For a work accident, what is the difference between a traumatic or occupational workers compensation injury? To receive worker's compensation benefits, an employee must sustain an injury, defined in Wis. Stat. Sec. 102.01(2)(c) as "mental or physical harm to an employee caused by accident or disease ... ." Theoretically, a traumatic injury is a one time acute work-related incident which results in an injury or condition requiring medical treatment and allowing for disability benefits. On the other hand, an occupational injury is a work-related injury or condition that develops over time from job duties or an exposure to conditions at work. However, the lines between the two types of legal causation for a worker's compensation claim can be blurred. For example, a worker may have many, unreported traumatic incidents over time, each of which seriously bothered his low back, but he self-treated or self-limited and kept on working until he could not any longer.