Hand and wrist injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), are prevalent issues in Australian workplaces, affecting individuals across various industries. These injuries can arise from repetitive motions, overexertion, improper ergonomics, or sudden accidents, leading to pain, numbness, and reduced functionality.

Although good ergonomic practices and regular breaks may contribute to better workplace health, carpal tunnel syndrome persists. Certain people, such as office workers, factory and warehouse workers and machine operators, are at greater risk.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Hand and wrist injuries encompass a range of conditions, from sprains and strains to fractures and nerve compression syndromes like carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

Carpal tunnel syndrome, in particular, occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes compressed within the carpal tunnel—a narrow passageway in the wrist. This nerve transmits the sense of touch to the thumb, index and middle finger and controls hand muscle movements. When the median nerve is damaged, it causes sharp and continuous pain in the wrist and arm, disabling entire movement.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is progressive and may worsen over time. Symptoms may include pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and fingers, often exacerbated by repetitive hand movements or prolonged use of vibrating tools.

The Most Common Symptoms of CTS Include:

  • A burning sensation and numbness in the thumb or first three fingers.
  • Pain in the hand, which radiates to the arm and shoulder,
  • A weakened grip and inability to pinch
  • Frequently dropping objects

Hand and carpal tunnel injuries in the work place and workers’ compensation for such injuries is a vital safety net for employees who sustain work-related injuries or illnesses. The compensation provides financial support and covers the costs of medical care. There is also a legal aspect to work-related injuries and a role for legal professionals in advocating for workers’ rights.

Each state and territory in Australia has its workers’ compensation scheme governed by specific legislation. These schemes aim to ensure prompt access to medical treatment, rehabilitation services, and compensation for lost wages or permanent impairment resulting from workplace injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. A personal injury lawyer from our team of compensation experts at PK Simpson can help you make a carpal tunnel injury claim for compensation.

Carpal Tunnel Compensation Claims

A carpal tunnel claim involves lodging a worker’s compensation claim that proves your carpal tunnel syndrome was caused by an accident at work or your employer’s negligence. You must prove your inability to perform your duties at work due to carpal tunnel syndrome.

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome cause restriction in movement and action that can last a lifetime. The pain and restricted movement associated with carpal tunnel syndrome persist way beyond the ability to continue in a particular job profile but have lasting effects on a person’s lifestyle and everyday activities.

The time frame for claiming a personal injury or carpal tunnel compensation claim is six months. Depending on the injury and situation, this can be extended to three years.

Essential Aspects of Carpal Tunnel Workers’ Compensation  

There’s been a relative increase in personal injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome due to the rise in desk and computer jobs. However, you should be aware that you cannot sue your employer for injuries caused by keyboard and mouse usage. But you can claim workers’ compensation for the same injury.

Having a complete understanding of how workers’ compensation works is crucial before you begin the claims process. With highly knowledgeable lawyers like ours at PK Simpson by your side, it is the best way to navigate the complexities of workers’ compensation legislation in your state. Each state has different rules and regulations when it comes to workers comp.

Crucial Steps to Take in a Carpal Tunnel Work Injury 

If you have suffered carpal tunnel syndrome or a hand injury at work, you must notify your employer and document everything. You must notify your boss in writing or verbally, remembering to give all the information you can about when the injury occurred. Include how it happened or, in the case of CTS, when symptoms began to arise.

Also, ensure your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, which is mandatory. Also, consult a personal injury lawyer who is an expert in carpal tunnel injury claims.

Seek Legal Representation to Claim Compensation

Given the complexities of workers’ compensation claims, seeking legal representation from experienced lawyers is crucial for ensuring injured workers receive the necessary benefits and compensation. Legal experts specialising in carpal tunnel claims for workers’ compensation, such as PK Simpson, can provide invaluable support. We can relieve stress and help you navigate the claims process, gather evidence, advocate for your rights, and resolve disputes with employers or insurance providers.

What Does Workers’ Compensation Offer?

The following supports are offered by a successful carpal tunnel compensation claim for workers suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • Medical Expenses Coverage for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

A successful workers’ compensation claim for carpal tunnel syndrome usually covers the cost of medical treatments. This treatment must be related to hand and carpal tunnel injuries, including consultations with your doctor, physiotherapy, diagnostic tests, necessary surgery, and prescription medications.

  • Income Support:

Should you develop carpal tunnel syndrome, which prevents you from performing your normal duties, workers’ compensation provides weekly income support and compensates for a portion of your lost wages during your recovery.

  • Rehabilitation Services:

The recovery process for hand injuries and carpal tunnel syndrome requires vital rehabilitation services. A successful workers’ compensation claim for carpal tunnel syndrome in NSW may cover rehabilitation program expenses. These programs aim to restore function and facilitate return to work. See the following chart:

Workers Compensation Payments NSWDescription
Weekly paymentsThese are payments are to compensate you for any lost income while you’re off work caused by your carpal tunnel injury.
Medical expensesPayment of your hospital, medical,  ambulance, rehabilitation (including any help you need in the home) and travel costs.
Permanent impairment payoutA lump sum compensation payout is to cover a permanent impairment which is caused by your carpal tunnel.
Work Injury Damages payoutAlso known as a common law claim, this is a lump sum payout for damages if your carpal tunnel injury was caused by your employer’s negligence.

How Much is a Carpal Tunnel Claim Worth?

Certain factors will not be the same for every hand injury or carpal tunnel workers’ compensation claim, meaning the outcomes will differ for different injured workers. The amount of carpal tunnel workers’ compensation is typically based on the individual and their circumstances.

However, a carpal tunnel compensation lawyer might look into many factors, including:

  • The seriousness of your carpal tunnel syndrome or hand injury.
  • Employer or workplace negligence.
  • Any exacerbation of pre-existing conditions of your hands.
  • Job requirements and any links to your injury
  • Any medical and travel expenses you paid for your injury.
  • Present and future loss of earnings.
  • Your present and future support and care needs.

Lump Sum Payouts and Permanent Impairment

In cases where a hand or carpal tunnel injury results in permanent impairment or disability, employees may be eligible to claim workers’ compensation and receive lump sum payouts. If the injury and resultant disability are classed as a Total and Permanent Disability, then a TPD claim may be possible.

The amount of carpal tunnel injury compensation awarded depends on factors such as the severity of the impairment, its impact on the worker’s ability to perform tasks, and relevant legislation. PK Simpson legal professionals can assist injured workers in assessing their entitlements and pursuing fair compensation for carpal tunnel injury permanent impairment.

Carpal Tunnel Claim? Call PK Simpson Today

Navigating the carpal tunnel workers’ compensation process requires a thorough understanding of the legal framework, potential challenges, and the importance of seeking legal representation from experienced professionals. By advocating for injured workers’ rights and ensuring access to compensation and rehabilitation services, our legal experts play a crucial role in promoting workplace safety and supporting injured individuals on their path to recovery.

Our professional carpal tunnel injury lawyers at PK Simpson can help you navigate the bureaucratic and legal maze to claim the workers’ compensation you deserve. Contact us here today so we can begin the process of getting you back on your feet and do our utmost to get you the maximum compensation you need.