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Does Workers’ Comp Cover Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Riddle Brantley LLP   |  February 19, 2020   |  

Have you suffered a repetitive motion-related injury on the job in North Carolina? You may be wondering: Is carpal tunnel covered by workers’ comp?

Our experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys frequently advise injured workers on questions involving repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Does workers’ comp cover carpal tunnel syndrome?

At least in the state of North Carolina, you can apply to have carpal tunnel syndrome covered by workers’ compensation.

Depending on the facts of your case, if you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, you may be eligible for workers' compensation in North Carolina. - Riddle & BrantleyWorkers’ compensation typically covers workplace injuries that occur as a result of an accident, such as when a worker is injured when something falls on them.  But the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act does allow for repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome to be covered if certain criteria are met.

The North Carolina Industrial Commission will apply a balancing test to determine if an individual’s job duties were the cause of the carpal tunnel syndrome, and also look at whether these job duties are unique to this profession or are common in the general public.

So for example, if you file a claim and say you use a mouse at work, the insurance company might try to deny your claim and argue that everyone uses a mouse at home and your job did not predispose you to suffering from carpal tunnel. So a better claim would be one where you note that you have used a mouse for hours every day, with few breaks, at work for 3 years. This shows that you are more likely than the average person to begin suffering from carpal tunnel.

If I think I have carpal tunnel, do I need a workers’ comp attorney?

If you think you are suffering from carpal tunnel as a result of your job, it is important to consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer.

Our North Carolina work injury lawyers offer free consultations. For a FREE consultation with a Board-Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist, please call 1-800-525-7111.

We regularly explain to people how important it is to notify your employer in writing that you think you may be suffering from carpal tunnel, so they can try to modify your job for you, if possible, or provide you with ergonomic equipment. It is also important to see a doctor and obtain a diagnosis. Make sure you tell your doctor that you believe your condition might be work-related. Your doctor keeps records of your visits and will note this in your file.  Your doctor might also advise you on specific things you should try to do at work to alleviate your condition.

Once you receive a carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosis from a physician, you are probably wise to retain a workers’ compensation lawyer to help you navigate the workers’ comp system.

Our firm handles worker’s compensation claims on a contingency basis, which means you do not have to pay us anything unless you recover on your claim.

For a FREE consultation with a North Carolina workers’ comp attorney, please call 1-800-525-7111 or complete the short form below.

If I file a workers’ compensation claim for carpal tunnel, will I be fired?

For a FREE case review with a North Carolina worker's compensation attorney, please call 1-800-525-7111 - Riddle & BrantleyIn North Carolina, an employer cannot legally fire an employee for filing a worker’s compensation claim in good faith.

However, in many instances, employers and their insurance companies may determine that an employee who was injured on the job is a risk for re-injury.  Often, they will approach an injured employee and offer to buy out their employment and workers’ comp claim, which we refer to as a “clincher and release.”

These situations can be very complex and confusing. You have a right to reject any such settlement offers, and refusing to settle does not terminate your worker’s comp claim.

For help navigating the complexities of the workers’ compensation system in North Carolina, please contact one of our experienced work injury lawyers today. Please call 1-800-525-7111 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

We believe Justice Counts and are dedicated to fighting for injured North Carolina workers and their loved ones.

“I would recommend Riddle & Brantley to anyone who needs help with disability or workers’ comp.”

-B. Fields

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a medical condition that occurs when tendons in the hand become inflamed or swollen, pressing on the median nerve that passes through the “carpal tunnel” passageway of the hand. The median nerve can become impinged because of this swelling, which can cause numbness, burning, and/or pain in the hand.

What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is usually caused by repetitive stress or motion, where a person does the same thing over and over again.  For example, clicking on a computer mouse every day, or working on an assembly line at a processing plant or a factory, can eventually result in carpal tunnel.

Can carpal tunnel syndrome be treated or cured?

Doctors will first perform an evaluation to determine a diagnosis. This can involve diagnostic scans, such as a nerve conduction study.  If the doctor diagnoses a patient with carpal tunnel, they also have to determine the severity of the condition. If it is not very severe, they may determine that conservative care is appropriate. This might include medications or injections to reduce swelling, and modifications to lifestyle or work routines. For example, a doctor might recommend wearing a brace at work, and use of an ergonomic desk, mouse, and keyboard to reduce stress on the wrist.

Unfortunately, some jobs cannot be modified enough to avoid continued stress on the wrist. Fortunately, there is a surgical procedure available for sufferers of carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel release is considered a safe and effective way to cure sufferers.  The procedure can be performed on an out-patient basis, with patients going home the same day.

Thinking of filing a workers’ compensation claim for carpal tunnel syndrome in North Carolina?

There are no attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive workers' compensation benefits. - Riddle & BrantleyIf you’ve suffered a repetitive motion injury like carpal tunnel syndrome while on the job, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Our Board-Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialists would love to help you if we can.

For a FREE consultation with a North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer experienced handling carpal tunnel injury claims, please call Riddle & Brantley at 1-800-525-7111.

You can also complete the fast and easy form below if you prefer.

There is no obligation and you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive workers’ compensation benefits.

“They treated my case very professionally, with respect from beginning to end.”

-Joseph W.

Justice Counts and we’re dedicated to fighting tirelessly for injured North Carolina workers.