The pain caused by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) can stop you from working or doing the things you usually enjoy. If you’ve been diagnosed with CTS and it’s been linked to your work, you may be entitled to claim compensation for your suffering. That’s because employers can reduce the risks of carpal tunnel injuries by making simple changes to the working environment. As such, carpal tunnel syndrome claims may be possible if your condition has been caused by your employer’s negligence. In this guide, we’ll examine when you might be entitled to claim and explain how the claims process works.
To find out whether you might be entitled to claim carpal tunnel syndrome compensation, you could speak to one of our specialists. They’ll examine your case during a no-obligation consultation and provide free legal advice. For cases with a reasonable chance of success, one of our personal injury solicitors may agree to represent you. If that happens, you’ll find that their No Win No Fee service makes the process a lot less stressful.
You can find out more about carpal tunnel syndrome claims throughout the rest of this guide. If you’d like more information at any point, please call us on 0800 652 1345.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a type of repetitive strain injury (RSI). The carpal tunnel is a passage through the carpal bones at the bottom of the wrist and the carpal ligament at the top. The median nerve that provides feeling and movement for the middle three fingers and your thumb passes through the carpal tunnel. If the median nerve is compressed at any point, you may develop symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. These include:
- Numbness or pain in either or both hands – this may get worse at night.
- Weakness when trying to grip objects.
- Tingling or pins and needles in the fingers.
- A feeling of swollen fingers.
- A burning sensation in the fingers.
- Aches in your fingers, hands or arms.
Generally, these symptoms will be minor to start but will get worse over time.
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, menopause and some injuries as well. Generally, these aren’t reasons to make a carpal tunnel syndrome claim.
However, some workplace activities can also increase the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome including:
- Typing or using a computer keyboard regularly.
- Using vibrating power tools for prolonged periods.
- Preparing food for long periods of time.
- Working on vehicles where a lot of strain is put on the wrist (when using spanners for example).
- Doing fine work such as sewing by hand.
These are just some of the examples of common workplace tasks that can increase the chances of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Essentially, any type of repetitive activity involving the wrist can lead to CTS.
If you’ve been diagnosed with CTS and believe it’s related to your work, please get in touch to learn more about your options.
Can carpal tunnel syndrome be treated?
There are some treatments available for carpal tunnel syndrome including:
- Wrist splints. These can help to relieve the pressure on your median nerve by keeping the wrist as straight as possible.
- Painkillers. This is a short-term measure to reduce the pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Hand exercises. The NHS states that there is some evidence that hand exercises may reduce some carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.
- Steroid injections. A doctor may administer a steroid injection to reduce any swelling around the median nerve.
- Surgery. In some cases, the carpal tunnel may need to be cut surgically to reduce the pressure on your median nerve. This will usually cure carpal tunnel syndrome.
Can I claim compensation for carpal tunnel syndrome?
So that they don’t offer false hope or waste your time, our personal injury lawyers only take on carpal tunnel syndrome claims where there’s a reasonable chance you’ll be compensated. As such, when assessing a carpal tunnel claim they’ll check whether:
- Your employer breached their duty of care towards your well-being; because
- They were negligent in some way; and
- Your diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome can be linked to that negligence.
Laws such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 mean all employers have a duty of care towards their staff’s wellbeing. As such, if you’re to win a workplace injury claim, all you need to do is prove that your employer’s negligence has caused your injuries. A little later on in this guide, we’ll look at what proof you could use to do so.
Examples of negligence relating to carpal tunnel syndrome claims
You may have grounds to claim carpal tunnel syndrome compensation if your employer:
- Failed to risk assess your job regularly.
- Didn’t provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to reduce the risk of CTS.
- Forced you to work long hours without proper rest breaks.
- Failed to consider using low-vibration tools.
- Did not train you properly on how to do your job safely.
- Failed to maintain or repair damaged equipment.
If you believe that your employer is to blame for your carpal tunnel syndrome, please speak to one of our specialists to check your options.
Will I be disciplined for claiming for CTS?
Many people worry about the implications of claiming compensation from their employer. However, this isn’t something you should be concerned about. That’s because, so long as your carpal tunnel claim is honest, your employer cannot fire you, discipline you, demote you or single you out for making a claim. If you face any action as a result of your claim, you may be entitled to claim for unfair or constructive dismissal.
A personal injury claim against your employer will not directly impact the company’s profits either as all claims are covered by their liability insurance policy.
What can I claim compensation for?
As well as impacting your ability to work, carpal tunnel syndrome can affect your personal life as well as your finances. As such, all of these things should be considered if you make a carpal tunnel syndrome claim.
Some of the things you may wish to claim for include:
- Physical pain, suffering and discomfort.
- Any form of psychiatric harm caused by your injuries (depression for example).
- Loss of enjoyment of hobbies, social and family activities.
- Private medical care and medication costs.
- Care costs if you need support with everyday tasks.
- Travel costs linked to your injuries or treatment.
- Loss of earnings. Future losses could be claimed too if your injuries will reduce your income in the future.
- Changes at home or to your vehicle to make it easier to cope with the symptoms of CTS.
If you decide to make a claim with one of our solicitors, they’ll consult with you to learn exactly how you have suffered. This will be so that they can try to make sure everything is covered by any potential compensation payout.
How much compensation will I get for CTS?
The amount of compensation paid in a personal injury claim is largely dependent upon the extent of your injuries. So, until you’ve had an independent medical assessment (a requirement for many claims), we can’t really state how much compensation for carpal tunnel syndrome you might be awarded.
However, the medical assessment is quite straightforward and nothing to worry about. Usually, you’ll be seen locally and the specialist will examine your injuries and talk with you about how you’ve been affected. Once they’ve finished, they’ll explain your prognosis in a report that will be forwarded to your solicitor and the defendant.
Providing proof for a carpal tunnel compensation claim
When you file a carpal tunnel claim, your employer will probably send it to their insurers to deal with. If you’ve ever claimed against an insurance policy, you’ll know that they generally don’t just pay compensation straight away. Instead, they’ll want to see proof of how you sustained your injuries, how you’ve suffered and why your employer was liable.
The types of proof that could be supplied to support your claim include:
- Medical notes. The first piece of proof will usually always be copies of medical records from your GP to prove your diagnosis. These will be used in conjunction with an independent medical report.
- Witness statements. Your solicitor may ask colleagues to provide a statement about their working conditions if your employer denies your version of events.
- Work history. Your solicitor may collate a record of the dates that you couldn’t work because of carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Correspondence. It is important to keep hold of any emails or text messages you sent to your employer if you raised concerns about working practices.
- Financial records. You should also retain any receipts, bank statements or other financial documents that help to prove any costs you’ve incurred because of your injuries.
In addition to all of the above, you may wish to write down as much information about the impact of CTS on you as possible. For example, you could keep a diary of the dates you could participate in your normal activities because of your injuries. This will make it easier to explain how you’ve suffered if you speak to one of our solicitors.
If you’ve collected any proof already or need advice on what else you need to support your claim, please get in touch with a member of our team.
Carpal tunnel compensation claims time limits
As you may already know, there is a 3-year time limit for personal injury claims in the UK. When claiming for an accident, this will usually start from the date you were injured. However, as carpal tunnel syndrome can take months to develop fully, the limitation period will likely start from the date your condition was diagnosed.
Although you do have 3 years to claim, we’d suggest that you don’t leave it until the last minute. That’s because your solicitor will need some time to collect proof and medical records to help prove your case.
If required, your solicitor could also ask for interim payments to help you cope with lost earnings, medical costs or care costs while you’re waiting for your claim to be finalised.
No Win, No Fee claims
We believe that having specialist legal representation could improve the chances of winning a carpal tunnel syndrome claim. However, we also know that some people are worried about the cost of hiring a solicitor. That’s why our team of personal injury solicitors work on a No Win, No Fee basis during any carpal tunnel claim they work on.
No Win, No Fee agreements (called Conditional Fee Agreements or CFAs) explain that:
- Your solicitor won’t be asked to be paid upfront.
- If your carpal tunnel claim does not work out, you won’t have to pay any legal fees.
- A success fee will be deducted if your claim is won.
To make the claims process as easy as possible, your solicitor will manage everything for you. That means you won’t need to face any awkward or complicated questions from your employer’s insurers. You can rest assured that you’ll be kept up to date though and your solicitor will be there to answer any questions that arise.
In all cases, our solicitors aim to secure the maximum level of compensation for carpal tunnel syndrome available and they’ll review any settlement offer with you before it is accepted.
Start a carpal tunnel claim today
We hope that this guide has been useful and you now know what you’d like to do next. If you’re thinking about claiming compensation for carpal tunnel syndrome, please speak to us on 0800 652 1345.
You’ll receive free legal advice and no-obligation guidance about your options whatever you decide to do. If you do decide to make a claim, it will be handled on a No Win, No Fee basis if it is accepted by one of our specialist solicitors.
You can call us at any time, use our free live chat service or contact us here if you’ve got any additional questions about carpal tunnel claims.