Obtaining Workers Comp Benefits for Computer Injuries: Types and Eligibility
Advances in technology and the ever-growing importance of the Internet in our lives has had a predictable impact on our jobs. Nowadays, the vast majority of workers in California earn a living by using a computer to a greater or lesser extent.
And contrary to the popular belief, physical laborers such as construction workers are not the only workers exposed to an increased risk of bodily injury or death in the workplace. Office workers or freelancers working with computers are just as likely to suffer work-related injuries and illnesses. The only difference between these two is that computer injuries usually take longer to develop and manifest symptoms.
Can you get workers comp benefits for a computer injury?
And whether or not your computer injury makes you eligible to collect workers compensation benefits depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to:
- your job classification (independent worker, employee, self-employed, or freelancer);
- the nature of your work with a computer;
- whether the computer was used properly, safely, and in a reasonably foreseeable way;
- the normal length of your working day;
- the type and severity of your computer injury;
- whether you can prove that your injury or illness was caused by workplace conditions or work duties, rather than your computer overuse outside the workplace; and
- whether you are represented by a workers compensation attorney Los Angeles
Types of computer injuries at work
There are certain types of computer injuries that can be suffered in the workplace and may make you eligible to pursue a workers compensation claim in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California. “The following injuries can be caused by prolonged exposure to a computer – or, in other words, computer overuse – and usually takes months or even years to develop and manifest symptoms of computer injury,” explains our experienced workers compensation attorney in Los Angeles from Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach.
So these are the most common types of work-related computer injuries and illnesses:
- Musculoskeletal injuries: If you are using a computer as your primary source of income, you have probably heard this from your relatives and friends a lot: “The sedentary lifestyle is going to kill you!” It is true that sitting at a desk for many hours straight can cause a laundry list of musculoskeletal injuries, which can impact your bones, muscles, ligaments, discs, tendons, and other soft tissues in your body. More often than not, a work-related musculoskeletal injury affects the workers back, shoulders, and/or neck. Musculoskeletal injuries include but are not limited to tendonitis, tension neck syndrome, and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), all of which are associated with computer overuse or not having the computer or laptop screen at the right level and angle.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS): Now that we have mentioned it, let’s talk about it. After all, CTS is one of the most common computer injuries that make workers eligible to receive workers compensation benefits. This type of injury occurs when the median nerve in the left or right hand becomes pinched or compressed. This type of work-related computer injury is most commonly caused by typing for many hours as well as repeatedly moving an object such as your computer mouse. “The best way to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome is to maintain a neutral wrist position when working with your computer as well as take frequent breaks,” advises our workers compensation lawyer in Los Angeles.
- Computer vision syndrome: Vision problems are one of the most obvious computer-related injuries, as prolonged use of a computer can cause such symptoms as dry eyes, blurred vision, red eyes, irritation in the eyes, and many more. Computer vision syndrome can be caused by looking at a computer or laptop screen for a prolonged period of time, which, in its turn, is associated with a significantly reduction in spontaneous eye blink rate (a bad thing for your eyes).
These are the most common types of computer injuries that can be caused by computer overuse at work. However, there are many more work-related computer injuries you do not know about. If you suffered an injury, let our Los Angeles workers compensation lawyer from Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach determine whether or not that injury was caused by your work and whether you are eligible to receive workers comp benefits. Get a free consultation by calling at 818-600-4714.