A common misconception is that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome only occurs as a result of repetitive stress on the wrist. These injuries also often occur in certain types of car accidents. Specifically, these injuries are common in car accidents that result in some type of injury to the wrist or hand.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is characterized by numbness, pain, tingling, weakness, and other symptoms in the wrist. It is caused by compression or pressure on the median nerve that travels to your hand through the carpal tunnel in your wrist.
Any kind of trauma or repetitive stress can result in swelling that can cause the carpal tunnel to become smaller which results in the kind of symptoms that a victim may experience. CTS injuries can also occur as a result of trauma in a car accident.
What types of car accidents can cause CTS?
If you have your hands on your steering wheel during an accident, you might have your wrist placed under enormous stress during impact. Your wrist or hand may also hit the interior of the car dashboard, resulting in an injury.
If you brace yourself by grasping or holding on tightly to the steering wheel just before impact, you can place immense pressure on the soft tissue and nerves of the wrist, possibly contributing to these injuries. However, if your car has airbags, you may have some protection from these injuries.
How do you establish that your CTS is a result of car accident?
Most cases of CTS are repetitive stress injuries caused by frequent and repeated use of the hands, wrists, and fingers. A smaller percentage is linked to car accidents, which unfortunately makes it a little more challenging for you to prove that your CTS was the result of an accident.
You must prepare to present significant evidence in support of your claim that your CTS was the result of your accident.
- Medical evidence can help. Provide reports of x-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, ultrasounds, and other diagnostic tests that were performed to determine the extent of the injury.
Apart from the diagnostic tests, there are medical observation tests that can also indicate the presence of the injury. For instance, thumb weakness tests, Phalen’s test, tourniquet tests, and pressure provocation tests can also establish the existence of the injury.
- Expert testimony can also help. Doctors or physicians experienced in the treatment of wrist and nerve injuries can testify that your injuries could have resulted from the accident that you were involved in.
- Maintain a journal and document all the various limitations and impairments you have suffered since your accident. If you have been finding it difficult to use your hands to perform routine activities, make note of these in your journal. If the pain or numbness in your hand has been so severe that it has woken you up from sleep — as often happens with CTS injuries — make note of this as well.
Ensure that your notes include difficulties in playing musical instruments, writing, using the computer, and other activities that you were performing routinely before the accident. These notes may prove useful in establishing that your injuries were the result of car accident.
Before filing a claim, download our eBook Car Accident Secrets Unlocked for tips on what to do after a car accident.
Who can help me?
If you have suffered symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome after a car accident, discuss identifying liability in your claim with a car accident lawyer at Max Meyers PLLC. Call 425-399-7000 and schedule a consultation with attorney Max Meyers to discuss your claim.