Carpal tunnel syndrome is a repetitive stress injury involving the compression of a nerve. The disease typically develops over time, and is often caused by repetitive movements, such as typing on a keyboard. If you have developed carpal tunnel syndrome and are unable to perform your work duties, the skilled Wheaton and Schaumburg workers’ compensation lawyers at Therman Law Offices may be able to help. You may be entitled to compensation in the form of medical expenses, lump sum settlements, vocational training, and temporary or permanent disability. Our attorneys bring over three decades of combined experience to their work, and may be able to help you seek the benefits you need.Work-Related Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome can affect workers in a variety of occupations including construction, manufacturing, and technology. In the majority of cases, carpal tunnel syndrome is a progressive injury. Workers may feel stiffness in their fingers, tingling, or numbness in their hands. Some workers will continue to perform their tasks as carpal tunnel develops over time, suffering through the pain until they can no longer fulfill their job duties.
Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome requires preventing the wrist from moving in a way that inflames the nerve. Hand splints may be necessary, and employees may take medication to reduce swelling. In severe cases, surgery may be required in order to release the entrapped nerve.Employees Suffering from Carpal Tunnel May Be Entitled to Workers’ Compensation
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act (IWCA) entitles injured workers to benefits for harm suffered in the course and scope of their employment. Different benefits are available, depending on the extent and the nature of the harm. When workplace injuries make it impossible for an employee to immediately return to their previous work tasks, they may be entitled to temporary disability benefits. More permanent benefits are available when workers suffer disfigurement or serious disability.
The IWCA requires injured workers to file their claims for compensation within a specific time period, beginning from the date of the injury. For those suffering from a repetitive stress injury such as carpal tunnel, the time period begins when the worker discovered or should have discovered they had an injury. It may be challenging for a worker to know exactly when their carpal tunnel symptoms began. Medical experts and evidence in support of your claim can prove critical, and a skilled job injury lawyer can help you present a claim for compensation.
In addition to medical expenses under the IWCA, the type of benefits that may be recovered depend upon the severity of the worker’s carpal tunnel. Temporary disability benefits are appropriate when the employee’s condition prevents them from performing work related tasks temporarily, not permanently. These benefits help the worker during their period of healing.
For more lasting, debilitating harm from carpal tunnel, permanent partial or total disability may be available. When carpal tunnel permanently disables a worker but they can still work, they may be entitled to permanent partial disability benefits. These would begin when the worker has reached maximum medical improvement. In the most severe cases, if carpal tunnel prevents a worker from being gainfully employed, they may recover permanent total disability benefits for life.Carpal Tunnel as a Pre-Existing Condition
According to Illinois workers’ compensation laws, when a work-related activity aggravates a pre-existing condition, the employee may be entitled to benefits and compensation. For example, if you suffered pre-existing carpal tunnel in your hand from a previous occupation, and due to your current work-related typing, your hand begins to hurt as your carpal tunnel flares, you would still have a right to compensation from your current employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. A reliable medical opinion is typically required in order to show that current work conditions made the carpal tunnel syndrome worse.Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Serving Schaumburg and Wheaton
At Therman Law Offices, our attorneys have extensive knowledge of how to present claims for workers’ compensation. Employees throughout Schaumburg and Wheaton can receive knowledgeable and honest information from us regarding their potential claims, as well as strong advocacy in pursuing medical care costs and other benefits. We assist injured workers living in cities such as Glendale Heights, Carol Stream, Lombard, Addison, Villa Park, West Chicago, Elmhurst, and Lemont. To schedule a free consultation and learn more about your legal rights, call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.