Carpal tunnel syndrome can have a very limiting effect on your life. Not only can it impact your work, but it can also leave you with lingering pain, keep you from fulfilling your obligations at home, and require ongoing medical care. If you were injured while working aboard a vessel, you may be wondering if you’re entitled to maintenance and cure—or even compensation under the Jones Act.
It’s time to learn more about your legal options and fight for the compensation you’re owed. Call Fuquay Law Firm at 251-473-4443 to set up a consultation now.
How Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Can Occur in a Maritime Environment
Carpal tunnel syndrome is relatively common in the maritime industry. It occurs when you use the wrist in the same way over and over again without sufficient rest. Certain tasks, such as throwing nets or pulling them in, put lots of pressure on the median nerve. As you do the same tasks over and over, the nerve never has time to recover. With time, any use of the affected wrist will trigger shooting pain.
A wide range of workers in the maritime industry may suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. They include fishermen, dockworkers, and repair professionals.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Getting a clear diagnosis is the first step in seeking compensation for your injury. If you suspect that you may have carpal tunnel syndrome, watch for these symptoms:
- Burning and tingling in the fingers
- A numb feeling in the fingers
- Pain that starts in the hand and travels up through the wrist, arm, and even elbow
- Pain and tingling that starts as soon as you put any pressure on your wrist
The longer you allow your carpal tunnel syndrome to go without treatment, the harder it is to get the treatment you need for a full recovery. Nerve damage can be permanent if left untreated, so get your wrist checked out immediately.
Does This Injury Qualify for the Jones Act?
Yes. The work you do as a fisherman, repair professional, dockworker or other maritime role allows you to seek compensation under the Jones Act under certain conditions. Any maritime worker who is hurt at work is entitled to maintenance and cure, which pays for lost wages and medical care.
Under the Jones Act, you may be able to seek additional compensation. To file a claim under the Jones Act, you must be able to prove that your employer or vessel owner was negligent. You must also be able to prove that their negligence was the cause of your injury.
If you have a successful Jones Act claim, you may be able to seek compensation for pain and suffering. This can be significant for many carpal tunnel sufferers, as the injury itself can cause chronic pain.
Keep in mind, too, that your claim may allow you to be compensated for future lost income. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be incredibly dangerous for maritime workers, as they often rely on their wrist strength to allow them to hold onto fishing nets, gear, and safety equipment.
A sudden loss of sensation or control in the wrist could lead to a severe or even fatal injury. If your injury leaves you unable to do your work, you shouldn’t suffer those financial losses on your own.
Getting the Compensation that You Deserve
Maritime law is complex, especially when a chronic injury is involved. It can be challenging to prove that an injury was caused by your work, since other outside factors may contribute to your injury.
You’ll want to work with an attorney who can prove that your injury was a direct result of your work environment. It’s crucial to work with an experienced maritime law attorney since workers’ compensation law is state-based and therefore does not affect maritime workers. Talk to an attorney at your earliest convenience so you can preserve evidence and begin your claim.
Discuss Your Options with Fuquay Law Firm
At Fuquay Law Firm, we are committed to helping injured maritime workers fight for the compensation they are owed. You spend your life doing work that keeps the country and its economy running—an injury should not leave you broke and unable to work. Let’s talk more about your options now by calling us at 251-473-4443 or setting up a consultation online.