Legal Issues

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of the many kinds of Repetitive Strain Injuries that can leave a person unable to perform the required tasks at their workplace adequately. CTS is one of the leading causes for lawsuits for compensation from employers. Many cases are fair and just. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can leave a person not only unable to perform his or her job, but also unable to take care of himself/herself at home.

Something as simple as tying your shoelaces can become an arduous task. You could have chronic pain that increases during the night, keeping you awake. You might have swelling on your wrist. You might not be able to feel whether something is hot or cold. You might lose your sense of touch. You might lose the strength in your hand, as well – gripping something, chopping vegetables, washing dishes, doing the laundry can all become next to impossible. Even holding a fork and knife can become painful and difficult.

As such, Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is considered to be a disability that can not only keep you from making your living, but can also gravely bring down the quality of your life. Many people with CTS also show signs of depression and say that they have a constant feeling of hopelessness, when confronted with the difficulty they face while doing the simplest of tasks that everybody takes for granted.

This means that if you got this affliction because of conditions at your work, you are legally entitled to compensation. For this, you have to prove that you do have occupational CTS. Other causes of CTS have to be eliminated. They included congenital reasons, pregnancy, wrist size, acute trauma to your wrist, certain kinds of oral contraception, diabetes, hypothyroidism and obesity. Even if you do have one or more of these conditions, you have to be able to show that conditions at work and lack of information provided at work aggravated your condition.

If you can do that, once you have been examined by an approved physician, you will be entitled to pain compensation, time off for rehabilitation, proper treatment and retraining once you are back on your job. You can also ask for job rotation, proper work environment that follow principles prescribed by ergonomics and frequent short breaks.

However, the catch is that if you do not have occupational CTS and that can be proved, you might not be eligible for some or any of these benefits. CTS became part of the get rich fads in the nineties, and the people who genuinely face these problems every day are the ones who have had to pay for this.

Studies have shown that over 90% of employees who suffer from CTS got their pain compensation, time off as well as retraining and improved conditions once they returned to work, but the risks of CTS because of the repetitive actions involved in the performance of their jobs were not mentioned at any time during their employment. In some cases, treatment, even surgery, was not successful enough to enable them to get back to work, and in these cases, law suits for compensation were filed. Most of these cases get settled out of court.

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