Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of many repetitive strain injuries that affect workers today. It can be very painful and most commonly affects the hands and wrists. Employers have a responsibility to reduce the risk of workers suffering from the condition, and if they have been negligent in this duty of care, you are entitled to make a carpal tunnel compensation claim.
Table of contents
- Is your job causing carpal tunnel syndrome?
- Claiming against your employer for carpal tunnel syndrome
- Compensation amounts for carpal tunnel claims
- How to start your carpal tunnel claim
- Useful resources
- Your questions answered
Is your job causing carpal tunnel syndrome?
The NHS website describes Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) as a pressure on a nerve in your wrist. It causes tingling, numbness and pain in your hand and fingers. The symptoms include:
- An ache or pain in your fingers, hand or arm
- Numb hands
- Tingling or pins and needles
- A weak thumb or difficulty gripping
You’re most at risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome if your job involves repeated pressure or bending of the wrist. Usually it is associated with office workers, typists and people who spend their working life sat at a computer keyboard. Whilst such activities can and do lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, many people who pursue such claims are from other workplaces. Construction workers using vibratory equipment, tools or machinery, for example, are at risk of CTS.
Some job roles are more likely to present a risk and the employer has extra responsibilities to reduce it. They should provide extra training, safe and regularly serviced equipment, the correct tools for the job and regular breaks from use of certain equipment.
CTS is commonly linked to certain types of working activity, including:
- Repeated and regular use of vibratory equipment or tools
- Constant and repeated lifting of heavy items
- Heavy and repeated pressure over the carpal tunnel (at base of palm)
- Repeated use of and bending of the wrist
- Repeated forceful pinch grips
- Regular heavy lifting
The condition is known to cause pain and weakness, restricted dexterity and reduced grip strength. All of which which can lead to lost independence, difficulty working as normal and maintaining your day-to-day lifestyle.
Claiming compensation for carpal tunnel syndrome can help ease some of the problems caused by the condition.
Claiming against your employer for carpal tunnel syndrome
Anyone diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome caused by their working life is entitled to seek compensation for their pain and suffering. Employers that fail to ensure proper training, guidance and risk assessments to avoid CTS may be liable should you suffer a carpal tunnel injury. You’re entitled to make a claim as your employer has failed in their duty of care.
Compensation will be awarded if it can be shown that the employer has been negligent and failed in their responsibilities. With carpal tunnel, negligence is commonly found in at least one of these areas:
- Bad working conditions.
- Lack of protective equipment.
- Insufficient breaks from vibrating tools
- Lack of training.
- Lack of, or inappropriate, risk assessments.
Understandably, it can be a sensitive issue but there are many good reasons to make a carpal tunnel claim:
- Claiming is one of your rights after an injury at work, and will fairly compensate you for a health condition that was not your fault.
- It can pay for private medical treatment and rehabilitation therapies to speed your recovery.
- You can reclaim lost income if you have been off work.
- You pay nothing if your claim fails because they are made on a No Win No Fee basis.
You can’t be sacked for claiming for a work injury that wasn’t your fault. You can also make a claim in the knowledge that you are not jeopardising any colleagues’ employment. If you’re unable to do your usual job, your employer should do their best to get you back to work on lighter duties if possible. It’s up to you who you tell or don’t tell about your claim, or if you want to discuss the claim with your employer.
Compensation amounts for carpal tunnel
A successful claim will lead to a compensation settlement being made to you. The value of the claim would cover the injuries you have suffered and medical treatment that you have required. Additionally, it may include any lost income and incurred costs, now and in the future.
The amount of compensation you can expect will depend on the severity and term of your injury, also your age and the treatment required to correct the condition. Some injuries are long-term and result in loss of employment, others are fairly mild and can be corrected relatively quickly. It’s impossible to know exactly how much you could receive but there are guidelines for solicitors to follow, and previously awarded amounts are also taken into consideration.
One case made the headlines in 2015, where a council-employed gardener successfully claimed £15,000 compensation after sustaining CTS through the use of vibrating equipment. This would be in the upper scale of what amount to expect, with more minor and recoverable cases of CTS commonly awarded between £5,000 and £10,000.
The table below is a guide to compensation amounts for carpal tunnel based on its severity. These amounts are for the injury itself, but you can also claim for special damages, which can include your lost earnings, expenses and rehabilitation therapies, for example. Once your specialist solicitor has obtained your medical report they will be able to give you an idea of how much compensation to expect.
|Severity of injury||Compensation amount|
|Most serious - continuing bilateral disability with surgery and loss of employment||£21k - £23k|
|Continuing, but fluctuating and unilateral symptoms||£14k - £15k|
|Symptoms resolving within three years||£8k - £10k|
|Complete recovery within a few months||£2k - £3k|
How to start your carpal tunnel claim
We can help you to understand your rights after a work-related injury and can tell you whether you are likely to succeed with your claim.
As with all injuries or health problems caused through work, it is important to make sure that your carpal tunnel syndrome has been recorded properly with your employer. It may be that details are recorded in an employer’s accident book, but more likely that your line manager and HR department should be made aware of the diagnosis you have received from your doctor. If this hasn’t been done, don’t worry, we can help you to do so.
Direct2Compensation are experts in managing work-related health claims. Some of the best accident at work solicitors in the UK handle our cases. With our easy to understand claims process and ability to complete your claim quickly, simply and transparently, there are many reasons that make us a great choice.
To find out if you can claim, call us on 01225 430285 or if you prefer, we can call you back. In just a few minutes on the telephone with you, we’ll obtain the initial information needed for our solicitors to commence a claim.