Workers’ Compensation for Shoulder Injuries
Shoulder injuries are common among Pennsylvania workers. These types of injuries can occur in any industry. However, certain workers are at a higher risk, such as those in construction, warehousing, and health care.
At Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C., our experienced attorneys help workers suffering from all types of work-related injuries recover the full amount of benefits to which they are entitled.
Types of Shoulder Injuries
- Aggravation of arthritis: Pre-existing conditions, such as arthritis, may be compensable under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act), provided the injured worker can prove that their work tasks aggravated the injury or condition.
- Bursitis: Bursitis is often caused by repetitive movement which causes the bursa to become inflamed. Corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce swelling and pain, along with physical therapy.
- Dislocation: This type of injury occurs when the top of the arm bone pops out of the shoulder socket. Those who suffer shoulder dislocation may experience pain, weakness, instability, and in severe cases nerve and tissue damage.
- Fractures: Fractures occur when one of the shoulder bones breaks, often due to a fall or a blow to the shoulder. Surgery may be necessary, and the injured worker is usually required to wear a sling and attend physical therapy.
- Impingement: Impingement is caused by repetitive overhead lifting and irritation of the rotator cuff muscles. Symptoms include pain, weakness, and difficulty raising the arm.
- Instability: Workers who constantly lift over their head are at risk for this type of heavy lifting injury. Symptoms may include repeated dislocations, a pinching feeling or weakness in the shoulder.
- Rotator cuff tears: This type of injury often requires surgery. It can cause pain and weakness in the arm, difficulty raising the arm and inability to lift objects like before the injury.
- Sprains: This type of injury occurs when the shoulder ligaments are torn, often due to unnatural twisting or falling. Shoulder sprains can cause pain, swelling, and limited movement.
Causes of Shoulder Injuries
Workers may suffer shoulder injuries due to various workplace factors. Shoulder injuries can occur as a result of:
- Blunt trauma
- Heavy lifting
- Lifting overhead
- Repetitive motion
- Slip and fall, or trip and fall
What to Do if You Suffer a Shoulder Injury at Work
If you suffer a shoulder injury at work, notify your employer immediately. Under the Act, you are required to give notice within 120 days of your injury, or else risk losing your right to workers’ comp benefits.
Be sure to give written notice and include details such as how the accident occurred, what injuries you suffered, and the names of any witnesses. Your employer must then report your injury to their workers’ compensation insurer and file a First Report of Injury with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
Your employer or their insurer will either accept or deny your workers’ compensation claim – or they may issue you temporary benefits while they investigate the claim for up to 90 days.
Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania
It is important to remember that the workers’ compensation system is no-fault, meaning that you are entitled to compensation for your work-related injuries, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Unlike a personal injury lawsuit, you will not be required to prove that your employer’s negligence caused your injury when filing for workers’ compensation.
In Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation covers the cost of any reasonable and necessary medical care, including doctor’s visits, surgeries, physical therapy, medications and even reimbursement for trips to and from the hospital. Under the Act, you may also be entitled to wage loss benefits, the amount of which generally depends on the severity of your injury and the amount of your pre-injury average weekly wages. In the case of permanent disfigurement or amputation, you may also be entitled to specific loss benefits in addition to other workers’ compensation benefits.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Workers Recover Compensation for Their Shoulder Injuries
If you sustained a shoulder injury at work or your pre-existing injury was aggravated by your work duties, you may be entitled to compensation under the Act. For a free consultation, call an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. at 888-PITT-LAW or complete our online contact form.
We proudly represent injured workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Delaware County, Philadelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester and Wynnewood.