What Benefits Can You Claim If You Develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome at Work?

People who always use their hands and wrists doing repetitive work can develop carpal tunnel syndrome or CTS. Those who suffer from this condition experience pain, discomfort, tingling sensations or numbness in their fingers and hands.

What are the causes of CTS?

Several factors cause CTS, but generally this is due to repetitive motion. Here are some activities that predispose people to develop CTS:

– Packing

– Using computers

– Making items by hand (i.e. sewing, creating handmade decorations, etc.)

– Playing musical instruments

How is CTS diagnosed?

A number of tests can be done to confirm that a person has CTS. Doctors can do an initial physical exam wherein a patient will be asked to tap his fingers. He has to verbalize if he feels pain, numbness or tingling sensations. Further tests may be recommended, including: x-ray, electromyography, nerve conduction studies; MRIs or ultrasound scans.

Is CTS treatable?

CTS can be treated if discovered and managed as soon as possible. Ignoring the problem will make it worse; some might even sustain permanent nerve damage. There are non-surgical and surgical treatments for CTS. Non-surgical management involves the use of corticosteroids and wrist splints or adaptive equipment. But doctors recommend surgical intervention for those who already have severe CTS.

How will CTS affect my performance at work?

Someone who has CTS could become less efficient at work. It is more challenging to get a job done while a person is in pain. Sometimes, when the pain is too much, a person may have to pause for a while, which may be viewed negatively by co-workers or superiors. Those who already suffer from advanced stages of CTS may have to stop working.

In addition to this, those who have CTS could also experience emotional problems. Many experience feelings of hopelessness, uselessness or depression. It’s also common for those with CTS to have fear and anxiety about the future.

Can I get worker’s compensation if I develop CTS?

Yes. Workers can file for lost wage benefits, medical benefits, as well as disability compensation.

Lost Wage Benefits

A person may be entitled to lost wage benefits, which means that he will be compensated even if he is absent from work because he is seeking treatment for CTS or is unable to work because of it.

Medical Benefits

A worker has the right to receive medical benefits for the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of CTS.

Disability Compensation

Someone who is getting treatment for CTS may have to stop working for a while. He may also be ordered by his doctors to rest for a certain period of time in order to recover quickly. Some may even be forced to stop working if their condition is already severe. When these things occur, workers could get total temporary disability or permanent disability benefits from their companies.

How do I file a claim?

Since there are so many work-related legal concerns, it’s best to approach a personal injury lawyer who specializes in CTS cases. There are also certain aspects that have to be proven first so that a victim’s case will have a bigger chance of becoming a success.

– It must be proven that the employer or company that a person works for is liable.

– Carpal tunnel syndrome is confirmed by medical diagnosis or reports.

– The development of CTS is due to repetitive actions or movements at work.

Citations:

Claire Waltham is a freelance writer who blogs about matters concerning workers’ compensation. She writes for an online Cerritos personal injury attorney and she blogs for other well-respected law firms as well.

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