If you have numbness and tingling, prickling sensations in your hands, and find it hard to grasp objects, it could be carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a stress injury to the hands from repetitive motion. Some occupations that increase the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome are data entry workers, cashiers, factory workers, drivers, and chefs. Though you can't sue your employer for carpal tunnel, you could qualify for worker's compensation. Here are some tips on how to get worker's compensation for carpal tunnel.
All states have statutes of limitation that limit time for filing for compensation. This gets complex for progressive injuries. In most cases, the clock for the deadline starts once you see a doctor and miss work. Delaying may raise suspicion with insurance companies if you let too much time lapse between the occurrence of the injury and reporting it.
Fill Out First Report of Injury Form
Once you notice carpal tunnel symptoms and you believe it is because of your job, inform your employer. They are required to give you a First Report of Injury form. The First Report of Injury will ask you questions about the nature, time, and date, of you injury. This form is given to the worker's compensation board.
Try to recall when you started to notice symptoms. This can be tricky with carpal tunnel since symptoms may take weeks to appear. Give the best approximation.
The next step is the medical exam. The company's insurance provider will give you names of doctors to choose. The doctor uses an EMG (Electromyogram) to diagnose carpal tunnel and measure reaction time by sending nerve pulses to the injured area.
Your doctor may at some point decide you have reached the greatest level of treatment called Maximum Medical Improvement. No further treatment will be needed. The doctor issues a form stating whether or not you can return to work and under what conditions.
If you get diagnosed with a permanent partial disability, you will not be able to do your former job or jobs that require using the wrist. If you get diagnosed with a temporary disability, you are allowed to rerun to your former job after healing. You should get a lump sum with a permanent partial disability.
The key to winning worker's compensation for carpal tunnel syndrome is proving it happened on the job. Employs cannot fire you for filing a worker's compensation claim. If you feel you have been treated unfairly, dismissed, or denied a claim, it is advised to seek a worker's compensation attorney like Malone & Atchison.