Repetitive Motion Injuries

Injuries caused by repetitive trivial trauma are among the most common in the United States.  Tendonitis and bursitis are frequently associated with cumulative exposure and repetitive motion type injuries.  Common sites of tendonitis include the shoulder, the biceps, and the elbow (such as in tennis elbow). Other areas involve the spinal column and include injuries to the lumbar spine.  The mechanism of injury concerning repetitive trivial trauma and cumulative exposure is often seen in sports related injuries, exercise, and work related injuries.

Is my injury work related if it occurred as a result of exertion over time?  Yes.  It has been said that such injuries may be long and boring accidents, but they are considered work related accidents.  The Florida Worker’s Compensation Act specifically provides benefits for injuries sustained as a result of cumulative exposure or occupational disease.  If your job required to engage in physical activity greater than what the public engages in, and distinct from what you would engage in at home, you may be entitled to workers compensation benefits.  Certain types of employment require an employee to engage in hazardous, repetitive, or otherwise demanding physical activity. Exposure and repetitive trivial trauma can cause compensable work related injuries if you can sow the following: 1.  Prolonged exposure 2. The cumulative effect of which causes an injury or aggravation of a preexisting condition; and 3. The job subjected the injured worker to a hazard greater than that to which the public is exposed.[1]  To determine whether you may be entitled, a consultation with our office is free.

How long do I have to be exposed for my injury to be considered work related?  There is no specific duration of time required to pass before your injury could be considered work related.  A long duration will not preclude you from establishing that your injury is compensable.  “Compensable” is a term used to define a work related injury for which the injured employee is entitled to workers compensation benefits.  A short duration is generally more applicable to a sudden accident, but does not in and of itself preclude entitlement to workers compensation benefits.   Even a period of time as short as two weeks has been considered sufficient enough to establish entitlement to workers compensation benefits.[2]

How hazardous does my job need to be?  To successfully claim entitlement to workers compensation benefits, you must show that your employment subjected you to a hazard greater than that to which the public is exposed.  In these cases, it is the nature of the hazard, rather than toxicity of the substance, that must be beyond that to which the public is exposed; and beyond the types of activity that you would engage in at home.  Another method for establishing that an injury is work related is through establishing that the cumulative effect of a series of occurrences caused your injury.  Using this alternative method for establishing compensability allows you to claim entitlement to workers compensation benefits without establishing that your employment exposed you to a hazard greater than that to which the public is exposed.  However, this alternative theory is the one of the most difficult to prove.  In order to make a proper to determination of your options, contact our office for a free consultation.

If I’m exposed to a toxic substance at work, is my condition work related? Workers compensation benefits based on toxic exposure can be established through a single dose, one – time exposure, or repeated exposure.  Essentially, the courts have not imposed a temporal threshold for establishing entitlement to workers compensation benefits as a result of prolonged exposure. Toxic exposure and occupational disease type cases can be established in any given case by showing any exposure.[3]

Am I entitled to workers comp benefits for a preexisting condition?  For a preexisting condition to be considered work related, the preexisting condition must exacerbated by a normal routine, job related physical exertion, or some other type of repeated physical trauma.  Establishing the necessary elements to prove entitlement to workers comp benefits for a preexisting condition is difficult, but not impossible.  Medical opinion testimony is a necessary factor.

Regardless of the type of injury or condition you have, a consultation with our firm is free.  We handle numerous types of injury cases including, but not limited to, injuries that occur as a result of trucking accidents, auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and falls, workers compensation claims for work related injuries, and injuries or conditions resulting from defective pharmaceuticals or devices.  To determine whether you have a claim and understand what your options are, contact us for a free consultation. Call the Dolman Law Group today at (727) 853-6275.

Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652
(727) 853-6275


[1] Festa v. Teleflex, Inc., 382 So.2d 122, 124 (Fla. 1st DCA 1980).
[2] J&J Enterprises v. Oweis, 733 So.2d 1149, 1150 (Fla. 1st DCA 1990)
[3] Moore v. Pasco County Board of Commissioners, 854 So.2d 256, 257 (Fla. 1st DCA 2003)