Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) affects workers throughout Boston and the surrounding communities. Employees who have received a medical diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome can file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits, since this type of injury is covered by the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA). It is important for workers to understand that they maintain a legal right to file a claim and may be entitled to recover benefits and compensation for their work-related carpal tunnel syndrome. A Boston workers’ compensation attorney can help ensure that timelines are met and that a claim for benefits is presented in a strong manner.
According to the WCA, an “injury” includes physical injuries as well as diseases or illnesses that are caused by the worker’s employment. Carpal tunnel syndrome falls under this category, as do other work-related illnesses, potentially work-related asthma, for example. The National Institute of Health makes clear that carpal tunnel syndrome affects the median nerve, the long nerve that runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand. This nerve becomes squeezed or pressed at the wrist, and the carpal tunnel, the passageway that houses the nerve, can narrow and cause the nerve to be compressed. Irritated tendons are often the culprit behind a narrowed tunnel. Symptoms can include weakness, pain in the wrist or hand, and numbness.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can have many different causes, and it often results from a combination of causes, such as fluid retention, wrist trauma, or repetitive motion. Those with diabetes may be more susceptible to compression and to suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. Workers who engage in assembly line work, including sewing, finishing, meat packing, and manufacturing, may be more at risk of developing CTS.
Preparing a Strong Workers’ Compensation Claim for Benefits for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The first step in strengthening a claim for benefits and compensation through the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act is making sure that your employer is aware of the carpal tunnel syndrome. Unlike a single work accident that results in injuries, CTS or other repetitive stress injuries are caused over time. Reporting carpal tunnel syndrome immediately to an employer after receiving a medical diagnosis is critical to a successful claim.
To establish that CTS was caused by work, according to the WCA, the worker must show that they are an employee and were injured on the job or suffered from a work-related condition. Employees in different industries can suffer from CTS, and many are not typing at a computer during the day. Throughout Boston, seafood processing remains a major industry. Conditions that lead to CTS include shelling or cutting fish, since these repeated motions can affect a worker’s hands and wrists.
At the Law Offices of Attorney Michael O. Smith, we help individuals pursuing workers’ compensation benefits for their work-related injuries, conditions, and illnesses. According to Massachusetts law, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages from work and for your injuries. Call our office at (617) 263-0060 to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Boston workers’ compensation attorney.
More Blog Posts:
Consistent with Appellate Practice, Massachusetts Review Board Upholds Conference Order Awarding Employee’s Average Weekly Wage, Boston Workers Compensation Attorney Blog, June 21, 2017
Massachusetts Reviewing Board Awards Total Incapacity Workers’ Compensation Benefits to Employee Based on Combination of Previous Work-Related Injuries and Industrial Incident, Boston Workers Compensation Attorney Blog, October 17, 2016