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Workplace injuries and illnesses are not uncommon, but the good news is that workers in California are entitled to medical coverage and lost wages for injuries they sustained on the job. However, not all workplace injuries are the same. While some injuries and illnesses are obvious, and it is clear that they happened at work, others are harder to see because they develop over longer periods of time. Injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome are considered repetitive motion injuries. We want you to know that, in most cases, those who develop carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of workplace conditions should be able to recover workers’ compensation coverage.
Most people have heard of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), but they may not understand that the carpal tunnel is actually an area on the underside of the wrist. This “tunnel” contains the median nerve along with other tendons that allow your hands and wrists to function properly. Compression of this area can lead to serious long-term complications. CTS is not an immediate injury. Often, the signs and symptoms of CTS do not appear for years:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), thousands of people miss work each year due to complications related to carpal tunnel syndrome, and approximately one out of every 20 adults in this country has CTS.
Many workplace activities can cause carpal tunnel syndrome to develop. This includes those who spend most of their day typing, filing physical documents, stocking shelves, or making other repetitive motions with their wrists and hands. Those who are required to grip objects or use vibrating or oscillating tools are also prone to developing CTS.
Workers’ compensation is available for employees in California who develop carpal tunnel syndrome due to the on-the-job activities. The total amount of compensation that a person receives will depend on various factors related to their particular case. Sometimes, CTS can be treated with rest and a short time away from work activities. More serious carpal tunnel syndrome cases require surgery to repair the compression. This could lead to significant time away from work for the injured employee and result in a larger amount of workers’ compensation benefits being paid out.
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation claims for repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome are more likely to be delayed or denied. This is because, as was mentioned above, these injuries take longer periods of time to develop than most acute traumatic workplace injuries. That makes the cause of the CTS harder to pinpoint on workplace activities. However, that should not mean that a worker is denied their rightful benefits.
If you have any questions about whether or not your carpal tunnel syndrome will be covered by workers’ compensation, the Orange County workers’ compensation attorneys at DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo are ready to help. We have extensive experience helping clients obtain benefits after sustaining repetitive motion injuries. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling (714) 783-2205.