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Compensable connection between duties found by Illinois worker

July 12th, 2013 at 8:31 am

LucyIn a recent workers’ compensation case, a woman who worked as a registrar and front desk attendant at an outpatient clinic claimed that her job caused her bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome which forced her to have surgery. Her job includes duties such as answering phones, copying records, registering patients, billing, scheduling patients, filing and checking patients in and out. She claimed that 80 to 90 percent of her time was spent inputting information on a computer.

She was denied benefits, however, because the arbitrator said that her job duties were not continuous or repetitive, and, therefore, could not have been the cause of her ailment.

When the case was reviewed, however, the Commission found that she did, in fact, prove repetitive trauma to her hands which is compensable. In this claim, she only had to prove that her activities at work caused her condition, but were not necessarily the only or the main cause of the condition.

The claimant’s argument was backed up by credible records as well, and the doctor that treated her also stated that the job was somewhat related to the injury. After modifying work was recommended multiple times, there seemed to be no change and the Commissioner also argued that she did more with her hands at work than someone would in a normal day.

The claimant received medical expenses, permanent partial disability benefits and temporary total disability.

This case showed that in a claim of repetitive trauma, there are no requirements that the claimant has to have spent a certain amount of time on a task in order to make a repetitive trauma claim. The job also does not have to be the sole cause, only a cause.

If you have questions about repetitive injury claims or have been injured at work and would like to file a claim, contact an Illinois worker’s compensation attorney for help. Attorneys at the Law Office of Francis J Discipio in Cook County can help you with your claim today.

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