Our Arizona workers’ compensation attorneys can tell you how much compensation is owed for a shoulder injury on the job
Unless you’re a professional baseball player, most people don’t worry about hurting their shoulder while on the job — until it happens to them.
Your shoulder is a marvel of engineering, capable of throwing a baseball at over 100 miles per hour and making nearly 230 degree circles backwards and forwards. However, this complex multi-directional joint isn’t invincible. Certain movements can place stress on the shoulder, resulting in a painful injury that makes simple tasks like lifting your arm or carrying a box an extremely painful endeavor.
Professional athletes and workers in industrial, agriculture, construction, health care and other professions across Arizona are particularly vulnerable to painful shoulder injuries. These injuries can occur as a result of repetitive movements endured over several years, or they can happen because of a sudden and severe accident in the workplace.
Common shoulder injuries include:
- Sprains and strains
- Acromioclavicular joint syndrome
- Torn rotator cuffs
- Frozen shoulder syndrome (adhesive capsulitis)
- Impingement syndrome
If you’ve hurt your shoulder while on-the-job, it’s time to seek professional legal advice and representation. Our experienced workers’ compensation lawyer will advise you of your rights and fight to see that you are compensated for your injuries.
Without professional representation, many injured workers fail to receive the justice and compensation they deserve.
Injured workers don’t have to shoulder the responsibility of preventing workplace injuries on their own. Employers also bear some of the responsibility.
Our experienced work injury attorneys can help you understand your legal options and determine how much compensation you’re owed. Schedule your free consultation today.
Shoulder Injury Factors & Statistics
When it comes to shoulder injuries, there are many possible risk factors — many of which you can’t control. For instance, your gender, weight, age, and other underlying medical disorders (such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and diabetes) can affect your risk of a shoulder injury. Some research even suggests that seemingly unrelated things like smoking and psychological factors such as depression and anxiety can increase your risk of shoulder pain.
There are some factors in your control, though. In the workplace, specifically, physical tasks such as manual handling (heavy lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying), working above shoulder height, repetitive motion work, vibrations, and working in awkward posture increases your risk of a shoulder injury. Many of these risk factors can be avoided or minimized.
Due to the complexity of the shoulder and the wide range of risk factors, rotator cuff and other shoulder injuries are some of the most common occupational musculoskeletal problems that arise in the home and the workplace. According to research, shoulder pain affects approximately 18-26% of adults at any point in time, making it one of the most common regional pain syndromes.
Once a shoulder is injured, recovery can be painfully slow, eliminating or reducing a worker’s ability to perform. In 2014, shoulder injuries caused workers to miss an average of 26 days of work, more than any other body part.
The statistics also show that certain industries have higher rates of should industries than others. For example, natural resources, construction, and maintenance (NRCM) occupations had higher incidence rates for shoulder injuries than all other occupations.
Are You Eligible For Workers’ Compensation?
Much like neck and back injuries, to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits for a work-related shoulder injury, one of the following statements must be true:
- You sustained an injury that was caused by an accident or specific event in the workplace.
- Your injury manifested after you experienced strain from repetitive job-related motion over a period of time.
- Your current employment aggravated a pre-existing injury or condition.
Our attorneys can assist in this process by helping ensure that the severity of your injury isn’t overlooked or diminished. Don’t lose out on valuable medical and income benefits just because you took your employer at their word. Seek representation today and protect yourself.
Tips for Preventing Shoulder Injuries At Work
Arizona employers are required to provide a safe working environment that reasonably limits the risk of injury for workers. Similarly, workers have a duty to avoid injury to themselves and others as much as possible. Both employers and workers should practice basic safety procedures to prevent a workplace accident from happening. The following injury prevention tips are a good place to start:
Safety Tips for Employers
- Redesign workspaces. Consider implementing engineering controls such as redesigning work stations to be more ergonomic, installing adjustable features, and making tools more readily available for workers. Also think about administrative changes you can make to encourage workers to take breaks via job rotation, work pacing, and adjustments in procedures.
- Conduct a worksite evaluation. If you identify any potential hazards during the evaluation, take steps to correct or minimize the danger to the best of your ability.
- Keep the communication lines open. Talk with your workers regularly about any safety concerns they may have, and work together to create a safe work environment that focuses on injury awareness and prevention.
- Train employees. If you haven’t already, implement a workplace safety protocol process to reduce risk factors related to shoulder trauma and other common types of workplace injuries, then train team members on how to follow these guidelines. Teach them about proper posture, lifting techniques, and how to identify shoulder fatigue. Consider implementing a pre-shift stretching program, and encourage workers to stay fit and healthy.
Safety Tips for Workers
- Maintain good posture. When sitting at a desk for long durations, choose a supportive chair and sit as far back as possible in the seat so that your thighs are supported. Adjust your computer monitor so that the toolbar is level with your eyes and your neck isn’t straining. Support your feet firmly on the floor or a footstool. Your elbows and knees should be at 90 degrees.
- Take breaks. Stay in tune with your body and take breaks when you need it. If you must sit for long periods, change your position every once in a while and walk around to stretch your muscles and relieve tension.
- Follow proper lifting techniques. Before lifting objects, think about proper techniques designed to prevent shoulder and back injuries. Lift with your knees, tighten your core muscles, and maintain the natural curve of your back. Try to keep the object close to your body.
- Use tools. If a heavy object is stored up high, use a ladder, step stool or other stable platform to retrieve it rather than trying to reach to grab it.
- Ask for help. It’s okay to ask for help when you need it. Instead of putting unsafe strain on your shoulders or back, find a coworker who can lend you a hand or wait until help arrives.
Questions and answers about compensation for a job-related accident, injury or illness in Arizona
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Contact Our Arizona Job Injury Attorneys For your FREE Consultation
Don’t be confused, intimidated or misinformed by your employer or insurance companies. Our team of professionals is standing by to start your compensation claim today. We’re in your corner from start to finish, and we will not rest until you receive the benefits to which you are entitled.
Under Arizona workers’ compensation law, injured workers only have 1 year from the date of injury to file a claim with the Industrial Commission of Arizona. The worker must also notify their employer as soon as possible after a work-related injury has occurred.
Our Phoenix workers’ compensation lawyers can provide you answers on what to do next and how to protect your rights now. We’ll fight to ensure you receive the care and compensation you deserve.
You’ll only pay if we are successful in obtaining benefits for you.
Why hire our Arizona workers’ comp lawyers?
- We understand the special needs of an injured worker
- Trained and helpful staff
- Personal attention to clients
- Calls promptly returned
- Clients kept up-to-date on case
- State-wide service
- Aggressive & experienced representation
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While our main law office is in downtown Phoenix, we handle workers’ compensation claims throughout Arizona – including Yuma, Kingman, Payson and Flagstaff.