Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The carpal tunnel is a passageway from the wrist to the hand, and is comprised of tendons, ligaments, and bones. Sometimes, the nerves and tendons running through the carpal tunnel become compressed, causing pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness in the hand and wrist. This musculoskeletal disorder is known as carpal tunnel syndrome. Usually the compression is caused by swelling or thickening of the tendons in the carpal tunnel, which is very narrow.

Left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can be very painful and result in a loss of movement in the hand and arm. Simple daily tasks, such as getting dressed and brushing teeth become difficult to do and those affected may be unable to continue working. Workers who develop carpal tunnel syndrome as a direct result of their job may file for workers’ compensation benefits.

Types of Workers Affected by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome can happen because of an isolated accident, but more often, it is a repetitive stress injury; in other words, it develops slowly over time from repeating the same work-related tasks day after day. Any job that requires workers to use the same muscle groups puts them at risk for injury. Some of the workers who frequently develop carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Office workers who type on a computer or write documents for hours every day
  • Assembly line workers who perform repetitive tasks on an assembly line, including those in the meat packing, fish packing, poultry, cleaning, manufacturing, and sewing industries
  • Kitchen workers who spend their time chopping, peeling, slicing, or cleaning
  • Cashiers and stock room workers
  • Carpenters
  • Painters

This partial list indicates that carpal tunnel syndrome is not confined to any one industry, but can affect any worker subjected to repetitive stress of the hand, wrist, and arm area.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Workers experiencing the following symptoms may have carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • Pain, numbness, tingling, or burning in the hand, especially in the thumb, index, ring, and middle fingers
  • Difficulty grasping things due to weakness or numbness
  • Sporadic shock-like sensations running through the thumb, index, ring, and middle fingers
  • Loss of awareness of where the hand is
  • Tingling or pain traveling up the forearm to the shoulder area

The symptoms may start gradually and worsen over time. They can appear at any time, sometimes disturbing sleep patterns. During the day, activities such as holding a book or phone may aggravate symptoms. Steroid injections are sometimes used to alleviate symptoms, as well as the use of a splint. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to release the pressure on the nerves and tendons.

Filing a Claim for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

If you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome because of your job, you should report your injury immediately to your employer and seek medical treatment. A successful claim can provide you with benefits that cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and disability if you are unable to continue working because of your injury.

Your employer may not believe that your injury is related to your work, in which case you may need the assistance of a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer on your side, who knows the deadlines for filing claims and the proof you will have to submit to be successful.

South Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP Help Injured Workers

No matter what your injury or illness may be, the South Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP have the knowledge and experience to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. We will help you navigate the process so that you can concentrate on your recovery. Call us at 856-761-3773 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we help injured workers throughout South Jersey, including the City of Camden.

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Coronavirus COVID-19 UPDATE:
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Coronavirus COVID-19 UPDATE:

Please be advised that in accordance with Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 107, which imposed strict limitations on the operations of "brick-and-mortar" businesses and required telecommuting to the greatest extent possible, all N.J. workers’ compensation courts will continue to be closed to the public and to non-essential court personnel until April 13, 2020.

In response to overwhelming requests from the Workers’ Compensation Bar to hold non-emergent matters electronically or by teleconference, as of April 6, 2020, the following Workers’ Compensation Judges shall be designated by the N.J. Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the N.J. Division of Workers’ Compensation as essential personnel and shall report to their home vicinages for the purpose of hearing as many Workers’ Compensation matters as possible by telephonic conferencing, including all emergent matters and the following non-emergent matters, pre-trial conferences, general motions for medical and temporary benefits, and settlements by affidavit:

Hon. Audrey Kernan, S.J., Atlantic City WC Courthouse
Hon. Arthur Marchand, A.S.J., Bridgeton WC Courthouse
Hon. Ingrid French, A.S.J., Camden WC Courthouse
Hon. Lionel Simon III, A.S.J., Freehold WC Courthouse
Hon. Diana Ferriero, S.J., Hackensack WC Courthouse
Hon. Jill Fader, S.J., Jersey City WC Courthouse
Hon. Glenn Kaplan, S.J., Lebanon WC Courthouse
Hon. Michael Luther, S.J., Mt. Arlington WC Courthouse
Hon. George Geist, S.J., Mt. Holly WC Courthouse
Hon. Ashley Hutchinson, A.S.J., New Brunswick WC Courthouse
Hon. Philip Tornetta, A.S.J., Newark WC Courthouse
Hon. William Roca, S.J., Paterson WC Courthouse
Hon. Maria Del Valle Koch, S.J., Plainfield WC Courthouse
Hon. Eugene Mulvaney, S.J., Toms River WC Courthouse
Hon. David Puma, S.J., Trenton WC Courthouse

The Division’s plan is to limit physical interactions in our workers’ compensation courts to the greatest extent possible and shift to the use of telephone conferencing, and if possible video conferencing for judges, attorneys, and litigants. There will be no in-person Workers’ Compensation Court proceedings (except for extremely limited emergent matters and certain ongoing motions for medical and temporary benefits and trials in which case social distancing will be enforced). Court offices will remain closed for in-person submissions. Filings will continue to be accepted electronically through COURTS On-line.

The N.J. Division of Workers’ Compensation’s number one goal is to limit the exposure and spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus to court personnel, attorneys and their staff, litigants, witnesses, and members of the public at large.

Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP also continues to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and its impact on our local community and the world at large. In accordance with Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 107, our office is closed and the members of the firm continue to work remotely. As such, the members of the firm may have limited access to information during this time. We continue to appreciate your understanding. We encourage our current clients, new clients, and fellow members of the bar to contact us via e-mail as that remains the best form of communication. All attorneys and paralegals have access to e-mail and case information. We have designated essential personnel to report to our office for the purpose of handling emergent matters only and to complete essential administrative tasks. Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP remains committed to complying with all health and governmental regulations. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those most affected by this situation.