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Can Colorado Workers’ Comp Be Granted for a Repetitive Stress Injury?

Posted on in Workplace Injury

Larimer County workers compensation attorney repetitive stress injury

When you think of a work-related injury, the situations that first come to mind are likely immediate injuries resulting from a one-time accident such as a fall, a fire, or an incident involving machinery or equipment. Certainly, these types of injuries are covered under Colorado workers’ compensation law, but they are not the only injuries for which an employee may be granted benefits. Colorado workers can also file a claim if they have developed a repetitive stress injury through the course of their work.

What Is a Repetitive Stress Injury?

Commonly abbreviated as RSI, repetitive stress or repetitive strain injury is one that accumulates over an extended period of time due to the repetition of similar physical movements. RSIs are common in occupations that involve physical exertion, such as in the construction and manufacturing industries, as well as occupations that require the employee to maintain a posture for a long period of time, such as a truck driver or even an office worker. Examples of repetitive stress injuries include:

  • Tendonitis - Inflammation of the tendons in the elbow and rotator cuff are common among employees who perform repetitive arm motions.

  • Joint inflammation - Bursitis and other joint conditions can develop in the knees, elbows, hips, shoulders, and other body parts commonly used in an employee’s work.

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome - This condition involving a compressed nerve in the wrist may develop in employees who frequently type at a keyboard, or who use handheld power tools that constantly vibrate.

  • Lower back pain - Back pain can develop due to repeated heavy lifting, or long periods of sitting without proper back support.

Another similar situation is an injury due to repetitive exposure to a hazard. For example, working in an environment with poor air quality can lead to the development of lung disease, and an environment with loud noises or bright flashes of light can cause sensory impairment.

Colorado Workers’ Compensation Claims Involving RSIs

As with an immediate injury, an injury due to repetitive stress or exposure can result in significant medical expenses and short- or long-term limitations on an employee’s work abilities. 

Employees who develop an RSI due to their work have the ability to file a workers’ compensation claim with their employer, and they may be able to receive benefits for their medical care and temporary or permanent disability.

However, these cases often come with complications. For example, Colorado law requires an injured worker to notify their employer within four days of an injury. In the case of an RSI, it is important to tell your employer as soon as possible after you become aware of your condition since there is not necessarily a single date when the injury happened. Additionally, a claim for an RSI may require more substantial evidence to demonstrate to your employer that the injury is work-related and not due to some other cause.

Contact a Fort Collins Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you are seeking workers’ compensation benefits for a repetitive stress injury, the diligent Larimer County workers’ comp lawyers at Hoggatt Injury Law can assist with your claim or represent you in your appeal. Contact us today to request a free consultation at 970-225-2190 and learn more.






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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

970-225-2190 | 1-800-664-3151

123 North College Avenue, Suite 160,
Fort Collins, CO 80524

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Greeley, Colorado 80634 |
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Longmont, Colorado 80501 |
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