“Cumulative trauma injuries—also known as repetitive trauma injuries—are among the more challenging claims to investigate and defend against in the workers’ compensation arena, as the claimed mechanism of injury is often ambiguous and fluid,” they explained.
Emily and Jennifer also discussed the rise in cumulative trauma claims, such as the example of California’s claims doubling between 2008 and 2018 with COVID-19 likely to contributed to more. “[C]laims will likely continue to increase as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic due to strained workforces across multiple industries coupled with increased production demands by consumers.”
However, they propose key strategies for handling and defending against cumulative trauma claims including early and thorough investigations, background checks, selection of a credible independent physician, and more.
“In today’s fast-paced work environments, it is clear some jobs will pose a risk of cumulative trauma injuries. By proactively addressing potential causes of these injuries, such as reducing forces or repetitive activities, employers better control risk. By aggressively and successfully defending claims that do not represent true repetitive trauma, employers can reduce exposures and claim costs,” they concluded.
The mission of Goldberg Segalla’s Workers’ Compensation practice group is to achieve significant and sustainable reductions to the overall expense of each client’s workers’ compensation program. Our commitment to this mission—and our success in efficient file handling as well as long-range strategic risk-management—has earned us a national reputation for exceeding our clients’ expectations and driving positive change in the practice of workers’ compensation law.