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Definition of Specific Injury

A specific injury, as it applies to workers' compensation, is an injury that is brought about by a specific event or incident that is work related. From a medical-legal standpoint, there are many kinds of work-related injuries. However, all of these work-related injuries fall into one of two categories. Some injuries take place over time as a result of an employee's daily work activities. Injuries like these are referred to as cumulative trauma, continuous trauma or repetitive trauma injuries. Examples of this are an employee developing carpal tunnel syndrome from doing continuous, daily hand activities or an employee having a serious back injury as a result of long-term, daily heavy lifting.

A specific injury is a work-related injury that happens suddenly, from one event or one incident. This can be getting burned from coming in contact with a hot object or having some type of chemical splashed on the skin, hurting a leg in a fall from a scaffold or being hit in the head by a heavy object. While it can be difficult to date a cumulative trauma injury, a specific injury has a definite, specific time and place of occurrence.

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