A guide to carpal tunnel syndrome compensation claims
The following article sets out what you need to know about making a carpal tunnel syndrome compensation claim.
Carpal tunnel syndrome statistics
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a legally recognised industrial disease where the median nerve passing into the hand becomes compressed.
This condition causes pain, tingling, or weakness in the forearm and hand. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures show that 5,750 people were assessed for disablement benefit from work-related carpal tunnel syndrome between 2003 and 2013.
In the workplace, almost 90% of carpal tunnel syndrome cases involve male workers.
The most common cause of work-related carpal tunnel syndrome is regular, repetitive strain being placed on the wrists, hands, or fingers.
The main symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome affect feeling and motor capability in the hand. Symptoms can affect the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers. These symptoms can result in difficulties maintaining a grip on objects and operating machinery.
The pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome is primarily severe numbness. This pain can be so intense it can wake individuals from sleep.
Surgery may be required to alleviate symptoms. Following carpal tunnel syndrome surgery, up to three months recovery time may typically be needed.
A carpal tunnel claim should be possible if the date of diagnosis or 'date of discovery' of the condition:
- in the last three years and
- another party (e.g. your employer or past employer) was to blame and
- that party owed you a duty of care .
Even if you qualify, however, some solicitors may not take on your claim for other reasons.
You can claim from the employer responsible for the work-related tasks, machinery or equipment, that caused carpal tunnel syndrome to develop.
Relevant legislation which may support your personal injury claim includes:
- Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 - which place a duty of care on employers to provide safe working conditions, suitable equipment, and appropriate safety training an supervision for their employees.
- Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 - which provide health and safety guidelines for working with display screen equipment. These include guidelines for safety measures such as the provision of ergonomically designed chairs.
Your solicitor will assess whether your employer has been in breach of health and safety regulations. If the employer is proven negligent, they may be held liable to pay compensation for the claimant's carpal tunnel syndrome injury.
I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?
Making a personal injury claim for carpal tunnel syndrome
It is important to begin your claim as soon as you are aware you have developed carpal tunnel syndrome.
This is because there is a statutory time limit on making personal injury claims. Claims must be made within three years of the claimant's knowledge of their injury.
Your solicitor will assess the value of your claim based on supporting evidence, including medical reports. Compensation settlements can include amounts for:
- Medical treatment
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of amenity -personal adjustments to claimant's working, social and personal life
- Loss of current and future earnings
- Expenses related to on-going care, such as travel costs for hospital visits
Settlement amounts relate to the severity of the injury caused, and the overall impact of the injury on the claimant.
The amount of compensation you would receive for a carpal tunnel syndrome will depend on the following:
- how long the injury lasted and the prognosis for recovery
- the severity of the condition
- any other financial expenses or losses you have incurred as a result of the injury, including lost wages, and the costs of care and treatment.
Legally speaking, compensation awards are broken down into the following two categories:
General damages are awarded for “pain, suffering and loss of amenity” and the specific impact that your injuries have had on your life. General damages are calculated with reference to the Judicial College awards for personal injury compensation.
According to the guidelines for example, if the carpal tunnel syndrome recovers within a 3 year period, a compensation award of around £6,175 can be expected.
A permanent disability may result in compensation of around £16,500.
Special damages are awarded for any other costs or losses.
These could include lost wages, the cost of medical treatment (e.g. non-surgical therapies such as wrist splinting, surgical therapies like endoscopic surgery and even alternative therapies like acupuncture) and any financial losses or expenses incurred.
Personal injury solicitors now work on a No Win, No Fee basis.
No Win No Fee is an agreement (technically known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA') which is entered into between the injured person and the personal injury solicitor.
No Win No Fee means that if your nerve injury claim is not successful then you would pay no legal fees at all.
If you do win your case, a success fee will be deducted from the compensation award and paid to the solicitor.
You can focus on your rest and recovery, knowing that there is nothing whatsoever to pay if your case is unsuccessful.
Quittance is a panel of personal injury solicitors. The panel takes on all types claim, no matter how niche, and offer specific expertise in personal injury and medical negligence.
Our solicitors have an excellent track record of winning claims and will fight for the best possible compensation settlement.
To speak to us about your claim, without obligation, call 0800 612 7456.
Find out if you can claim nerve injury compensation from your employer: Read more about work accident claims
Meet the team
The nationwide panel of Quittance solicitors take on all types of personal injury claims, from fast track claims to serious, long-term injury. Selected on the basis of their success rate in winning claims, our lawyers have years of experience handling injury claims.
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.
Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert