According to the National Center for Health Statistics, about 260,000 carpal tunnel release surgeries are conducted every year. In all cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, close to 47% are caused by work-related activities, and permanent injury to the affected hand may occur in approximately 1% of people with carpal tunnel syndrome.
When compared to all other major work-related injuries or illnesses, this injury also accounts for the highest average number of days lost at work.
As more workers are chained to desks performing their job in front of a computer, repetitive stress injuries (RSI) like carpal tunnel are becoming increasingly common – although the same injury is caused by many types of repetitive jobs. Although the injury is likely caused by the work, it is probably not possible for you to sue your employer over carpal tunnel syndrome. Workers compensation laws prohibit most workers from pursuing a lawsuit for workplace injuries.
If you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome due to your work, it is important that you understand the workers’ compensation insurance system in your state. Your only means of receiving compensation for your work-related injury may be workers’ compensation, also referred to as “workman’s compensation”.
Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome a Workplace Injury?
When it comes to carpal tunnel syndrome, one of the most frequently debated issues is whether a workplace injury or a non-work-related factor caused it. The burden of proving that the injury was work-related will be with the employee.
If there are instances where a worker holds a second job that requires repetitive movements, or they are an avid tennis player outside of work, it could be argued that those factors led to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. Or the employee may have a health condition such as diabetes or arthritis. Such an instance can raise the argument from the employer’s insurance company that the injury did not occur while working for that particular employer.
Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
If you suffer a work-related injury, it is most likely that you can receive workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation covers different types of injuries including physical injuries, but those injuries must be work-related. However, keep in mind that you may run into a few arguments when it comes to carpal tunnel and other repetitive stress injuries.
The Characterization of Carpal Tunnel – Burden of Proof
Your burden of proof can be impacted by how carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized. For example, if compensable as an occupational disease, clear and convincing evidence that the injury arose out of and in the course of employment will need to be provided to prove your case. If, however, the injury is compensable as an accident, then you may require the lower “preponderance of the evidence” standard.
If your work has caused you or a loved one to suffer carpal tunnel syndrome, you should immediately contact one of the experienced personal injury lawyers at the reputed Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff of RMFW Law at 212 697 9280. You can discuss the steps you need to take to make a workers’ compensation claim with us – the first consultation is free.
What do you have to say? We know a viable case when we see one. You need to call us though (212 697 9280) – we cannot do that for you. We are not paid until you are paid.