Workers' Comp Settlements for Torn Rotator Cuff
In Oregon, virtually all employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance, which provides vital benefits to workers injured on the job. If you sustained a work-related rotator cuff injury at work, you could be entitled to benefits that include medical care and a portion of your wages as you recover.
In some instances, it could be challenging to prove that a rotator cuff injury is work-related or to get the full benefits you deserve. A knowledgeable Portland workers’ comp lawyer can help you navigate the entire process, from filing your initial claim through the hearing or appeals stage, if necessary.
Rotator Cuff Injuries at Work in Oregon
The rotator cuff has muscles and tendons that keep the head of the upper arm bone in the shoulder’s socket. Rotator cuffs stabilize the shoulder and allow you to move, lift, and rotate your arms.
When rotator cuffs are injured or torn, patients can experience severe pain, arm weakness, and sometimes permanent loss of motion.
Some rotator cuff injuries occur due to work-related accidents or the long-term effects of repetitive strain on the job. Common causes of occupational rotator cuff injuries include:
- Extending the arms to break a fall, leading to a torn rotator cuff
- Falling onto the shoulder after falling and landing from a height
- Lifting heavy objects or patients, especially with improper lifting techniques
- Repetitive lifting motions, especially overhead lifting motions
- Work-related motor vehicle accidents that result in shoulder injuries
How an Attorney Can Add Value to Your Shoulder Injury Settlement
For many workers, getting the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve after a workplace accident can be challenging. Filing a claim and getting your employer’s insurer to give you the full benefits that you’re entitled to could be difficult or might turn into a conflict.
With a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney on your side, you can focus on what’s most important: your recovery. You can rest easier knowing that your lawyer will be working on getting you the treatment and money you need to get better and support yourself and your loved ones.
A workers’ compensation attorney can add value to your shoulder injury settlement by:
- Gathering your medical records and communicating with your physicians for their professional medical opinions
- Consulting vocational experts who can describe how your rotator cuff injury will impact your ability to return to work in a meaningful capacity
- Locating other evidence, such as statements from your co-workers or safety records from your employer
- Communicating with your employer, their workers’ compensation insurance provider, and other parties on your behalf
- Negotiating aggressively to maximize your benefits and representing you at a workers’ compensation hearing if necessary
How to Estimate Your Workers’ Compensation Award
After a work-related shoulder injury, the value of any workers’ compensation benefits you receive will be calculated based on a combination of factors, including:
- The cost of any reasonable and necessary medical expenses you incur as a result of your shoulder injury.
- The cost of vocational rehabilitation services, such as education or retraining, which you may qualify for if your injuries prevent you from earning a certain percentage of your pre-injury wages.
- Temporary disability benefits if you cannot return to work in your usual capacity for a temporary period. Partial or total temporary disability benefits are capped at two-thirds of the difference between your pre-and post-injury income or the statewide maximum.
- Permanent disability benefits if you reach maximum medical improvement and are still unable to return to work. If you are permanently disabled due to a rotator cuff injury, you could receive up to two-thirds of your average weekly wages, up to the state maximum, for the duration of your disability.
What Impacts the Value of Rotator Cuff Cases?
Several variables can impact the value of your rotator cuff injury settlement, such as:
- The severity of your rotator cuff injury
- Whether you suffered a partial or complete tear
- Your age at the time of your injury or diagnosis
- Your medical history, including any pre-existing conditions
- Whether you required surgery to treat your injury
- Your wages at the time of your injury or diagnosis
- Your employer, their insurance provider, and how they handle your claim
Are Rotator Cuff Injuries Common in Workplaces?
Rotator cuff injuries are frequently caused by repetitive motion strain and heavy lifting, which are common in many types of workplaces.
Workers in warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and even offices tend to perform the same tasks day in and day out, which can wear away the connective tissues in the rotator cuff over time. Construction workers, manual laborers, and large equipment operators can also sustain full or partial tears to their rotator cuffs in heavy lifting incidents or other traumatic accidents.
Can a Rotator Cuff Injury Lead to Permanent Disability?
In some cases, yes. Severe rotator cuff injuries involve a significant or complete tear in one or more structures in the rotator cuff. A severe rotator cuff tear can lead to a permanent loss in a person’s range of motion.
When a person’s ability to move their arm or shoulder is limited or lost, they may not be able to perform the same tasks they were capable of before their rotator cuff injury. This can significantly narrow a person’s options when it comes to gainful employment.
Get Help from a Portland Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Jodie Anne Phillips Polich is a fierce advocate who is devoted to helping injured workers. Our team is here to listen to every detail of your case, answer your most important questions, and help you understand what to expect from the process.
To get started with your free, no-obligation case review, contact us today.