Carpal tunnel is a relatively common condition, affecting around 2.7% of people in the U.S. This injury usually comes from repetitive stress and strain in the wrist, meaning it is more common in some jobs than in others. If you suffer from carpal tunnel that you got from work, you may be entitled to file for workers’ compensation for your injury. Fayetteville AR workers’ comp lawyer Ken Kieklak discusses when you can qualify for workers’ comp. with carpal tunnel in Arkansas.
Can You Get Workers’ Comp. Coverage for Carpal Tunnel?
The primary element that allows you to claim workers’ compensation is how the injury occurred, not necessarily what injury you have. Workers’ compensation in Arkansas is designed to cover “work-related” injuries, meaning that your carpal tunnel should be covered as long as it came from work.
Carpal tunnel is a repetitive stress injury, meaning that it usually does not start from one concrete accident or acute injury. Things like back injuries at work or broken limbs usually have a clear accidental cause that you can point to. If that accident occurred at work, getting your injury covered should be possible. When you try to claim workers’ comp. for an injury that develops slowly over time, such as carpal tunnel, it can be harder to show your injury was work-related.
If conditions at your job are the type that commonly cause carpal tunnel, it would not be surprising that you developed carpal tunnel. Workers that do a lot of typing, such as writers and computer programmers, as well as office workers, are most prone to wrist injuries like carpal tunnel. Truck drivers with workplace injuries may also suffer from carpal tunnel, since driving for long hours often means gripping the steering wheel and repeating the same motions over and over again.
Fighting a Denial for Carpal Tunnel Workers’ Compensation
Regardless of what conditions at your work caused carpal tunnel, you may need to demonstrate to your employer or the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission (AWCC) that work conditions caused your injuries and not conditions at home or off duty. An attorney can help you do this at a workers’ compensation hearing if your claim is denied.
When workers’ compensation is denied, you may appeal the denial to the AWCC and potentially to an administrative law judge to get your claim approved. Your employer or their workers’ compensation insurance provider is typically the party that approves or denies your claim. This initial denial is typically based on the information that you give them – which you can have an attorney help you prepare. If your claim is denied, it may simply be because your employer needs more information to certify that your injury was work-related. If they refuse to cover you, you can take your case to a hearing to fight the denial.
A lawyer can help you present your case to the AWCC or an administrative law judge to prove your injury was work-related. This may require presenting evidence, such as doctor’s records, that show when the injury developed and witness testimony to show when you started complaining about the injury. So long as work conditions contributed to your injury, you should be entitled to workman’s comp. for your carpal tunnel.
Workers’ Comp. Benefits for Carpal Tunnel
If you are unable to work because of your carpal tunnel, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. With workers’ comp., there are two primary benefits you may be entitled to: wage-loss benefits and medical benefits.
Wage-loss benefits pay for the wages you miss while you have to stay home from work because of the injuries. Carpal tunnel is not typically an injury that makes it impossible to work, but it may require some adaptations or changes to your work duties. If your employer puts you on lighter physical duties or allows you modified job tasks, you may be able to keep working and will not miss work. If you are out of work, workers’ comp. will typically cover 2/3 of the wages you miss for as long as you are out. You may be limited as to how long you can receive these benefits based on the severity of your injury.
If your injury requires medical treatment, your employer should cover these costs. As long as you are on workers’ compensation and continue to follow all treatment plans, your medical costs related to your carpal tunnel should be covered. This can include things like X-rays and physical therapy for your injury. You may be required to use a doctor that your employer or their insurance company chooses to have your medical bills covered.
Call Our Workers’ Comp. Lawyer for Help with Carpal Tunnel Claims
If you suffered carpal tunnel injuries or other repetitive stress or repetitive strain injuries because of your work conditions or work tasks, call Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, today. Ken Kieklak is a Fayetteville workers’ compensation lawyer that may be able to represent you on your workers’ comp. claim and fight to get you compensation for work-related injuries and conditions in Arkansas. To schedule your free consultation, call (479) 316-0438 today.
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