Our shoulders do a lot of the heavy lifting in the course of the day, including on the job, and they are very complex joints that can lead to serious pain and a serious decrease in range of motion when injured. If you’ve suffered a shoulder injury on the job, an experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney is standing by to help.
Why Shoulder Injuries Are Frequent Work-Related Injuries
Even if you have a desk job, your shoulders almost certainly get put to good use throughout your workday. If you have a more physical job, such as construction work, your shoulders bear far more considerable wear and tear on the job, and shoulder injuries become that much more common.
Common Shoulder Injuries on the Job
While you can suffer almost any kind of shoulder injury at work, there are several types that are most closely associated with workers’ compensation claims.
Rotator Cuff Injuries
A rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that form a cuff, which surrounds the shoulder joint, keeping the upper arm bone’s head securely in place in the process.
Rotator cuff injuries tend to cause dull pain that becomes progressively worse as the day wears on, and they are especially common in people whose jobs require them to engage in repetitive motions overhead, including carpenters and painters.
The Cleveland Clinic reports that shoulder impingement syndrome refers to the repetitive rubbing of the rotator cuff between the shoulder’s outer edge and the humerus bone. This rubbing leads to increased swelling, which tightens the available space further – causing more rubbing and, therefore, increased pain.
Like other rotator cuff injuries, shoulder impingements are common in people whose jobs require them to raise their arms frequently. It’s estimated that about 44 to 65 percent of all shoulder pain is caused by impingement.
When the arm’s upper bone pops out of its socket, it is called a dislocated shoulder. Because our shoulders are so complexly flexible, they are more likely to become dislocated than most other joints are.
A dislocated shoulder on the job is generally caused by either a significant blow, such as from a falling object or by a fall – both of which happen far too frequently in construction and factory settings.
The Cleveland Clinic shares that SLAP tears refer to Superior Labrum, Anterior to Posterior tears, which are also called labrum tears.
Consider the following related statistics:
- SLAP tears account for 4 to 8 percent of all shoulder injuries.
- Twenty-five percent of all adults experience some kind of shoulder pain that relates to either overuse or injury at some point.
Like other shoulder injuries, SLAP tears are closely associated with overhead lifting. Lifting heavy objects with abrupt, jerky movements is another common culprit.
Any of the shoulder injuries mentioned can lead to a frozen shoulder, which is also called adhesive capsulitis, and leads to stiffness and pain in the shoulder that makes movement in the joint difficult.
Wearing a sling for a prolonged period, which is a common treatment practice for most shoulder injuries – or anything else that prevents you from using your arm normally – can lead to a frozen shoulder.
Treatment Options for Shoulder Injuries on the Job
Unless the shoulder injury is very serious, treatment for shoulder injuries generally begins with noninvasive treatment options that typically include physical therapy. Physical therapy is a slow – often painful – process that is likely to keep you off the job or require you to do a less demanding job for a significant amount of time.
If surgery is ultimately necessary, you can expect to require even more time off work to complete post-surgery PT and to conform with additional physical restrictions after that. Further, some serious shoulder injuries lead to permanent physical limitations that can interfere with your ability to do your job.
If you are seeking workers’ compensation for a shoulder injury requiring surgery, you can expect your claim to be even more challenging.
Getting a Workers’ Comp Settlement for Shoulder Injury
If you’ve injured your shoulder on the job, there are things you can do to help protect your claim from the outset, including:
- Let your supervisor know about your injury as soon as possible
- Immediately seek the medical attention that you need and follow your doctor’s instructions carefully
- Reach out to an experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney early on
- Don’t accept a settlement offer prior to discussing it with your attorney
- Refrain from communicating with the insurance company, which is motivated to trip you up, or posting on social media while your claim is pending
The bottom line is that the insurance company handling your claim is invested in keeping your settlement as low as possible, which makes focusing on building your strongest claim paramount.
Is My Shoulder Injury Covered by Workers’ Comp?
In a workers’ compensation claim, you can seek compensation for your necessary medical expenses and for a specific percentage of your lost wages.
Reach Out to an Experienced Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If you’ve suffered a shoulder injury on the job, obtaining just compensation that affords you the time necessary to reach your most complete recovery is key. The workers’ compensation attorneys at Luschas, Naparsteck, & Crane, LLP, harness the full power of their imposing experience in every case they take on. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at 570-799-8809 today.
Workers’ Comp FAQs
Why won’t the insurance company simply compensate me fairly?
The insurance company focuses its efforts on keeping settlements low and profits high.
Do I really need a worker’s comp attorney?
It is always a good idea to retain an attorney after a work-related injury.
Without a seasoned workers’ compensation attorney in your corner, you may not be able to obtain the full value of your claim.
How much does a workers’ compensation attorney cost?
Most reputable workers’ compensation attorneys charge a prearranged percentage of their clients’ settlements or court awards, which is called working on contingency. In other words, your attorney won’t get paid unless your claim prevails.