Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when pressure is put on the median nerve in your wrist. The median nerve sits within the carpal tunnel passage. Hence, its name. You might feel pain, weak, or numb in the area. Workers experience this injury a lot. It arises in many contexts. You might get it from typing, hammering, or doing something else over and over again. This injury creates a lot of havoc in peoples’ lives. It causes injuries, expenses, and aggravation. Many workers cannot even return to work because of it. These sections review issues related to carpal tunnel syndrome and the legal system. Workers in Illinois have the right to recover if they were injured on the job and this will show you how you can do that and how others have too.
- Workers’ Carpal Tunnel Injuries in Illinois
- Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Workers’ Carpal Tunnel Facts
- Can I sue for Carpal Tunnel Pain?
- What is the Value of Carpal Tunnel Claims?
- Carpal Tunnel Settlements for Injured Workers
- Lawyers That can Help You in Illinois
Workers’ Carpal Tunnel Injuries in Illinois
Carpal tunnel occurs when you do something again and again. Repetition breeds the injury. Thus, recurring work activities might give you carpal tunnel. It puts force on the median nerve in the passage of your arm. It makes the tunnel narrow and that causes pain. This issue can come from other sources. You might get it from pregnancy, diabetes, or arthritis.
Yet, it is more related to work than anything else. Some tasks that might cause carpal tunnel include the following:
- Typing on a laptop.
- Lifting weight onto a truck.
- Screwing in nails.
- Packaging materials.
Take breaks at work! Switch up tasks to avoid carpal tunnel. You don’t want to do the same thing for a long time. Otherwise, you might be at risk. To see if you have it, consult a doctor. If you do have it, contact our team. We assist workers with carpal tunnel. We help them recover in court. Carpal tunnel can threaten your work and enjoyment. Get the help you need! Recover what you deserve!
Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
You can do many things on your own to treat carpal tunnel. You can take a break from. Sound too easy? Well, it works! You can put a splint around your arm too. This will stabilize the hand and lower nerve pressure. Finally, you should elevate and stretch the arms too. These methods will reduce its effects.
However, this may not be enough. In which case, you should see a doctor. They will likely suggest surgery or medication. Surgery aims to relieve stress. Doctors cut the ligament that touches the nerve. Keep in mind the risks involved with this surgery. Some to note include infection, scarring, and nerve damage. Doctors prescribe meds to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation
You might also try to treat the underlying condition that causes the carpal tunnel (like arthritis). With any option, consult your physicians first. They will explain the benefits and risks of each. They can review the chances for success for each. Then, contact our offices. If you got carpal tunnel on the job, you deserve to recover for these bills and pain. We can assist you for no upfront cost. We have the history and skill to help you.
Workers’ Carpal Tunnel Facts
- More women have carpal tunnel on average than men.
- Carpal tunnel may arise in one or both hands.
- Carpal tunnel can be treated without surgery.
- Carpal tunnel can damage nerves. If this happens, surgery is likely necessary.
- Carpal tunnel symptoms worsen at night.
- Carpal tunnel is associated with diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, and other factors.
- Carpal tunnel has been linked to repetitive activities often completed at work.
- Carpal tunnel affects 1 in 20 workers.
- Carpal tunnel is the biggest reason why workers miss work.
- Hundreds of thousands of workers get carpal tunnel every year.
For more information, please read the following: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.
Can I sue for Carpal Tunnel Pain?
No, you cannot sue your employer for carpal tunnel syndrome. You likely got it from work activities. You must pursue workers’ comp for injuries from your job. This process differs than the regular court system.
How so? Well, companies must pay insurance for this. If you get hurt on the job, it pays out regardless of fault. In the claim, you must show you got injured at work. Getting carpal tunnel counts. You don’t have to show that the company acted negligently. That would be the issue in a lawsuit.
While this might seem easy, you must avoid some traps. First, the company will say you are an independent contractor not entitled to workers’ comp. Only employees get workers’ comp. Second, it will argue you acted foolishly and caused it. Third, it will doubt your injuries and their severity.
Did you have responses for these? We do. Our legal team has helped many workers. Carpal tunnel demands quick action. We can deliver the skill and resources that your claim requires. Want to know what your workers’ comp claim could obtain? Call and speak with us today!
What is the Value of Carpal Tunnel Claims?
The value of your claims will come down to a few key categories. We will review each of them here.
First, total your direct expenses. Most likely, medical bills will be the biggest factor. Things like doctors’ visits, meds, and rehab all count. Note any costs for surgery or devices too. Beyond medical bills, you should consider transit costs and other fees. These all add to your claim.
Second, any work you miss and wages you lose add to your claim. The carpal tunnel must be the cause of missed work. The law refers to this as temporary disability benefits. It might take some time before you can collect on this. It does not start immediately.
Third, you can collect if the carpal tunnel permanently disables you. In some cases, your boss might have to offer you training or a new role. If that fails, you can get benefits. Benefits are based on how big of an impact the injury had on your life. This allows lawyers to use their imagination.
Sum these and you will have a good estimate for your claim. Of course, you should speak with a lawyer. They will give you a sense of what your recovery will be. To find out what you could get, call our offices.
Carpal Tunnel Settlements for Injured Workers
Many people have heard of carpal tunnel syndrome but not so many people know what it actually is. It occurs when a nerve in the wrist is compressed and that causes numbness, pain, and tingling. It can actually create a lot of discomfort and make work seem hard or impossible. Here are some cases where it was the subject of the controversy. For more information on Illinois workers compensation cases involving carpal tunnel, look here.
2015; Alabama; $40,000 Settlement:
The employee in this case worked at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. After visiting the doctor, he learned that he had carpal tunnel syndrome in both of his hands. He filed a workers’ compensation claim with Goodyear. It alleged that this condition was created by the work and environment of his employment. The lawyers for Goodyear complained that his carpal tunnel was not the result of any work there but they did reach a settlement acceptable to the claimant for $20,000.
2014; Illinois; $1,700,000 Jury Award:
The plaintiff in this case was a veteran of a railroad company for over ten years. His suit, brought under the Federal Employees Liability Act, suggested that the nature of his work degraded and reduced his health. He presented testimony from doctors that illustrated he had carpal tunnel syndrome, herniated discs, and canal stenosis in his spine. For all of these items, he sought damages. The defendant returned these allegations with some of his own: the plaintiff himself was negligent, he failed to mitigate his own damages, and he did not bring the suit within the applicable statute of limitations. The plaintiff passed all of the procedural hurdles that his opponent threw at him but they could not substantively agree on the extent of his injuries so they went to trial. The jury found that the workplace did contribute to his injuries including carpal tunnel syndrome and awarded him $1,700,000 for the following damages:
- Lost Wages:
- Pain and Suffering:
- Emotional Distress:
2011; Alabama; $62,743 Settlement:
Here, a middle-aged woman complained to be suffering from arm and hand numbness and pain. Doctors later diagnosed her with carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands. She attributed the birth of this condition to her employment and in her subsequent workers’ compensation claim she stated that she was permanently disabled because of it. Lawyers for the employer denied that her employment caused these injuries. However, the woman was still able to extract $62,743 in benefit from the company for her carpal tunnel syndrome.
2012; Iowa; $940,905 Jury Award:
This dispute started in the early 1990s. Russell Phillips was on the maintenance staff at the Chicago, Central & Pacific Railroad Company. Pursuant to his employment, he was required to complete such tasks as evening ground, installing rails, welding machinery, and moving heavy objects the rail yards. Eventually, he realized that he had developed health issues from this work including carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, and other serious medical conditions. He sued the railroad company under the Federal Employers' Liability Act. His suit alleged that the company should have made him aware of the risks involved with working there and taken better precautions to ensure the working environment was safer. The lawsuit sought damages for past and future medical bills, lost wages, disability, pain and suffering, and loss of normal life. The defendant shot back that the plaintiff was contributorily negligent and, because of that, it was blameless. While the jury found that both parties were in fact negligent, they still returned a rather high award for the plaintiff of $940,905.
2012; Illinois; $1,100,047 Jury Award:
A machinist was going about his day at work when he suddenly fell off of the elevator he was riding. The incident seriously hurt him. He sustained a broken wrist, traumatic arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and extensive nerve damage. He sued his employer pursuant to the Federal Employees Liability Act for failing to provide a safe work environment. In particular, the suit alleged that they should have placed handrails and other protections on the elevator in question. The defendant denied that they did anything wrong and stated that, contrary to the plaintiff’s cries, his injuries were only temporary. Failing to find common ground, this dispute proceeded to trial where the jury found for the plaintiff in the following fashion:
- Lost Wages:
- Pain and Suffering:
2010; Texas; $420,000 Jury Award:
This story unfolded on a large dredge ship off the cost of Texas. The victim was working on a machine in a confined space when he slipped and fell trying to remove a nut from a socket. He had two men helping him but he thought that was not enough. He sued his employer under the Jones Act for failing to provide him with proper assistance and a safe working environment. Due to their actions, he alleged that he suffered carpal tunnel syndrome and other injuries. His employer countered that he was contributorily negligent and that his damages were not as much as he claimed. The jury disagreed with the defense, they awarded the plaintiff $420,000 for his injuries.
2008; Arkansas; $935,000 Jury Award:
The setting of this dispute was a famous grocery store: Kroger. An employee was cleaning up one of their stores-mopping at the end of the day-when a box fell off the shelves and hit him in the head. The force of this object sent him straight to the ground. He braced his fall with his wrists. He sustained a concussion, torn rotator cuff, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Not long after this incident, he filed a claim for compensation with his employer and, without denying they were responsible, still criticized the amount of damages that he sought. So the issue was tried and a jury arrived at $935,000 as the appropriate amount.
Lawyers That can Help You in Illinois
Many Illinois workers suffer from carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel can seriously impact your income. It can also hamper your quality of life. Thus, you should prepare yourself. If you do have it, there are things you can do to recover. Our firm can bring a case for you. It will seek compensation for the bills and pain. Plus, we won’t charge any fees until we’ve won for you. Call us today. We can begin immediately.
If you would like to learn about other kinds of injuries sustained by Illinois workers, then please read the following pages: