Carpal tunnel syndrome and other occupational diseases are covered by workers’ compensation.
There is a common misconception that the California workers’ compensation system is just for injuries suffered on-the-job. While workers’ comp does provide benefits for workplace accidents, it also applies to occupational diseases and illnesses developed while at work. As long as the injury or illness arises out of the course and scope of employment, it may be covered by workers’ compensation.
As a California workers’ compensation lawyer can explain, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system of insurance, which means that workers are entitled to receive benefits without having to prove that their employer was at fault for their injury or illness. Most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This type of insurance covers both workplace injuries — such as a broken bone from a fall — as well as occupational diseases, such as asbestosis or carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that is caused by pressure on the median nerve. This nerve runs through a narrow passageway known as the carpal tunnel, which is located on the palm side of a person’s wrist. The nerve provides sensation and allows you to move the muscles around your thumb and fingers. If the median nerve becomes compressed or irritated, then a person may experience the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, including numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected hand and arm.
This condition has a number of possible causes, including chronic disease, a fracture of the wrist, and certain medications. In addition, activities that require prolonged or repetitive flexing of the wrist or work with vibrating tools may create pressure on the median nerve, leading to a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome. It is treated with conservative measures at first, including splints, anti-inflammatory medications and steroid injections. However, if the condition does not improve, surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure on the median nerve.
While carpal tunnel syndrome has many possible causes, it is often caused by repetitive motion that occurs at work. People who use heavy machinery, do computer work, drive a vehicle, or work on a production line may all be susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome. If you have been diagnosed with this condition, you may be eligible for benefits, including medical treatment, temporary or permanent disability, and/or supplemental job displacement benefits.
The key to obtaining benefits for an occupational disease like carpal tunnel syndrome is demonstrating a link between the diagnosis and the work that you perform. Injuries are often clearly linked to work, because they happened on the job. Because there are a range of causes of a condition like carpal tunnel syndrome, it may be harder to show that it was caused by your work. In these situations, a skilled California workers’ compensation lawyer can help you put together evidence to demonstrate that you have a right to benefits.
At PLBSH, we represent workers throughout California who have been injured on the job or who have developed an occupational disease. We will fight for your right to benefits for your workplace injury or illness. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, reach out to us today at (800) 435-7542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.