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How does nerve damage happen at work?

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2022 | Workers' Compensation

At work, nerve damage, also known as peripheral neuropathy, can happen if you are involved in a one-off accident or following a repetitive use of a motor function like operating power tools or use of non-ergonomic furniture. 

If you suffer nerve damage that is attributable to your work, you may be eligible for compensation through your employer-sponsored workers’ compensation program. However, to boost your chances of winning your claim, you need to be certain that your injury is actually work-related. Here’s what you can find out:

Understanding the leading causes of nerve damage in the workplace

Most traumas tend to cause nerve damage, with the severity being related to the nature of the trauma. While some injuries tend to heal on their own, more severe nerve injuries may require specialized attention.

 Here are two leading causes of nerve damage at work:

  • Repetitive motions: lifting objects, typing, climbing or standing for extended periods can subject the body’s skeleton and muscles to strain; as a result, the nerves around the spine, neck and shoulders may be compressed or pinched. An example of a condition that you can develop following a repetitive motion is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. 
  • Serious injuries: in more serious instances, an impact on the body can cause damage to the nerves. Workplace accidents that can lead to nerve damage include trips, slips and falls, auto accidents and injuries that involve sharp or blunt objects. 

Pursuing your workers’ comp claim

If you suffer nerve damage at work, you need to seek treatment as soon as possible. This will ensure that you obtain a medical report that will play a crucial role in proving your claim. Additionally, you need to file your claim within the statute of limitations period. In Iowa, you have up to two years from the date of your nerve damage or its diagnosis to file a workers’ comp claim.