Injuries from Repetitive Use
There are two ways that workers get injured. The first is from a specific accident. Lawyers call these traumatic injuries. The second, and far more common injury, is from repetitive exposure or use. Exposure to noise over a period of time causes hearing loss. Repetitive lifting can contribute to back problems. Exposure to chemicals can cause sensitivity or diseases of various kinds.
Not only are repetitive use injuries more common, they also require a lower standard of proof than traumatic injuries. Under Wisconsin law, if your work is just one of the factors contributing to your injury or condition, the whole problem must be paid as work-related.
There are many kinds of repetitive injuries. If you have a back problem and you do physical labor, that back problem may be work-related. If you have breathing problems and are exposed to coolants or other chemicals at work, your breathing problems may be work-related. If you are on your knees regularly at work and develop knee problems, they could be work-related. The same goes for hip problems and shoulder problems. And, of course, if you are exposed to noise at work and have hearing problems, that is likely work-related.
At Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf, we regularly pursue repetitive use injuries on behalf of workers. If you feel that you have a repetitive use injury, here are some things you can do:
1. Call us. We do not charge any fees unless we get you some money. So, if you think you have a repetitive use injury to your back or knees or hips or shoulders, or if you think you have developed lung problems or other disease problems because of exposure to something at work, call us at 414-257-2667 and talk to one of our lawyers. We will review the facts with you, and, if we think we can help, we will let you know and take steps to establish your case.
2. Talk to your doctor. Let your doctor know that your work is contributing to your health problem. Let the doctor know what you do and how you think it is affecting you. Make sure you tell your doctor exactly what it is at work that is contributing to your problem.
3. Report the condition to your employer. Make sure that your employer knows what your health problem is and why you think your work is contributing to it.
4. DO NOT QUIT. Your back or hip or knee or other health problem may be aggravated by continuing your job. However, if you voluntarily quit, you may be severely limited in the claims that you can make. You should, of course, follow your doctor’s advice. If the doctor tells you to stop working, you should do that. Never simply voluntarily quit.
We, the lawyers at Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf, have represented only injured workers throughout Wisconsin for many years, and we want to help you get what you deserve under the law. If you have a repetitive use injury, call us today at 414-257-2667. You will talk to one of our lawyers, and we will tell you, free of charge, exactly what your rights are. You have the right to know, and you have the need to know.
Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf. 414-257-2667. We are the injured worker’s law firm.