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Workers’ Compensation and Signs of Carpal Tunnel Injury

Workers’ Compensation and Signs of Carpal Tunnel Injury

In California, workers’ compensation claims are more likely to be associated with a construction or agriculture site rather than an office.

It is important to note that with only a few exceptions, The California Occupational Safety and Health Program has enforcement authority over all places of employment in California, public or private.

A worker in an office can also benefit from the employer’s worker compensation plan. Office workers are not exempt from this policy. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common injury associated with computers.

What is Carpal Tunnel: symptoms, cause, affects

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common but severe wrist injury from repetitive motion that happens over time and can impact your life significantly.

This syndrome frequently results from occupational injury leading many workers to file compensation claims. The palms and fingers of people suffering from this condition will feel numb, tingly, and weak. Additionally, in advancing cases of carpal tunnel, you may have difficulty grasping everyday objects, a loss of sensation or numbness from your hands up your arm, or a burning sensation in your fingers and fingertips.

If you believe you are currently suffering from Carpal Tunnel, you have no doubt already noticed many of its dreadful symptoms.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is not fully understood, nor is there one definitive cause yet identified. Still, it is presumed to occur due to repetitive motion, such as when using keyboards and various hand tools commonly used in many businesses.

A Carpal Tunnel Related Workers’ Compensation Claim

Whether you are an assembly line employee, working in data entry or customer service, in the IT field, working as a receptionist, or in other positions, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim for your carpal tunnel syndrome induced by your profession.

However, a key challenge in these carpal tunnel workers’ compensation claims is proving that the syndrome resulted from on-the-job work and occurred at employment.

Additionally, the necessity to demonstrate that the syndrome resulted from employment is a frequent reason for experiencing lengthy workers’ comp claims, denials, and appeals.

Countless carpal tunnel cases are quickly dismissed or denied due to a lack of evidence. Often, these are cases in which the employee attempted to pursue benefits alone, without the vital aid of an experienced attorney.

Note: Your claim will be denied if you’re not able to prove that your carpal tunnel syndrome is related directly to your job or that repetitive motions on the job have exacerbated it.

Getting a Professional Medical Diagnosis

It is crucial to highlight that the claims process for carpal tunnel syndrome is complex, challenging, and genuinely necessitates the aid of a workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney’s expertise immensely contributes when working to prove your carpal tunnel syndrome resulted on the job and that you are ultimately eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. A lawyer helps gather, organize, and present critical evidence to prove your claim, whether in preliminary conferences or trials before a judge.

First, before considering filing anything, a physician should evaluate your injury, which will also help document damages and build evidence. In California, the workers’ compensation law would categorize carpal tunnel under “cumulative trauma,” a type of injury sustained over time due to repetitive, mentally, or physically traumatic activities. The combined impact of such activities may result in a disability that demands treatment. Workers’ compensation benefits may cover your medical treatment if you have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel.

The Carpal Tunnel Workers’ Compensation Claim’s Process

To start the claim process, inform your employer that you have sustained a work-related injury. Your employer will need you to complete the workers’ compensation claim form and promptly return it.

In California, you must declare your injury to your employer within one working day of receiving a diagnosis and request the workers’ compensation claim form, DWC-1.

The form should be filled out carefully, following the instructions, and you should indicate carpal tunnel syndrome as your injury.

Besides all the medical evidence you’ve received, you’ll also need to be examined by the doctor of the insurance company’s workers’ comp department to verify your doctor’s findings.

Note: If you fail to report your injury within the correct timeframe (see California Labor Code 5412), any chance at workers’ compensation benefits could be over.

Next, the insurance company must authorize payment for any medical treatment you need, up to 10,000 dollars, while investigating your workers’ comp claim. According to California Labor Codes 5402, if the insurer does not deny your claim within ninety days, it is presumed compensable (approved).

What if a dispute is raised or your claim is denied?

Your employer’s insurance company may start paying your medical and temporary disability benefits initially, but then disagreements arise about your injury. In the case of a worker’s compensation dispute, an “Application for Adjudication of Claim” must be filed (Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board). There is an even more complicated process for appealing denials that start with the “Petition for Reconsideration” (WBAC).

At this point, if your employer’s insurance company denies your claim and you do not already have an attorney, it is paramount you reach out to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. We can help you determine your options and guide you further in each step of the process. Our experienced attorneys at Castillo & Associates can help you gather any evidence you may need to get the maximum benefits for your injury. Contact us today at 1-800-497-9774.

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