How Work-Related Shoulder Injuries are Handled in New Jersey
Workplaces are prone to a lot of mishaps. People get injured in various ways at work. Shoulder injuries are relatively common. Some of the most common causes of shoulder injuries are:
- Holding a single position for an extended period
- Experiencing ongoing, intense vibration
- Static load, which is carrying your body weight or part of it for a duration of time
- Experiencing extreme temperatures, and
- Holding your arms above your head or heart for an extended period or on a consistent basis.
The types of work tasks that tend to cause wear-and-tear shoulder injuries include:
- Sorting and assembly
- Stocking and retrieving products
- Loading or unloading materials
- Typing or frequent use of a mouse
Employees who meet with any work injury are liable to receive workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is defined as “a remedial social legislation to ensure that employees injured on the job will be paid without regard to fault.”
There is workers’ compensation specific to shoulder injuries. Workers’ compensation for shoulder injuries are treated like any other work injury. There are five main benefits which can be enjoyed by the injured employee under the New Jersey workers’ compensation law:
- Medical benefits to pay for the treatment required to recover from any shoulder injury
- Total disability benefits to replace the wages lost while being off work or on light duty and thereby earning lower wages.
- Permanent partial disability benefits to compensate for any permanent impairment or loss of function to any body part (legs, arms, fingers, toes, lungs, etc.) as a result of the injury.
- Permanent total disability benefits to compensate the injured employee if he/she is permanently and impaired due to a work-related injury and cannot return to any productive employment
- Death benefits to be paid to the employee’s dependents if he/she is killed or dies; as a result, a work-related accident or injury.
A person’s shoulder can be injured in various ways, some which are long-lasting compared to the others. The most common shoulder injuries are:
- Dislocation of the shoulder joint
- Strain to the muscles around the shoulder and upper back
- Impairment of range of motion
- Damage to rotator cuff
- Nerve damage
- “Frozen” shoulder and
The rotator cuff tear is one of the most common types of work-related shoulder injuries. An MRI scan is required to diagnose this kind of shoulder injury. Surgery which is mandatory may still result in recurring problems with the shoulder. Chances of 100% recovery are slim.
A life-altering problem with your shoulder can make it difficult for you to return to work. If your job requires you to lift heavy objects or carry out repeated motion or exertion, continuing in that same kind of work would become difficult.
You may be out of a job until you are well enough to continue in the same position. In most cases, New Jersey workers’ compensation only provides wage replacement benefits for a fixed amount of time, which will then lead to a reduction in the amount of your total disability benefit.
Your workers’ compensation claim for a shoulder injury may be opposed by your employer. Very often employers or its insurer claim that a shoulder injury was a pre-existing condition or that it was not job-related. Work injury lawyers would be your best option in such a situation. If you have suffered a shoulder injury at work, trust your case to an attorney with a record of success.
They can help injured workers by proving that their shoulder injury was genuinely the result of an accident. Working with an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney can ensure that you receive the proper medical treatment while maximizing the amount you receive as compensation for the wages lost.
Any resulting impairment you have as a result of your workers’ compensation shoulder injury can also be dealt with. Apart from recovering all the workers’ compensation benefits, you are entitled to, they also make sure you get an appropriate disability rating with an apt lump-sum settlement if you are not expected to fully recover from your shoulder injury.
In cases of shoulder-injury accidents in which a subcontractor, property owner or manufacturer has liability, you may be entitled to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit for compensation above and beyond workers’ compensation benefits.
The work injury lawyers at Goldberg & Wolf, in Cherry Hill, NJ, have compassion for your plight and real courtroom litigation experience needed to tell your story to the jury and win your workers’ compensation case. Contact us today at (856) 651-1600 for a free consultation.