Some work-related injuries developed gradually over time. Often referred to as repetitive stress injuries or repetitive trauma injuries, they happen because a worker puts consistent and repeated strain on their body. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common types of work-related repetitive stress injuries reported in California. In this article, our Fresno workers’ compensation attorney explains the key things to know if you developed carpal tunnel syndrome on the job.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a notoriously painful injury. As explained by the Mayo Clinic, it is “caused by pressure on the median nerve” and it is associated with a wide range of wrist-related problems, including:
As with other types of repetitive stress injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome occurs gradually. There is no specific “accident” or “incident” that can be pointed to as the cause and the injury tends to get worse over time.
In California, repetitive stress injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome, can be covered by workers’ compensation. Some work-related activities—keyboard use, repeated use of the hands, etc—have been linked to carpal tunnel syndrome. While repetitive strain injuries are covered by workers’ comp in California, getting a claim approved can be a little bit more challenging. There are two key issues that must be addressed when you file a workers’ comp claim for carpal tunnel:
- Timing: You have a responsibility to promptly report your work-related carpal tunnel syndrome to your employer and seek medical attention. Timing is an important element in a workers’ comp claim. To the best of your ability, you should try to clarify when exactly you started developing symptoms of carpal tunnel.
- Causation: Another issue with repetitive stress injury workers’ comp claims is causation. You can only obtain workers’ comp benefits for carpal tunnel syndrome if you can establish that the impairment happened “out of and in the normal course of business.” In other words, you have to prove that it is reasonably related to your job. Employers/insurers may try to undermine causation in an effort to deny workers’ comp benefits.
If you are preparing to file for workers’ compensation for carpal tunnel syndrome or if your claim has already been denied, you should not hesitate to seek guidance and support from an attorney who has experience representing employees in repetitive stress injury cases. A lawyer can help you gather and assemble all of the medical documents, records, and information you need to proceed.
Contact Our California Work Injury Attorney for Immediate Legal Help Joseph C. Yrulegui is a workers’ comp lawyer with deep experience handling complex claims. If you or your loved one is dealing with a work-related carpal tunnel injury, we can help. Contact us today to set up an immediate consultation with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer. We serve communities throughout the region, including in Fresno, Merced, Clovis, Hanford, and Madera.