A look at office injuries and workers comp
Office workers can get injured on the job. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one way this happens—from repetitive typing, for example.
In North Carolina, a variety of workers qualify for workers compensation. That is, physical laborers injured on the job can qualify. So can office workers. The thing is that many office workers may not even realize they qualify. Sometimes this may be because the injuries are so gradual. Other times, it may be because the image linked to workers comp in many people’s minds is of someone who does physical work.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Repetitive stress injuries are a common cause for workers comp claims, and carpal tunnel syndrome is one type of repetitive stress injury. Unfortunately, many claims filed on this basis do not get approved because documentation was not extensive enough and/or a lawyer was not consulted. The fact remains, though: Carpal tunnel syndrome is a real condition that can lead to tingling, burning or numbness, and greatly affect someone’s work performance and ability to work.
To be sure, many physical laborers are at risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. A sampling of the jobs leading to this condition include baker, sewer, mechanic and locksmith. Also at risk are sign language interpreters and office workers such as secretaries. They undergo repetitive motions such a typing and clicking a computer mouse. Bursitis and tendonitis are other issues they might experience.
Car accidents are another way in which some office workers end up needing workers compensation. No matter the job performed in an office, there may be travel required at some point. A manager may need to drive to a client’s office, for example. A graphic designer might have to do a presentation to a client in another part of the state.
And, just as a car accident can occur in daily life, it can occur on the job too (people involved in a car accident can also choose to pursue a personal injury case in addition to a workers compensation claim). Making a claim does not matter whether someone was driving a personal vehicle or a company vehicle; someone might even get workers comp if the accident was his or her fault since the program does not consider fault.
Many office workers are subject to hazardous conditions such as slippery floor surfaces and slick, icy sidewalks. All it takes is one unfortunate moment to change someone’s life.
Workers compensation claims for office employees in North Carolina can be difficult to prove. For example, a secretary may not realize that he or she is developing carpal tunnel syndrome until the pain reaches a certain extent, and cannot pinpoint exactly when discomfort began. It helps to keep a journal of symptoms as soon as they begin even if they seem to go away sometimes or decrease for a few days or weeks. An attorney can help evaluate a claim and assess the validity of a case.