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    shoulder injury at work

    Shoulder injuries are one of the most common injuries suffered in workplace accidents. It caused employees to miss a median of 26 days of work, which was longer than the time missed for injuries to any other body part.

    Your shoulder joint is one of the most flexible parts of the body, allowing you to rotate your arms, reach behind you or above your head, or throw a ball. If you’ve suffered a shoulder injury on the job, the injury may cause excruciating pain while significantly limiting your ability to work or perform daily activities.

    Shoulder injuries are one of the most common injuries suffered in workplace accidents. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 88,980 cases of non-fatal shoulder injuries that required employees to miss work in a recent year. Shoulder injuries caused employees to miss a median of 26 days of work, which was longer than the time missed for injuries to any other body part.

    While shoulder injuries are commonly sustained by workers whose jobs involve physical labor, such as construction work, delivery work, painting, or warehouse work, shoulder injuries can occur in nearly any job. Repetitive movement and heavy lifting are two of the most common causes of work injuries.

    If you have sustained a shoulder injury on the job in South Carolina, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. In most cases, workers’ compensation pays for full medical treatment and provides partial compensation for lost wages after work-related injuries. You may receive workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who was at fault. If your employer or worker’s compensation administrator has disputed your right to benefits, let a trusted workers’ compensation attorney, like the ones at Joye Law Firm, review the accident details and discuss your legal options.

    Our workers’ compensation attorneys have been helping injured victims pursue just compensation for decades. Joye Law Firm’s partners, Mark Joye and Ken Harrell, have both been named South Carolina Super Lawyers in recognition of their effective representation of clients. Their compassionate approach and tenacious representation have helped Joye Law Firm earn exceptional case results for clients over the years.

    Learn what our past clients have to say about the caring and knowledgeable legal counsel we provided, and then contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. We’ll answer our questions and help you understand your best path forward.

    Common Work-Related Shoulder Injuries

    The shoulder is a complex joint made of bones, ligaments, muscles, cartilage, and tendons. The ball-and-socket joint connects the arm to the torso and enables the shoulder’s large range of motion.

    When any part of the shoulder is injured in an accident or due to repetitive motion, it can affect the function of the entire joint. The three bones in the shoulder, which include the scapula, the humerus, and the clavicle, are prone to fractures and dislocations as a result of trauma. The soft tissues in the shoulder that support the movement of the bones can suffer strains, sprains, or tears.

    The most common shoulder injuries sustained in the workplace include:

    How Workplace Shoulder Injuries Happen

    There are a number of factors that may contribute to a shoulder injury at the workplace. A shoulder injury may occur as the result of the sudden trauma of an accident. A shoulder injury also may occur over time, such as from the repeated lifting that a delivery worker may perform.

    Some of the common causes of on-the-job shoulder injuries include:

    • Young afraid woman lifting heavy box in warehouseHeavy lifting
    • Pushing or pulling
    • Repetitive movements
    • Slips and falls
    • Working in awkward positions
    • Using heavy machinery or power tools
    • Motor vehicle accidents

    Treatment for Shoulder Injuries

    The treatment for a shoulder injury will depend on the severity and nature of the injury. It may range from rest and medication to surgery. A doctor may use various diagnostic procedures such as a physical examination of the range of motion, X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or arthroscopy to determine the cause of the shoulder injury.

    Common treatments for shoulder injuries include:

    Rest and activity changes
    Treatment of a shoulder injury usually involves resting the shoulder and refraining from activities that could aggravate the injury. A sling may be used to help immobilize the shoulder.
    Your doctor may prescribe medication to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, or even numb the area. Sometimes, steroids are used to reduce swelling and temporarily improve movement in the shoulder.
    Physical therapy
    Physical therapy is a common form of treatment for shoulder injuries. Exercises can help patients strengthen the muscles in their shoulders and increase flexibility and mobility.
    In cases of more severe shoulder injuries, surgery may be necessary. Surgery may be used to repair torn tissue, remove scar tissue, or, in major surgeries, reconstruct or replace a shoulder joint.

    Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim for Shoulder Injury

    There are immediate steps you should take after suffering a work-related shoulder injury in South Carolina to protect your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

    The first step you should take following your work accident is to seek emergency care, if needed. For non-emergencies, it is still important to treat your injury as soon as possible. Seeking treatment will also create medical records to support your claim.

    You need to notify your employer of the injury. You should notify your employer at the time of the accident, if possible, or as soon as possible after the accident. You must notify your employer within 90 days of a workplace accident, or you could lose your right to workers’ compensation benefits.

    In the case of an injury that develops gradually, such as a repetitive trauma injury, you must notify your employer within 90 days of the date that your shoulder injury was diagnosed.

    Your employer then has ten days to notify the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission of your work-related injury or illness. Your employer may file your workers’ compensation claim on your behalf. If the employer does not file it, then you have two years to file a workers’ compensation claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission, using Form 50.

    businessman in blue jacket giving form for compensation claim to worker with broken arm at table in officeYour claim will be reviewed, and you’ll be notified of the Commission’s decision. If you’re awarded benefits, there will generally be a seven-day waiting period before you start receiving your payments. If you are denied benefits, however, you can file an appeal.

    You have limited time to appeal a denied claim, and the appeals process is complicated. It sometimes requires multiple hearings and levels of appeals to pursue the benefits you need. It’s important that you have an attorney by your side during the appeals process. An experienced workers’ comp attorney at Joye Law Firm can help you prepare for the hearing and compile medical evidence to support your claim.

    How Workers’ Compensation for Shoulder Injuries Can Help

    The workers’ compensation benefits you receive will help cover the expenses and losses you suffer as a result of your shoulder injury, including medical expenses and a portion of the income you miss out on while you cannot work.

    If you are eligible for benefits, workers’ compensation should cover all of your necessary and reasonable medical expenses to help you recover.

    Covered medical services include:

    • Doctors’ visits
    • Hospital stays
    • Surgery
    • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
    • Prescriptions
    • Medical equipment
    • Transportation to medical appointments

    As an injured employee, you’re entitled to partial compensation of lost income if you were unable to work for at least seven days. There is a seven-day waiting period to receive the wage replacement benefits. However, if you miss more than 14 days of work, you can receive reimbursement for income lost during the first seven days of missed work.

    In most cases, injured workers will receive 66 2/3 percent of their average weekly wage, based on the four quarters prior to their injury. Compensation for lost income cannot exceed the maximum average weekly wage determined by the Commission. The maximum weekly payment for injuries occurring after January 1, 2021, is $903.40.

    Injured employees are eligible to receive workers’ comp benefits until their doctor releases them to return to work. In the case of a permanent partial disability or a permanent total disability, an injured worker may continue to receive payments for a time period based on the severity of the injury.

    Contact a South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today

    When you sustain a work-related shoulder injury, pursuing the workers’ compensation benefits can be a complex undertaking. The claims process gets even more complicated when an employer tries to dispute a claim or deny your eligibility for benefits.

    A knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer at Joye Law Firm can help you navigate the workers’ compensation process from start to finish. Our law firm will work to gather medical evidence and develop your well-supported claim for compensation. Too often, claims are denied because some information is missing, or additional medical evidence was not added to the worker’s file.

    At Joye Law Firm, our attorneys fight tirelessly for our clients because we know they’re counting on us.

    Contact us today for a free consultation with our legal team. For your convenience, we have offices across the state, located in Charleston, SummervilleMyrtle BeachColumbia, and Clinton. Don’t wait to call. We’re ready to help.

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