Repetitive activities at work can damage joints and lead to knee, wrist (carpal tunnel), back and neck problems.
Exposure to noise in the workplace, over time, can cause hearing loss and, in some cases, even deafness.
Repetitive (cumulative) trauma injuries such as these are covered under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), even if work activities or conditions have only aggravated a pre-existing problem.
Proper medical evaluation and treatment are essential to obtain the compensation you deserve.
To receive compensation you must take action. Proper medical evaluation is essential to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Under the LHWCA, a covered worker who suffers an injury that arises out of employment, and occurs in the course of employment, is entitled to benefits, which consist of medical care and compensation for disability.
A common misunderstanding by workers is that they must have had a single, specific accident causing an injury in order to be entitled to benefits. For example, a fall, something dropped on a foot, a vehicular accident at a terminal, or bending over to pick up something an feeling an immediate pain in the back. These are all examples of injuries, but they are not the only type recognized by the LHWCA.
The LHWCA also recognizes what are called continuous trauma injuries, also known as repetitive trauma and cumulative trauma injuries. These are injuries that arise from repetitive activities at work over time, without to a specific incident or accident
For example, someone who is continuously required to lift things at work begins experiencing back pain, and then wakes up one morning after working the day before with pain so great they just can’t go to work. Or, someone who experiences knee pain from walking, climbing, driving and other activities at work, and then is told by their doctor they need a knee replacement. These are examples of continuous trauma injuries.
Hearing loss is also another type of continuous trauma injury.
You should also be aware that even if the initial cause of an injury was such as a car accident or other non work-related cause, if your work activity worsens your injury, you should be entitled to benefits under the Longshore Act.
That is, continuous work trauma does not have to be the sole cause of your injury in order for you to be covered by the LHWCA.
Contact the Longshore Injury Hotline
At the Longshore Injury Hotline, we provide free consultations and are happy to answer any questions you have about your rights under the Longshore Act. Please call us today toll-free at 888-Longies (888-566-4437), or complete our confidential form and we will follow up with you directly.