Injuries that happen on-the-job can range from broken bones to overworked muscles that make it impossible for an individual to function on a daily basis. No matter what the injuries may include, they can be debilitating and extremely painful.
One common injury that results in workers’ compensation claims includes bursitis, but because of the nature of the injury, many times, an individual suffering from work-related bursitis may have issues in getting his or her claims approved.
Is it best to have an attorney when filing a workers’ compensation claim for bursitis? We have asked attorney, Alaina Sullivan, and here is what she had to say:
What is Bursitis?
Bursitis is a condition that develops when the bursa, which is a lubricating sac located between joints, tendons, muscles or skin becomes inflamed. If the bursa does become inflamed, it can become quite painful and can result in swelling in the area.
An inflamed bursal sac can make it impossible for someone to move freely and function at work. Bursitis can develop through many different ways. It can be the result of a sudden trauma from an impact or through repetitive motions.
In fact, one of the most common ways bursitis develops is through overuse, either at work or at home. Repetitive activities, such as carpentry, painting, shoveling or other motions, along with incorrect posture can increase the worker’s risk of developing debilitating bursitis.
How Is Bursitis Treated?
The most commonly-prescribed treatments for bursitis include rest and not performing the same repetitive motions that lead to the injury, along with anti-inflammatory pain medications, physical therapy, heat and cold applications, splinting and even steroid injections.
The worst thing that an injured employee can do is not seek treatment once the symptoms of pain and swelling appear. Ignoring the injury and continuing to work will not only worsen the condition but it could cause serious, irreparable damage to the person’s body if the injury is not properly treated.
Receiving Workers’ Compensation for Bursitis
Workers’ compensation is meant to assist employees who are injured while on-the-job by providing payment for medical expenses as well as lost wages. If an injured employee chooses to pursue workers’ compensation, he or she does this by waiving the right to pursue a third-party personal injury claim against the employer in civil court.
Medical expenses for the period of time where the employee is not working as well as medical costs once the employee is able to work for ongoing treatment can still be covered under workers’ compensation.
Workers’ compensation, however, does not cover benefits for pain and suffering because of the injury.
The key to being successful with a workers’ compensation claim for bursitis is to prove that the injury either happened on the job or developed from the conditions of the job. Workers’ compensation injuries can happen because of a traumatic, sudden accident or can develop over time.
Difficulties in Bursitis Workers’ Compensation Claims
The problem when attempting to prove bursitis as a condition that occurred because of a work-related injury is the injury does not happen suddenly but tends to develop over time. Just because an injury results from repetitive movements over the course of time does not mean that it is not severe, painful and equally as important in qualifying for workers’ compensation benefits.
However, the fact that the injuries were slow in developing over the course of time does often raise the possibility that they occurred from something that happened outside of the work place, and for this reason, many insurance companies will deny the initial claim or will try to dispute it.
By hiring an attorney, the injured employee can have assistance in appealing any denial that may result from a claim for bursitis. The attorney will have knowledge of what type of documentation is needed, including medical records showing how the injury developed and expert testimony from medical professionals who can attest to the fact that this injury developed from movements while working.
While a non-attorney can handle this matter on his or her own and get this information independently, an attorney will know how to best procure this information and submit it for approval to the workers’ compensation board.
Not only will this save the injured employee a great deal of stress and money, but it can make sure that the employee gets money quickly and efficiently.
Contact an Attorney Today
If you are in the process of pursuing workers’ compensation for bursitis and have questions about how to proceed and whether legal representation is needed, a workers’ compensation attorney can help review your case and discuss your options.
An attorney can listen to the facts of the case and can best advise you on how to proceed. Contact an attorney experienced in workers’ compensation law to schedule a consultation today.