Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Claims Guide
Carpal tunnel syndrome claims can be made in Ireland when you have developed carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive activities conducted in the workplace, or when the condition rapidly occurs due to a work-related injury.
Although carpal tunnel syndrome is often considered to be a work related injury; it is possible to sustain this repetitive strain injury from activities undertaken at home – such as when the wrists are used in repetitive or strenuous activities. Hobbies such as handicrafts and playing musical instruments can cause carpal tunnel syndrome, as can sport and from excessive use of a computer without the wrists being properly supported. It is this incorrect use of computers and typewriters which is the leading cause of carpal tunnel syndrome in the workplace and it is for this reason that many successful carpal tunnel syndrome claims are made against employers each year in Ireland.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a repetitive strain injury which affects the wrists and hands. The condition is caused by the compression of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist – a tunnel around the size of your thumb which protects the nerves going into your hand from external injury. Compression of this nerve due to fluid building up around the carpal tunnel can cause disruption of the nerve signals to the brain. This can lead to a lack of sensation in the wrists and hands, numbness, tingling, pins and needles or sometimes severe pain and an inability to grip objects. Although the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome start as being mild, in many cases they can develop into highly debilitating injuries which require surgery to repair the damage to the nerve.
Repetitive Tasks Which Can Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
You must be able to prove that you have developed carpal tunnel syndrome due to the work you have had to perform in order to make a claim of carpal tunnel syndrome compensation in Ireland. Poor ergonomic design of workstations, aging equipment and excessive manual handling are often to blame for employees developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Repetitive manual handling in the workplace
- Production line assembly
- Typing and computer work
- Use of tools in the workplace
Seek Legal Advice about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Claims
Making carpal tunnel syndrome claims for compensation against an employer may not be straightforward, even if you partake in no activities outside of the workplace which increase the risk of developing this condition. There are certain higher risk groups of people who are more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Pregnant women are more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome even without highly repetitive tasks being undertaken due to fluid retention in the hands and wrists making the development of carpal tunnel syndrome more likely. A pre-existing medical condition such as a bone or ligament deformity could also be the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome, and sprains, strains and broken bones can weaken the wrists. Any injury or deformity which causes increased pressure on the median nerve can lead to the condition developing.
With so many risk factors and potential causes of the condition, which have nothing to do with the workplace, proving that carpal tunnel syndrome was due to work practices may be complicated and using a personal injury solicitor with experience of work related injuries will almost certainly improve your chances of success.
Since it will be necessary to prove that you have developed carpal tunnel syndrome due to activities you have had to perform at work, and that your employer has been negligent regarding your personal safety and placed you at excessive risk of developing the condition, the experience of a personal injury solicitor can be invaluable. Medical experts may be required to help substantiate carpal tunnel syndrome claims for compensation and this will be easier to arrange through a personal injury solicitor. This will ensure that you make the strongest possible claim for carpal tunnel syndrome compensation.
When Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is Caused by Employer Negligence
If you have not been advised of the risks of carpal tunnel syndrome by your employer, and you have to perform repetitive tasks for long periods as part of your work, this could be classed as negligence in a duty of care to you as an employee. If you have had to work on a workstation with a poor ergonomic design and keyboard and mouse wrist supports have not been provided, or you have an excessive workload and are not permitted to take regular breaks, these could also amount to employer negligence and you should speak with a solicitor about making carpal tunnel syndrome claims for compensation.
Employer liability claims can be made whenever an employer has failed to make the workplace safe and to limit risks of injuries to staff to the lowest possible level. If you have developed carpal tunnel syndrome, and it could have been prevented by your employer providing you with a safe and healthy environment in which to work, you are entitled to make claims for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome claims are required to go through the Injuries Board Ireland for an assessment; however a personal injury solicitor should be consulted before you send in an application for assessment to ensure that you present the strongest possible case to maximise your chances of getting an appropriate compensation settlement.
Making Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Claims in Ireland
Carpal tunnel syndrome must have been diagnosed by your doctor and must be recorded in your medical records. You must have notified your employer about your condition, or have complained about numbness in the hands, tingling in the fingers, pain or a lack of sensitivity. A complaint must be recorded in your employer’s accident book detailing your symptoms and any pain. The accident book will be used by a personal injury solicitor to prove that your employer was made aware of your condition and failed to take action.
Ensuring that your condition has been properly recorded, and that the relevant authorities have been alerted – such as the Health and Safety Authority if appropriate – will ensure that carpal tunnel claims have the best chances of success. Consulting a personal injury solicitor for legal advice about claims procedures in Ireland will help to ensure that a carpal tunnel syndrome claim runs smoothly.
Free Legal Advice on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Claims
If you have developed carpal tunnel syndrome and believe that your job has played a part in you developing the condition, we invite you to call our personal injury claims helpline for advice.
Calls to our legal helpline are free of charge, and you will have the opportunity of speaking with a personal injury solicitor who has experience of dealing with claims for work related injury compensation. You will be advised on your eligibility to claim, and what you need to do next.
Call our Freephone helpline today on 1-800 989 995 and speak to an Irish solicitor about making carpal tunnel syndrome claims against your employer in complete confidence, or complete the contact form below and one of our solicitors will call you back when it is convenient for you to speak.