There are a variety of work-related injuries that can occur in the workplace. Some of the more common types of injuries that may happen include shoulder and elbow injuries. These types of injuries can happen in a variety of workplaces and fields. Should and elbow injuries may occur from simple tasks such as lifting heavy objects, pulling, reaching, stretching, and even from making repetitive motions. Besides this, shoulder and elbow injuries can be a result of more serious workplace incidents and occurrences that can have a major impact on your health. If your injury happened in the workplace or if it happened as a result of your job, then you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation in the state of California. With workers’ compensation, you may be able to receive benefits that can help you pay for medical expenses and more stemming from your shoulder or elbow injury.
If you are a worker who has sustained a shoulder or elbow injury while on the job, you should always file for workers’ compensation as soon as you can so that you can receive benefits right away. At the Workers Compensation Attorney Law Firm, we believe that all workers who have been injured in some way while on the job deserve all of the benefits that they are entitled to receive. If your claim has been denied or contested for some reason, you can get help. The proper compensation is important when you want to recover from your injuries. Our attorneys are highly qualified and experienced in all matters related to workers’ compensation laws. If you are a worker who needs help with workers’ compensation in the Los Angeles area, contact us right away. As a worker in California, you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation for any type of injury or illness including shoulder and elbow injuries.
How Common are Shoulder and Elbow Injuries in the Workplace?
In any type of workplace setting, there is always the potential to be injured—no matter how safe it is. Accidents can, and will, happen to anyone. Shoulder and elbow injuries are just as likely to occur as any other type of injury. The chances for these types of injuries may also increase depending on the type of job you have and what your daily responsibilities include. Shoulder and elbow injuries can be especially common in the workplace since you use your arms for a great variety of tasks. Within the workplace, there are also many different factors that can contribute to shoulder and elbow pain in the future. This includes workplace tasks that can cause heavy strain including overhead working, forceful work, and heavy lifting. Also, these may occur from common workplace types of accidents such as falls and blunt trauma to these regions. Most of the time, common tasks like these can lead to an increased chance of shoulder and elbow injuries in the future. Also, an awkward posture while working and doing physical tasks may contribute to an injury and even increase the likelihood of being injured. Once again, common factors and situations that may lead to a shoulder or elbow injury include:
Repetitive motions and movements
Awkward and incorrect posture
Strenuous labor (pulling, lifting)
Even though this is in no way a comprehensive list of possible risk factors for a shoulder or elbow injury, these are some of the most common factors that can lead to one. These types of injuries may vary in severity depending on the circumstances and how the injury was sustained in the first place. Depending on the situation, these injuries may even lead to temporary or permanent disability if the injury is significant and interferes with your ability to do your job. Also, shoulder and elbow injuries can lead to other types of injuries and conditions. For example, an elbow injury may also affect your wrist as well as the shoulder. If there is significant damage to either your shoulder or your elbow, you may also sustain nerve damage which can be a major and lasting type of injury.
While on a ladder reaching for some items, Sandra loses her balance and falls to the ground. When she lands, she breaks her fall by landing on her elbow. This causes her elbow to shatter.
Common symptoms that may arise due to a shoulder or elbow injury may vary depending on the injury and its severity. However, common ones include a decreased range of motion from either of these joints, significant pain associated with any type of motion, and a tingling sensation in these regions.
Types of Shoulder and Elbow Injuries
Below are some common types of shoulder and elbow injuries that may occur in the workplace due to varying circumstances.
Bursitis is a common injury that occurs in the joints (such as the elbow and shoulder). This condition affects small, fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that are located around and cushion the tendons, muscles, and bones near the joints. Bursitis arises when these sacs have become inflamed. Usually, this type of injury occurs from repetitive motions or positions that place significant pressure on your joints. For example, bursitis may arise from constantly lifting heavy objects overhead or even from leaning on your elbow for long periods of time. Common symptoms for this injury include ache and stiffness around the affected area, pain when pressure is placed upon the area, and redness or swollenness around the affected area.
Rotator Cuff Tear
The group of tendons and muscles located around the shoulder joint is called the rotator cuff. They help to keep the upper part of your arm bone firmly in the shoulder socket. When any part of the rotator cuff becomes irritated or damaged, it will result in a tear within the region. This injury commonly arises out of repetitive overhead motions, and it may even result from more direct damage in a single accident. If a tear has occurred in this region, there will be a pain, weakness, and reduced motion from your shoulder area. Depending on the severity of this injury, it may require simple treatment or surgical repair.
As its name suggests, a dislocated shoulder occurs when the upper arm bone “pops” out the socket located in your shoulder blade. Due to the wide range of motion in this area, the shoulder can be dislocated forwards, backward, upwards, and downwards. Also, besides the dislocated bone, this can cause the tissues in this area to be stretched or torn which further increases the damage of the injury. Since a lot of motion occurs from this region of the body, the shoulder is especially susceptible to this type of injury in any type of workplace. Common reasons for this injury include extreme rotation of your shoulder, a traumatic blow to your shoulder area, and falls. Signs of a dislocated shoulder include visible deformity in your shoulder area, swelling, a bruising, significant amount of pain, an inability to properly move the joint, numbness, weakness, and tingling.
A broken collarbone, or clavicle, is yet another common type of injury that may occur in the shoulder area. The collarbone is what connects the uppermost part of your breastbone to your shoulder blade. The collarbone may be broken through a variety of reasons such as from a serious fall or from significant blunt force trauma to the area. Common symptoms of this injury include significant pain, bruising, swelling, tenderness, a grinding sound from this region, stiffness, and an inability to move your shoulder properly.
Severe Shoulder Strain and Sprains
Shoulder strains occur when a tendon or muscle in your shoulder region is torn or stretched. Usually, this happened when your shoulder stays in a certain position for a long time. For example, carrying any heavy objects for hours on end can lead to a shoulder strain. Even having bad posture while you are typing can put a strain on your shoulders. Certain types of repeated motions and movements may only increase the likelihood of sustaining this type of injury.
Shoulder sprains, on the other hand, are more severe in nature. This may be sometimes referred to as a separated shoulder. This happens when the ligaments that stabilize and support your shoulder are significantly torn or stretched, and the joint becomes separated. Usually, this injury occurs if you have fallen or if there has been blunt force trauma to this area. This will lead to pain, swelling, bruising, weakness, and a possible inability to move your shoulder joint correctly.
Elbow hyperextension is a serious type of injury that may occur within the workplace. This injury occurs when your elbow joint has been extended beyond its normal range of motion. Because of this unnatural movement, the ligaments and bones located in the elbow region may be damaged as a result. Also, this may cause your elbow to become dislocated. Elbow hyperextension may be a result of many different reasons. However, within the workplace, common reasons include falls and from lifting or carrying heavy objects. When this injury has happened, you may hear a popping sound. Also, you may experience pain in your elbow region, swelling around the affected area, stiffness, weakness, muscle spasms, deformity, and even a loss of circulation to the rest of your arm.
Chipped bones, or an avulsion fracture, can occur in the elbow region. This type of injury may arise when a small piece of bone attached to a tendon or ligament is yanked away from the main part of the bone. Often, this piece will become loose and float around the elbow joint. This may be a result of an injury in the elbow area or from a lack of proper blood supply to the bone. An injury like this may cause significant pain, an inability to properly move your arm, a clicking sound, swollenness, and an inability to fully straighten out your arm. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may have to undergo surgery to correct any damage that has been done.
Are Shoulder and Elbow Injuries Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?
If you have sustained a shoulder or elbow injury as a result of your job, then you may be covered under workers’ compensation. In California, all employees are guaranteed the right to receive workers’ compensation if they have sustained an injury or have developed an illness as a result of the duties of their occupation. Also, under California Labor Code Section 3700, all employers are required by law to provide workers’ compensation insurance to all of their employees. Employers must carry this type of insurance in order to provide a safety net to their employees should any unforeseen accidents or issues arise in the workplace. With workers’ compensation benefits, you will be able to receive the proper treatment and the expenses will be covered under the insurance. Also, you may even be covered if you miss work due to severe injuries.
In order to be eligible to receive workers’ compensation, the injury needs to have been a result of your job’s duties or it needs to have occurred within the workplace. This could be as simple as a slip and fall while on the job, or from an accident with machinery. In most cases, any type of injury may qualify for workers’ compensation. Also, if the injury was an accident, or if it occurred even with the proper safety protocols, you may still be eligible.
It should be known that workers’ compensation is a ‘no-fault’ system. This means that by filing for workers’ compensation, you are not suing or taking any legal action against your employer. However, if your employer does not carry the proper workers’ compensation insurance, they will still be liable for your injuries, and you may take legal action against them.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for Shoulder and Elbow Injuries
If you have sustained a shoulder or elbow injury while on the job, then you should qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in California. However, you may be unsure how to go about getting these benefits. When it comes to workers’ compensation, there is a process you should follow. This includes reporting the injury, making sure to fill out the correct forms, and receiving proper medical attention.
Once you have sustained an injury while on the job, you should always report it right away to your supervisor or employer. If your injury is especially severe, then you should seek the proper medical attention right away. You have about thirty (30) days to report the injury. If you fail to do so, then you may become ineligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. When you have reported your injury to your employer, they should provide you with the proper forms and information with how to start the workers’ compensation process. Usually, you will have to fill out the claim form in which you describe the injury and how it occurred. You will then return the form to your employer to fill out the rest and submit to the workers’ compensation insurance provider. During this phase, you should keep any records for your own keeping. When your employer submits the form, you should receive a copy as well.
Your workers’ compensation form will be sent to a claims administrator. This individual will go through your claims and determine whether or not you are eligible to receive any benefits. They may even investigate the claim if there are any suspicious circumstances involved. During this phase, you may continue to receive medical care. Your employer will be responsible for the expenses up to a certain extent. Your employer should notify you if your claim has been approved or denied by the claims administrator. If approved, you will be given information on the benefits you are eligible to receive and what to do going forward.
There are a couple of different types of benefits you may be eligible to receive depending on your injuries and the severity. These include:
Coverage for medical expenses
Temporary disability benefits
Permanent disability benefits
Supplemental job displacement benefits
The first type of benefits will provide financial coverage for any medical costs and expenses related to your work-related injury. This includes doctor visits, medications, treatment, and surgery if needed. Temporary disability benefits can provide compensation for lost wages if you are unable to return to work right away because of your injuries. This will not cover for the whole amount of lost wages—only a percentage will be covered. These benefits stop once you have returned to work. Permanent disability benefits will be received if you are unable to return to work at all due to your injuries. Again, this will only cover a percentage of lost wages. Lastly, supplemental job displacement benefits (SJDB) will provide vouchers that can cover any expenses related to skill learning or occupational training if you have to find a new job due to your injuries. This means that you are unable to complete the duties of your old job. Depending on the severity of your work-related injuries, you may receive a combination of these benefits under workers’ compensation.
How Can a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Help with Shoulder and Elbow Injury?
When it comes to workers’ compensation, there are a couple of issues that may arise in which you may need the assistance of an attorney. First of all, if your employer fails to provide workers’ compensation to employees, they are liable for any and all injuries that may occur in the workplace. Not only must they cover for medical expenses, but they may even be faced with a lawsuit. Also, if your employer violates any of the proper safety protocols within the workplace, and knew about it, then they may still be liable for your injuries. Not only may you continue to seek workers’ compensation, but you may also take legal against them.
If you feel that your workers’ compensation claim for a workplace injury has been wrongfully denied by the insurance company, then you may also take legal action. After all, workers in the state of California are guaranteed to receive workers’ compensation for workplace injuries. Also, workers’ have a right to receive any and all benefits that they may be eligible. With a workers’ compensation attorney, you may be able to take legal action and fight to receive the compensation that you deserve. You should not be left to suffer from your injuries due to inadequate coverage or from a wrongful denial. You deserve to receive the benefits you are eligible to receive. This is crucial since it may provide necessary medical care for your injuries.
Finding a Qualified Workers’ Compensation Attorney Near Me
Shoulder and elbow injuries can have a significant impact on your health and on your ability to work. Furthermore, this can impact your financial situation by affecting how much you are able to work and by giving rise to expensive medical bills. However, this is where workers’ compensation can help. You may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits depending on your injury and if it was a result of your job. Whether you have dislocated your shoulder or you have developed tendonitis, you may still be covered under workers’ compensation. Even though everyone’s situation may vary and their injuries may be unique if they have sustained the injury while on the job, they are entitled to receive compensation in California.
If you have sustained a work-related injury, you are guaranteed the right to receive workers’ compensation in the state of California. You may have questions regarding workers’ compensation and how you have to apply for it. No matter what, you can turn to the Workers’ Compensation Attorney Law Firm for help. Our experienced attorneys are experts in workers’ compensation law, and they can assist you with any part of the process. Contact our workers compensation attorney at 310-956-4277 if you need help or if you have any questions pertaining to workers’ compensation. We can help any worker in the Los Angeles area with any matters related to workers’ compensation. After all, if you have been injured, you should receive any and all help possible.