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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Workers’ Comp Benefits

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome an…

A number of workplace injuries are covered by workers’ compensation benefits. These include injuries referred to as repetitive stress injuries. One such injury is carpal tunnel syndrome. If you are diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of your employment or work-related activities, it is important to be aware of what form of workers’ compensation you might receive. This article will discuss an employer’s responsibility with respect to carpal tunnel syndrome and the benefits recovered by way of workers’ compensation.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition “caused by compression of the median nerve and the tendon that flex your fingers as they travel through the carpal tunnel in your wrist”. The tunnel is narrow therefore, the smallest amount of swelling can compress the nerves and tendons. Such compression can cause pain, weakness or numbness in the hand and wrist. When an employee experiences such an injury, if the injury was directly caused by work-related tasks, it is the responsibility of the employer.

In the state of Alaska, every employer must purchase workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. If an employee has carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of work-related tasks, the law requires that the employee be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. The most common workers’ compensation benefits associated with carpal tunnel syndrome include the following:

Medical bills - if you have incurred medical bills as a result of your work-related injury, these will be paid for to help you recover from your work-related injuries. Such medical bills can include rehabilitative care, surgery and medical equipment such as wrist braces. However, it is important to keep in mind that your choice of doctors may be limited.

Temporary disability benefits - if your injury stops you from performing your normal duties and results in your missing days of work, you may be entitled to temporary disability benefits such as lost wages. These payments are usually available only after an employee misses a few days of work.

Permanent disability benefits - if you are unable to completely and fully recover from your injuries, you may be entitled to receive permanent disability benefits. Such benefits are based upon the nature and extent of your impairment or injury. In some cases, your employer may have to adjust or change your work assignments or provide compensation for you to find other forms of employment, this can be by way of covering vocational training costs.  In some cases, an employer may facilitate an employee’s being trained for a different type of employment in the company.

It is important to note that workers’ compensation takes away the employee’s right to sue the employer for damages associated with a work-related injury or illness. Further, the employee is able to receive benefits for work-related injuries regardless of who was at fault for the injuries. With respect to making workers’ compensation claims, it is strongly advised that an employee seek out workers’ compensation lawyers in Anchorage Alaska for legal advice and representation.

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