Specific Injuries And Continuous Trauma Are Two Types Of Workers’ Compensation Claims in California

Specific and Continuous Trauma Workers’ Compensation Injuries

Workers’ compensation claims brought by employees injured in work-related accidents in California are classified according to type of injury. Generally, there are two types: specific injuries and continuous trauma.

A specific injury is one that happens on a specific date. In other words, the injury occurs at an identifiable moment. Car accidents, slip and falls, and falling object incidents are all such injuries, in that they happen at a discrete moment in time.

Workers Compensation Attorney

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A continuous trauma, unlike a specific injury, occurs over a range of time rather than in one moment. Repetitive use injuries are typical of continuous traumas. A data entry clerk might develop carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive keyboard use over time. Or a moving company employee might develop chronic back pain from repeatedly lifting and moving objects over a number of years. Continuous trauma is every bit as legitimate as a specific injury.

Other Subcategories of Work Injuries

For both specific injuries and continuous trauma, there are subcategories with regard to type. These include orthopedic injuries, internal injuries, as well as emotional or psychological injuries. An orthopedic injury affects part of the body, such as the back, neck, legs, or arms. An internal injury affects an organ or other interior portion of body, such as the respiratory system or digestive system. For emotional or psychological injuries, symptoms may include anxiety, depression, problems sleeping, and more. These subcategories are relevant to both specific injuries and continuous trauma. Again, classification is determined by whether the injury was caused by singular trauma, or series of events over time.

The categorization of an injury is important because of its bearing on what benefits an injured employee is eligible for. Take, for example, medical care. Medical care made available through the payment of workers’ compensation benefits includes hospital and treatment expenses that are necessary to diagnose and treat an employee’s injury. Obviously, the nature of medical care made available through workers’ compensation may differ depending on whether the injury suffered was a specific one (e.g. broken arm) or a continuous trauma (e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome). In general, medical care includes things like physician visits, prescription medication, surgery, and equipment (e.g. crutches). Getting the type of injury right is important because type effects what is considered reasonably medically necessary for recovery or ongoing treatment and management under California’s workers’ compensation system. Reasonable medical necessity is an important standard in California workers’ compensation system. Proving it goes a long way toward getting the benefits needed in the aftermath of a work-related injury.

Let Our Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Help

If you have been injured on the job, contact an experienced California workers’ compensation attorney. Whether you have suffered a specific injury or a continuous trauma, an attorney will explain your legal rights and fight for the maximum benefits you may be eligible for.