Many people suffer injuries at work that require extensive medical care and interfere with victims’ ability to work and earn income for their families. The workers’ compensation system exists to address such issues, and North Carolina enforces some of the strictest workers’ compensation laws in the US. While most people think of workers’ compensation as a system designed to address acute injuries, such as broken bones, slip and fall injuries, and other traumatic injuries from specific accidents, it can also provide relief to workers afflicted by acquired injuries that gradually manifest over time.
Many workers in the Monroe, NC, area must perform the same manual tasks each day at work, and over time this repetitive stress can take a toll on the body. Repetitive stress injuries qualify for coverage under the workers’ compensation system of North Carolina, and carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most commonly cited repetitive stress conditions reported in Monroe. This condition develops from overuse of the hands and fingers. Typing and other manual tasks at work will gradually cause symptoms to worsen, sometimes to the point that the afflicted worker cannot continue their job duties due to the pain their condition causes.
After a carpal tunnel diagnosis, you may find it difficult or impossible to complete your job duties. If this is your situation, a Monroe carpal tunnel attorney is your best resource. Your legal team can help you navigate the complex workers’ compensation claims process and help you to secure appropriate compensation and ongoing benefits for your condition. The attorneys at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler have experience handling a wide range of workers’ compensation claims on behalf of Monroe, NC, clients, and we’re ready to put this experience to work for you.
You might think that if it is obvious your carpal tunnel syndrome resulted from your everyday work duties, you should have minimal difficulty securing workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, the reality is that the workers’ compensation claim process is more tedious than most people expect, and any mistakes in your claim paperwork can result in significant delays in receiving appropriate compensation.
Additionally, many possible factors may interfere with your claim. For example, you could encounter problems with your employer, such as a supervisor interfering with your claim or even taking adverse action against you in response to your request for a workers’ compensation claim form. It’s also possible that the doctor who examined you failed to diagnose your condition, and you did not receive an appropriate benefits determination from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier as a result.
Ultimately, many things can go wrong with a workers’ compensation claim. Depending on how you developed your condition, you may have grounds for legal action outside of the workers’ compensation system as well. If you plan to pursue workers’ compensation benefits for your carpal tunnel syndrome, working with an experienced Monroe carpal tunnel attorney is the best way to ensure maximum compensation for your work-related condition.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a degenerative condition that affects the hands and wrists. Repetitive stress on these body parts will gradually weaken them, resulting in a wide range of uncomfortable and painful symptoms. Some people who develop carpal tunnel syndrome experience a persistent “pins and needles” sensation, while others struggle with chronic pain that can worsen in specific circumstances.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause a wide range of symptoms, some of which mimic conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis. When an individual already has one of these conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome can be even more painful and difficult to manage. Symptoms can include an itching and burning sensation, weakness of grip, swelling sensations, and much more.
One of the most challenging aspects of filing a workers’ compensation claim for carpal tunnel syndrome is proving the condition is the result of the claimant’s work duties. Carpal tunnel syndrome gradually appears over time, and symptoms become more disruptive as the condition evolves. Eventually, the affected individual will be unable to complete their job duties and may struggle with basic household tasks as well.
Your Monroe carpal tunnel attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to prove that your condition is a direct result of your job duties. When you file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, you must visit a physician approved by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. The insurance company will provide you with a list of local doctors you can visit for a medical examination, and you must choose from this list.
The doctor will examine you and determine your level of disability. This is when many carpal tunnel syndrome claims can get complicated. This condition does not appear on MRI scans or other medical imaging. Physicians typically diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome based on the patient’s symptoms. They can run various tests to verify the extent of specific symptoms, but ultimately carpal tunnel syndrome is very difficult to accurately identify and assess.
Once you have the report from the workers’ compensation doctor, the insurance carrier will deliver their determination of your benefits. Most claimants can expect full coverage for the cost of all medical treatment they require to heal from their injury or manage their symptoms. In addition, when the claimant cannot work due to their injury, they can expect ongoing disability benefits that reflect the severity of their injury.
Workers’ compensation insurance carriers in North Carolina can award disability benefits in four possible configurations:
If you aren’t sure where your disability falls, let us help. Your Monroe carpal tunnel attorney will help you to complete your claim form and address any issues you encounter in the benefit determination process. If your claim is denied for any reason, your attorney can help you appeal the decision through the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) and explore alternative remedies. It’s also possible to have grounds for a personal injury action outside of your workers’ compensation claim under certain conditions.
The workers’ compensation laws of North Carolina typically shield employers from civil liability for their employees’ workplace injuries. Instead, the workers’ compensation system provides coverage for these employees’ medical expenses and some compensation for their lost income while they are unable to work. However, if you developed carpal tunnel syndrome from an acute traumatic injury caused by another party’s negligence, you may be able to prove grounds for a civil claim.
Carpal tunnel syndrome may develop after a severe injury to the hands or wrists. For example, a worker has their hand crushed in a machine due to a mechanical failure. It’s discovered that the vendor responsible for maintaining the machine failed to perform an appropriate safety check during the last inspection, implicating this third party as liable for the injury. As a result, the worker requires extensive medical treatment, but after they heal, they begin experiencing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome in the affected hand. In this situation, the injured worker may have grounds for a personal injury claim against the third party that would allow them to secure additional recompense that workers’ compensation doesn’t provide, such as compensation for their pain and suffering.
Being out of work can be devastating, but laws are in place to protect you after an injury. Whatever your situation may entail, it is much easier to approach the workers’ compensation claim process when you have experienced legal counsel on your side. The right attorney can make a tremendous positive impact on the outcome of your case, helping you secure a much better result for your claim and assisting you in exploring additional legal options. Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler can help you with your carpal tunnel syndrome claim. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced Monroe carpal tunnel attorney.
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