Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause tingling, numbness, pain and limit function in your hands, wrist and arms. Anything that squeezes or irritates the median nerve in your hand may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, such as injury, workplace factors, as well as medical conditions that may irritate the nerve. In this blog post, we’ll review what to know about carpal tunnel workers compensation settlements.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel occurs when pressure is put on the median nerve which extends from the middle of the arm and forearm to a person’s hand, where the carpal tunnel passageway is located. When this pressure is constantly put on the nerve, it can result in pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness.
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome tend to develop slowly over time. Many times, those affected by carpal tunnel syndrome first notice symptoms like numbness, tingling or pain at night when asleep. As carpal tunnel worsens, more symptoms that affect daily living may appear such as a lack of grip strength, decreased fine motor abilities in the fingers, and decreased feeling in the fingertips.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel
There are many causes of carpal tunnel syndrome. Some people may be affected because of other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, thyroid disorders. Even pregnancy can cause carpal tunnel when the extra hormones that are released in pregnancy causes swelling in the fingers and wrists.
Certain occupations may also put workers at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome. The biggest factors in carpal tunnel as an occupational disease include any job with hammering or high force hand movements, long-term and extreme wrist motion use, as well as vibration. Some of the most common occupations associated with carpal tunnel include
- Factory and assembly line workers
- Foodservice professionals such as chefs, bakers, and butchers
- Seamstresses, sewers and tailors
Even though these professions are commonly associated with carpal tunnel, proving that your condition is a result of work can be difficult to prove without the help of a workers compensation attorney.
Proving Your Job Caused Carpal Tunnel
Proving that carpal tunnel was caused by your job can be complex. First, you must be able to prove that the condition was caused by conditions that are characteristic of and specific to a particular occupation. Second, the disease was not an ordinary development of life, for which the general public has an equal risk of developing.
For instance, if you have an office job that requires computer usage but not necessarily repetitive motions, it may be difficult to prove your case. If you’ve been working on a meat packing line at a processing plant, on the other hand, it may be easier to show how your job led to developing the condition.
There are more than a few nuances to how to prove a disease was caused by your job. It’s in your best interest to contact an experienced workers compensation lawyer who can handle your claim and will know how to build evidence to prove the correlation between carpal syndrome and your occupation.
Workers Compensation Settlements for Carpal Tunnel
If you’re suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and have been told or believe it’s related to your occupation, you may likely have grounds for a workers compensation claim. It’s important to report your illness to your employer in a timely manner as soon as you know or suspect the illness or disease is caused by your job. You generally have about 90 days to do so. Most all claims will be dismissed if you reported more 2 years or more after the illness developed and you were aware of the connection.
Your employer may require you to undergo an Independent Medical Exam, which allows doctors of their choosing to examine your medical records, conduct a medical visit with you and make their own evaluation. Because of the complexity of carpal tunnel workers comp claims, it’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible to protect your best interests.
If your claim is approved, workers compensation provides several benefits including medical benefits, such as payment of hospital and medical bills, as well as the loss of income during the period you cannot work. These benefits may be temporary or permanent, depending on the severity of the injury, and may include a full benefit amount or a partial benefit amount. Injured workers are entitled to the following benefits, depending on their case:
- Compensation for Medical Expenses: Covers medical treatment, surgeries, prescription medications, rehabilitative devices, and transportation to and from medical appointments.
- Permanent Disability: If your injury leaves you unable to ever return to work, you can file a claim for permanent disability.
- Temporary Disability: You can get up to 70% of the wages of your average weekly amount (up to a maximum) if your temporary disability claim is approved.
Especially if you need to claim partial or total permanent disability, it’s in your best interest to consult with an attorney. These different classifications determine the amount of duration of benefits that an injured employee may receive. A workers compensation attorney will bring in experts and build a strong case to receive the maximum level of benefits by law.
Get Help with Your Carpal Tunnel Workers Comp Claim
You have the right to file a claim for benefits after suffering a work-related injury; however, receiving fair compensation for your bills and lost wages can be challenging. An experienced workers comp attorney can handle your case and make sure you get the benefits you need to recover from your injury and move forward.
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we are dedicated to assisting clients throughout New Jersey and New York with their workers’ compensation cases. We have years of experience and the extensive resources you need to secure a fair case result. We work on contingency fees, which means we only collect an attorney fee if your claim is successful. Contact us immediately to understand your options.