Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when pressure is put on the median nerve in your wrist. The median nerve sits within the carpal tunnel, a passage within the wrist. You might feel pain, weak, or numb in this area. Workers experience this issues frequently, often due to repetitive motions such as typing or hammering. Carpal tunnel syndrome causes aggravation and medical expenses, and many workers cannot even return to work because of it. Workers in Illinois have the right to recover damages if they were injured on the job, including developing carpal tunnel syndrome, and we can help you get the compensation you deserve.
- Workers’ Carpal Tunnel Injuries in Illinois
- Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Facts About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Can I Sue for Carpal Tunnel Pain?
- What is the Value of Carpal Tunnel Claims?
- Carpal Tunnel Settlements for Injured Workers
- Lawyers who can Help You in Illinois
Workers’ Carpal Tunnel Injuries in Illinois
Repeated pressure on the median nerve can cause the carpal tunnel to narrow, and that causes pain. You might get carpal tunnel syndrome from pregnancy, diabetes, or arthritis, but it’s most frequently associated with repetitive on-the-job tasks such as:
- Lifting weight onto a truck
- Screwing in nails
- Packaging materials
If your work involves these types of tasks, it’s important to take breaks to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome. But if you’re already experiencing its effects, it’s time to take action. First, see a doctor; then, contact our team to get the legal help you need and get compensation.
Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
You can do many things on your own to treat carpal tunnel, such as taking a break from the activity that’s causing it or using a splint to stabilize the hand and reduce nerve pressure. You can also make a habit of elevating and stretching the arms. You might also try to address an underlying condition that may be causing the problem, such as arthritis. However, you may not be able to do enough on your own, in which case you should see a doctor.
There are two remedies at a doctor’s disposal: medication to reduce the pain, swelling, and inflammation or surgery. If you need surgery, a doctor will cut the ligament that touches the nerve to relieve the pressure on it. Risks of this type of surgery can include infection, scarring, and nerve damage.
If you got carpal tunnel syndrome on the job, you deserve to recover damages for your medical bills and pain. We can help you do just that, and we’ll do it at no cost to you; we only get paid once you get compensation.
Facts About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- More women have carpal tunnel syndrome 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 syndrome every year.
Can I Sue for Carpal Tunnel Pain?
No, you cannot sue your employer for carpal tunnel syndrome. You likely got it from work activities, so you must pursue a workers’ compensation claim. This process differs from seeking compensation through the regular court system.
How so? Companies must pay for worker’s comp insurance, and if you get hurt on the job, it pays out regardless of fault. For a workers’ compensation claim, you must show that you got injured at work. You don’t have to show that the company acted negligently, which would be the issue in a lawsuit.
While this might seem easy, you must avoid some traps. First, the company may claim that you are an independent contractor not entitled to workers’ comp: Only employees get workers’ comp. It could also argue that you acted recklessly and caused the injury yourself. If these arguments fail, the company may raise doubt about your injuries and their severity.
Do you have responses to these arguments? We will. Our legal team has helped many workers get the compensation they need, and we can help you, too.
What is the Value of Carpal Tunnel Claims?
The value of your claim will come down to a few key factors.
First, total your direct expenses. Most likely, medical bills will be the biggest cost: Things like doctors’ visits, prescriptions, and rehab all count. Note any costs for surgery or devices, too. Beyond medical bills, you should consider transit costs and other fees related to your treatment. These all add to your claim.
Second, any work you miss and wages you lose due to your carpal tunnel syndrome add to your claim. 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 compensation if your issue 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 based on how big of an impact the injury had on your life.
Add up all of these amounts and you will have a good estimate of the value of your claim. For help figuring out what your case might be worth, give us a call anytime, 24/7.
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 can actually create a lot of discomfort and make work seem hard or impossible. Here are some examples of how carpal tunnel injury cases have played out.
2015, Alabama: $40,000 Carpal Tunnel Workers’ Comp 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 alleging 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 $40,000.
2014, Illinois: $1,700,000 Carpal Tunnel Lawsuit Settlement
The plaintiff in this case was a veteran of a railroad company for more than ten years. His suit, brought under the Federal Employees Liability Act, suggested that the nature of his work degraded his health. He presented testimony from doctors that illustrated that he had carpal tunnel syndrome, herniated discs, and canal stenosis in his spine. For all of these injuries, he sought damages. The defendant met these allegations with some of his own, claiming that 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 Workers’ Compensation for Carpal Tunnel Settlement Here, a middle-aged woman complained of suffering from arm and hand numbness and pain. Doctors later diagnosed her with carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands. She attributed 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 compensation from the company for her carpal tunnel syndrome.
2012, Iowa: $940,905 Carpal Tunnel Lawsuit Settlement
This dispute started in the early 1990s. Russell Phillips was on the maintenance staff at the Chicago Central & Pacific Railroad, and pursuant to his employment, he was required to complete such tasks as evening ground, installing rails, welding machinery, and moving heavy objects at 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 Employees 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 that 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. 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 claims, 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, so 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 Kroger grocery store. 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 impact 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 that they were responsible, they 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.
Many Illinois workers suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, and it can seriously impact your income. It can also hurt your quality of life. If you have carpal tunnel syndrome due to your work, we can help you recover damages. Call us today and we’ll give you a free consultation, the first step toward getting you compensation for your medical bills and pain. You have nothing to lose: You’ll pay nothing out of pocket for our services, and if we don’t get you compensation, we don’t get paid. Further Reading About Illinois Workplace Injuries