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Repetitive Stress Injuries for City of Chicago Workers

Chicago Lawyers Helping Municipal Employees

Repetitive stress injuries for City of Chicago workers may require medical treatment and rehabilitative services. Repetitive stress injuries occur because of a slow buildup of damage to a person’s nerves, tendons, or muscles. City of Chicago workers may suffer repetitive stress injuries from performing common tasks each day, including using a keyboard, mouse, or grasping tools. The City of Chicago is self-insured for workers’ compensation. Workers injured on the job can file a workers’ compensation claim with the City, which is responsible for administering and paying those claims. The City may be skeptical about the cause of the repetitive stress injury, the physical limits the injuries have placed on you, or the medical care you require. If you sustained a repetitive stress injury, you should discuss your situation with Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca.

Repetitive Stress Injuries for City of Chicago Workers

Repetitive stress injuries may affect your hands, wrists, elbows, neck, shoulders, and forearms. Repetitive stress injuries can develop if you need to maintain an abnormal posture for a long period, perform the same actions, or lift heavy objects. Carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, and tennis elbow are common repetitive stress injuries workers face. Symptoms may include stiffness, tenderness, pain, tingling, numbness, weakness, throbbing, and cold or heat sensitivity. These symptoms may limit or prevent you from doing your job.

If you sustain a work-related repetitive stress injury in Illinois, you may be able to obtain certain workers’ compensation benefits such as medical care, temporary total disability, permanent total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent partial disability, and vocational rehabilitation. Even though you are entitled to have the City pay benefits for work-related injuries, the City may deny valid claims in some situations. In some cases, the City may be unwilling to provide certain benefits while paying others. For instance, it may be willing to pay temporary total disability benefits but be unwilling to pay for surgery for your severe bursitis. Having an experienced lawyer by your side to advocate for you can help.

The City may deny your workers’ compensation claim on the grounds that you have a preexisting condition. However, you shouldn’t assume a denial on that basis is legitimate. You’re entitled to obtain benefits so long as your preexisting condition was exacerbated or aggravated by work. For instance, you may have experienced mild carpal tunnel syndrome in the past that flares up and becomes more severe due to the typing you perform for your administrative job for the City. In that case, you should still be eligible for benefits.

Medical Benefits

Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, as your employer, the City must pay for medical costs that are reasonable and necessary if they result from a work-related repetitive stress injury. It may need to pay for doctor visits, medication, and surgery. You may need to obtain a pre-authorization for your medical treatment to make sure your medical bill is paid. You should see a doctor as soon as possible after sustaining a repetitive stress injury. You should also let the doctor know that you believe the condition is work related.

A primary care physician may refer you to a physical therapist or an orthopedic surgeon. Initially, the physician may prescribe a conservative treatment for repetitive stress injury symptoms. This can include rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), as well as steroid shots, exercises, NSAIDs, and wrapping. However, if your symptoms do not resolve, you may require physical therapy to reduce pain and improve strength and movement over time. In severe cases, the physician may recommend surgery.

The City may balk at paying for surgery, even if it’s paying other benefits. Even though surgery can be expensive and is a relatively rare treatment for a repetitive stress injury, the City should pay for the surgical procedure if it’s reasonable and necessary.

Disability Benefits

If your repetitive stress injury leaves you unable to work, the City should provide you with disability pay. You won’t receive temporary total disability benefits for the first three workdays you miss unless you need at least 14 days off work. At that point, the first three days of benefits can be paid retroactively. Temporary total disability benefits will continue until your doctor finds you’ve reached maximum medical improvement. At that point, your doctor will look at whether you are left with any limitations or restrictions as a result of your repetitive stress injury.

Hire an Experienced Chicago Attorney

Repetitive stress injuries for City of Chicago workers should be treated appropriately. If you are concerned with recovering workers’ compensation benefits for repetitive stress injuries, you should talk to the knowledgeable lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We handle claims in Chicago, Quincy, Aurora, Champaign, and Rockford. We also handle claims in Winnebago, Cook, Adams, Sangamon, and Kane Counties. Contact us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.