Can I get Workers' Compensation with Bursitis?

If you suffered from bursitis because of your job, would you still be able to work?

If not, think about how you would pay for your monthly bills. Although bursitis is mild when compared to other on the job injuries, it can be very painful and prevent you from being able to perform your job.

Workers’ compensation may be able to help you.

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance. It doesn’t cost injured workers anything to use. Each state has a law in place that requires most employers to carry this insurance.

It can help injured workers with medical expenses, may provide partial wages, and in some instances may provide other benefits such as permanent disability payments.

However, to receive any benefits for bursitis that you received on the job, you must file a workers’ compensation claim.

Risks of Bursitis

Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa in your joints. It could be your shoulder, knee, elbow, or any other joints. The bursae are sacks in your joint that lubricate them. When they become inflamed, it can cause pain, irritation, and swelling of the joint, tendons, muscles, and even the skin. It can happen suddenly, but it primarily develops over time.

The workers who face the most risk of developing bursitis include:

  • Cashiers: The repetitive motion of using the cash register and bagging goods can cause bursitis to develop.
  • Warehouse workers: Warehouse workers who perform the same motions every day during loading and unloading are also at risk of developing bursitis.
  • Carpenters: Constant use of hand tools can cause you to develop bursitis in your wrist, your elbow, or even your shoulder.
  • Landscapers: Landscapers and gardeners also face an extreme risk of developing bursitis in both their arms and their legs. Bursitis is a repetitive stress injury.

Bursitis Worker's Comp Lawyer

Workers’ Compensation and Bursitis

To get assistance with treating bursitis that developed because of your work, you must first file a claim. You may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Medical care is extremely important.

You can ask your employer to get a list of medical providers that can treat you for free. You may also need treatment after you are able to return to work.

Repetitive stress injuries such as bursitis are legitimate injuries that are painful and need proper medical care and treatment.You’re going to need sufficient time to rest the affected joint so that you are able to return to work.

How to File for Workers’ Compensation with Bursitis

If you have developed a bursitis injury while at work and the injury is due to repetitive strain on a part of your body, you will need to have it assessed and treated to avoid the condition becoming worse. When you decide to stop working to get treatment, you should let your supervisor or manager know about the injury and that it has occurred while at work. The date of this decision will determine future workers’ compensation payments and will help to confirm that the injury happened at work.

Some insurers have a preferred medical provider policy. This means that you may need to use their preferred doctor or hospital to ensure you get workers’ comp. later. You may also be allowed to choose your own medical providers or switch to your own after initial assessment.

Bursitis is normally treated at home except in more serious cases. Rest and prescribed medication should eventually allow a return to work. You will need to file a workers’ comp. claim for lost earnings and the cost of treatment such as doctor’s fees and scans and other tests as well as medication. Each state determines the time limits you need to keep to, such as the 2 or 3 year statute of limitations for a WC claim. See a WC attorney if you need legal assistance.

Evidence to Support a Claim for Bursitis

Bursitis can arise in two main ways. It can occur through repetitive strains on a particular joint and its associated bursa or because of an individual accident that tears the bursa. Whichever is the cause it is important to have evidence that the injury happened at work and not at home or somewhere else. Statements from employees who work with you will be essential, especially if they witnessed an accident or observed your pain at work. If you have been going to the doctor because of a developing bursitis, you will need a report from the doctor summarizing the diagnosis.

All medical costs as they arise should be documented, receipts and bills retained and submitted with the claim. You are not responsible for paying for any of your medical treatment for an injury that has taken place at work.

Potential Settlement Amounts for Bursitis

Workers’ compensation settlements for a bursitis injury are a combination of lost earnings and the cost of medical treatment. WC settlements do not pay the full wage that might have been earned, but a percentage, commonly around two thirds of the average. Medical costs for an average bursitis injury would include:

  • doctor’s fees;
  • tests and scans;
  • prescribed medication.

To give an example of a bursitis claim, here are some hypothetical figures:

A warehouse worker earns $9.50 an hour and normally works 40 hours a week. The bursitis injury needs 4 weeks off work recovering. Treatment is restricted to initial assessment by a doctor, medication, rest at home and two more visits to the doctor for an update on progress before a return to work.

The claim is broken down as follows:

  • Lost earnings component $9.50 x 40 x 0.66 (percentage allowed) = $1,003
  • 3 x doctor’s visits = 3x $120 = $360
  • Painkillers = $30
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs = $60

Total settlement = $1,453.

A settlement can be reached more quickly by ensuring there is sufficient evidence of the bursitis injury as a workplace related condition and meticulous record of costs involved. A WC lawyer can help with advice about evidence necessary to submit with a claim and can help with an appeal if the claim is denied by the insurer.

Learn More About Your Rights Under the Law

If you’ve developed bursitis from an on the job injury, you should take the time to learn about your legal rights under workers’ compensation law. A qualified workers’ compensation attorney can explain your rights and answer any questions that you have about workers’ compensation.

He or she can also help ensure that you’re getting the benefits that you need and deserve for your injury. Don’t delay. If you developed bursitis, consider filing a workers’ compensation claim to get help. Then, contact a workers’ compensation attorney to learn more.

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