Comprehensive Guide Carpal Tunnel & a Subsequent Compensation Claim

Mark Benson

Mark Benson

Money Savings Advice Carpal tunnel & compensation

Carpal tunnel syndrome is often associated with repetitive strain injury, although it is a recognised medical condition in its own right. If you have developed this condition as a consequence of your work, then you may well be eligible for compensation.

While many people assume this is just “part of the job” this is certainly not the case. As a consequence, it is worth investigating a potential claim because this type of injury can have a debilitating impact on your life.

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an injury to the wrist which is extremely painful. If caused due to unsafe working practices you could be entitled to compensation - up to £18,440 if it is a long-term disability that causes you to lose your job.

Unfortunately, we can only estimate the number of carpal tunnel syndrome claims which have fallen by the wayside.

Many people still think that this kind of injury is “part of the job” and as a consequence negligent third parties are rarely held to account.

Thankfully the tide is turning, employees are fighting back, and we have seen significant improvements in health and safety in the workplace.

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What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Often referred to as CTS, carpal tunnel syndrome is an extremely painful condition that affects the wrists and hands. In recent times we saw the emergence of numerous claims regarding a condition known as vibration white finger, which is a type of carpal tunnel syndrome.

This was caused by vibrating tools used over a prolonged period of time often without statutory breaks.

What Are the Symptoms of CTS?

This extremely painful condition is known to cause weakness in the wrist and hands, numbness, burning, and an uncomfortable tingling sensation in the fingers. One of the more prominent symptoms is a diminishing level of grip when holding everyday items such as a cup of tea.

As you can imagine, difficulty gripping items (let alone the pain and suffering) can have a huge impact on an individual’s standard of living.

What Is the Cause of CTS?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is brought about by constant pressure on the carpal tunnel, which is located just aside your wrists. This can cause the carpal tunnel to swell, which places pressure on the median nerve, thereby creating the constant pain and suffering reported by victims.

Recent medical research shows that various groups of the population are more at risk than others such as:-

  • Pregnant women
  • People who are overweight
  • Diabetics
  • People with arthritis
  • Where there is a family history of CTS
  • Those with old wrist injuries

If you are in any of the above groups and suffer CTS in the workplace, then your employer may be able to argue split liability. It will depend upon the details of the case, but if you are seen as more susceptible to CTS, this could, in theory, reduce any compensation award.

What Types of Repetitive Actions Bring About CTS?

There are numerous actions that were taken for granted in years gone by which we now know to bring on CTS.

These include:-

  • Long-term use of vibrating tools such as pneumatic drills
  • Forceful bending of the wrist over a prolonged period of time
  • The direct pressure on the carpal tunnel which is at the base of the palms
  • Constant heavy lifting
  • Prolonged use of forceful pinch grips

If you undertake any of the above actions over a prolonged period of time without the relevant safety equipment, then you could be eligible for compensation.

Is There a Cure for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

There are a number of potential cures for CTS, but unfortunately, there is no guarantee they will work. They include:-

  • Wrist splints
  • Steroid injections
  • Surgery

This is the order in which your doctor is likely to try to cure CTS although in some cases it can return further down the line. Surgery is the final option, involving a simple incision across the carpal tunnel inside your wrist to reduce the pressure on the median nerve.

How Did My Employer Not Know I Was in Danger of Developing CTS?

Hindsight is very useful but in reality, where there are repetitive tasks your employer should carry out a regular risk assessment. This should alert them to potential issues such as CTS and allow them to make alternative arrangements. Failure to carry out these risk assessments could be deemed negligent by the courts.

How Do I Pursue a Compensation Claim for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

In order to secure compensation because of the development of CTS, while carrying out your employment duties, you will first need to prove negligence on behalf of your employer. While not always possible, in a perfect world, you should begin collating evidence as soon as your condition is diagnosed.

Evidence might include:-

  • Medical records
  • Photographic evidence
  • Details of pain and suffering
  • Evidence of similar injuries in the workplace
  • Witness statements
  • Timeline of events
  • Details of safety equipment provided
  • Training schedules

As we touched on above, all employers have a legal duty to ensure the safe well-being of their employees. This includes everything from providing safety equipment to ongoing health and safety training.

How Do I Appoint a Claims Management Representative?

Once you have put together your evidence, you should approach a claims management company. They will review the evidence and give you an independent assessment of your chances of success. If they believe you have a minimum 60% chance of receiving compensation, then they will likely offer to take forward your case on a “no win no fee” arrangement.

What Is a “No Win No Fee” Arrangement?

This type of arrangement means that the claimant will not be liable for the expenses of their claims management representative. In light of a successful claim, the claims management company will be able to reclaim its expenses from the defendant. However, they will also include a “success fee” in their agreement with you.

What Is a “Success Fee”?

In exchange for taking on the risks associated with your claim, and covering their expenses, they will negotiate a share of any compensation award. The average success fee tends to be around 25%, although this is not set in stone and can vary significantly.

What Level of Compensation Should I Expect?

If successful, any compensation award would be considered on a case-by-case basis. However, there are indicative levels of compensation for particular injuries.

For example, those suffering CTS as a consequence of their employer’s negligence may be eligible for:-

  • Between £1760 and £2810 where a full recovery is expected in the short-term
  • Symptoms that can last up to 3 years can lead to compensation of between £6890 and £8570
  • Continuous fluctuating symptoms will attract compensation between £11,890 and £13,020
  • Long-term disability, surgery and loss of employment could lead to compensation from £17,460-£18,440

You should also be able to claim for expenses incurred, future expenses and loss of earnings directly related to the injury.

Summary

Carpal tunnel syndrome is an extremely painful and potentially life-changing condition. While we have seen significant success with surgery, nothing is guaranteed, and the condition can return in the future. So, if you believe you have developed CTS as a consequence of your employer’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation.

How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With Making a Personal Injury Compensation Claim?

Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Personal Injury Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for injuries they have incurred, and they can do the same for you.

Choosing an independent claims management company means they won’t proceed with a claim unless they are sure it is in your best interests. They are also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.

If you would like to speak to one of these claim management companies who can help you make a compensation claim, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.

Mark Benson

Mark Benson

Mark has been writing professionally for over ten years for the financial sector. Having started in the financial world as a stock-broker in central London and then moving to equities trader Mark is one of our senior financial writers who has a vast knowledge of multiple financial sectors.

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