If you were diagnosed with carpal tunnel because of work-related repetitive motion, you could recover compensation. How you developed carpal tunnel can play a role in how you are compensated for it.
Carpal tunnel is an overexertion and repetitive motion injury with multiple causes. Documenting the cause of your carpal tunnel can be a time-consuming and involved process. A workers compensation lawyer can help you compile all pertinent medical records and consult relevant medical experts.
An on-the-job injury could entitle you to workers’ compensation benefits. Meanwhile, an injury caused by negligence, such as a slip and fall incident, could entitle you to personal injury compensation. In either case, a lawyer in your area can build a strong evidence file and fight for fair financial recovery. In many cases, a law firm can also offer an initial review of your case at no cost to you.
Recovering Damages After Your Carpal Tunnel Diagnosis
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a debilitating injury that can disrupt your life and make even the simplest of tasks involving the use of your hands difficult or impossible. It can leave you with costly medical bills at the same time it leaves you unable to work. Review the cause of your injuries with a law firm near you. An attorney can explain your options for financial compensation.
Pursuing Personal Injury Compensation
You can recover financial compensation by filing a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit if your injury was caused by another party’s negligence.
You can hold the person or entity whose negligence caused your carpal tunnel liable for your:
- Medical care: Past, current, and future medical, rehabilitative, and therapeutic care, assistive medical devices, and prescription and over-the-counter medications
- Loss of income: Past, current, and future losses of income, including full- and part-time employment, freelance and consulting income, and gig economy or business losses
- Property damage: Property repair or replacement costs resulting from a car accident or slip and fall accident
You can also recover non-economic damages, including disability and physical and emotional pain and suffering.
How to Prove Negligence Caused Your Carpal Tunnel
If another party’s negligence caused your carpal tunnel, you have to prove it.
That means proving:
- Duty of care. The at-fault party owed you a duty of reasonable care
- Breach of duty. The at-fault party failed to meet their duty of care
- Causation. Your injury would not have occurred if it had not been for their negligent actions
- Damages. You suffered financial and non-economic damages due to your injuries
Proving these elements requires a robust evidence file. In most cases, the weight of your evidence file can lead you to an out-of-court resolution. A lawyer can help you negotiate with the at-fault party and their insurance company. They can also explain the time limits of your case and its potential timeline.
A Lawyer in Your Area Can Help You Build a Solid Personal Injury Case
Holding the appropriate party financially accountable for your injury requires familiarity with state and local law and attention to detail. Understanding the legal requirements of pursuing an at-fault party and preparing a case is challenging.
A personal injury lawyer can take care of the details and hard work of your case, including:
- Reviewing your medical records and bills
- Handling all case-related communication
- Determining the value of your case
- Drafting and filing your legal case
- Completing and submitting insurance forms
- Negotiating a fair financial settlement
By hiring a lawyer, you get the resources of their entire law firm behind your fight for benefits. A lawyer can also offer ongoing client support that helps you cope with a difficult situation. Additionally, if a settlement agreement cannot be reached, your lawyer can take your case to court and keep fighting on your behalf.
Medical Records and Other Evidence That Support Your Right to Financial Recovery
The type of evidence your case will require depends on how your injury occurred. Whether you file a personal injury case or workers’ compensation claim, your case will require medical evidence, including medical records and the results of imaging and other medical exams.
In personal injury cases, you also need evidence of the at-fault party’s negligence, including:
- Accident or incident reports
- Lay and expert witness statements
- Employment and salary history records
- Accident scene or injury photos
Recovering from carpal tunnel syndrome takes time. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, post-surgical recovery can take up to six months. While you focus on taking care of yourself and regaining dexterity in your hands, your lawyer can focus on building the strongest possible case for you.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel can occur when the nerve that runs from your forearm to your palm is distressed near the wrist. Your median nerve may feel pressed, causing your hand and wrist to feel weak or numb.
No two injured parties will exhibit identical symptoms. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the symptoms of carpal tunnel can include:
- Difficulty grasping objects
- Pain, numbness, or tingling
- Swelling in your fingers
- Burning in your digits
- Worsening pain at night
- Pain that prevents sleep
Because these symptoms can mimic other medical conditions, only a healthcare professional can give you a conclusive diagnosis. Do your symptoms prevent you from performing ordinary daily tasks or prevent you from returning to work? Depending on the cause of your injury, a lawyer can help you build a solid case for financial compensation.
Common Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome can have a variety of causes making a definitive and well-documented diagnosis important.
Diagnosing carpal tunnel can involve:
- A comprehensive physical examination
- Imaging exams including X-rays and ultrasound
- Electromyography to test your muscle’s responses
- Nerve tests to assess your injury and eliminate other causes
Known causes of carpal tunnel syndrome can include:
- Frequent, repetitive movement, including grasping and pulling motions
- Traumatic injuries including sprains or breaks from bracing yourself in a fall, for example
When you are represented by a lawyer, they can help you get to the bottom of your injury and determine where to turn for financial compensation. To document the cause of your carpal tunnel, they can collect records from every medical professional and facility where you received treatment.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for Carpal Tunnel
If your job involves overexertion or continual repetitive motion, it could have caused your carpal tunnel syndrome. If this was the case, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This can cover the costs of your medical care and provide you with financial benefits.
Some tasks that could cause carpal tunnel include:
- Typing and keyboarding
- Cashier and data entry
- Mechanic work
- Farming and agriculture
- Use of vibrating tools
- Use of small or fine tools
- Assembly line work
This list is in no way exhaustive as many other work tasks could be the cause of your injury. The best way to understand what caused your injury is to consult a healthcare professional. A lawyer can also help by explaining each step in the claims process, helping you with the potentially daunting application process, and collecting the medical evidence that substantiates your claim.
Your Compensation or Benefit Request Has Notification and Filing Deadlines
All civil lawsuits—including your potential personal injury case—have a statute of limitations. Your state determines the filing deadline and requires compliance. If your lawsuit is not filed within the allotted time period, you will not be permitted to file it at all. If you do manage to file your lawsuit late, it will be dismissed without even being heard.
You have rights as an injured worker. You also have certain responsibilities, and one of which is to notify your employer of your injury in a timely fashion. The time you have to file a workers’ comp claim is also limited.
Failure to file your case on time can be costly. A lawyer can help you meet all applicable deadlines and protect you from the costly consequences of filing too late.
A Lawyer Can Help You Navigate the Workers’ Compensation Claims Process
Applying for workers’ compensation benefits is a long and involved process.
Without legal guidance and support, it can also be stressful and frustrating. When you hire a lawyer to represent you, they can:
- Explain the qualifications for workers’ compensation benefits
- Review your employer’s responsibility for injured workers
- Build a compelling medical evidence file
- Interview coworkers and other witnesses
- Negotiate a lump-sum workers’ compensation settlement
- Explain the deadline for filing a claim
A workers’ compensation law firm can be especially helpful with challenging claims including ones where the cause of your injury is unclear, or your initial claim was rejected. They can also explain your financial recovery options if your employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Workplace Injuries Happen Far Too Frequently
Everyone is entitled to a safe workplace. Unfortunately, one is not always provided. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 2.6 million people are injured at work every year. You could qualify for workers’ compensation if you were injured at work. Your lawyer can help you build a strong case that proves where your injury occurred.
Your Rights as an Injured Employee
Depending on the number of employees they have, your employer may be required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Injuries that happen at work are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who was at fault. That means you do not have to prove negligence or liability as you would in a personal injury case.
If your employer does not carry the required insurance, a lawyer can help you determine other compensation avenues. If your employer does carry the required insurance, your lawyer can help you prepare your case for medical and financial benefits. You have the right to cost-free medical care, though you have to see the physician your employer chooses.
It is important to get medical care immediately since a prolonged work-related injury can have costs in addition to medical care. These can include loss of income, treatment for the psychological harm of the injury, and coping with your inability to return to work.
Medical and Financial Benefits via Workers’ Compensation
Worker’s compensation pays two kinds of benefits to employees who were injured on the job. Medical benefits cover all medical care from the time you were hurt until you reach maximum medical improvement.
Covered medical expenses include:
- Doctors’ office visits
- Splints or braces
- Physical therapy
- Surgical procedures
- Anti-inflammatory medication
In addition to covering your medical care, workers’ comp will provide you with financial benefits. This will help you support yourself and your family throughout your recovery. Financial benefits are based on your average weekly salary. Your lawyer can review your employment history and determine the value of your average weekly income.
Your lawyer can also document the amount of time you should receive benefits based on the severity of your injury and the length of your prescribed treatment plan.
A Denied Application Does Not Have to Be Final
You do not have to give up hope of getting workers’ comp benefits if your initial application was denied. A lawyer can help you file an effective appeal and support you at each step of the appeals process.
They can read and review your denial letter and explain the deadline for filing your appeal. Your lawyer can also explain the timing of your appeal, including notification and filing deadlines. They can consult a medical expert, rebuild your case, and add any new medical evidence or information to your existing case file.
Most Law Firms Offer Carpal Tunnel Victims a Free Case Review
Workers’ compensation benefits were designed to benefit you when you need them most. If you were diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome caused by your job, you could be eligible for benefits.
You could also consider filing a personal injury case if you suffered carpal tunnel due to someone else’s negligence. Many law firms can discuss your case with you at no cost. You do not have to endure financial hardship without fighting for relief. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer.