Carpal tunnel syndrome and workers’ compensation

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2021 | Workplace Injuries

What do office workers and manual laborers have in common? Answer: Repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. These types of work-related injuries usually don’t qualify as a personal injury lawsuit. However, understanding your rights under your state’s workers’ compensation insurance system is normally your best course of action. 

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

According to the Mayo Clinic, carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure being applied to the median nerve. The carpal tunnel is located on the palm and contains bones and ligaments. Carpal tunnel can result in inflammation, tingling or numbness, radiating pain, and weakness in the arms, wrists, and hands. 

What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel is one of many types of repetitive stress injury. Repetitive motion can be found in:

  • White-collar jobs: Using a computer keyboard and mouse
  • Blue-collar jobs: Tightly gripping equipment and machinery that produces a vibration

Other factors include: 

  • Injuries: Fractures or dislocations
  • Gender: Carpal tunnel is more common in women
  • Chronic diseases: Diseases such as diabetes can cause nerve damage to the median nerve
  • Inflammatory conditions: Conditions such as arthritis and other autoimmune disorders can apply pressure to the tendons and nerves in the wrist and hand
  • Obesity: Being overweight is a risk factor

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that regardless of your risk factors, you’re still entitled to workers’ comp when your job causes or aggravates your condition.

What types of compensation could be obtained?

Correctly filing a valid workers’ comp claim could result in receiving compensation for recovery and losses:

  • Medical costs
  • Temporary or permanent disability benefits
  • Retraining   

Some states consider carpal tunnel as an “occupational disease,” and other states classify it as a “workplace accident or injury.” The burden of proof can be complicated when proving that carpal tunnel was related to repetitive job duties and not due to the other factors listed above. A compassionate law firm that cares about workers’ rights is the best option to help navigate problems with a workers’ compensation claim.