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Can You Receive Workers’ Compensation for Carpal Tunnel?

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Can You Receive Workers’ Compensation for Carpal Tunnel?

Can You Receive Workers’ Compensation for Carpal Tunnel?

By Jan Hoen

Workers’ compensation law in the State of Virginia generally does not cover repetitive motion injuries, which are those injuries that are caused when an employee’s job requires him or her to engage in the same motions over and over again (such as lifting boxes on the line all day or sitting behind a desk and typing for hours on end). This fact tends to make workers’ compensation claims in the State of Virginia that much more challenging and is one of the reasons that working closely with an experienced Hampton workers’ compensation attorney is always to your advantage. 

Carpal Tunnel Is an Exception 

One exception to the state’s policy of not covering injuries that are caused by repetitive motion is carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by repetitive pressure to the wrist’s median nerve (long hours of typing is a prime cause), and it can leave an employee’s fingers and/or hand(s) weak, tingling, and/or numb. While Virginia does allow an exception for carpal tunnel syndrome (despite its underlying cause being repetitive motion), there is a caveat. When it comes to carpal tunnel cases, the burden of proof for demonstrating that the injury is job-related is significantly higher than it is for most other kinds of injuries and illnesses. 

Your Injuries

The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission’s Injured Workers Guide reports that employees are entitled to compensation for injuries by accident on the job and for occupational diseases. Both can use a bit more explanation.  

In order for you to obtain compensation for an injury by accident, the following must apply:

  • You were injured at work or during a work-related event. 
  • Your injuries were caused by a specific work activity.
  • Your injuries were sustained at a specific time (injuries that build up gradually or that are the result of repetitive motion are not covered, but there are certain diseases that build up gradually or that are caused by repetitive motion that are). 

In order for an occupational illness to be covered by workers’ compensation, the following must apply:

  • Your illness was caused by the work that you do. 
  • Your illness is not a disease of the neck, spinal column, or back.

In other words, the dividing line between whether or not your injury or illness is covered by workers’ compensation can be quite fine. In fact, even the way you report your injury can make a difference in whether or not it will ultimately be successful, which makes reaching out to a dedicated workers’ compensation attorney sooner rather than later the best policy.

Don’t Wait to Consult with an Experienced Hampton Workers’ Compensation Attorney

The savvy Hampton workers’ compensation attorneys at Hampton Injury Law PLC have an impressive wealth of experience successfully guiding cases like yours toward beneficial resolutions that uphold our clients’ legal rights and support their best interests. For more information about how we can also help you, please don’t wait to contact us today.

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