Let us say that you are a grocery store employee accustomed to loading and unloading heavy crates of produce and other items. Recently, you have had to take time off from work due to pain in your knee.
Your doctor has diagnosed bursitis. Does this qualify you for workers’ compensation benefits?
In the simplest terms, bursitis refers to inflammation of a bursa sac, a pouch that provides protective cushioning in an area between bone and tendon; in fact, there are more than 150 bursae in the human body. You have traumatic bursitis, associated with repetitive motion, and the areas most often affected are the hip, elbow and knee. You first became aware of pain when you were helping to lift crates from a truck to the loading dock behind the store. The discomfort worsened over time, and some swelling occurred. When these problems began to affect the range of motion in your knee, you decided to seek medical help.
A common occurrence
Traumatic bursitis falls under the heading of repetitive motion injuries, which are very common and represent the most frequent type of workers’ compensation claim submitted. The constant bending and straightening action as you move heavy crates resulted in this health issue. Your doctor has identified your condition as inflammatory, but because you perform manual labor, you are also at risk for a bacterial infection in your knee.
Reporting your injury
You must advise your supervisor of your injury and explain that your doctor has diagnosed bursitis. Your employer must provide employees injured on the job with workers’ compensation benefits and should help you with filing a claim. However, employers and their insurance companies will sometimes deny a claim. If this should happen to you, explore your legal options apart from your employer. You have a right to file for workers’ compensation benefits. If your employer puts up roadblocks, you can rely on the assistance of an advocate who can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.