Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a repetitive-stress injury, meaning that you get it from doing the same motion over and over, such as typing at a computer. Other common causes -- all involving repetitive motion -- are lifting the wrist, bending the wrist, and grasping motions. Keep in mind that carpal tunnel also can be caused by pregnancy, menopause and arthritis.
How do I know if I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The main symptoms of carpal tunnel are numbness and tingling in the hand. You might also feel pain going up to your arm, or to your fingers. You may find that you drop objects easily or often. While these are common symptoms, you can't know for sure without seeing a doctor. And even if you get tests from a specialist, it still may be uncertain. Treatments may include wearing a splint, medication, or even surgery.
Can I make a claim for workers' compensation?
If your carpal tunnel was caused by work, or made worse by your job, you can make a claim for workers' compensation. In Illinois, workers' comp is available for repetitive stress injuries. You should be entitled to 100% coverage of medical expenses, as well as payment for time off of work due to your injury or recovery. If your injury is permanent, you may be able to receive compensation for that, as well. The first steps are to notify your employer, see a doctor, consult with an attorney, and file a workers' compensation claim.
Do I need a lawyer?
It's recommended, yes. An experienced workers' compensation attorney, especially someone who has handled repetitive-stress cases before, is in the best position to get you all the benefits to which you are entitled. Let an attorney negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. While the insurance company may seem easy to work with, they are not on your side. You should consider hiring someone to look out for your best interests.
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