Carpal tunnel syndrome remains a problem for many workers today. What is this condition, why is it so prevalent, and what can a person do when they have received this diagnosis? Furthermore, can the individual sue his or her employer to have the medical bills paid that relate to the diagnosis? These are all questions a person needs to be answered, so they can obtain the treatment they require in a timely manner and resume their normal activities.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Every person has a nerve that runs from their forearm to the palm of their hand. When this nerve becomes squeezed or pressed at the wrist, carpal tunnel syndrome occurs. This nerve controls movement in the first three fingers and thumb of the hand and it becomes irritating when the canal narrows. Over time the pain and numbness felt in the hand increase, leading the person to seek treatment. The hand may also feel weak and symptoms have been known to spread to the forearm and arm if left untreated.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The most common cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is repetitive motions of the hand and wrist. Individuals working on an assembly line, those who type every day or work on a computer, cashiers, and individuals who work with vibrating tools often find they develop this condition. The same is true of those who play musical instruments, locksmiths, and many other professions. For this reason, any person who notices pain, weakness, or numbness in their hand or wrist should seek medical treatment to determine if this is the problem. The same is true when a person can no longer hold small objects in his or her hands or when he or she frequently drops objects. Symptoms such as these always need to be checked to determine the underlying cause.
Can the Employer Be Sued?
An employer cannot be sued when a person develops carpal tunnel syndrome. However, there are situations where the diagnosis is the result of a person suffering an injury outside of work. When this is the case, legal action may be taken. The best person to speak to in this situation is an attorney who handles cases of this type, such as those employed by Hasner Law, to learn how to proceed in this situation.
How to Proceed When the Injury if the Result of One’s Employment
The good news is that workers who develop carpal tunnel syndrome as a direct result of their employment can file a worker’s compensation claim. This claim may be filed even if the worker has left the place of employment that led to the development of this condition, as carpal tunnel syndrome might not appear until months or years later. The worker may be entitled to compensation for his or her medical bills, lost wages due to missed work resulting from the condition, and disability payments if the problem persists the following treatment.
If you suspect you have carpal tunnel syndrome, visit a doctor to obtain a diagnosis. Once the diagnosis has been confirmed, it is time to determine what brought it about. For some, this will be work they have engaged in on behalf of an employer. Others, however, learn their condition is the result of an accident or trauma they sustained. The best course of action to obtain compensation will depend on the underlying cause, thus this must be determined first. Only then can an individual know how to proceed to have his or her expenses relating to the condition covered.