Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that occurs when the median nerve, a major nerve that extends from the forearm into the palm, is squeezed or pressed. The median nerve is responsible for providing feeling to the index finger, middle finger, ring finger, and the palm side of the thumb. It also controls some small muscles at the base of the thumb. It is housed in a narrow passage located in the palm of the hand called the carpal tunnel, which is surrounded by ligaments and bone.
When the median nerve is compressed, particularly over a long period of time, this can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and arm. There are more than three million cases of carpal tunnel syndrome in the United States each year. Some are relatively mild and will resolve on their own with minimal intervention. Others are more severe and may require medical treatment and therapy. In the most serious cases, patients may experience limited capabilities in the workplace and in performing daily activities.
If you’re experiencing a severe case of carpal tunnel syndrome, you are probably wondering how to pay for the treatment you need. Workers’ compensation may be an option—if your condition is work-related. If you work at a computer, perform repetitive motions, drive a lot, or do other tasks that require you to hold your hand in an awkward position or put pressure on your palm, they could be the reason behind your condition.
Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Coverage for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
In Pennsylvania, people who experience any type of injury or illness at work or related to their job duties may be entitled to workers’ compensation. This covers medical treatment and a portion of lost wages while the injured employee is unable to work. After a carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosis, securing full workers’ comp benefits can make a significant difference.
Unfortunately, filing a successful workers’ compensation claim and recovering the benefits you need is not as easy as you’d think. Claims are frequently rejected due to errors or omissions, and the appeals process can be complex. Some employers and their workers’ compensation insurance companies may even try to underpay or deny valid claims outright. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a serious condition that warrants the best treatment and the replacement of your lost earnings. Working with an experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney may be your best opportunity to get the support you deserve.
Jobs That Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Some people are more prone to carpal tunnel syndrome than others. In fact, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, women are three times more likely than men to develop this condition. Diabetes and even the anatomy of your wrist may contribute to your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, but there are also specific motions and jobs that have been associated with median nerve compression. Repetitive hand motions, cumbersome hand and wrist positions, vibration, and gripping can all increase one’s risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome has been associated with the following occupations:
- Administrative personnel
- Agricultural workers
- Assembly line workers
- Construction workers
- Poultry-processing workers
- Tailors and garment workers
Other Compensation Options for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Not all instances of carpal tunnel syndrome are caused by one’s job, and some cases can be linked to acts of negligence or wrongdoing on the part of third parties. When you have an injury that’s not work-related, or someone other than your employer is responsible for your condition, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit.
A personal injury suit can make it possible to seek additional compensation for carpal tunnel syndrome treatment and losses, which would not normally be covered by workers’ comp. This may include all of your lost wages, loss of future earnings, medical treatment, future care, and pain and suffering. Because each case is different, it will be important to talk to your attorney about what may apply and what the best approach may be in your unique situation.
Ask a Pennsylvania Work Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been experiencing pain and numbness in your hand and arm, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Many cases of carpal tunnel syndrome start mildly and will worsen without treatment. You should also inform your employer if you believe your injuries are work-related. Telling your employer, in writing, is the best way to protect your right to workers’ compensation. We also recommend talking to one of our Pennsylvania work injury lawyers as soon as you can. We can answer your questions and offer insight regarding your diagnosis, the treatment you received, how your job duties may have contributed to your condition, and all possible sources of compensation for your treatment and lost earnings.
At Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC, we’ve fought for injured Pennsylvanians for nearly 100 years. We’re ready to fight for you! Call (888) 498-3023 to get started.