Is Carpal Tunnel a Work-Related Injury?
A painful condition that develops in the hands, wrists, and fingers is known as carpal tunnel syndrome. This ailment occurs due to repetitive stress injury of the above appendages and is something employees can file a workers' compensation claim for.
It is an all too common occupational health condition that affects more than 3 million workers each year. Once diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome through a person's occupation or job, their employer's insurance company and the workers' compensation system should cover their treatment options.
However, recovering this compensation can be challenging. It is recommended to use a knowledgeable and experienced workers' compensation attorney to help injured workers get the settlement they deserve.
A lawyer at Larrimer & Larrimer can help open a workers comp claim if someone has suffered carpal tunnel syndrome due to a work-related injury. Find out how workers' compensation attorneys get paid if you are concerned about the costs.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
When compression or repeated pressure is placed on the median nerve, the lack of motion causes excessive pain in the hands and fingers. This nerve condition is most commonly seen in workers who spend a lot of time at their desks or using a keyboard.
The median nerve runs from the forearm into the palm and is housed in the carpal tunnel. It is a thin passageway of bones and ligaments at the base of the hand, and it controls the finger's tendons.
This nerve also controls the feeling in parts of the ring, middle, index, and thumb fingers, plus it stabilizes the base of the thumb.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused when the median nerves are squeezed or pressed at the wrist. The tightening from the inflammation lining compresses the median nerve and narrows the carpal tunnel. This sends pains throughout the arms and hands, causing weakness, numbing, plus aches in the wrists and hands.
What Are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Its symptoms can appear on both sides, meaning that carpal tunnel syndrome forms gradually. The conditions cause people's fingers to lose feeling and feel swollen.
Other symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include but are not limited to:
Tingling throughout the fingers, wrists, arms, and hands
Poor grip and weakness
Numbness in the hands
Pain in the hands and wrists
During the beginning phases of carpal tunnel syndrome, a person's hands might become numb, and their fingers may swell, often during the beginning of today or the morning. If the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome worsen, they might feel tingling fingers later in the day.
Once this happens, it may become challenging to form a fist, and a person's grip strength may decrease. Performing specific manual tasks involving their hands or grabbing small objects may become more complex.
The muscles at the bottom of the thumb may be unable to identify cold or hot temperatures by touch and might start deteriorating.
However, there are several treatment options to alleviate or cure the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome; these include but are not limited to:
Can Someone Develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Through Their Job Duties?
In many carpal tunnel syndrome cases, people diagnosed with the condition likely develop it from work-related tasks. Trauma and injury to the wrist are other contributing factors to why carpal tunnel syndrome occurs.
This can happen through awkwardly positioning the wrist while seated behind a computer or desk, by the vibrations of the hands through using power tools, or through work stress.
Unfortunately, employees can develop carpal tunnel syndrome through many occupation activities, including but not limited to:
Performing mechanical work
Using a computer keyboard
Workers Compensation Benefits for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
In most states, if an employee is diagnosed with a medical condition or occupational disease, they are entitled to workers' compensation benefits. However, they must prove that their carpal tunnels syndrome was in direct relation to their occupation.
By using a workers' compensation attorney in Columbus for a carpal tunnel claim, a person can receive help in the following ways:
Connecting the job's duties that placed the person at a higher risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome
Documenting the individual's carpal tunnel syndrome through medical testing, x-rays, imaging, and other procedures
Having an orthopedic specialist examine and diagnose their carpal tunnel syndrome and examine the hands
It can sometimes be challenging to prove carpal tunnel syndrome to be work-related, but a lawyer with an excellent attorney-client relationship can help to make the process easier.
Workers Compensation Claim Procedure
Workers' compensation claims for carpal tunnel syndrome are very much the same as other cases. The person would have to report to their employer, and the bosses then referred them for medical evaluation and treatment. Under the law, people are entitled to receive healthcare.
Some employers may modify their staff jobs duties if they cannot work while injured. Furthermore, some bosses may even revise make-up payments based on the law in that particular state.
Getting workers' compensation for carpal tunnel syndrome isn't always easy, even though this sounds simple enough. Yes, injured workers are entitled to workers' compensation for their carpal tunnel syndrome. There should be no difference in how the health system operates compared to other cases like vehicle-related accidents.
However, in reality, it may not be as straightforward as that.
Someone may find themselves in an uphill struggle to show that their carpal tunnel is, in fact, work-related. In other words, how would someone show that they have carpal tunnel syndrome from using the keyboard at work instead of sending emails off duty? How does the person know that their carpal tunnel syndrome didn't develop playing in an evening softball league and not the results of lifting boxes as part of their job duties?
Even though these questions may seem challenging, people can rest easy knowing that proving their carpal tunnel syndrome case is possible. With the correct medical professional help, they can verify benefits and document their entire carpal tunnel syndrome journey. An experienced attorney at Larrimer & Larrimer can help with a free consultation to determine the case's eligibility.
When Should an Employee File a Workers Comp Claim?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a medical condition that occurs because the wrist and hands become inflamed. The inflammation puts pressure on the median nerve in the wrist and results in the inability to use the appendage in a usual manner. There is the possibility that nerve desecration may occur due to the constant pressure.
Part of the treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome limiting the wrists from pressure. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a potentially damaging and painful syndrome that hinders office workers' performance worldwide.
The moment a person starts to feel pain or discomfort in their hands or wrist should be when they speak to their employer about a worker's compensation claim. These medical expenses that could arise from ergonomic or repetitive stress injuries may require long-term or immediate medical treatment.
One of the most common symptoms of carpal tunnel is a burning or tingling sensation in the hand, which may last an extended period or briefly. Other symptoms include but are not limited to:
Pain that stays throughout the day or begins at night
A weak wrist or grip
If someone leaves this occupational disease untreated, it may lead to:
Permanent damage to the median nerve
A loss of mobility
However, if caught early, carpal tunnel responds well to non-surgical treatments.
A worker should file for a workers' compensation claim if they have strong evidence that their occupation caused carpal tunnel syndrome. However, this can be challenging to prove once lifestyle factors are considered. The following can induce CTS and will hinder someone's ability to get workers' compensation; these include but are not limited to:
Diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis
Sporting or musical activities
A second job that also requires repetitive stress movement
What Is the Average Payout for Workers Compensation?
The worker's compensation system and workers' compensation insurance companies are challenging to work with. Carpal tunnel symptoms or other occupational diseases can be brushed off as something mild.
If someone wants to receive workers' compensation benefits, they must be willing to go through the tedious process to find out if the insurance has their carpal tunnel syndrome covered.
Reports have shown the average carpal tunnel syndrome release surgery costs $2,900 but can range anywhere between $1,800 to $5,000. It would take an injured worker up to three weeks to recover from the surgery, but the recovery can take months in significant cases.
Prevention is far less expensive than the cure as experts report non-surgical treatment can cost $300 or less.
The amount a person will get paid out for a carpal tunnel injury depends on the specific case and other repetitive stress injuries. If they have lost wages through repetitive motions injuries, it may be time for them to get the compensation they deserve.
On another note, learn about how workman's comp works when you have 2 or more jobs.
Hiring a lawyer at the Larrimer & Larrimer law firm is the best way to handle workers' compensation cases through a solid attorney-client relationship. By letting a lawyer talk with insurance companies, someone can be compensated for their medical bills, and their sensitive or confidential information is kept secure.
On-the-job injuries and repetitive motion injuries are no joke and should be reported as soon as discomfort comes from repetitive tasks at work.