of stress
  • Breathing issues as a result of sustained exposure to chemicals or dust

Workers’ Compensation Statute of Limitations in California

California’s workers’ compensation statute limits compensation claims to one year after the injury date. This can easily be determined if you have sustained an injury from a specific accident. However, determining the best time to file a claim can be confusing, particularly if you experience cumulative trauma.

Generally, if you develop gradual injuries, the injury date can be the day your disability due to gradual injury finally occurred. To be more specific, the date of the cumulative trauma injury is not necessarily when you got exposed but can be the day you discover you have sustained the injuries.

Actions to Take if You Discover You Have Cumulative Trauma

If you have been on the same job for years and are experiencing numbness, or pain in your body, reach out to a physician to determine whether you have cumulative trauma. With an appropriate treatment plan, your doctor can help prevent the problem from worsening.

After seeking medical treatment, you can pursue legal support from a compensation lawyer. The attorney will help you gather the evidence you need to recover compensation. A workers’ compensation lawyer can also help you to file the claim before the lapse of the statute of limitation.

Get in Touch with a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Insurance companies and employers often deny that cumulative injuries occurred due to job-related activities. At Limonjyan Law Group, we know how to establish an effective workers’ compensation claim and can help you prove that the injuries are work-related.
Contact us online or call us at (213) 277-7444 to schedule a consultation with Ruben Limonjyan, our lead workers’ compensation attorney.