Workers’ Compensation for Carpal Tunnel
CTS or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can turn out to be a real downer. Not only is it a nagging pain and suffering on your part, that is generally caused by repetitive work, it could also hamper your day to day life. Often times your employer could dismiss your claims for leave or be compensated for the injuries.
Look at the instance of Robert who was told that his HR manager will fight tooth and nail to dismiss his claim of workers’ compensation for CTS. “There’s no way you could develop carpal tunnel syndrome in only a year and a half working for this company,” were her exact words. So where should Robert go now with his wrist Injury?
Well, Robert is certainly not alone in battling the world. Almost all employers happen to be dismissive of a similar claim. Unfortunately, it is the situation that makes it so. The employer usually contests the claim of his hapless employee and tries to prove that CTS isn’t really a work injury or wasn’t caused by working at their facilities. The onus of proving that the condition had occurred due to work related practices is on the employee now.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: What Is It?
Let’s first get a few basic facts right. Sadly, the injury is not obvious nor does it warrant staying confined in a hospital bed for a period of time. Therefore the employee could not have been hurt at work before he had been diagnosed with CTS that caused the median nerve at his wrist to snap.
Medical science reveals that the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome develops over time and is the cumulative effect of going through the same motions over and over again. Sure, this may occur on the job but again it is difficult to conclusively prove that. You will need a seasoned doctor’s report, someone who has dealt with such cases before and also the help of a work injury lawyer to make your case.
Does CTS Deserve Compensation?
Statistics reveal that almost 500,000 Americans develop this condition every year and have to undergo a surgical procedure to get it rectified. Yes! Having the condition completely cured makes it rather difficult to claim worker’s compensation. It is definitely not deemed to be an ideal ‘hurt on the job’ situation because in worst cases a surgery can permanently cure the pain. It takes about 4 weeks or longer to get back to normalcy. Doctors would advise you to stay away from heavy lifting or repetitive work for longer periods of time depending on your situation.
Medicos, however, recommend rest and medication for relief instead of surgery when the injury is in its earlier stage. If diagnosed early it can save you from permanent nerve damage. Again, it might warrant a modification of responsibilities at work. The latter pronouncement usually makes the employer see red as he/ she becomes wary of retaining an employee who is restricted at work plus being forced to provide him with adequate compensation.
How to Get it Resolved?
Well, you can still go ahead and claim compensation if you have a valid reason. If you have to keep typing for hours on the job or are a carpenter or a mechanic who works with vibrating tools repeatedly then you may definitely be able to pursue your cause claiming it to be a work-related hand injury. Rest assured, almost all States recognize the condition as a medical injury that is liable to be compensated by the employer.
You can claim compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of use of the hand
- Loss of wages
You may also be able to find other legal avenues open and successfully claim
- Personal injury
- Social Security disability
The best way forward is to contact a qualified legal advisor who specializes in workman’s compensation.
If you or someone you know feel that you may be entitled to compensation for a work-related injury, please feel free to contact the Law Offices of Goldberg & Wolf at (856) 651-1600 for a free consultation.