Carpal Tunnel Injuries Due to Motor-Vehicle Collisions

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), also called median nerve compression, is a condition that causes numbness, tingling, or weakness in your hand.

It happens because of pressure on your median nerve, which runs the length of your arm, goes through a passage in your wrist called the carpal tunnel, and ends in your hand. The median controls the movement and feeling of your thumb and the movement of all your fingers except your pinky.

Symptoms of CTS

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome focus on lack of function, which comes from the median nerve in your forearm. Some major symptoms include:

  • Numbness in their hand
  • Tingling
  • Stiffness in your fingers
  • Aching sensation in your forearm
  • Pain in your hand, wrist or forearm.
  • Weakness in your hands, dropping things frequently or unable to grasp

The severity of your injury will determine which of these symptoms you experience. Sometimes the symptoms come and go, which can trick you into thinking you do not have CTS. Over time, the symptoms will become more severe and the longer the go untreated, the worse they will become.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Procedures

Doctors will use an Electromyography (EMG) to test the median nerve itself and see how well it controls the muscle movement.

During a carpal tunnel release, a surgeon cuts through the ligament that is pressing down on the carpal tunnel. This makes more room for the median nerve and tendons passing through the tunnel, and usually improves pain and function. Even with the procedure, sometimes pain can still linger.

Can a Car Accident Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Yes, a car accident, tractor-trailer accident or any direct trauma to the hand and wrist my result in CTS. When trauma happens, the ligaments and nerves are injured. As they heal, they develop scar tissue. That scar tissue impinges on your nerves, which then results in the classic CTS symptoms.

Having your hand/wrist caught in your steering-wheel during an accident is a common way for trauma to happen during a car accident.  CTS can be developed from median nerve compression caused by the acute hyperflexion or hyperextension of the wrist in the motor-vehicle crash. Acute trauma, such as from a motor vehicle accident, damages these tissues and tendons, leading to long-term inflammation and scar tissue.

How to Prove Your CTS Resulted from a Car Accident

Insurance companies often try to claim that the carpal tunnel syndrome was preexisting before the car accident. They will claim that it could be from repetitive motion in your job or even some other preexisting injury.

Your physician and other professionals experienced in treating this condition can testify that your nerve injuries resulted from the accident and are not consistent with repetitive stress. Maginnis Law’s attorneys will work with your physicians to establish legal-medical causation.

How to Recover Damages for Your Specific CTS

As with any injury case, you can receive damages for your carpal tunnel syndrome if it was caused by someone else’s negligence. While carpal tunnel syndrome might not seem as though it is a severe condition, the medical costs, time off work, and the impact it has on your quality of life add up quickly.

If it is expected that your injury will affect you long-term, your attorney may explore options for compensation for the long-term costs, like medical treatment, future lost wages, long-term physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional distress.

Speak with an Attorney Right Away

If you have developed carpal tunnel syndrome after a car, motorcycle or tractor trailer accident, contact Maginnis Law’s head personal injury attorney, T. Shawn Howard.

If you or someone you know has developed carpal tunnel syndrome from a motor vehicle accident, contact the Raleigh personal injury attorneys of Maginnis Law at 919.526.0450, by email at, or through our contact page.