Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Ohio?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common – and painful – injury among office workers and other professionals. It is also a common injury among people who work with their hands, such as carpenters and other skilled tradespeople. If you are experiencing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, should you hire a Columbus workers’ compensation attorney to help you file for benefits? Here’s what you need to know:
Workers’ Compensation Covers Job-Related Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
In Ohio, workers’ compensation covers job-related carpal tunnel syndrome. The key here is that your condition must be job-related—and you must be able to prove it.
Carpal tunnel syndrome results from repetitive stress. Over time, repetitive motions such as typing, using hand tools and administering medications can irritate the median nerve that runs from the forearm to the palm. While many people do not notice symptoms of this irritation immediately, their symptoms can become worse over time—to the point that it can become difficult or impossible to do their jobs.
As Johns Hopkins explains, “[c]arpal tunnel syndrome is a progressive condition that can worsen without proper care.” With this in mind, if you are experiencing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (such as tingling, pain or numbness in the fingers or wrist), you should see a doctor promptly. Not only can seeking prompt treatment reduce the chances that you will need surgery, but it can avoid potential issues with your workers’ compensation claim as well.
Proving that Your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is Job-Related
One of these issues is the issue of proof. The longer you wait to seek treatment, the more difficult it can become to prove that your carpal tunnel syndrome is job-related. The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) may question whether your personal activities could have contributed to the current state of your condition, or you may face questions regarding whether you could (and should) have sought treatment sooner.
Additionally, under Ohio law, you only have one year to file a workers’ compensation claim for a job-related injury. Since it isn’t always clear when carpal tunnel syndrome begins, this deadline can present challenges in many cases as well. By seeking treatment and filing your claim right away, you can sidestep any questions regarding whether you have waited too long to file.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
While employees in most states file workers’ compensation claims with their employers, in Ohio you must file your claim with the BWC (unless you work for a large self-insured employer). Navigating the process can be challenging; and, as a result, it is best to work with an experienced Columbus workers’ compensation attorney who can help you collect the benefits you deserve.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Columbus Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you need to know more about seeking workers’ compensation for carpal tunnel syndrome in Ohio, we invite you to schedule a free consultation at Malek & Malek Law Firm. Call 888-444-7440 or contact us online to speak with a Columbus workers’ compensation attorney in confidence.