If you’ve developed carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of your work, you could be eligible to bring a carpal tunnel syndrome claim against your employer.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition which is uncomfortable at best, but is often a painful condition affecting the hands and the fingers. It can make normal activities difficult, and sometimes impossible.
Unfortunately, it’s common to suffer a carpal tunnel injury as a direct result of an individual’s work – in which case, the injured person can usually bring a claim for a carpal tunnel compensation payout.
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is caused by pressure being exerted on a major nerve in the wrist. Thankfully, unlike many occupational diseases or conditions, it can often be completely cured with surgery.
In many cases, the condition – sometimes called ‘occupational overuse syndrome’ – is caused in the workplace as a result of the employer’s negligence or breach of duty of care. It could be triggered by using tools and equipment, or from repetitive or awkward manual handling which causes swelling in the wrist. It may also be linked to hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), yet both HAVS and carpal tunnel syndrome injuries linked to vibration exposure are preventable.
Individuals who develop CTS at work through no fault of their own have the legal right to bring carpal tunnel syndrome claims to recover carpal tunnel syndrome compensation. You might also be able to claim carpal tunnel syndrome compensation from medical professionals if your condition was caused or exacerbated because of, for instance, substandard medical treatment.
The most important step you can take is to call 0800 234 6438 for free advice on how to bring a claim for compensation under a no win no fee agreement. Or if you prefer, you can request a call back via the contact form. Your no win no fee claim will be taken under a conditional fee agreement with specialist solicitors who are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
If you’re unsure whether or not the symptoms you have are carpal tunnel syndrome, a simple test is to raise your forearm and let your hand go limp; then bend it down further and hold it for a few seconds or so. If your hand or fingers start to tingle or go numb, you could have CTS but should always see a doctor about your symptoms in any case.
Carpal tunnel syndrome usually starts gradually and can become progressively worse without treatment. It can become increasingly difficult to undertake your work or to do normal things like holding a pen or a mobile device without numbness and pain.
Fortunately, if you’re suffering carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, you should be able to seek compensation for carpal tunnel injuries from your employer. You can contact a trained advisor for free advice on 0800 234 6438 about starting a no win no fee compensation claim.
CTS is a condition caused by compression of the ‘median nerve’. This is a large nerve which controls feeling and sensitivity in the hand. The nerve is protected by a passage – the carpal tunnel – on the palm side of your wrist. If there is swelling, the tunnel – and therefore the median nerve – are compressed.
Symptoms caused by a carpal tunnel injury can be painful and uncomfortable, particularly if your hand is even slightly bent at the wrist. Typical sensations are tingling, numbness, burning sensations, and pain and weakness in the hands and the fingers (except for the little finger, which is not ‘serviced’ by the median nerve). In serious carpal tunnel injury cases, the sufferer may be unable to use their affected hand properly – which can make work and hobbies difficult. It can also affect normal everyday activities such as writing, driving and holding a phone.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can also affect your sleep. Many sufferers find relief in wearing wrist splints to keep the hand and wrist straight while resting, minimising the pressure on the nerve. Steroid injections are sometimes given to provide short term relief. Thankfully, the condition can be cured for many suffering a carpal tunnel injury by way of a simple surgical procedure that releases the pressure in the carpal tunnel. However, if carpal tunnel symptoms are ignored or untreated, there’s a risk of permanent nerve damage – so it’s really important to see a doctor as soon as you can; and to consider how to claim compensation if someone else was at fault.
CTS is common, but that doesn’t make it any easier to cope with. Around one in 20 people in the UK will develop the condition at some stage in their lives. If your condition was caused by someone else’s negligence, then an experienced solicitor may be able to help you get the money and support you need.
Specialist solicitors experienced in personal injury claims can give you the expert advice you need about the carpal tunnel compensation claims process. Speak to a trained legal advisor for free on 0800 234 6438 to find out if you could make a claim on a no win no fee basis.
Sometimes, it’s risky bringing a claim, however a no win no fee claim removes any financial risk of making a claim. If you don’t succeed you won’t have to pay out anything in legal fees.
If your claim is successful, you’ll receive your compensation and can spend it however you choose. You will need to pay your solicitor’s success fee as a percentage of your compensation – but this will never be more than 25% of the money you receive. Your solicitor will explain the no win no fee process to you.
This condition can be triggered by a number of things, such as being overweight or having a health condition like diabetes. Pregnant women also frequently suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of water retention – a common symptom in pregnancy. In the majority of pregnancy-related cases, the condition stops on delivery.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can also be caused by many leisure activities and hobbies, such as knitting, gardening and wood carving. Sometimes, CTS can also be caused or made worse as a result of medical negligence, such as delayed or wrongful diagnosis. If doctors or health professionals are to blame, CTS sufferers can bring medical negligence claims for carpal tunnel compensation.
Most other cases of carpal tunnel syndrome are the result of repetitive movements of your hands or wrists, and is often caused in the workplace – particularly in industry; so it’s only fair that CTS sufferers have the right to claim carpal tunnel syndrome on a no win no fee basis.
Carpal tunnel syndrome at work can be triggered by:
If you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, your symptoms and the extent of them may depend how long you’ve had it. You might only be experiencing occasional but frustrating numbness or you may be suffering substantial levels of pain and discomfort.
The most common symptoms of CTS include numbness, weakness and tingling in the hand and fingers and pain. These symptoms can make normal tasks difficult. You may have difficulty gripping a book, a telephone or a mobile device for more than a couple of minutes; driving can be uncomfortable as you’re holding the steering wheel; and some sufferers find gripping a pen and writing almost impossible.
If you’re suffering any of these carpal tunnel symptoms, you should see your GP for further investigations and treatment. And if you have carpal tunnel syndrome because of your work environment or as a result of medical negligence, it is important to seek free legal advice from personal injury solicitors to start a claim for carpal tunnel compensation.
Some of the usual symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome could also be indicative of another condition, such as arthritis, a trapped nerve or severe bruising. When you see your doctor, they will examine you and test the feeling and muscle strength in your hand and wrist. If your GP suspects it is carpal tunnel syndrome, you may be sent for investigations and a proper diagnosis.
A diagnosis of CTS is usually made by way of nerve conduction tests. Electrodes are taped to the skin and small electrical impulses passed through the median nerve. The signals are then recorded to see how long it takes messages to travel down the nerve. The results will confirm whether it is carpal tunnel syndrome, and assuming it is – will be important evidence in you case.
In many cases, carpal tunnel syndrome does not amount to a long term disability. Sometimes, it can resolve on its own; in other cases, treatment such as using a wrist splint for a few months or steroid injections are successful.
If your condition persists and interferes with your life, CTS can usually be resolved by a simple procedure where the carpal tunnel is released by means of a small cut. You would probably be unable to work for a few weeks or months (depending on whether it was your dominant hand and the nature of your work) while you recover, which means you could lose out on wages.
However, in the most serious cases the injured person may suffer permanent nerve damage, causing ongoing weakness and loss of sensation in the hands, including the fingers. In these cases, the injured person may be unable to work and to undertake their previous hobbies and many of the usual daily tasks we take for granted.
With the help of an expert personal injury solicitor, you can make an industrial disease compensation claim to help you in your rehabilitation.
Yes, if you’ve developed carpal tunnel syndrome as a direct result of the work you’ve been doing, you should be able to bring a personal injury claim against your employer. The fact is, work-related carpal tunnel syndrome is common and is legally recognised as an ‘industrial disease’ – often the result of health and safety breaches.
Common workplace risks are associated with the use of hand-held vibrating tools, such as sanders, grinders, chainsaws; and undertaking repetitive manual work. As well as CTS, these activities can also cause repetitive strain injuries.
Where a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome or certain other occupational illnesses and conditions is made, employers must report these to the HSE under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013). The employer’s report and any subsequent investigation by the HSE will be important for when you claim compensation and negotiate a compensation settlement.
If you’re suffering from CTS and think your working environment might be to blame, a solicitor can help you make a carpal tunnel syndrome claim against your employer. You can contact a legally trained advisor for a free consultation on 0800 234 6438.
Although carpal tunnel syndrome is common, that doesn’t mean it’s unavoidable. In many cases, accidents and conditions caused in the workplace can be prevented by following health and safety regulations which exist precisely to keep you safe at work
The law imposes a legal duty of care on your employer to take reasonable measures to protect you from carpal tunnel syndrome and other occupational conditions and diseases, such as repetitive strain injury.
For example, your employer has a responsibility to:
Specific regulations relevant to reducing the risk of CTS and similar conditions include:
If you work in an office, these regulations set out rules around display screen equipment to ensure your workstation is comfortable and safe – such as by providing an adjustable monitor and ergonomic chair
This sets out a wide range of guidance and codes of practice for employers, to cover all aspects of workplace health and safety
The Operations Regulations applies to lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling. Employers should assess the risks and take measures to avoid injuries from happening
Most CTS cases are caused in the workplace, which means your carpal tunnel syndrome claim will most likely be made against your employer. In practice, the injury claim will be made against the employer’s insurance company – employers are required to take out employers’ liability insurance in case an employee or worker suffers an injury at work.
To make a successful carpal tunnel claim, your solicitor will need to prove on balance that your employer breached their duty of care towards you in failing to comply with its health and safety obligations; and your condition was caused as a direct result. Unless your employer can show it took reasonable steps to protect you from injury in the workplace, its insurer will have to pay you a fair amount of compensation.
The amount you can claim for compensation for your carpal tunnel syndrome claim will depend on various factors, such as how bad your condition is and the impact on your life and whether you can go back to your usual job. Your solicitor will look at the cause of your condition, what treatment you’ve endured and your prognosis and work to negotiate the maximum compensation possible for your injuries. If you have suffered irreversible nerve damage, compensation payments could be significant – reflecting the extent of your condition.
Your solicitor will arrange for you to have an assessment carried out by a specialist doctor who will produce a report on your condition and your prognosis, including whether you’re likely to need surgery. This will be done under your no win no fee agreement so you won’t have to pay for it unless your carpal tunnel claim is successful.
You can be reassured that your solicitor will build the strongest possible case on your behalf to secure the maximum compensation you deserve. The compensation you receive for your actual condition and pain and suffering is called ‘general damages’. Given that compensation amounts can vary depending on your particular circumstances, it’s hard to say how much compensation you could receive in general damages so early in the process.
That said, there are formal guidelines (the Judicial College Guidelines) which lawyers refer to when calculating what compensation payments you could be entitled to for carpal tunnel syndrome. As explained, it depends on your own circumstances but the guidelines will give an idea of the range of potential personal injury compensation, for example:
You might also like to use the compensation calculator to get a guideline figure for the general damages you could expect.
In addition to general damages for the condition itself, you can also claim compensation for your actual financial loss, such as lost earnings. This is called ‘special damages’.
When solicitors make personal injury claims, the claims process includes seeking compensation for any reasonable current and future loss which the injured person had to spend as a result of the injury or condition. They also make a claim for anticipated costs, so long as reasonable.
For example, special damages can include:
So that your solicitor can make as full a carpal tunnel claim as possible, make sure you pass on your pay slips, invoices and receipts so that the maximum compensation can be claimed for your financial losses.
If you believe someone else should be held responsible for your condition, the most important thing you can do is get in touch with a specialist personal injury lawyer and get free legal advice about claiming compensation.
We know how daunting it can be to claim carpal tunnel syndrome compensation, but it can be reassuring to know that the law protects people like you who have been physically harmed through no fault of your own. The money you receive can make a big difference to your life and help you pay for the treatment and support you need.
It’s important to get in touch with a solicitor as soon as you can. Call for free on 0800 234 6438. A specialist personal injury team will ask some questions about your carpal tunnel syndrome, so they can get a better idea of how it was caused and the effect it has had on your life. They will also guide you through the no win no fee carpal tunnel claim process.
You’ll need to give your solicitor as much information and evidence as possible which could help build your case. For example, you should give a detailed a description of your workstation, work environment and the equipment you were using, what your job involved and details of how long you were employed in that role. This is important for all carpal tunnel syndrome claims.
It will also be useful for your solicitor to know whether your employer undertook any risk assessments of your role to determine whether any adjustments needed to be made to minimise the risk of you developing an occupation condition such as CTS. Also, it can be helpful to tell your solicitor when (and whether) you informed your employer of the problems you were experiencing with your hand and wrist, and whether they acted on it.
If you can, you should also:
It’s highly unlikely you’ll have to go to court because the vast majority of personal injury cases settle before litigation becomes necessary. Most defendants, usually the employer, do not want to go to court. Your solicitor will work hard to negotiate a fair settlement so that you will not have to even think about a court hearing.
If court proceedings were to become necessary, your solicitor will talk you through the process so you’ll know what to expect.
The general rule in personal injury cases is that you have three years from the date of injury to start legal proceedings. After the three-year period has passed, you could be ‘time-barred’ and might not be able to make a carpal tunnel claim, so you need to take specialist legal advice as soon as possible.
However, there is important flexibility in cases such as carpal tunnel syndrome claims, because of the fact that the symptoms can take some time to develop. In these situations, the three-year ‘limitation period’ begins on the date of knowledge, in other words, the date on which you could have been expected to know what caused the CTS.
Your solicitor will be able to give you expert advice on whether you can make a carpal tunnel claim. For help and advice about making carpal tunnel claims, speak to a solicitor for free on 0800 234 6438 or if you prefer, you can request a call back using the claim form on this page.
If you are employed and have been injured at work or you develop an occupational condition such as CTS, you may need more than four consecutive days off sick to recover. If so, you should be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) (currently £99.35 per week for up to 28 weeks).
Many employers are more generous and will pay more than the SSP rate, so do check your contract of employment to see what your entitlement might be. You can also see if your employer operates a sick pay scheme. Sometimes, employers agree to pay more that the injured person is strictly entitled to if they accept responsibility for the injury, so it’s worth discussing it with your employer.
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit may also be available if you were employed at the time of the accident, and you need time off work because of work-related CTS. In fact, each year, approximately 3,000 new claims for Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit are made in relation to vibration white finger and vibration-related carpal tunnel syndrome, according to the HSE.
How much you would be entitled to depends on nature and extent of your disability (you must be at least 14% disabled). The maximum amount is currently £188.60 per week.
If you’re self-employed and need time off work, you’re not entitled to SSP but you may be entitled to other benefits, such as employment and support allowance. Your carpal tunnel claims solicitor will be able to discuss these possibilities with you.
In May 2022, a furniture manufacturer was fined for failing to manage an employee’s exposure to vibration. The employer also failed to act when two employees were diagnosed with CTS. However, the employees were required to continue with their normal rules and one of them suffered permanent nerve damage, leaving him unable to work
The prevalence of carpal tunnel syndrome in the UK is 7–16%; and each year, 88 men and 193 women present as new cases per 100,000 population
Manufacturing industry workers suffer the greatest impact from damage resulting from CTS
To find out whether you could make a claim, you can speak to a solicitor on 0800 234 6438, or arrange a call back using the claim form on this page.
Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.
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