Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Workers' Comp
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a type of repetitive stress injury (RSI), which many people acquire after working the same job for extended periods of time. For example, an office worker who does nothing but type all day might develop CTS by not taking breaks or not having adequate ergonomic equipment.
Many people worry CTS is not a legitimate injury and will not be covered by their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. However, this couldn’t be more wrong. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a serious injury that occurs when the carpal tunnel in the wrist puts too much pressure on the median nerve.
CTS can cause tingling, numbness, weakness, and pain in the fingers or hand. Some workers may even have pain in their arm between the hand and elbow. Most often, the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger will be affected. If left untreated, the condition can cause a loss of feeling and coordination in the fingers and hand, causing people to drop objects. Occasionally, some muscles can atrophy as a result, meaning they will no longer be usable. If the condition is severe enough, it may require surgery to relieve pressure on the median nerve, which can cost a patient money for the surgery and wages from taking time off to heal.
The workers most likely to acquire CTS use repetitive motions, such as twisting, bending, or striking during their day-to-day work. Employees who use computers on a daily basis, factory assembly line workers, professional drivers, musicians, crafters, and chefs are all susceptible to this type of injury. Those workers who use vibrating machinery are the most likely to develop CTS, as the vibration can severely aggravate the damage to the median nerve.
Because the condition can arise as a result of RSIs, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance should fully cover the medical bills and the lost wages needed to recover fully. However, as the person making the claim, you will need to gather evidence proving the injury is work related. This evidence could come from the testimony of a reliable doctor or could originate from a coworker experiencing a similar condition.
If the cost of compensation is likely to be expensive, the insurance company will do its best to try and prove the CTS resulted from another source, such as a second job or a hobby. Likewise, if you have arthritis or diabetes, it is possible the insurance company may try and argue the injury did not occur while working for your employer.
If you think your claim will be challenged by the insurance company, contact our skilled Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys as soon as possible. Leonard Law Group has represented more than 7,500 clients in cases across Illinois. Give yourself the best chance of recovery by letting us help you recover compensation for your medical bills, rehabilitation, and lost wages. We also work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no upfront costs for legal representation. Once your case is favorably resolved through settlement or a verdict, a percentage of your winnings will be used to reimburse us for the cost of our legal advocacy. Let us see what we can do for you.
Contact us at (312) 487-2513 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today. We look forward to speaking with you.