Workers’ Compensation For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Many people who work with computers perform the same tasks repeatedly. So do some factory and manufacturing workers, as well as other employees. These repetitive motions can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition caused by the compression of the median nerve, which travels down the arm. Besides pain, a person may experience numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hands and fingers, as well as difficulty holding objects. In some cases, a person may be unable to work. They may even have to undergo surgery, which begs the questions: can you claim workers’ compensation benefits for carpal tunnel syndrome?
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome may develop at the workplace or outside of work. Here are some common causes:
- Frequent typing
- Assembling small objects
- Using tools
- Playing certain musical instruments
- Scanning items at the checkout counter
Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
An employee may be eligible for a workers’ compensation claim for carpal tunnel syndrome if they can successfully prove that the condition was caused by their occupation. However, it can be difficult to prove this once lifestyle factors such as the following are taken into consideration:
- The person has a second job
- Musical activities
- Sudden injury
Because carpal tunnel syndrome is hard to prove, documentation is key. Ideally, the employee should have evidence with both their employer and doctor that a particular instance caused the condition. They will need to prove that their work duties made them susceptible to the condition and not their lifestyle choices.
Workers have the best chance of winning their claim if they have evidence that their normal work duties, such as repetitive or awkward motions or use of vibrating equipment, place abnormal amounts of stress on the wrist. This can come through either or through use of high-powered vibrating equipment. While computer workers tend to be most at risk, carpal tunnel syndrome is also prevalent among factory workers, grocery store workers, and butchers.
However, it is possible that an employer or insurance company will claim that the carpal tunnel syndrome is not related to your job. They could ask another doctor to perform an independent medical examination.
Ultimately, the standards of evidence are not always the same. It will be up to a worker’s compensation judge to determine whether or not the carpal tunnel syndrome is job-related. The judge will also determine the appropriate amount of benefits.
Contact Us for More Information About Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Carpal tunnel syndrome is common among office workers, factory workers, and others who perform the same tasks over and over again. It can be painful and even require surgery.
If your normal work duties are causing your carpal tunnel syndrome, seek legal help from White Plains workers’ compensation lawyer Michael Lawrence Varon. We know the workers’ compensation laws that apply and can help you file a claim. Schedule a free consultation today. Call (914) 228-1770 or fill out the online form to get started.