View Full Version : Workers' Comp and legal questions

Rich VanValkenburg
06-08-2006, 12:10 PM
Before I call my former employer, I want to get some opinions here on what's recently developed. I've been a computer systems analyst and programmer for 35 years, the last 22 with the same company. My position was eliminated for economic reasons in February of this year. I always had some minor tingling in my fingers but in the last few weeks that turned into complete numbness. I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel last week via EMG, and the doctor was specific that the reason was my years of keyboard work. It's typical of long-term programmers and anyone else with repetive hand work.
My question is, can I still make a claim for workers' compensation?
My insurance coverage expires June 30.
I did sign a severance agreement but I don't see any language excluding W/C.
What's the best way to proceed?


Bob Cleek
06-08-2006, 12:19 PM
Contact a worker's compensation specialist attorney immediately. (Your doctor may be able to make a recommendation, if the doc has other patients who are happy with theirs.) While the rules differ from state to state, WC covers "work related" injuries. If it can be shown that the injury occurred in relation to your employment, you should be covered. You are required, however, to put your former employer on notice of an injury as soon as you know about it.

The worker's comp lawyer will be able to advise you about the proper way to file your claim. WC lawyers generally are paid an amount set by law based on the size of the claim recovery. You should not have to pay out of pocket to consult with them.

Good luck!

06-08-2006, 12:24 PM
I have no direct knowledge of workers comp law.Though I do agree with Bob you need to inform your former employer as soon as possible in writing I would think.Contact a lawyer as Bob said while your doing the advising also.See where you stand.

Gary E
06-08-2006, 12:30 PM
Bob's advice sounds good...

Good luck Rich

06-08-2006, 12:34 PM
If you claim that you suffered injury due to longterm repetitive keyboard work, does that prohibit you from seeking similar work in the future?

I would think that the minute you accept a computer-based job anywhere, that would be tantamount to saying "I'm not really injured/disabled after all" and there would be grounds to demand that you pay back the Workman's Comp payout.

I'm no lawyer, obviously. It's just a thought that went rambling through my head.

Rich VanValkenburg
06-08-2006, 01:53 PM
Thanks for the replies. I'll get a letter started immediately. In Michigan, it seems the rules often favor the employer.

Figment, that's a proper point, and this morning I had a call about a programmer job for an auto supplier. I think I need to inform the reqruiter of the problems that have come up.


Alan D. Hyde
06-08-2006, 02:05 PM
and certain reasonable precautions can keep it from recurring.

Or, so I'm told.

Bob's advice is good, from what I know, although the rules vary from state-to-state.


Bob Cleek
06-08-2006, 02:05 PM
Please speak with a local worker's comp attorney before you do anything else. Carpal tunner syndrome is treatable. You are entitled to compensation if the injury is job related. It may not be prudent to advise a prospective employer of your injury until you've been advised of the best course. There are a lot of variables and you are likely to trip over one of them unseen unless you get some professional advice.