What To Know About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome And Workers’ Compensation
Workplace injuries can take many different forms in West Palm Beach. Sometimes workplace injuries are traumatic injuries, occurring as a result of an accident on a job site or when an employee slips and falls while walking to the copy machine. In other cases, workplace injuries result from months or years of use or exposure, resulting in occupational disease claims. If you have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, can you be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim for an occupational disease?
While it may be more difficult to prove that carpal tunnel syndrome arose out of your employment, this type of repetitive-motion injury can be compensable under Florida workers’ compensation law. Our South Florida workers’ compensation lawyers want to provide you with more information to help with your claim.
Understanding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
What is carpal tunnel syndrome? According to the Mayo Clinic, it is “caused by pressure on the median nerve.” The Mayo Clinic explains that “the carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway surrounded by bones and ligaments on the palm side of your hand,” and “when the median nerve is compressed, the symptoms can include numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and arm.”
Most people begin to experience symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome gradually, and they usually occur in the form of tingling or numbness or weakness. Symptoms will typically worsen without treatment. The Mayo Clinic identifies a number of risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome, which can include work-related duties. Some workplace factors that can put a person at greater risk of carpal tunnel syndrome include the following:
- Working regularly with vibrating tools;
- Performing work tasks that require a repetitive flexing of the wrist;
- Working on an assembly line;
- Repetitive use of a laser scanner;
- Regularly using hand tools; and
- Repetitive scrubbing or similar motions.
According to the Mayo Clinic, research is not definitive when it comes to the relationship between carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive typing. Some studies suggest that the regular use of a computer mouse, as opposed to regular typing, may be more likely to cause carpal tunnel syndrome. However, repetitive typing may lead to other occupational diseases like tendonitis, which also could be compensable through the Florida workers’ compensation system.
Is My Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Compensable?
In order for carpal tunnel syndrome or any other repetitive-motion injury to be compensable, the following must be true:
- Your carpal tunnel syndrome resulted from the nature of your employment;
- You developed carpal tunnel syndrome while you were engaged in your required work; and
- Your work duties were the major contributing cause of your carpal tunnel syndrome.
You will need to have medical evidence to show that your job was the major contributing cause of your carpal tunnel syndrome, so it will be essential to seek advice from a health care provider as soon as possible.
Contact Our West Palm Beach Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you have any questions about filing a workers’ compensation claim for carpal tunnel syndrome or another occupational disease, a West Palm Beach workers’ compensation lawyer at our firm can assist you. Contact the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. today to get started on your claim.