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Seasoned Sacramento Injury Attorneys

Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome a Work Injury?


Carpal tunnel syndrome may be considered a work injury – and eligible for workers’ comp benefits – if an employee who uses their hands a lot for work developed it over time. As a repetitive trauma injury, carpal tunnel syndrome develops an employee uses their hands for repetitive functions at work.

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition that affects the hands and fingers. Pain is caused by the compression of the median nerve, which passes over the carpal bones near the front of one’s wrist.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can include tingling or numbness in the hands. Usually, only the index, middle, and/or ring fingers are affected. Shaking one’s hands can temporarily relieve symptoms, but numbness usually returns and may become constant.

Another symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome is hand weakness, which can result in losing one’s grip and dropping objects. In this case, the muscles that allow the thumb to pinch may be severely weakened by compression on the median nerve.

How Do Employees Get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Many officer workers who spend a lot of their time typing may develop carpal tunnel syndrome, but any worker who engages in consistent and repetitive use of their hands may develop it as well.

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be prevented by ensuring workstations are ergonomically configured and that employees understand how posture can play a role in preventing this injury. That said, carpal tunnel syndrome can occur in spite of these precautions, especially if employees spend most of their time at work typing or otherwise using their hands.

Does Workers’ Comp Cover Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Workers’ comp in California may cover carpal tunnel syndrome if the employee developed it as a result of cumulative trauma caused by repetitive motions required for their job.

As soon as an employee becomes aware of their carpal tunnel syndrome injury, they should report it to their employer. The employer, who must have workers’ comp insurance, provides the employee with benefits that should cover costs associated with receiving treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome.

When Should I Contact a Lawyer?

You may need legal help with your carpal tunnel syndrome injury if your employer lacks insurance or workers’ comp denies your claim for any reason. Smolich and Smolich can provide the legal support necessary to help you pursue your claim and fight for the compensation you need to move forward.

Learn more about our legal services during a free initial consultation. Contact us now to get started!