Carpal Tunnel Benefits

Carpal Tunnel Benefits

Carpal Tunnel BenefitsDeveloping carpal tunnel can be uncomfortable and frustrating. It can also interfere with your ability to work and earn a living. Therefore, if you now have carpal tunnel as a result of your occupation, you may have the opportunity to file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits.

Workers’ compensation claims can be difficult to navigate, especially for conditions that develop over time, like carpal tunnel. Working with a workers’ compensation attorney in Philadelphia can ensure you file a proper claim and receive all the benefits you’re entitled to.

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Understanding Workers’ Compensation Insurance

If you’ve never had to file a workers’ compensation claim, you may be unfamiliar with how this special insurance program works. Understanding what workers’ compensation is, what benefits they cover, and how to apply can aid your claim’s success.

Workers’ compensation, also referred to as workers’ comp or workman’s comp, is a type of business insurance that helps employees receive benefits and compensation if they’re harmed at work. Workers’ comp benefits can provide significant financial assistance if an employee needs time off to recover or cannot return to work.

By filing a claim with workers’ comp, employees can receive financial recovery without going through the motions of proving liability and filing a lawsuit. Employers that carry workers’ comp insurance receive protection from legal actions. However, if a third party causes or even partly causes an employee's injuries, the employee may have a right to sue that party.

Most states in the U.S. require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, except for Texas. In some states, like Florida, workers’ comp insurance is only required for employers with a certain number of employees.

The laws of every state dictate how the workers’ comp program works and the details of coverage, including the types of injuries covered, the amount of available benefits, and how benefits are distributed. For this reason, it’s particularly helpful to understand how the workers’ comp laws work in your state.

Types of Injuries and Conditions Covered by Workers’ Comp

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ comp covers most injuries and illnesses so long as they arise out of your job function and occur during your time at work. Examples of work-related injuries include:

  • Repetitive motion injuries, like back juries and tendonitis
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Sprains and strains

Additionally, medical conditions may develop over time when employees are exposed to toxic substances and chemicals, including some cancers. As long as the occupation caused the illness or disease, an employee can pursue compensation.

Workers’ comp does not, however, cover injuries arising under certain circumstances, including self-inflicted injuries and injuries that occur outside of work.

Benefits Workers’ Compensation Provides Injured and Ill Workers

Workers’ compensation benefits are unique to every state. However, workers’ compensation insurance generally covers medical bills and financial or occupational losses caused by injury or illness.

Lost Earnings

Income replacement benefits are available when injured or sick employees cannot work for some time. Workers’ comp can provide some compensation for lost income while you cannot return to work based on your earnings.

Medical Expenses

Medical treatment can quickly become costly, especially when you need ongoing treatment and rehabilitation. Workers’ compensation provides compensation for medical expenses, helping ensure you can get the treatment you need to recover as much as possible from your injuries.

Disability Benefits

If your injury results in a disability, workers’ comp can provide disability benefits to compensate you for your resulting losses. Workers’ compensation classifies disabilities based on the severity of your injury and ability to recover:

  • Temporary partial disability (TPD)
  • Temporary total disability (TTD)
  • Permanent partial disability (PPD)
  • Permanent total disability (PTD)

Additionally, your physician can classify you based on your degree of disability, ranging from a mild disability, which refers to about 25% disability, to a total disability, meaning 100% disability.

Employees Protected by Workers’ Comp

Workers' compensation covers most full-time employees. State law may also cover part-time, seasonal, and intern employees, as long as they receive payment.

Certain states’ regulations exclude certain workers from workers’ compensation coverage, including, but not limited to:

  • Business owners and partners
  • Casual workers
  • Farmers and farmhands
  • Independent contractors
  • Volunteers
  • Railroad employees
  • Maritime employees

If you’re an employee covered by workers’ comp, your employer should have informed you and provided direction on what to do in the event of injuries. However, if you’re unsure of whether you’re an employee eligible for workers’ compensation protection, speak with your employer directly or seek legal advice from a skilled lawyer.

Work-Related Injury

Carpal tunnel is not only one of the most common hand conditions, but also one of the injuries workers most frequently suffer. If you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, you may have the opportunity to pursue compensation and benefits from workers’ compensation.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a hand condition causing uncomfortable symptoms. The wrist has a narrow passageway called the carpal tunnel, surrounded by bones and ligaments that protect the median nerve.

The median nerve is particularly important to the hand. It provides sensation to the thumb on the palm side and all the other fingers and signals movement to the muscles in the area. When the median nerve is repetitively and continuously squeezed or irritated, carpal tunnel syndrome can result.

Carpal tunnel can cause much discomfort in the affected hand. Symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Tingling
  • Burning sensation
  • Numbness
  • Weakness

Depending on the severity of the carpal tunnel, treatment can include surgical or nonsurgical options. Recovering from carpal tunnel syndrome requires time and often several short and long-term modifications.

Developing Carpal Tunnel at Work

It is possible to develop carpal tunnel because of your job. Carpal tunnel syndrome is often caused by repetitive motions, such as bending and twisting of the wrist, and persistent pressure on the median nerve, such as that caused by resting the wrists to type and use a mouse.

While carpal tunnel is not an injury caused by a single event at work, like an accident, it can develop and become worse by performing job duties. For this reason, it can be considered a work-related injury for purposes of workers' compensation. Still, you’ll need to provide sufficient evidence to show the connection between your carpal tunnel syndrome and your occupation.

Workers Most Likely to Suffer from Carpal Tunnel

Suffer from Carpal Tunnel

Many kinds of workers can develop carpal tunnel syndrome over time. Some of the workers who are more likely to get carpal tunnel over time include:

  • Assembly line workers
  • Clerical and administrative workers
  • Chefs
  • Professional drivers
  • Musicians
  • Tailors and seamstresses
  • Mechanics
  • Grocery store workers
  • Cashiers
  • Locksmiths
  • Agricultural workers

Additionally, some individuals are more at risk of developing carpal tunnel, including those who:

  • Are diabetic
  • Suffer from rheumatoid arthritis
  • Are pregnant
  • Are overweight
  • Have thyroid issues
  • Have inflammatory conditions
  • Take certain medications

Regardless of your profession or risk factors, it’s essential to seek medical treatment if you believe you have carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel syndrome can worsen over time, so the earlier you catch and treat it, the better your chances of recovery.

Workers’ Comp Benefits for Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel workers’ compensation claims can be tricky and require extensive proof that the syndrome developed due to your occupation. Nonetheless, if you can prove your carpal tunnel is work-related, you can receive certain benefits, including:

  • Medical expenses for present and future care, including medications and doctor’s visits
  • Income replacement for any time missed from work to recover
  • Disability benefits if your carpal tunnel is severe and your physician deems it a disability
  • Vocational rehabilitation if you cannot work at your current job any longer due to your injuries

Your total workers’ comp settlement for carpal tunnel syndrome can range from a few thousand dollars to $100,000 and beyond. Every case is unique; therefore, your benefits and compensation will vary.

You can receive your workers’ comp settlement in a lump sum or scheduled, regular payments.

Factors Affecting the Value of Carpal Tunnel Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Your carpal tunnel workers’ comp benefits and the value of your claim highly depend on several factors that have a strong impact on your case, including:

  • The severity of your carpal tunnel
  • The cost of your medical treatment
  • Whether you need ongoing medical care
  • Whether you require time off from work
  • Whether you have a disability
  • The strength of your claim

Understanding the benefits and compensation you’d qualify to receive can help ensure you get a fair workers’ comp settlement.

Filing a Claim for Carpal Tunnel Benefits

You’ll need to complete some important tasks to pursue workers' comp benefits. Taking these steps can have a positive impact on your claim and assist in making sure you don’t miss out on your chance to receive fair benefits.

Receive a Proper Diagnosis

First and foremost, you’ll need a proper carpal tunnel diagnosis. Carpal tunnel syndrome is diagnosed in several ways, including physical examinations, x-rays, and ultrasounds.

If you suspect you may have carpal tunnel, you should seek medical attention right away. Prompt medical care allows you to begin your treatment and recovery quicker and can also aid your workers’ comp case.

Medical records play a significant role in workers’ compensation claims, especially for injuries like carpal tunnel that develop slowly over time. Your medical records can show the severity of your carpal tunnel and exhibit the relationship between your diagnosis and your job.

Report Your Injury to Your Employer

Once you have your carpal tunnel diagnosis, notify your employer right away. You’ll only have a specific amount of time to report your injury, which can be 30 days to a year, depending on your state’s laws.

Still, even if you have plenty of time, you should let your employer know as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more it can hurt your claim, as your employer may doubt your injuries.

Reporting your injury allows your employer to notify their workers’ comp insurance company and begin the claim process.

Discuss Your Situation with an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you’ve been diagnosed with carpal tunnel that’s work-related and you intend to file a workers’ comp claim, it’s advantageous to speak to a workers’ compensation attorney. A lawyer can review the details of your situation, explain your rights, and determine what benefits you’d be entitled to receive.

Additionally, an experienced lawyer can work with you during every step of your claim to give you a better chance of obtaining approval. Should you encounter any issues along the way, your attorney has the skills and resources to promptly and efficiently handle the matter.

File Your Workers’ Comp Claim

Once you report your injury to your employer, they can provide you with paperwork to fill out and return to them at your earliest convenience. Your employer must submit these completed forms and supporting documentation to their workers’ comp insurer to file your claim.

Steps for successfully filing your claim vary state by state, so it’s necessary to familiarize yourself with the workers’ comp claims process in your state. For example, in some states, you’ll need to file paperwork with the appropriate workers’ comp agency.

Determining Whether You Have a Valid Workers’ Comp Claim

Carpal tunnel workers’ comp claims can be tricky to handle and prove. Therefore, you may wonder whether you have a valid claim. If you’re unsure about the strength of your case, discuss the matter with a workers’ compensation attorney.

Don’t seek answers regarding the validity of your workers’ compensation claim anywhere else. A seasoned workers’ comp lawyer is the best resource to directly address all of your questions and concerns.

If You’re Suffering from Work-Related Carpal Tunnel, Seek Legal Guidance from a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Carpal tunnel syndrome is often a work-related condition. However, some employers and insurance companies challenge workers’ comp claims relating to carpal tunnel. If you run into obstacles, never give up.

Carpal tunnel benefits should be available from workers’ compensation for your occupation-related diagnosis. Prioritize obtaining strong evidence, filing your claim timely, and consulting a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible for legal direction and advice. Consultations are free, and an attorney can assist you at any stage of the claim process.

Gabriel Levin Author Image

Gabriel Levin - Attorney

Gabriel Levin is a highly experienced and credible attorney with over 10 years of practice in Pennsylvania. Known for his tenacity, he has represented clients in a wide range of civil matters, trying hundreds of cases. He prepares each case as if it will go to trial, ensuring meticulous attention to detail.

Unlike many firms that delegate tasks, Levin personally handles every aspect of a case and maintains open communication with clients throughout. He has secured millions in compensation, making him a reliable choice for those seeking legal representation.

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