Carpal tunnel syndrome is a type of overuse injury that is common among employees who type on computers and perform other repetitive tasks on a daily basis. Estimates put the number of cases of carpal tunnel syndrome in the United States at more than three million per year, with most patients falling between age 18 and the age of retirement.
If you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, can you file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits? If your condition is work-related and you otherwise qualify for benefits, the answer is most likely, “Yes.” Other similar types of injuries can qualify for workers’ compensation coverage as well, and obtaining an accurate diagnosis will be one of the first steps on the road to physical and financial recovery.
When to Seek Treatment and Compensation for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the medical term for a pinched nerve in the wrist. It is most-commonly the result of swelling in the wrist due to persistent or repetitive bending, which causes compression of the median nerve. The median nerve passes through the carpal tunnel, which is a narrow passage in the wrist that also houses the ligaments and tendons that allow for movement of the hand and fingers.
When the median nerve is compressed (or “pinched”), this can cause symptoms including:
- Tingling or numbness in the fingers or hand
- An “electric shock” feeling in the fingers, possibly traveling up the arm
- Weakness, particularly of the pinching muscles in the thumb
If you are experiencing these symptoms and you use a computer, work on an assembly line, work with tools, or perform other repetitive tasks with your hands at work, you should see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment promptly. If you qualify for workers’ compensation, you may need to see a doctor in your employer’s Preferred Provider Program (PPP), or formally opt out of the program before seeing a doctor of your choice.
Are You Sure You are Suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
While carpal tunnel syndrome is perhaps the most well-known wrist injury associated with repetitive stress at work, there are a variety of other conditions with similar symptoms that can result from overuse as well. Other common overuse injuries affecting the wrist that may entitle you to workers’ compensation benefits include:
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Wrist Tendinitis
Securing workers’ compensation benefits for an overuse injury can be difficult, and employers (and their insurance companies) will often use a number of different tactics to reduce or deny employees’ claims for benefits. As a result, if you believe that you may be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, it is important that you speak with an attorney promptly. At Jackowiak Law Offices, we offer free initial consultations; and, if we believe that you have a claim for benefits, we will represent you through the entire process without charging you a penny until we win the compensation you deserve.
Discuss Your Case with a Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Free
For more information about how we can help you file for workers’ compensation benefits in Chicago, please contact us to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation. To schedule an appointment at your convenience, call us 24/7 at (312) 795-9595, or send us your contact information and we will be in touch as soon as possible.