Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Claims
Your employer has a legal obligation to ensure that your working environment is safe and that you are able to complete your job without unnecessary risk. When your job is linked to potential vulnerabilities in your health or wellbeing, your employer must recognise these risks and make adequate provisions to protect you.
If your employer breaches their duty of care to you and you are diagnosed with a condition such as carpal tunnel syndrome, you are likely to be eligible to make a claim for compensation. The following guide provides information on carpal tunnel syndrome, the likely causes and how you might be able to make a claim for the compensation that you are rightfully due.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a debilitating condition that affects the hands and fingers of sufferers. The condition can cause significant levels of pain and discomfort, numbness, pins and needles and tingling sensations in the affected area. The most common cause of the condition is strain on the wrists, hands or fingers, usually through repetitive and long-term motions such as typing. Carpal tunnel syndrome falls within the group of conditions known as type 1 repetitive strain injury.
CTS is more common in women than men and is particularly prevalent during pregnancy when joints are already under additional strain and water is more readily retained. Age can affect the likelihood of a person being diagnosed with the condition as the carpal tunnel weakens and is less susceptible to pressure. It is therefore vital that workers take regular breaks, rest and alternate movements in the hands and fingers and adhere to any safety measures offered by an employer.
If CTS has been diagnosed and it is likely that your occupation was the cause of the condition, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation against your employer.
What are the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can be painful and restrict a sufferer’s ability to carry out their normal daily activities which can have a significant impact on earning potential and emotional stability. Some of the most common symptoms associated with the condition include:
- Numbness in the hands or wrist
- Numbness in the thumb or fingers
- Pins and needles
- Burning or tingling sensations
- Overall pain and discomfort in the wrist, hand and fingers.
Some symptoms are constant though many sufferers complain of intermittent symptoms. Numbness is associated with nighttime and relaxing periods when the hands and fingers are rested.
If left untreated, CTS can lead to permanent damage to the nerves and symptom severity increasing. Untreated CTS can lead to irreparable damage and constant symptoms that will severely impact on a sufferer’s quality of life and ability to work.
Who is most likely to suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused when a person makes repeated hand movements over a prolonged period of time, such as a typist. There are several jobs that are considered to be high risk for the potential of CTS, and it is important for employers in these fields to make adequate provisions to protect their employees from developing the condition.
Solicitors have a wealth of experience in securing the highest levels of compensation for CTS sufferers in various industries. Some of the most common occupations that suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Assembly line workers
This list is not exhaustive, and we encourage anyone who is suffering from CTS to contact a solicitor to discuss the cause of your condition, the severity of your symptoms and your eligibility to make a claim for compensation.
Can I make a claim following a diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome can have significant effects on a sufferer’s daily life and ability to work. As detailed above, there are a host of occupations that have been closely linked to the development of CTS, and if it can be demonstrated that your employer was to blame for the condition, you will be eligible to make a claim for personal injury compensation.
Your employer has a legal duty of care to you to minimise risk and provide adequate safety measures to prevent you suffering from work-related illnesses or injuries. In cases such as CTS, this is achieved through regular breaks, training on preventive exercises and regular assessments to ensure that working environments are safe. If the employer has failed in taking this action, they have breached their duty of care to you and are likely to be liable to pay damages for your condition.
CTS is associated with repeated hand movements over a prolonged time, and if your employer does not observe their duty of care in encouraging preventative methods and behaviour, they are likely to be found liable for your condition. Injury solicitors are experienced in successfully assisting clients to claim compensation from current and previous employers who are responsible for the onset of their carpal tunnel syndrome.
How much compensation will I receive?
The amount of compensation that you are awarded will be determined based on the severity of your symptoms and the impact they have on your life. As well as being able to claim for pain, distress and suffering, your solicitor will strive to secure compensation for any loss of earnings and future loss of earnings if your injury will impact your ability to work and earn longer term.
In order to secure the maximum award for your injury, your solicitor will need to demonstrate the liability of the defendant as well as the extremes of your symptoms. It is possible to claim for emotional impact as well as physical complaints and any detrimental effect that the condition has had on your career progression.
Solicitors have a wealth of experience in processing carpal tunnel syndrome claims, and they have an excellent reputation for negotiating the best settlement offers for clients. They welcome the opportunity to discuss the details of your case during a free initial consultation.
Will I be offered a no win no fee service?
If you have a valid claim, your injury lawyer will offer to work for you on a no win no fee basis. Also called a conditional fee agreement, the no win no fee service means that if you lose your claim, you won’t pay your solicitors a penny.
When you make a no win no fee carpal tunnel syndrome claim with the help of an expert solicitor, you will have nothing to pay at the outset. You will also be given the guarantee and peace of mind of knowing that there will never be any hidden or unexpected costs along the way.
You can read more about the no win no fee policy here or feel free to contact a solicitor if you have any questions.
How do I make a carpal tunnel syndrome claim?
We completely understand that embarking on a personal injury claim, particularly against an employer, can be daunting. For this reason, your solicitor will work hard to make the process as straightforward and stress-free as possible.
The very first step is a free case assessment. This is where you will discuss your injury and how it was caused, so your solicitors can evaluate the likely success of your claim. At this stage, you will be able to ask any questions to get a better understanding of the process and the service they can provide.
If it is determined that you meet the criteria for a personal injury claim, it will then be up to you to choose a solicitor to represent you.
Your chosen injury lawyer will then start the claims process by gathering evidence to support your claim and notifying your employer and the insurance company that provide their employers’ liability policy.
If your employer accepts liability for your carpal tunnel injury, they will then begin negotiating the amount of compensation that you should receive. Providing a suitable settlement can be reached, the case will then be completed, and you will receive your compensation payment.
If liability is denied, or if your solicitor cannot reach an agreement about the amount of damages that should be paid, the case may need to be decided in court. Although in reality, the vast majority of personal injury cases of this type are settled without requiring the involvement of the courts.
Are there any time limits for making a claim?
Under personal injury law, you have a time limit of three years to begin a claim against somebody who’s negligence has caused you to suffer an injury.
With most accident claims the injury is caused by a sudden event, such as slipping on a wet floor, being involved in a car accident or being injured by faulty machinery at work. But with claims for carpal tunnel and similar repetitive strain injuries, the injury is usually caused over a long period of time rather than on one specific date.
So with carpal tunnel syndrome claims, the three year time limit will begin on the date that your condition is diagnosed by your GP or doctor. In personal injury terms, this is known as the date of knowledge.
It is important that you start your claim within this time limit as failing to do so can render your case time or statute barred. This will prevent you from claiming compensation regardless of the extent of your injuries and the impact they have had on your life.
Ready to start your injury claim?
If you would like to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury lawyer, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back to arrange your free case assessment. This can be done over the phone and won’t take any more than 15 minutes in most cases.
If your solicitor can help and you would like to proceed, they will be happy to act on a no win no fee basis. This means there are no upfront costs, no hidden charges and if they don’t win, you won’t pay a penny.