When most people think of someone suffering a work-related injury, they often think of accidents, falls, or incidents that happen at locations such as construction sites or factories. There are many other scenarios, however, in which a person can become injured at work. One such scenario is someone suffering what is known as a repetitive stress injury.  

This type of injury can occur due to a gradual breakdown of the body or an overall accumulation of stress on a particular body part. Suffering from a repetitive stress injury (RSI) can be severe and result in the same level of disability as a sudden, catastrophic injury. 

If you or someone you love has suffered a repetitive stress injury at work, you may be eligible to pursue financial compensation that can help you pay your medical bills and cover the loss of wages due to an inability to work. If you are located in the greater Chicago, Illinois, area, or anywhere throughout Cook County and the surrounding Collar Counties (DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will), reach out to our team at Stiberth, Scarlati & Boudreau, LLC today to schedule a consultation. 

What Is a Repetitive Stress Injury? 

Though most people may expect workplace accidents to be the primary cause of work-related injuries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) considers repetitive stress injuries to be more common. A repetitive stress injury is an injury or condition that develops over time due to trauma caused by repeated motions, activities, or exposure. 

Common Repetitive Stress Injuries 

Repetitive stress injuries can come in many different types. Some of the more common repetitive stress injuries people suffer from include: 

  • Back injuries (from lifting or carrying heavy loads) 

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (from typing or continual use of fingers and hands, including the “trigger finger”) 

  • Joint or ligament injuries (such as bursitis or tendonitis due to repeated motions) 

  • Hearing loss (due to exposure to loud noises) 

Many other types of injuries and conditions may also fall under the classification of repetitive stress injuries, depending on your type of career and the factors you encounter in your daily work-related activities. 



Who Is At Risk? 

Nearly any type of job that involves repeated physical motions or activities can lead to someone being at risk of suffering from repetitive stress injuries, including: 

  • Medical personnel 

  • Construction or manufacturing workers 

  • Truck drivers or delivery workers 

  • Farm workers 

  • Office workers 

If you believe your routine tasks at your job have led to you experiencing pain, you may have grounds to pursue a claim for a repetitive stress injury. 

Can I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim for an RSI? 

Repetitive stress injuries, like any other injury or condition that is caused by your duties at work, make you eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim to pursue compensation. 

Filing Deadline 

According to Illinois law, you have up to three years from the date of your injury (or diagnosis of your condition) to file a workers’ compensation claim. It is important to note, however, that state law also requires you to notify your employer of your injury/illness within a 45-day period of its occurrence. 

Benefit Types 

Depending on the specifics of your injury, its severity, and the amount of time you will be kept from working, you may be eligible for different levels of disability. Though workers’ compensation law is complex, the basic breakdown of these types of coverage includes: 

Permanent Disability 

Permanent disability coverage in Illinois is divided into two categories: 

  • Permanent Partial Disability — The permanent loss of a body part, some of a bodily function, or inability to use part of the body 

  • Permanent Total Disability — The permanent and complete loss of a bodily function or full body part (both hands, both legs, loss of sight in both eyes, etc.) 

Temporary Disability 

Similarly, temporary disability coverage in Illinois is divided into the following categories: 

  • Temporary Partial Disability — The loss of a part of the body or some of a bodily function for a temporary period of time 

  • Temporary Total Disability — The full incapacitation of a bodily function or an entire part of the body for a temporary period of time 

Whether your disability is temporary or permanent, partial or total, the coverage pays out roughly two-thirds of what your income would be at your job if you were able to perform your normal duties. To receive a more detailed breakdown of the workers’ compensation system in Illinois and how the filing process works, consulting with experienced workers’ compensation attorneys is your best option. 


Dealing with a work-related injury can leave you experiencing stress and uncertainty in all facets of your life—personally and professionally. Get strong legal representation from a firm you can trust. If you are in Chicago, Illinois, Cook County, or anywhere in the counties of Will, McHenry, Lake, Kane, or DuPage, contact our team at Stiberth, Scarlati & Boudreau, LLC to schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation and learn more about your legal options.