Are you struggling to return to work after a shoulder injury? You may be wondering about your options:
- How do I get Workers' Comp?
- What if my injury slowly progressed over time?
- What should I do if my claim got denied?
- Can a lawyer help me get benefits?
We can help you earn the full benefits you're entitled to after a shoulder work injury.
Our experienced work injury lawyers help all injured workers recover fair compensation.
A shoulder injury acquired on the job can easily impair your ability to continue working. Workers in fields which require frequent heavy lifting are especially vulnerable to these types of injuries. Shoulder injuries are often chronic and nagging, and those who suffer from these injuries often experience pain, weakness, and limited range of motion.
If a work-related shoulder injury is preventing you from doing your job, it's important to be aware of your rights as a worker. Workers' Compensation laws are in place to offer a safety net for injured employees. When a worker gets injured on the job, he or she is entitled to these benefits - regardless of how the injury happened. In exchange for providing this coverage, your employer is protected from employee lawsuits, even if employer negligence was a major factor in the injury.
What Types Of Injuries Qualify For Workers' Comp?
Any injury which was caused while performing your job duties is eligible for these benefits. This means that both sudden injuries and injuries which have slowly been acquired over time are eligible.
For example, a warehouse worker who pulls a shoulder muscle while unloading a truck qualifies for these benefits. And a warehouse worker who has slowly developed bursitis from repetitive motions over a 10-year career would qualify for the same benefits.
The key to recovering these benefits is to prove that your injury is directly related to your work duties. In most cases, having an experienced work injury lawyer by your side is the best way to recover the full compensation you're entitled to in a timely manner.
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Common Causes Of Work-Related Shoulder Injuries
Workers with jobs involving heavy lifting may be at the highest risk for shoulder injuries, but these injuries can happen in all types of workplaces and are fairly common. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015 there were 92,850 shoulder injuries resulting in days away from work. Work duties which commonly lead to shoulder injuries include:
- Lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, and rearranging objects - Workers in manufacturing, warehousing, and construction are all particularly vulnerable to these types of injuries.
- Working in awkward postures - Plumbers, roofers, and miners are just a few examples of occupations which frequently require labor from unnatural positions and postures.
- Any frequent repetitive motions - Repetitive motions involving the same body part often cause wear and tear over time, and can lead to conditions like tendinitis and bursitis. Tradesmen and construction workers are an obvious example, but even office workers who sit in front of computers, using mouses and keyboards for 40 hours a week can slowly develop shoulder injuries.
- Using power tools and heavy machinery - Power tools and heavy machinery often give off heavy vibrations, which can affect your body over time. These types of equipment also require repetitive motions, and malfunctions or accidents could lead to sudden trauma shoulder injuries.
Remember that many shoulder injuries slowly build up over time, rather than happen suddenly. Many could be avoided if employers took more time to make their workplaces ergonomically friendly, but certain occupations are inherently at a higher risk because of the physical nature of the work.
Are Many Workers' Comp Claims Denied?
Yes, many workers get their first claims denied and are forced to go through a difficult appeals process. While the Workers' Comp system is designed to protect workers, many employers and insurance companies dispute that a shoulder injury is work-related. They may argue that the injuries are pre-existing or that they occurred outside of work. Insurance carriers make their profits by limiting liability as much as possible.
Additionally, it's often necessary to have a lawyer with experience representing injured workers. Lawyers who specialize in these cases are familiar with how employers and insurance companies act in these situations. The experienced work injury lawyers at Monheit Law have seen it all, and we know how to build strong claims that will get through the system the first time, without the need for an appeal. However, if your claim has already been denied, we also know how to build successful appeals cases.
What Are The Requirements For A Claim?
It's extremely important to provide thorough documentation of your injury. You should seek medical treatment immediately following an injury, report the injury to your employer, and continue seeking follow-up medical care.
For injuries which have slowly developed over time, it's also extremely important to seek medical care as soon as possible. You should tell your doctor about your job duties and ask his opinion on whether there is a direct link. You also need to file a report with your employer and continue to receive medical care for your injury.
Will I Need A Lawyer?
In most cases, having experienced legal counsel to guide you through the process is the best way to ensure that your receive the full benefits which you're entitled too. Many employers and insurance companies will make offers which fall far below the maximum compensation available.
For shoulder injuries which may have been caused by a negligent third party, a personal injury lawyer could help you to file a claim for additional compensation outside of Workers' Comp. For example, if a malfunctioning piece of heavy machinery caused your injury, you could potentially file a claim against the manufacturer for a defective product.
For slowly developed injuries, it's equally important to discuss the matter with a work injury lawyer because these types of injuries often require more thorough documentation than a sudden and obvious injury, such as a finger lost in a manufacturing accident. But in any type of work injury, it's best to have your own experienced legal representation who knows how to take on Workers' Comp insurance companies.
At Monheit Law, we're proud to help all types of injured workers by offering free consultations and only asking for payment after we've successfully earned compensation for you. This way, you can focus on getting back on your feet without the added stress of worrying about money.