Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Not all workplace injuries are caused by an accident. Repetitive stress injuries can occur in any profession that requires workers to perform the same tasks repeatedly. For many workers who sit at a desk and routinely use a computer, carpal tunnel is a serious risk. Employees who suffer from work-related Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition affecting the median nerve and tendons in the wrist, which control movement in the thumb and first three fingers. Repetitive stress on this area can cause swelling, which compresses the carpal tunnel through which these nerves and tendons pass. Workers may experience pain, tingling, numbness, a burning sensation, loss of dexterity, or grip weakness in the hand and wrist as a result. The condition can range from mild to severe, and the condition can worsen over time.
It is not just workers using a keyboard and mouse all day that are at risk for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Common tasks that can cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include:
- Operating a cash register
- Sewing or crocheting
- Playing a musical instrument
- Agricultural tasks
- Twisting tools, such as wrenches
- Consistent use of vibrating tools
- Assembly line work
- Playing sports, such as tennis
Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome depends on the severity of the condition. Some may be able to recover with only rest and use of a splint, while others may need medication, such as steroid injections. Severe cases may require Carpal Tunnel Release, a surgical procedure to relieve pressure on the nerves by cutting through the ligament. These remedies take time and may result in temporary loss of use, which can be especially challenging if the affected hand and wrist is on the dominant side.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Some states classify Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as an accident, while others consider it an occupational illness. If it is work-related, however, employees are eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits. Workers who are considered independent contractors rather than employees are not always covered by the employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance, but if they can prove that the employer had a certain amount of control over how and when they worked, they may be able to receive benefits. Workers’ Compensation benefits for employees suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include:
- Medical costs: Workers’ Compensation covers all treatment related to the employee’s injury, including doctor’s visits, procedures, prescriptions, medical equipment, and rehabilitation.
- Temporary disability benefits: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may prevent an employee from working, but they will receive a percentage of their lost wages during this time.
- Permanent disability benefits: If the employee’s condition is severe enough that they will never regain full use of their hand or wrist, they may be eligible for long-term benefits; this can include vocational training if the employee will not be able to return to their current employment.
Successfully proving a Workers’ Compensation claim can be complicated. The burden of proof is on the employee to establish that the condition was caused by their working conditions. The progressive nature of the condition can make it difficult to pinpoint the exact time frame in which the stress occurred, and there are other factors that can contribute to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, such as age; pregnancy; disease, such as diabetes or arthritis; hobbies outside of work; or a wrist injury. Having an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer by your side can help.
Vineland Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Fight for the Rights of Workers Suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The Vineland Workers’ Compensation lawyers at DiTomaso Law have successfully recovered compensation for injured workers in all types of cases. We will thoroughly review the facts of your case and pursue an aggressive legal strategy to obtain the full compensation to which you are entitled. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we help injured workers throughout South Jersey, including Mt. Holly, Camden County, and Vineland. Call us today at 856-414-0010 or contact us online for a free consultation.