I Dislocated My Shoulder at Work, Can I File For Workers' Comp?

A dislocated shoulder can occur even if you are not performing strenuous work. If you dislocate your shoulder while working, you should consider filing a workers’ compensation claim. Hurting your shoulder and dislocating it while at work could mean that you can no longer work, even temporarily.

If you were left unable to work due to injury, would you be able to pay your monthly expenses?

A dislocated shoulder is a painful injury that can have lasting effects. When you suffer a job on the injury, specific protocol should be followed, and you should do everything that you can to preserve your rights and to protect evidence.

You want to provide supporting documentation and evidence for your case, so you can prove that your dislocated shoulder occurred on the job and that your medical care is for the injuries suffered in the workplace accident.

If you are injured while on the job, you should notify your employer right away. Your manager, supervisor, or human resources department will be required to complete an accident report that details your workplace accident as well as your injury.

You will need to give a detailed statement for inclusion in this report and be sure to tell the person completing the report about any witnesses to the incident, so they can give statements as well.

When a workplace injury, such as a dislocated shoulder, occurs, you should seek medical care right away. If you delay treatment, it is difficult to prove that your injury was related to the on-the-job accident.

Usually, there is a network of providers for workers’ compensation insurance. You will need to choose a provide from the network, so you can make sure your medical expenses are covered. There should be a list of network providers posted in the break room or by the time clock.

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a safety net providing protection for workers who are hurt on the job. Each state has laws set in place requiring most employers to provide a workers’ compensation insurance policy.

If you dislocate your shoulder while performing your job duties, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Notify your supervisor immediately if you are injured. You should also consider filing a workers' compensation claim. Filing a claim can help you obtain the medical care, surgery, therapy, sling, prescriptions, and any follow-up visits you may need because of your shoulder.

If you are unable to work due to your injury, you may qualify to receive a portion of your lost wages.

Contact your supervisor or Human Resources representative about filing a claim. He or she can also provide you with a list of physicians you can see for your injury without cost.

Shoulder Dislocation

Many occupations have a risk of shoulder injury resulting in dislocation. Severe falls from slick floors or objects that obstruct your pathway and lifting heavy items above your chest or head can cause your shoulder to be dislocated from your shoulder socket.

Repetitive work can aggravate your shoulder further. There are certain symptoms associated with a dislocated shoulder, including:

  • Visible sign of deformity
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration or bruising
  • Intense pain
  • Inability to move the joint
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Tingling near injury – neck or arm
  • Muscle spasm that cause intense pain

I Dislocated My Shoulder at Work, Can I File For Workers' Comp?

Maintaining Evidence To Support Your Workers’ Compensation Claim

You will want evidence to support your workers’ compensation claim for your dislocated shoulder. If it is possible, get photos of the accident scene. Depending on where you work and where you were on the job site when the injury took place, the entire incident may have been caught on video by a surveillance camera. Photos and videos can be helpful to your workers’ compensation claim against your employer.

While the incident is still fresh in your memory, you should jot down notes. You will need to be as specific as possible when detailing the incident. Specify where you were working, what you were doing, how the accident, took place, and specifically how you were injured.

For example, you fell from a ladder while putting merchandise on a top shelf. When you fell, you turned toward the right, hit the metal shelving with your right shoulder, twisted back trying to brace yourself, and then fell onto your right side on the concrete floor below.

Maintain thorough records. You should keep copies of all medical bills, medical records, and medical excuses. Also, be sure to document any missed work and lost wages. The more supporting documentation you have, the more evidence you have that will prove what happened and how it happened.

Workers’ compensation should cover the costs associated with your medical care as well as about two-thirds of your missed work and lost wages.

Potential Workers’ Compensation Settlement For A Dislocated Shoulder

There are several things that come into play when determining a fair settlement value for your dislocated shoulder. Remember, workers’ compensation only covers your medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages, so you will not qualify for pain and suffering or other losses.

First, all your medical expenses will be added up. All your medical costs, such as physician visits, hospital bills, x-rays and scans, prescriptions, medical devices, and physical therapy/rehab. Anything associated to your medical treatment should be calculated.

So, if your dislocated shoulder didn’t require surgery, let’s say your medical bills added up to $3,500. If your shoulder required surgery, the expenses may be as high as $12,000.

You will now need to add up your lost wages. Workers’ compensation pays about two-thirds of your regular salary. If you earn $700 per week, and you are unable to work for 8 weeks, that will total $5600.

Two-thirds of those wages total out to be $3,752. When you add your lost wages to your medical expenses, then you will receive the total value of your claim. In this scenario, if you didn’t have surgery your claim total is $7,252, or with surgery it will add up to $15,752.

When calculating your settlement value, any future costs should also be figured into the total. That means if you need future medical care and you are going to need more time off work, you will want to include those losses in the total settlement value.

You will get one settlement to cover all your losses, so you don’t want to overlook the future losses associated with your dislocated shoulder while on the job.

What Benefits Are Available Through Workers’ Compensation?

If you file a workers’ compensation claim for your dislocated shoulder, you may be eligible to receive compensation based on your injuries. This compensation can include:

  • Assistance with medical expenses:This is a commonly known benefit of workers’ compensation. If your shoulder is dislocated on the job, you may be eligible to receive help with medical expenses, physical therapy, surgery, and any medical equipment that you may need.
  • Compensation of lost wages: If you are unable to work because of your dislocated shoulder, you may be eligible to receive a portion of your lost wages. There are certain guidelines in place for both temporary and permanent disability payments.
  • Job training: If you left unable to continue working in your field, you may be eligible to receive job training through workers’ compensation. Job training can provide you with the new skills you may need to pursue a new field of work.

What Can Effect Your Settlement

Some workers’ compensation claims are settled more quickly than others. There are several things that come into play when determining the settlement process. For example, if physicians aren’t sure about the severity of your injury then your employer’s insurer as well as your lawyers will want to wait to resolve the matter because a more serious injury will require future care and future time off work, and they will not know how to fairly compensate you.

Sometimes legitimate workers’ compensation claims are denied, and in that case, you and your lawyer will need to gather more supporting evidence and documentation so you can make sure your claim is on the right track.

After the supporting evidence is found and provided, then the settlement process may move more quickly. Also, there are times when a judge must determine the outcome of a workers’ compensation claim. In those cases, it may be a few months before a hearing date is set, and of course all the legal processes can be time consuming.

What's My Dislocated Shoulder Claim Worth?

The amount you would receive in benefits due to your injury can vary by occupation, how much your dislocated shoulder costs to treat, and how long you would be out of work. For more information about the value of your claim, please see our page:

How Can A Workers' Compensation Attorney Help?

If you sustain a dislocated shoulder while performing your job duties, you should consider taking the time to speak with a workers’ compensation attorney.

Your attorney can answer any questions you may have and inform you of your rights. It is important that you do not sign any documents without consulting an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, or you may end up settling your claim in the favor of your employers or their insurance company. You may risk signing away your rights if you do not.