Shoulder injuries are extremely common for people who do physical work. Below is information about shoulder injury, and how to protect yourself if you have difficulties with your work comp claim.
For help now, call one of our attorneys at (855) 221-COMP, or fill out our free contact form. The call and the advice are free.
Who is at risk for an at-work shoulder injury?
What will work comp cover for my shoulder injury?
How are shoulder injuries disputed by work comp?
What should I do if I have a shoulder injury at work?
I've been sent to an IME, now what?
What if my shoulder injury is being disputed?
Q. Who is at risk for an at-work shoulder injury?
A. Shoulder injuries typically occur from repetitive arm movements or heavy lifting. Individuals who do throwing or overhead work are especially at risk.
Q. What will work comp cover for my shoulder injury?
A. Workers compensation is available for shoulder injuries in Michigan. You are entitled to prompt medical care and wage loss benefits if you cannot work.
Some individuals heal with just physical therapy while others require surgery. Almost everyone needs some work restrictions. All reasonable and necessary medical treatment should be paid.
Q. How are shoulder injuries disputed by work comp?
A. Our attorneys frequently see individuals who suffer a shoulder injury and have their workers compensation benefits denied. Employers and insurance companies do not care how a person hurt themselves or whether they had a problem before an injury. Sometimes it does not even matter what the treating doctor says.
Insurance companies get away with disputing shoulder injuries by blaming your problems on arthritis and degenerative changes. Almost everyone has some degree of arthritis as they get older. Many times the symptoms of arthritis are nonexistent and working is not a problem. Just because a person has some incidental findings of arthritis does not mean that an injury did not occur.
Q. What should I do if I have a shoulder injury at work?
A. It is important to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible, and to file an accident report. Also, see a doctor. explain to your doctor how you hurt yourself at work and any new symptoms that you experience.
Here's more information on what to do after a work injury.
When you have an injury at work, something may have changed. Watch out for increased pain symptoms. You may have developed a torn rotator cuff or a torn labrum. It will be up to your doctor to determine if the condition is work-related.
Q. I've been sent to an IME, now what?
A. Employers and insurance companies regularly send people to their doctors for an "independent" medical examination (IME). An IME is a second opinion medical exam required by your insurance company or employer.
These "independent" insurance doctors are selected by your employer or a workers compensation insurance company, and they often find "nothing wrong" with seriously injured workers.
It is possible that your workers compensation benefits will be disputed based upon an IME report. You should always make sure that you're treating with your own doctor who has your best interests in mind.
You have the right to choose your own doctor and you should find someone who will be on your side.
Q. What if my shoulder injury is being disputed?
A. Many employers and insurance companies do not want to take responsibility for your injury. They will dispute your workers compensation claim just to save money.
If your claim for work comp benefits in relation to your shoulder injury is being disputed, it's important to speak with a Michigan workers compensation lawyer quickly.
For example, we recently represented an individual from Mount Clemens, MI who had developed a shoulder injury from throwing carpets into a bin. She was sent for an independent medical examination where it was determined that her problems were just from old age. She was denied workers compensation benefits and told to use her own health insurance for treatment. She incurred thousands of dollars in co-pays and deductibles. She also could not work and had no income. Her doctor recommended surgery and discovered a labral tear. We were able to settle her workers compensation case so that she got her wage loss benefits and reimbursement for all of her medical expenses.
All of your reasonable and necessary medical treatment should be paid for a shoulder injury. It's very important to speak with an experienced workmans comp attorney if your benefits have been disputed or denied.
Call us at (855) 221-COMP, or fill out our free contact form. There's no cost or obligation. We're always here to answer all of your legal questions.