Arthritis is inflammation of the joints and encompasses many rheumatic conditions that affect the joints and connective joint tissue, such as fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and systemic lupus erythematosus. If you were injured at work and your arthritis is accelerated or reactivated by your work injury, you have the right to file for Workers’ Compensation benefits. The same applies if your degenerative disc disease is aggravated by a work injury. Degenerative disc disease includes all the conditions where a disc has been damaged, such as slipped discs, ruptured discs, herniated discs, and annular tears.
Symptoms of Arthritis
Arthritis can appear gradually or suddenly. Symptoms may vary, but commonly include the following:
- Limited function of the area surrounding the affected joint
- Stiffness, swelling, or redness at the affected area
- Pain around the joints in the wrists, hands, knees, hips, and shoulders
Workers at Risk of Aggravating Arthritis or Degenerative Disc Disease
Certain workers have a higher risk of aggravating a preexisting condition, such as arthritis or degenerative disc disease. If your job requires you to perform repetitive motions or sit for extended periods of time, it could accelerate your condition. High impact activity can also reactivate your arthritis or provoke a degenerative disc condition, as can jobs that involve heavy lifting, twisting, or turning.
Jobs that typically include repetitive motion tasks include:
- Assembly line work and other manufacturing jobs
- Construction work
- Office jobs or jobs that require longs hours typing at a computer
- Cashiers who scan items all day or take inventory of stock items
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for Arthritis
Anytime you suffer a work injury, be sure to seek medical attention and keep all documentation of your doctors’ visits. You should also notify your employer immediately that you have been injured. Failure to do so within the required time period could make you ineligible for any benefits. If your work injury accelerates or reactivates your arthritis, you will have to show the relationship between your work and your medical condition. A qualified Workers’ Compensation lawyer can help you file a claim within the deadline set by the state and help you document the connection between your work injury and the worsening preexisting condition. A successful claim could result in compensation in the form of medical benefits, wage loss benefits, and partial or total disability payments, where applicable.
Pittsburgh Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. Help Injured Workers File Workers’ Compensation Claims
If you were injured at work, or you have a preexisting condition that was aggravated by your job, you may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits. At AlpernSchubert P.C., our skilled Pittsburgh Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help you obtain the maximum benefits available for your case. Call us at 800-243-6095 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Pittsburgh, we proudly serve clients throughout western Pennsylvania, including those in Allegheny County, Lawrence County, and Washington County.