Posted Apr 2018
Individuals who suffer from workplace injuries in New York are eligible for workers’ compensation, even if their injuries develop slowly over time. In fact, one of the most common workplace injuries is carpal tunnel syndrome, a repetitive stress injury that affects the wrist and hand.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the compression of nerves in the wrist due to swelling in the carpal tunnel. It can cause pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in the hand and wrist. Treatment often includes splinting, anti-inflammatory medication, and in some cases, surgery.
Carpal tunnel is often the result of years of performing repetitive hand movements in the workplace. It frequently impacts administrative and clerical workers who spend hours at a time typing, as well as manufacturing workers who spend most of the work day handling parts on an assembly line. However, it can affect workers in any industry.
Can employees claim Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
When carpal tunnel syndrome develops in the workplace, it is considered an occupational disease and is compensable under New York’s workers’ compensation laws. In this case, the employee’s medical treatment related to carpal tunnel would be paid for, and they may receive cash benefits if they are unable to return to work. However, the burden is on the employee to demonstrate that the condition developed from tasks performed on the job.
Because carpal tunnel and other repetitive stress injuries are not caused by an isolated incident at work, it may be an uphill battle to show that the condition is work-related, rather than the result of outside activities. Additionally, in the case of an occupational disease, the employee must show that a “distinctive feature” of the job caused the ailment. A carpal tunnel workers’ comp claim may be denied if the condition was caused by the way the employee performed the job, rather than the nature of the job itself.
How can I claim Workers’ Compensation for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
To overcome the legal obstacles to a carpal tunnel claim, it is often necessary to build a medical record, obtain expert opinions, and secure testimony regarding the employee’s work history. If you are suffering from carpal tunnel, a skilled workers’ comp attorney can guide you through this complex process, as well as advocating for your rights before your employer, the insurance company, and the judge.
Are you suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and looking to make a claim?
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