Carpal Tunnel in the Workplace
The Georgia workers’ compensation injury attorneys at Van Sant Law have seen the debilitating effects that repetitive motion disorders and repetitive stress injuries can have on employees. If you have developed carpal tunnel or another condition due to the nature of your work, you may be entitled to seek compensation or disability benefits for your injury. Contact a Georgia workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible to pursue a workers’ compensation claim, to receive assistance so that you understand your legal rights or to appeal a workers’ compensation claim if you have been denied.
In 2009, the ninth most common type of workplace injuries were repetitive motion or repetitive stress injuries. Repetitive stress complications resulted in losses of $1.97 billion, according to the Liberty Mutual 2011 Workplace Safety Index. These types of injuries can encompass conditions or complications that happen when a body part is put under repeated strain or stress, including:
- Trigger finger
- Ganglion cyst
- Carpal tunnel
These injuries occur when employees repeat a motion or activity too many times, thus eventually causing damage to the nerves, ligaments, muscles, tendons, joints or bones in the body. The conditions are particularly common in individuals who work at computers, who are in the meatpacking industry, who sew on a regular basis or employees who perform line work. Additionally, certain types of repetitive motion injuries can be disabling and painful, and many individuals never fully recover from them.Carpal Tunnel Injuries in the Workplace
In Georgia, workers’ compensation laws exist to protect employees by providing reimbursement for past medical expenses and treatments that employees might have incurred due to a work-related injury in addition to payment for future medical expenses that employees might incur down the road.
Employees may also be eligible to recover damages for their injuries if they are disabled by the condition and are unable to return to work for a short period of time, suffer a decrease in pay or remain unable to return to work at all. Carpal tunnel and other repetitive stress injuries are never cured, so many employees may be eligible to file for partial disability benefits that continue for the duration of their life under workers’ compensation law in Georgia.
However, since repetitive stress injuries develop over the course of several months or even a few years versus a sudden injury resulting from an accident, it can often be somewhat difficult to provide evidence that the individual was harmed at work. As such, employees may struggle to prove that they are, in fact, eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, employers may provide workers with excuses as to why they are not legally obligated to honor their claims such as the injury developed due to activities outside of the workplace or the worker failed to file a report about the injury within a certain period of time.
Even if an employer grants benefits to an employee for a repetitive stress injury, extent of the disability and injury may be difficult to prove with standard medical tests. As a result, the insurance provider may attempt to force the worker to return to work before the worker has received medical clearance to do so. In some cases, a worker’s compensation insurance provider may attempt to downplay the severity of the disability or injury from which the worker is suffering.Do You Need a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
If you or someone you love has developed carpal tunnel or other repetitive stress injury at work, consider contacting an attorney who has experience in workers’ compensation claims as soon as possible. At Van Sant Law, our Georgia workplace injury attorneys have the competence and confidence to handle the complexities that often stem from repetitive stress claims. Our firm can help you to:
- Prove that your injury happened at work
- Make sure that you file your report in time or help you to prove that you filed the report as soon as you became aware of the condition
- Obtain the benefits to pay for your medical expenses
- Appeal any workers’ compensation denials that you might have received
- Prove the severity of your injury as well as the long-term prognosis of your condition
To learn more about how Van Sant Law can assist you, please call us today at 404-991-5950, or fill out our free, no-obligation online contact form. It is important to act as soon as you have experienced a work-related repetitive motion injury or you believe that you are developing carpal tunnel. In order to ensure the best possible outcome of your case, you must file your lawsuit within a certain period of time. Should you fail to do so, you may forever be barred from recovering damages from your injury in the future.