Shoulder injuries are very common in the workplace. Depending on the job, they can greatly adversely impact an employee’s ability to do their job. The injury may result from one single incident, but commonly is caused by cumulative strain over a period of time, perhaps even years. The shoulder joint can simply wear out through repetitive use. Most of them seem to be caused by jobs that require repetitive work up above the shoulders or head. If you suspect you have injured your shoulder due to repetitive work, and there is no particular incident that the employer would certainly know about, you should report it as soon as you believe it is serious enough to require medical care, and/or impairs your ability to perform your job.
In Iowa a shoulder injury is considered an injury to the body, as opposed to an injury to an appendage such as a leg or arm or foot, etc.
While injuries to appendages are compensated based on a simple functional impairment rating, an injury to the whole body such as a shoulder entitles the injured employee to industrial disability benefits. Industrial disability is compensated based on how the injury affects your ability to earn income in the future. The very same injury can therefore be much more serious to one worker versus another given what they are required to do on the job. Industrial disability is compensated based upon how your ability to earn a living has been impacted using factors such as age, education, past work history, restrictions, impairment and a number of other factors.
Even if your particular job does not require heavy use of the shoulder, or work above the shoulder level, a shoulder injury resulting in permanent restrictions can significantly impair that particular workers ability to perform other types of work which he or she may desire to engage in in the future.
If you injure your shoulder you may need medical treatment, and you do not want your injury to worsen. Report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. It is advisable that you contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to help you evaluate your case and insure you are getting the benefits you are entitled to.
If you or someone you know has been injured at work and you would like to discuss your case with an attorney, please contact Walt Thomas at Telpner Peterson Law Firm, LLP today at 712-309-3738.