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Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation for a Gradual Injury?

Posted in Uncategorized on March 7, 2022

Workplace injuries are not uncommon throughout the state of Arizona. Thankfully, most individuals are able to recover compensation for their medical bills and a significant portion of their lost wages through the state workers’ compensation system. However, what about injuries that occur over a more extended period of time, ones that have gradual symptoms that worsen as time goes on? Here, we want to discuss whether or not individuals in Arizona can receive compensation for these gradual injuries caused by the workplace.

What Would be Considered a Gradual Injury?

There are a variety of types of gradual injuries that can affect workers in Phoenix and throughout Arizona. When most people think of workplace injuries, they think of acute traumatic injuries such as lacerations, broken or dislocated bones, head injuries, sprains or strains, and other immediately visible injuries. However, workplace injuries are complex, and there are situations where the onset of symptoms may not appear until months or even years after a person starts a job.

Repetitive stress injuries are not uncommon, and they can affect workers in a variety of types of industries. Some of the most common repetitive motion injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, bursitis, and other types of joint or back injuries. Those most at risk of sustaining these types of gradual injuries include those who spend a lot of time working on computers, transportation personnel, construction workers or painters, factory workers, assembly technicians, and more.

In addition to these repetitive motion injuries, individuals in Arizona can suffer from various types of occupational diseases. These can occur in a wide variety of ways, but most often due to exposure to hazardous elements, chemicals, particulates, and other dangerous scenarios. Some of the most common occupational diseases include a range of lung illnesses, cardiovascular disease, occupational cancers, hearing and vision loss, and more.

When we examine information available from the Industrial Commission of Arizona, we can see that there is a one-year statute of limitations in place for reporting workplace injuries or illnesses. Typically, this one-year timeframe begins from the date the injury or illness occurs. However, this time frame will not start ticking until a person learns of the injury or illness. 

For example, if a person goes to the doctor because they are beginning to experience pain in their wrists or hands and a doctor diagnosis them with carpal tunnel syndrome, the worker will have one year from the date of diagnosis to file their work injury claim to receive benefits. Even though the onset of the issue likely began long before the eventual diagnosis, there is no way the worker would have known that they had sustained this gradual injury without having gone to the doctor. They should still be able to recover medical benefits and lost wages if needed.

Contact a Work Injury Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has sustained a gradual onset workplace injury or illness, we encourage you to reach out to a skilled lawyer immediately. A Phoenix work injury attorney will be able to handle every aspect of the case on your behalf. This will include investigating the onset of the injury or illness, handling all communication with other parties involved, and working to negotiate a fair settlement for your medical expenses and lost wages.