How to Get Workers’ Comp for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

It’s estimated that as many as 6% of the United States population suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition is known for causing a lot of pain in the hands and wrists.

Unfortunately, because it’s not as obvious as some other injuries that happen in the workplace, many people think they can’t get help for it. The reality is that the repetitive nature of many jobs can be a direct link to carpal tunnel syndrome.

And, if the condition is caused by your job, then you should be entitled to workers’ comp for carpal tunnel. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve for your work-related injury.

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and What Causes It?

The carpal tunnel refers to a small passageway that runs through the palm of your hand. The passageway is responsible for housing one of the main nerves found in your wrist.

This median nerve is vital for producing the feeling in each one of your fingers. Issues occur when the carpal tunnel passageway narrows or when certain tendons swell around your flexors.

Both of these things put a lot of pressure on the median nerve. In the short term, this can result in pain, numbness, and the inability to use your wrist for work. In the long-term, it can result in significant nerve damage.

There are a variety of things that can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. In some cases, a wrist fracture might cause the carpal tunnel to narrow which results in the condition.

Other times it can be due to a medical condition like rheumatoid arthritis. Sadly, some people are simply just born with narrow carpal tunnels. However, the most common cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is repetitive movements.

Specifically, movements that engage the hands and wrist. Some common jobs that can result in carpal tunnel syndrome include things like:

  • Writers
  • Data entry professions
  • Musicians
  • Assembly line workers
  • Mechanics
  • Cashiers
  • Locksmiths
  • Workers who frequently use vibrating tools
  • Painters

When you do the same action over and over, your tendons may swell up. This, in turn, starts to put stress on the median nerve.

How to Protect Yourself Against Carpal Tunnel

If you notice pain occurring frequently around your wrist, you should see a doctor immediately. If you don’t already have carpal tunnel syndrome, your doctor might note that you’re at risk of developing it.

If you fall into this category, there are some things that you can do to slow the onset. Some of these prevention methods include things like:

  • Using tools specifically designed for the job
  • Using equipment designed for people with carpal tunnel syndrome (these keep the wrist in a neutral position)
  • Wearing gloves or anti-vibration wraps
  • Make sure you rest your hands periodically
  • Reducing repetitive movements
  • Trying to vary your arm position while working

Sadly, not all of these things are possible if you work an office job that has you typing all day. Still, you should try to do as many of them as you can.

Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Covered By Workers’ Comp?

Yes, carpal tunnel syndrome treatment is covered by workers’ compensation disability benefits. However, it’s important to note that the condition needs to be caused by your specific work duties.

To get your treatment covered, you will need to prove two things. First, you have carpal tunnel syndrome and it’s interfering with your ability to live your life and work. This is fairly easy.

Typically all it takes is a trip to the doctor to confirm it. Second, you need to show that the work you were doing either caused the condition or worsened it. This can be challenging because you’ll need to link it to either repetitive actions or an injury (like falling).

Depending on the work you do, it can sometimes be challenging to show that your carpal tunnel syndrome is a direct result of your work.

The good news is that you don’t need to show that your employer was negligent, like in a personal injury case. As long as you can link you’ll be covered by workers’ compensation.

How Do You File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

The first thing you need to do is inform your employer of your injury. From there, you should seek medical attention for your injuries. It’s important to document everything during your medical assessment.

Your doctor’s notes and records will be important for proving that you have the injury. From there, you need to complete and file a WC-14 with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation.

Once it’s filed, send copies to both your employer and the employer’s insurance company. Ultimately, it’s up to your employer’s insurance company whether or not they accept the claim.

The good news is that even if they deny it, you can always appeal the decision.

Should You Get a Lawyer to Help With Workers’ Comp for Carpal Tunnel?

You can technically file a workers’ compensation claim entirely on your own. However, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. The WC-14 form can be quite confusing.

And, if your case isn’t strong enough there’s a good chance it will be denied. A qualified workers’ compensation lawyer can review your case to make sure that you’ve included as much evidence as possible.

They can also help you fill out and file the claim. This makes your life a lot easier and increases your chances of getting the claim.

If your workers’ compensation is denied, they can help you file for an appeal to get a workers’ comp carpal tunnel settlement.

Need Help With Your Workers’ Comp? Contact Hollington Brown LLP

We hope this guide helped you learn more about getting workers’ comp for carpal tunnel. Here at Hollington Brown LLP, we know that navigating any workers’ comp claim can be challenging.

However, it’s especially true for injuries that require a lot of documentation, like carpal tunnel syndrome.

Luckily, we use our twenty-seven years of experience to fight for your rights as an injured worker. If you’re ready to get the compensation you deserve, schedule a consultation today.

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