Is Carpal Tunnel a Workplace Injury?
Is carpal tunnel considered a workplace injury that is covered under workers’ compensation in South Carolina?
Yes, it can be. Here’s what to know about whether carpal tunnel, or, more correctly, carpal tunnel syndrome, is considered a workplace injury that’s eligible for compensation.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome develops when a nerve in the wrist called the median nerve is damaged due to excessive pressure over time. The damage to the nerve can lead to pain, numbness, tingling, and burning sensations in the thumb, fingers (index and middle fingers, especially), and other parts of the hand. It is a potentially serious and progressive condition if left untreated that can lead to weakness, loss of mobility, and loss of motion in the fingers and hand.
How is the median nerve of the wrist damaged in the first place? A common cause of carpal tunnel is a job that involves repetitive motions of the hands and wrists, sometimes using a tool in the same manner repeatedly, such as:
– Office workers and others regularly on a computer
– Assembly line workers
– Construction workers
– Healthcare and medical workers
Carpal tunnel syndrome can also develop after an acute injury to the wrist and may be more likely to develop alongside certain conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, obesity, and pregnancy.
When is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a repetitive stress injury that’s considered an occupational disease in South Carolina for the purposes of workers compensation. Under South Carolina law, it is covered as long as the worker can show that their condition arose directly out of the conditions of their work and that they have suffered a disability because of it.
In general, occupational diseases can be more challenging to get workers’ comp for compared to an acute injury, such as a broken bone. In part that’s because occupational diseases take time to develop, and there may be uncertainty as to whether the disease developed solely because of workplace conditions or whether other factors were involved.
However, carpal tunnel syndrome is well known to be a common occupational disease, especially in certain fields and jobs like those listed above, and successful claims for carpal tunnel syndrome are common.
Call the Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at The Carolina Law Group
Do you believe you have developed carpal tunnel syndrome in the course of your work? Have you needed treatment for it, such as medication, physical therapy, or surgery, or is it so severe that you can no longer perform your job properly? If so, contact the experienced workers’ comp lawyers at The Carolina Law Group to talk about your case and about whether you should seek workers’ comp. Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation by calling us at one of the numbers below.
The Carolina Law Group has four offices in South Carolina for your convenience: Greenville (principal office; call 864.312.4444), Greer (principal office; call 864.757.5555), Spartanburg (principal office; call 864.312.4444) & West Columbia (principal office; call 803.881.1110).
Call us at one of our four offices or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys. Our business hours are Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 5:30pm & Friday 8:30 am – 5 pm. Weekend and evening hours by appointment only. Our Greenville, SC law firm offers Spanish, Hindi, and Gujarati language translation services for your convenience.