Value of Shoulder Injuries in Workers Compensation in Virginia
Shoulder injures are one of the most common workplace injuries in Virginia, affecting thousands of employees each year. Some shoulder injuries start off slow, with pain increasing over time. Other shoulder injuries at work happen suddenly due to different types of work accidents.
Many common job-related tasks can hurt the shoulder in ways that make it more susceptible to injury. For example a shoulder injury can result from repetitive motion at work or from a specific task like lifting an object overhead, painting a wall, repairing a vehicle on a lift, or hanging drywall.
If your job caused your shoulder injury then you should file for workers compensation benefits in Virginia. You may be entitled to medical treatment, wage loss benefits, or a lump sum workers comp settlement for your shoulder injury.
This article gives a general overview of shoulder injury claims in workers comp. If you have questions about your case or feel that you are being treated unfairly, contact a workers comp attorney in Virginia for a free consultation.
Common Shoulder Injuries
There are many types of shoulder injuries that workers often experience. They range in severity from strains and sprains that resolve in a few days or weeks to dislocations, frozen shoulders, and rotator cuff tears that affect mobility permanently. Construction workers, factory workers, auto mechanics, nurses, and other professions whose job requires them to lift heavy items above their shoulder or lift and carry items regularly are most likely to experience shoulder injuries at work.
Common types of shoulder injuries include:
- Biceps tendon tear
- Bone fractures
- Frozen shoulder
- Overuse injuries
- Peripheral nerve impairment
- Rotator cuff tear
- Severe strain
- SLAP tear
Any one of these shoulder injuries can require medication, injections, surgery, and physical therapy to recover and result in time away from work. If your shoulder injury is severe, you may be unable to return to your line of work. This can lead to permanent wage loss.
Shoulder Injury Symptoms
How do you know if you have a work-related shoulder injury? Look for the following symptoms:
- Popping or clicking noise
Seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms in your shoulder, neck, or arm. The earlier you treat the better your chance of recovery.
Common Causes of Shoulder Injuries at Work
Here are some of the common accidents we help our shoulder injury clients with:
- Falling from a height or ladder onto the shoulder
- Lifting and moving furniture, heavy items, or patients
- Overhead work
- Blunt force trauma to the shoulder joint
Can I Receive Workers Comp for a Shoulder Injury in Virginia?
If your shoulder injury occurs because of a sudden, traumatic accident that happened while performing a work-related task then your employer must pay you wage loss benefits and cover medical treatment. But you must first notify your employer of the work injury in writing and request a panel of physicians from which to choose.
After you seek initial medical care you should file a claim for benefits with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission and make sure that your employer has reported the accident to its insurance company. If the insurance company accepts that the accident is compensable, you should receive workers comp benefits automatically. If the insurance company disputes all or part of your claim then you will need to go to trial to get the benefits you deserve.
What is the Best Medical Evidence to Prove a Work-Related Shoulder Injury?
The following evidence can help you receive workers compensation for your shoulder injury:
- MRI reports showing a tear or other injury
- Additional diagnostic evidence such as CT scans and x-rays
- The first medical report where you notified your health care provider of the initial accident and injury
- Your testimony comparing your ability to function and move the arm pre-injury versus post-injury
How Do I Prevent a Work-Related Shoulder Injury?
Repetitive job duties and awkward positions cause many shoulder injuries. Though you can’t avoid many of these situations there are some things you can do to lower your risk of a shoulder injury. These include:
- Using proper lifting techniques
- Avoiding over exertion
- Getting help from a coworker to lift and move objects or people
- Take rest breaks
- Stretch before your shift
- Use a stool or platform if you need to get items from a height
- Keep the object close to your body while lifting
Corey Pollard: Helping Virginia Workers with Shoulder Injuries on the Job
If you hurt your shoulder on the job or are experiencing pain and other symptoms in your shoulder, you may be eligible for workers comp in Virginia.
Corey Pollard helps injured workers in Richmond, Hampton Roads, Northern Virginia, and Roanoke get the benefits and settlements they deserve for their shoulder injuries. We’ve helped hundreds of disabled and injured workers win their claims.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation.