Shoulder injuries are one of the most debilitating types of injury, and can leave workers permanently unable to carry out their jobs.
Workers comp payouts vary for shoulder injuries widely by case, making it difficult to give an estimate without further details. However, it’s still possible to get a rough idea of what your shoulder injury settlement is worth.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that shoulder injuries cost workers around $20,000 in medical expenses, without including surgeries.
Workers also tend to miss around 3 weeks of work after a shoulder injury, leading to substantial lost income.
These, however, are just averages, with the exact numbers varying depending on the type of injury. Here are some of the common costs associated with different shoulder injuries, so that you can get a better sense of shoulder injury compensation payouts.
Costs Of Rotator Cuff Injuries
The rotator cuff is responsible for keeping your arm bone attached to the shoulder socket, allowing it to move smoothly. Damage to the tendons and muscles that make up the rotator cuff can significantly impact your ability to raise your arms and lift heavy objects.
Rotator cuff injuries vary widely in severity. Some will heal on their own with time and rest. Others will require extensive surgeries to repair the tendons and restore range of movement.
Surgeries can be quite expensive. Open surgeries can cost you around $8,000, while arthroscopies- surgeries that use small incisions to reduce recovery time- can cost around $10,000.
Costs Of Dislocated Shoulders
A dislocated shoulder occurs when the upper arm bone pops out of the shoulder socket. In most cases, this will require immediate medical attention. Costs will vary depending on the severity of tendon damage, ranging from around $1000 to $8000 if you have to undergo full surgery.
Costs Of Labral Tears
The labrum is a pad of tissue that sits between the arm bone and the shoulder socket. It helps smooth movements, keeping the bone from rubbing against the socket. If the labrum tears or thins, movements can become quite painful, as the bone grates against the socket.
Labral tears can be quite expensive to fix, often requiring surgery to repair the tissue. Full labral repairs can cost more than $20,000, and are often accompanied by months of physical therapy, adding even more to your medical expenses.
Costs Of A Shoulder Replacement
Although fairly rare, severe shoulder injuries may require a shoulder replacement. This procedure may also be necessary if you have chronic shoulder pain or arthritis that wears away at the cartilage.
With a shoulder replacement surgery, the upper part of the arm bone is replaced with a metal tip, as is the shoulder socket. This helps smooth movement, preventing pain as you raise or rotate your arm.
Shoulder replacements are quite expensive, usually costing between $10,000 to $20,000, with additional costs from physical therapy after the surgery.
Costs Of Frozen Shoulder
Frozen shoulder can occur after severe injuries or after surgery, when the body’s immune response causes increased swelling, making the joint rigid and stiff. This can be quite painful, making it difficult to lift or rotate your arm.
The best cure for frozen shoulder is time. Most cases will slowly heal on their own, but the injury often requires months of physical therapy, which can cost around $100 per session.
Medical expenses don’t stop the minute you walk out of the hospital. Shoulder injuries often require extensive physical therapy after surgery to ensure that the tendons and muscles regain their former strength.
Furthermore, you will often have to pay extra for diagnostic tests, such as x-rays and MRIs, and these tests may need to be repeated to make sure that your shoulder is healing properly.
When calculating the value of your workers comp claim, you also need to consider any lost wages due to the injury. Utah law states that workers comp can pay you up to ⅔ of your weekly wages, with a maximum of $800 per week for a total disability.
There are a number of different disability types, depending on the severity of your injury:
Temporary partial disability
If you are only able to work part time due to your injury, you will be classified as temporarily partially disabled. To calculate your benefits, take the weekly wages you made before the injury and subtract the amount that you currently make. Then, take ⅔ of the difference between your pre and post injury wages.
For example, if you made $500 per week before your injury and $200 afterward, you would get benefits that equal ⅔ of your lost wages. In this case, that would equal $200 dollars in benefits.
Temporary total disability
If you are fully unable to work, then you will be considered temporarily partially disabled. You will be able to receive ⅔ of the wages you made before the injury. If you were making $600 per week before your shoulder injury, workers comp will give you $400 in benefits.
Permanent partial disability
Many shoulder injuries leave people permanently weak, making it difficult to work as much as they did before the accident. In these cases, you may be considered permanently partially disabled.
You will also receive ⅔ of the difference between your pre and post injury wages. However, Utah law sets a maximum for the total number of weeks that you can receive benefits.
Permanent total disability
If your shoulder injury leaves you unable to work entirely due to loss of movement in your arm or paralysis, you may be put on permanent total disability.
You will receive ⅔ of your weekly income as workers comp. The length of the benefits will vary, but in some cases workers comp will pay out for the rest of your life.
Shoulder injury workers comp settlements can be complicated. It’s difficult to know the full value of your claim, and employers and insurance companies will do everything in their power to reduce the value of your settlement.
The best way to ensure you receive the money you’re entitled to is to contact a skilled Utah workers comp attorney.
At Davis and Sanchez, we have years of experience fighting for workers, ensuring that they get the maximum possible settlement for their shoulder injury.
We honestly evaluate your case, giving you an estimate of the payout we think your case deserves. And then we fight tooth and nail to ensure that you get every dollar you are owed.
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