A tingling sensation like you’ve got pins and needles in your fingers or arm, numb hands, difficulty gripping because of weak thumbs or a persistently pain in the fingers, hand or arm are all symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome or CTS.
Although this condition may be caused due to several different reasons, the most common trigger for carpal tunnel syndrome is repeatedly bending your wrist or working with vibrating tools for several hours at a time. While this could result from pursuing certain hobbies, it is more often than not work related. In fact carpal tunnel syndrome is so prevalent in workplaces in the UK that it is now legally considered as an industrial disease.
If your work-related carpal tunnel syndrome was caused due to your employer’s negligence or apathy, then you may have grounds to claim compensation for your injuries.
Legislation Governing Workplace-related Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The main health and safety legislations governing workplace-related carpal tunnel syndrome are:
- the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974;
- Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992;
- Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992;
- and Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
Essentially, all of these Acts and Regulations put the onus of worker safety on the employer. They all state that employers have a duty of care towards their workers. This means the employer is responsible for putting measures and procedures in place to ensure as much as possible that the working conditions are safe for all workers. They are also responsible for providing their workers with appropriate equipment depending on their specific tasks and for providing them with the relevant training and supervision to minimise the risk of injuries.
What Can Employers Do To Minimise The Risk Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Some things that employers are expected to do to minimise the risk of work-related carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Making sure that all employees working extended hours at computer stations are provided with the recommended ergonomic equipment that is designed to take the strain off the wrist;
- Schedule appropriate breaks for employees performing tasks that involve repetitive hand and wrist movement;
- Provide recommended personal protective equipment to employees working with vibrating tools.
If your employer failed to take the appropriate measures, resulting in your carpal tunnel syndrome, you should talk to a legal professional to find out if you are eligible to file a claim for compensation.
For carpal tunnel syndrome claims to be successful, you must be able to prove that your CTS was caused because your employer neglected any one of the requirements mentioned above.
How Much Compensation For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
There is no fixed amount that you can claim for your work-related carpal tunnel syndrome. The compensation amount that the court will award you will depend on a combination of several factors including:
- The severity of your symptoms and their long-term effects;
- Short and long term medical expenses including diagnostic tests, immediate treatment and physiotherapy;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of current and future income and perks from missing or giving up work due to your injuries;
- Cost of structural changes to your vehicle or home to accommodate your injuries;
- Loss of quality of life due to being compelled to give you certain hobbies or activities;
- Cost of ongoing care if necessary.
The court will take into consideration all of the above factors in order to calculate fair compensation for your injuries.
Making A Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Claim
Winning a compensation claim is never easy and it can be particularly complicated for carpal tunnel syndrome injuries because the symptoms are essentially invisible. You will not only have to provide solid evidence that you are suffering from CTS but you will also have to prove that it was caused due to malpractice in the workplace. When you file a case by yourself without the help of a accident claims solicitor, the highly experienced solicitors who work for your employer’s insurance company will do everything they can to exploit your inexperience and weaken your case. In a worst case scenario you could lose the case. At the very best, you might win only a fraction of the amount due to you.
Having a specialist personal injury solicitor on your side is the single best thing you can do when you want to win a carpal tunnel syndrome compensation claim. What’s more, in many instances you don’t have to worry about how you are going to cover any legal fees. Most personal injury solicitors will give you a free consultation during which they will ask you details about your injuries and your working conditions.
No Win No Fee Agreement
If, after hearing what you say, they feel that you have a strong case, they will almost certainly agree to represent you on the basis of a No Win No Fee agreement. A No Win No Fee agreement works exactly like it sounds. Essentially what a No Win No Fee agreement means is that the solicitor agrees to represent you and file the claim on your behalf without receiving any upfront payment. In our case if you don’t win the claim, you will not have to pay any fees whatsoever. You only pay if you win your claim and the court awards you compensation. The amount we take as our fee is an agreed percentage of the total amount awarded to you.
When you sign a No Win No Fee agreement, the odds are stacked in your favour. You are getting the legal help you need without having to pay anything upfront. In return, you know that the solicitor will go all out to ensure that you win compensation because that is the only way they will get paid for their time and expertise.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Claims Time Limit
What many people do not realise is that there is a statute of limitation for filing compensation claims including carpal tunnel syndrome claims. All claims must be filed within 3 years of the injury or 3 years from the date of diagnosis. If you don’t file your compensation claim within the 3 year timeline you lose the right to claim. Unfortunately, life often gets in the way and those 3 years can slip by all too quickly. When you have a personal injury solicitor representing you, they will work on building a strong case and ensure that your carpal tunnel syndrome claim is filed in court before the 3-year deadline.