Carpal Tunnel Injury Lawyers

We are expert compensation lawyers with offices across Queensland including Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and major regional centres. Free initial advice and 100% risk-free claims with no upfront costs and our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise.


If you're a victim of an injury that occurred due to the fault or negligence of someone else in Queensland, you may be entitled to make a carpal tunnel injury claim.

Understand your rights to compensation, common causes of these injuries, the process for lodging a claim, frequently asked questions, and time limits for making a claim.

Smith's Lawyers team of carpal tunnel lawyers offer free initial advice and no-obligation appointments at home, in hospital, in-office or via phone. We operate Queensland wide and all claims have no upfront costs or risks of being left out of pocket under our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise.

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Fill in the form below to find out if you have a claim.

Your Rights to Compensation for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Queensland

If you've suffered an injury due to someone else's negligence, you are entitled to pursue a carpal tunnel injury claim. This includes incidents that occur on the road, in your workplace, or even in a public place.  Studies have shown that work-related activities that require a high degree of repetition significantly increase the risk of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  The particulars of your claim may differ depending on the location and nature of your injury.

Below is a brief overview of the different compensation schemes in Queensland: 

  • Carpal tunnel workers compensation: If you’ve suffered an injury at work, you may file for a statutory claim via WorkCover Queensland or self-employed insurance, regardless of who was at fault. If your employer was negligent and this led to your injury, you can also claim workers compensation through a common law personal injury claim.
  • Car and Road Accidents: Compensation can be claimed under the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) claims scheme if your injury occurred in a car or road accident due to the negligence of another road user.
  • Public Place Accidents: If you were injured in a public place through no fault of your own, you can lodge a common law claim against the public liability insurer responsible for the area.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common condition that 3-6% of the general population suffers from. It occurs when the median nerve, passing through the 'carpal tunnel' (a narrow passageway in your wrist on the palm side of the hand) becomes compressed.

This can result in symptoms including hand and finger discomfort, numbness, and weakness, often affecting the thumb, index, middle, and part of the ring finger.

Such an injury can significantly impact your daily activities, and, if caused by your working conditions, may entitle you to compensation.

Common Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

CTS is most common in people between the ages of 40 and 60 and in people who use their hands repeatedly in their work but can be caused by various factors related to manual labour and other occupational risks.

Some of the common causes include: 

  • Repetitive Hand Movements: The most common cause of this syndrome. Activities that involve repetitive movements of your hand or wrist can cause CTS. For instance, typing or assembly line work.
  • Extended Use of Vibrating Tools: Using vibrating tools for a long period can result in an injury due to strain on your wrists. 
  • Hand and Wrist Position: Incorrect hand and wrist positioning while carrying out manual work can put undue pressure on the median nerve. 
  • Forceful Hand Actions: Certain jobs require forceful hand actions such as excessive hammering or heavy lifting. 
  • A wrist or arm injury, such as a sprain or fracture: CTS can be caused by anything that makes the nerves or tendons larger. This can be the result of a wrist or arm injury.
Identifying Work-Related Injuries

How can you identify if this is indeed a work-related injury? 

The most significant factor is continuity. Work-related carpal tunnel injuries often develop over time rather than occurring as a sudden incident. It's usually a wear-and-tear injury resulting from your work responsibilities and tasks. If you find a correlation between an increase in your symptoms with an increase in your workload, this is an important sign of a work-related injury.

Furthermore, if your daily tasks involve constant typing or working with vibrating tools or on an assembly line that requires prolonged or repetitive flexing of the wrist, these are prime circumstances for such injuries, so you may be entitled to carpal tunnel workers' compensation. 

The best way to confirm if you have work-related CTS, however, would be to seek medical advice. Medical professionals can diagnose you based on physical examinations, symptom history, and, in some cases, nerve conduction tests. Always ensure that you let them know about your work conditions and daily tasks, too, as this information is crucial in making an accurate diagnosis.

Occupations Most at Risk of Carpal Tunnel Injuries in Queensland
  • Assembly Line Workers and Machine Operators: Repeatedly using tools, operating machinery, or assembling products with forceful or awkward hand movements puts significant strain on wrists and increases CTS risk.
  • Meat Processing Workers: This industry involves extensive repetitive cutting, slicing, and manipulating meat with sharp tools, often in cold and demanding environments. These factors significantly increase the risk of CTS in meat processing workers.
  • Factory Workers: Similar to assembly line work, factory jobs often involve repetitive tasks with tools or machinery, potentially leading to CTS development.
  • Office Workers: Prolonged computer use, especially with poor ergonomics, can compress the median nerve and trigger CTS. Regularly typing, mousing, and using phones without breaks contribute to the risk.
  • Construction Workers: Carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and other trades frequently perform forceful gripping, hammering, and twisting motions, which can irritate the median nerve and lead to CTS.
  • Hairdressers and Barbers: Holding scissors, styling tools, and blow dryers for extended periods, combined with awkward wrist positions, can lead to CTS development.
  • Retail Workers: Cashiers, stockists, and shelf-packers often perform repetitive hand movements like scanning, lifting, and gripping, potentially contributing to CTS.
  • Cleaners: Scrubbing, mopping, and using cleaning tools with improper form can put strain on wrists and increase CTS risk.
  • Food Service Workers: Chefs, cooks, and waitstaff frequently perform repetitive tasks like chopping, stirring, and carrying trays, which can contribute to CTS development.
  • Truck Drivers: Vibrations from the road and forceful gripping of the steering wheel for long periods can irritate the median nerve and increase CTS risk.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

Understanding the Compensation Claims Process

Should you find yourself suffering from work-related CTS, an accident, or in a public place, it's crucial to understand the compensatory claims process in Queensland. 

Following a diagnosis from a medical professional, here is a simple step-by-step guide to aid you in navigating this process to a conclusive settlement of your claim. 

Below is an outline of the steps involved: 

1. Seek free initial legal advice

The first step is to get in touch with a law firm that specialises in compensation claims for carpal tunnel injuries. Such a firm will have the necessary expertise and understanding of the complexities of Queensland law and can confirm your legal options including eligibility to make a claim.

2. Engage a personal injury lawyer

After an initial phone assessment, the next stage is a no-obligation consultation to explain the process and client agreement in more detail and to gather initial key information relating to your accident and injury to help assess your case and your injury and identify the liable party. The client agreement will also be explained so you can understand the terms under which the personal injury law operates on. Smith’s Lawyers runs all claims risk-free with no upfront costs.

3. Gather evidence to build your case

Once your compensation matter is opened you will be allocated a personal injury lawyer who will start gathering the required evidence to build a strong case and to determine liability. This may include medical reports, accident reports, witness statements, CCTV or dashcam footage or documentation of any loss of earnings due to your injury. Further down the track when your injuries have settled, your law firm may arrange for independent medical assessments such as occupational therapy assessment to assess your ability to work, long term recovery prospects and so on.

4. File your claim

Your personal injury solicitor will lodge a notice of claim and negotiate on your behalf with the liable parties, typically with their insurance companies (or their legal representatives) such as the CTP insurer of the at-fault party for car and road accidents or WorkCover Qld for workplace accidents. 

5. Negotiate with the at-fault party's insurer

Negotiations with the insurance company aim to reach a fair settlement that covers your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Most cases are settled out of court in a compulsory conference, an office based meeting involving yourself, your personal injury solicitor and a barrister they have engaged to lead the negotiations along with the legal representatives of the at-fault party's insurer. 

In the unlikely event that a settlement cannot be negotiated out of court, proceedings can proceed to court. In most ‘no win, no fee’ agreements, you could be liable for the other side's legal costs if your case is not successful in court. Smith’s Lawyers No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise protects you from this risk common in personal injury claims and means you cannot not be out of pocket.

6. Settlement payment

If your claim is successful, you will receive a lump-sum tax free compensation settlement. The amount received will depend on different factors, including the severity of your injury, any impact on your earning capacity, and any medical expenses incurred. Legal fees are charged for the work completed only if there is a successful outcome.

Seek expert advice ASAP: Although this guide simplifies the process, navigating a compensation claim can be complex. Therefore, it's recommended to seek professional legal advice. Smith's Lawyers are experts in personal injury compensation and offer a Queensland-wide service with free initial advice to get you started in your claim process.

What Evidence Do I Need To Support My Carpal Tunnel Compensation Claim?

Gathering sufficient evidence is crucial to the success of a Carpal Tunnel Syndrome claim. Your lawyers will collect this evidence and use it to negotiate an appropriate compensation amount on your behalf. 

We've listed the types of evidence that can support your case: 

  • Medical Records: Consistently updated medical reports outlining the progression of your carpal tunnel condition.
  • Witness Statements: If anyone has seen your struggle at work due to the condition, their testament can be valuable.
  • Workplace Reports: Your employment records or incident reports that indicate repetitive tasks that may have contributed to your condition.
  • Photographic Evidence: Images of your work station or tools could show hazardous conditions or reveal poor ergonomic design contributing to carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Expert Opinions: Testimony from a medical expert confirming the injury is work-related can be powerful evidence.
  • Income Loss: If your condition has led to missing work or reduced hours, documents demonstrating this financial loss can be helpful.

Calculating Your Compensation Amount 

When calculating your carpal tunnel claim, a range of factors are taken into account. The aim is to compensate you for losses you've suffered as well as any future issues arising from your condition. It's important to understand that the same type of injury doesn't necessarily result in a set compensation amount. The compensation amount can differ greatly due to individual circumstances. 

Key Factors in Calculating Compensation: 

  • Severity of the Injury: Compensation can vary depending on the severity of your CTS. If your injury is severe and requires extensive treatment or surgery (such as carpal tunnel release surgery which stops the median nerve from being compressed) the settlement amount might be higher.
  • Impact on Work: If your injury has significantly affected your ability to perform your job, or if you're unable to work at all, this could also raise the compensation amount. Lost income and potential future earnings are taken into account.
  • Medical Expenses: All of your medical costs related to the injury, including doctor visits, surgery, medication, and physical therapy, are considered when calculating compensation.
  • Age: Your age may play a role in the amount of compensation you receive. Younger people, who might face longer-lasting impacts on their career and income, may receive higher compensation amounts.

For instance, consider two office workers who both develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. One is in her 20s, just starting her career, and has severe symptoms that prevent her from typing. She may require surgery and long-term therapy to manage her symptoms. 

On the other hand, the second individual is mere months away from retirement, and while he also suffers from the same type of injury, his symptoms are manageable with non-surgical treatments. 

The younger worker’s claim may settle for a much higher amount due to the far-reaching impact on her future career and potential loss of earnings over her lifetime. 

These considerations demonstrate why it’s crucial to have skilled representation from a personal injury law firm. This can help ensure your claim accurately reflects the full impact of your CTS, and that you receive all the compensation you're entitled to.

Time Limits for Carpal Tunnel Compensation Claims in Queensland

There are some key time limits to consider if you believe you may be entitled to compensation. 

In Queensland, you have:  

  • 6 months from the date of the accident/injury/illness to lodge a claim with WorkCover Queensland (or your employer's workers' compensation insurer if self-insured). This is an essential first step for all cases regardless of fault.
  • 3 years from the date of the accident/injury to start court proceedings for a common law claim. These claims can be run in addition to a standard WorkCover claim where the negligence of your employer or another party caused or contributed to your accident and injuries.

However, there are exceptions. For victims under 18, this three-year period doesn't start until their 18th birthday. What's more, certain critical circumstances might allow extensions. 

That's why it is imperative to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity. The time limit can be tricky to understand, and you wouldn't want to miss the opportunity for compensation due to a missed deadline. Waiting longer can also impact the ability to gather reliable evidence to prove liability.

Here at Smith’s Lawyers, we offer free and no-obligation case reviews. We can help you understand if and when you can lodge a claim, ensuring you're well-informed about your legal rights and the compensation process.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

Frequently Asked Questions

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How can Carpal Tunnel Syndrome impact the ability to work?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can severely impact your ability to work in several ways. The persistent pain and discomfort may limit your dexterity, making it difficult to perform tasks that involve hand and wrist movements. Additionally, you may experience reduced grip strength and frequent numbness, affecting your productivity and work quality.

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How do I know if I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

You may have CTS if you're experiencing symptoms like:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Weakness in your hand, particularly in your thumb and fingers
  • A feeling of discomfort extending up your arm

It is important to be aware that these symptoms often worsen with the use of the affected hand or wrist.

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What should I do if I suspect I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

If you suspect you have carpal tunnel syndrome, it's important to seek medical advice promptly. A healthcare professional can provide a diagnosis and treatment options. Additionally, if your job involves repetitive hand movements, report your symptoms to your employer and consider seeking legal advice. Gathering this information may help you when the time comes to make a claim, as you will need evidence to support your claim.

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How long do Carpal Tunnel Injury Claims take to settle?

Typically, Carpal Tunnel claims take between 12 to 18 months to settle. Factors such as the severity of your condition, the complexity of your claim, and how promptly the other party responds can often lead to additional time needed to resolve the claim.

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Are there any upfront costs or risks?

No, our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise at Smith’s Lawyers means there are no upfront costs and you can never be left out of pocket as a result of the claim. Typically with ‘no win, no fee’ compensation lawyers agreements, you could still be liable for the other side's legal costs if your case goes to court and is unsuccessful. In the unlikely event that your case goes to court, and you are unsuccessful, we'll cover the costs - so you won't pay a cent to us or anyone else.

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Get expert advice today

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers. We can explain your options to Carpal Tunnel Compensation claims so you are clear on your rights during this difficult time.

Take our 2-minute free claim check

Fill in the form below to find out if you have a claim.

Last updated:
February 29, 2024

Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For help understanding your rights, please call 1800 960 482 or request a free case review to talk to one of our lawyers today.