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Does carpal tunnel qualify for workers’ compensation benefits?

Posted by Soholm Law Firm | Oct 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

If you are an employee of a company in Washington State, you may apply for workers' compensation benefits if performing your job-related duties resulted in a repetitive motion injury. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one example of an injury that builds up gradually over time from doing repetitive tasks such as typing, scrubbing and haircutting. When you are no longer able to work because of your strained wrists, you may qualify for benefits through a worker's comp insurance plan. 

As published in the Washington Post, typing full time at an average pace puts 20 tons of force on your fingers during the course of a normal work week. Over time, this can result in a serious injury. Your fingers, hands and wrists may require taking some time off from work to recover in order to prevent a permanent disability. 

Untreated carpal tunnel syndrome may eventually begin to affect an individual's elbows, neck and shoulders. According to surveys conducted by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory at Cornell University, 80% or more of employees working in call centers or offices reported musculoskeletal discomfort, aches and pains. 

When you begin to feel discomfort while performing a repetitive task, it may be the start of a developing workplace injury. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most common injuries that employees experience are sprains, cuts and painful soreness. In 2017, employees reportedly had 2.8 million nonfatal illnesses and injuries in the private sector. 

Employers might contest claims for repetitive motion stress and injuries by asserting they are too general and developed somewhere else. If your position requires repeated action for the majority of your time in the position, however, any pain or discomfort may be a legitimate reason to consider filing for worker's compensation benefits. 

The intent of the information provided is to serve educational purposes only. Readers should not interpret the above content as legal advice. 

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