Repetitive Motion Injury (RMI) or Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI) are classified as workplace injuries recognized in federal workers’ compensation laws.
Florida state law also recognizes RMI as valid employment injury (Fl. § Chap. 440).
Pressure on the body for sustained periods, and in awkward positions, or from lifting, force, or activities requiring repetitive motion like typing on a computer keyboard, are lead causes of RMI degeneration and incapacitation related trauma.
Workers’ comp claimants seeking recovery for medical expenses and time off of work, can face challenges when filing a claim.
Eligibility for a RMI claim is determined by a three-step test. RMI claimants must show that the injury on record is the result of repetitive motion and prolonged exposure to an activity for a minimum of two weeks; or evidence that aggravation of a pre-existing condition has led to injury; and those workplace hazard(s) are classified under Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) criteria.
Florida Worker’s Comp Rules
Repetitive motion claims not normally compensable by Workers Comp may be filed in Florida.
The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that repetitive motion claims are compensable if it is proven that work tasks are demanding continuous physical exertion leading to trauma or are exposing a pre-existing injury.
Claimants must also follow workers’ comp procedure for claim filling within the statute of limitations from the exact date of injury to meet eligibility rules to claims.
Claims and Medical Record
Diagnosis of secondary chronic medical conditions as result of RMI (i.e. carpal tunnel syndrome, degenerative discs, hearing loss.
shoulder and neck injuries, tendonitis, or other painful disposition) caused from repetitive tasks, must be on record to substantiate a workers’ comp case.
Claims involving joint stiffness, muscle swelling, permanent nerve damage, and physical weakness associated with chronic pain diagnosis support a workers’ compensation case.
Claim Rejections, Medical Costs
Workers’ compensation has the option of rejecting a RMI-related claim if it is assessed that a claimant does not meet federal and state rule criteria to eligibility.
Rejections of claims can result in costly medical treatment expenses and other bills that would normally have been covered by the compensation.
A claimant can also be fired from his or her job during workers’ compensation consideration of a claim, potentially eliminating coverage of medical expenses and other costs associated with employment leave.
Employer referral of medical providers for diagnosis and treatment of RMI-related injuries is an employee’s workers’ compensation right.
Workers’ Compensation Litigation
Pain and suffering from RMI-related injuries not covered by workers’ compensation can be compensated by filing a lawsuit in court.
Injured employees seeking due recovery of medical bills and cost-of-living expenses deserve fair consideration of claim.
A licensed attorney with experience in workers’ compensation and personal injury law can assist in successfully filing a claim.
FL Legal Group is a licensed attorney practice with experience representing clients in workers’ compensation claims and personal injury litigation. Click Here or call (813) 221-9500 to contact FL Legal Group for consultation in a workers’ compensation case.
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The 2017 Florida Statutes, Title XXXI Labor, Chapter 440 Workers Compensation, http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0400-0499/0440/0440.html (last visited Apr 23, 2018).
United States Department of Labor, Occupational Health and Safety Administration, Ergonomics, https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/ergonomics/ (last visited Apr 23, 2018).
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