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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Is Carpal Tunnel a Work-Related Injury in Indiana? - Can Workers Obtain Compensation?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a serious condition that affects up to 6% of adults. The carpal tunnel is the name for a narrow passageway that runs between the ligaments and bones on the palm of the hand all the way down to the wrist area. People who apply force to that area on a consistent basis or have had significant wrist injuries are going to be most at risk of developing this condition.

In a work environment, carpal tunnel syndrome is something that many different types of professionals could potentially develop. It can be a common issue among construction workers or people in any industry that requires them to constantly lift heavy items. Since this is a repetitive stress injury, people who've worked behind a keyboard their entire professional lives can also develop this acute injury.

Signs That a Person May Be Dealing with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Signs That a Person May Be Dealing with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Numbness tends to be one of the first signs that a person will experience when dealing with this condition. One of the issues that Indiana workers have in this situation is that it can be hard to differentiate numbness from the syndrome versus just being cold. Any Indianapolis winter day can make finger movement difficult.

In most cases, a person will start getting much more worried when they start feeling an occasional shock sensation in that area. These sensations are usually a result of nerve damage that's also a part of the syndrome itself.

Knowing this, it could be a good idea for workers to start paying more attention to a tingling feeling on their fingers. If a person is constantly dropping objects, that could be another sign that they may be dealing with the syndrome. Many times, it's much harder for people who haven't experienced catastrophic injuries to realize that they have a problem.

Many Different Types of Workers Can Develop a Repetitive Stress Injury

As mentioned, these repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome can affect all sorts of workers. In fact, office workers are amongst the most at risk of developing this type of injury. The combination of repetitive motions and too much stress is what tends to trigger many of these issues.

Carpenters, assembly line workers, virtual assistants, or any who types on a keyboard consistently are among the professionals who are more likely to develop repetitive stress injuries. Since this condition can be caused by stress, the repetitive motion that a person makes on a daily basis doesn't have to be violent for them to start seeing swelling on their wrists or having their fingers tinkle.

Getting the Condition Diagnosed by a Doctor

The road toward workers' compensation benefits for this type of injury starts here. What makes carpal tunnel syndrome different than other workplace injuries is that the worker may not be able to trace the issue back to an accident. This not only makes it harder for them to prove they were injured while working, but it also means that they may have to pay for at least their first medical expenses out of their own pocket.

The best way forward for many Indiana workers in this first step of the process would be to secure a doctor's appointment through the medical insurance that their employer provides. If a person sees a third-party doctor on their first visit, they'll likely have to get diagnosed by other doctors approved by the insurance company to apply for potential compensation. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can provide insight on getting workers comp while having 2 jobs in Indiana.

Can the Cause of the Condition Affect a Person's Ability to Obtain Compensation Benefits?

Although carpal tunnel syndrome is a repetitive stress injury, it can also develop due to other ailments, such as rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, in some cases, it's a condition that runs in the family. When there are no evident workplace accidents to essentially blame the issue on, it can be harder to obtain workers' compensation benefits.

Indianapolis workers with repetitive stress injuries often find themselves in tough legal battles over a compensation claim because the insurance company will usually try to argue the condition is not a work-related injury. Ironically, a person who's suffered a workplace injury after a terrible accident will have an easier path to obtain their rightful workers' comp.

Things to Avoid When Experiencing Carpel Tunnel Symptoms

Trying to ease the symptoms of repetitive stress injuries through painkillers can be a terrible idea. When there's nerve damage involved, which is usually the case in common repetitive stress injuries, the typical over-the-counter medicine that people use to numb pain won't work effectively. In a worst-case scenario, these injuries can create a dependency on painkillers.

Seeking a proper medical diagnosis should be a priority in this situation. Ailments that result from nerve damage typically require special types of medication to truly help the injured worker ease their pain. Having an official diagnosis can also get that person closer to proper workers' compensation.

These silent workplace injuries that involve nerve damage are known to cause a considerable amount of discomfort. This makes resisting the urge to self-medicate much tougher on injured workers. At times, it can even be tough to get a person to realize that they are, in fact, suffering from a true medical condition.

Getting Help from an Indianapolis-based Attorney

Getting Help from an Indianapolis-based Attorney

Obtaining adequate workers comp benefits with paid medical bills, as part of the equation, is hard enough after any workplace injury. With repetitive motion injuries, the process can become even tougher because the injured worker has to convince the insurance company that they are, in fact, injured. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also advise on changing jobs while on workers comp in Indiana.

That's just the first step; from there, they'll have to prove that it's actually a workplace injury and that they are entitled to workers' compensation. In most cases, workers are going to need the help of a qualified workers comp lawyer to oversee the situation. It's essential for Indiana workers to file their cases quickly.

Otherwise, they may find themselves having to pay their medical bills out of pocket for some time. If they miss work because of their injury, it's going to be harder to obtain reparation for those lost wages if they take too long to file a motion.

Good local attorneys will know how to deal with such claims and can help injured workers gather evidence to build a strong case. The road to proper workers comp, when there's no evident accident involved, can be a tough one. Having the right attorney in the corner can make all the difference.


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