People may suffer pain and discomfort when performing a repetitive motion or task, such as making the same motion over and over at work. However, when people continue to work through that pain or discomfort, they may develop an overuse injury that can cause debilitating symptoms around the clock. Fortunately, people with overuse injuries may have legal options for getting compensation. An overuse injury lawyer from Pringle & Herigstad, P.C., can help you explore your options. 

With over a century of experience, the Pringle & Herigstad, P.C. legal team advocates for the rights and interests of North Dakota residents who are recovering from debilitating injuries. We have an extensive history of dedicated service to our community. Our attorneys take their commitment to our clients seriously. We can take your call after hours or speak with you through a video chat if you cannot meet in person. We want you to feel confident that you have dedicated legal representatives available to help whenever you need us. 

Understanding Overuse Injury

An overuse injury occurs when a person injures soft tissues through repetitive use, which is different than an acute injury caused by an accident or other traumatic force. People who make repetitive motions without taking breaks and allowing tissues to heal may put themselves at significant risk of an overuse injury. 

Overuse injuries typically begin with minor pain or discomfort when a person performs the repetitive task or motion that causes the injury. However, when a person ignores that pain or discomfort, the injury may worsen and begin causing significant pain or discomfort even while the person is at rest. 

Common examples of overuse injuries include: 

  • Jumper’s knee (patellar tendonitis)
  • Shin splints (medial tibial stress syndrome)
  • Sever’s disease
  • Sinding-Larsen-Johannson disease
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spondylosis
  • Iliotibial band syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Bursitis
  • Stress fractures
  • Tennis elbow
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Cubital tunnel syndrome

Common Causes of Overuse Injuries

Several factors can cause a person to develop damage to soft tissues that gradually become overuse injuries. The first factor is repetitive motions or tasks. Repeatedly performing the same motion for an extended period or repeatedly performing a violent or straining motion can stress body parts and slowly damage tissues. 

Other factors contributing to overuse injuries include lack of training and poor ergonomics. If they don’t learn the correct technique to perform a task, a person can increase their risk of developing an overuse injury by performing a repetitive task improperly. Performing repetitive tasks in a less-than-ideal ergonomic posture can also increase strain on the body and raise the chances of developing an overuse injury. 

Legal Options for Financial Recovery for Overuse Injuries

People who develop overuse injuries may have options for getting the compensation they need for their treatment and injury-related losses. Overuse injuries frequently occur due to work duties. When a person suffers an overuse injury because of repetitive motions or tasks they do at work, they may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, which may include:

  • Medical benefits: Workers’ compensation can cover reasonable and necessary medical care and rehabilitation for a work-related overuse injury, including prescription for pain medication or orthopedic equipment.
  • Personal expenses reimbursement: Reimburses workers for mileage, meals, and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred to seek medical care.
  • Wage-loss benefits: Three types of wage-loss benefits (temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, and permanent total disability) provide partial wage replacement in the event the injured worker can’t work or reimbursement for the difference between pre-injury wages and a worker’s lower wage while in a part-time or light-duty role due to medical restrictions.
  • Permanent partial impairment benefits: Provides financial payments for the permanent loss of bodily function due.
  • Return to work services: These include job retraining, work search assistance, behavioral and financial health services, nursing and vocational case management, and preferred worker programs.

In certain circumstances, a person who develops an overuse injury may have the right to seek compensation in a personal injury claim. They can pursue compensation for:

  • Medical treatment and rehabilitation expenses
  • Replacement services (such as housekeeping) and long-term care for severe disabilities
  • Lost wages/income or loss of future earning capacity
  • Physical pain and emotional distress
  • Lost quality of life

What Should You Do After Sustaining an Overuse Injury

When you’ve started developing pain or discomfort from an overuse injury, you can take steps to protect your rights to pursue compensation, including:

  • Promptly notify your employer of your injury if you suspect you may have developed the injury from work activities
  • Seeking immediate medical attention to diagnose your injury and begin treatment
  • Following your doctor’s treatment plan and recovery instructions, including any restrictions on physical activity
  • Obtaining copies of medical records of your treatment and rehabilitation
  • Keeping all bills, invoices, and receipts of expenses you incur during your medical recovery
  • Gathering copies of your pre-injury pay stubs or income statements to calculate any lost wages you may have sustained

Finally, contact an attorney from Pringle & Herigstad, P.C., as soon as possible to evaluate avenues for obtaining the financial resources you need for your recovery. 

How Long Do You Have to File a Claim for an Overuse Injury?

When you sustain a work-related overuse injury, North Dakota law requires you to promptly notify your employer of your injury. You should notify your employer within seven days of developing symptoms of an overuse injury. The law gives you one year to file a formal workers’ compensation claim. Furthermore, North Dakota’s statute of limitations on personal injury claims gives you six years to file a lawsuit against the party or parties liable for your overuse injury. Because you may have limited time to file claims for an overuse injury, talk to a personal injury lawyer at Pringle & Herigstad, P.C., as soon as possible. 

Contact Pringle & Herigstad, P.C. for a Free Case Review

After developing a repetitive stress injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury. Contact Pringle & Herigstad, P.C., today for a free, no-obligation consultation with an overuse injury lawyer to discuss your options.