Your shoulders form a huge part of your ability to move and interact with the world. Shoulder injuries are painful and often debilitating in how they affect your daily life.
Your shoulders include a component called the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is composed of a group of four muscles and their tendons, which are positioned at the shoulder joint. The name ‘rotator cuff’ comes from the fact that the muscles in this area form a cuff around the head of your upper arm bone (humerus). This cuff keeps your shoulder stable and allows full range of movement.
Everyday tasks like driving, cooking, showering, washing your hair, hanging out your washing and getting dressed can all be impacted by a shoulder injury. If you have a shoulder injury you may need to undergo treatment and rehabilitation to recover.
If you have injured your shoulder or rotator cuff in a workplace accident, a car accident, a public place accident, due to medical negligence, or some other kind of injury has happened, we can help you identify whether you can claim compensation.
Shoulder injuries can range from the moderate to the severe, depending on the nature of the injury and how it was sustained.
Common shoulder conditions, which often accompany injuries to the shoulder, include:
A shoulder injury is diagnosed in a range of ways, and you may need to get an x-ray, an ultrasound, an MRI (or other imaging test) or you may be able to be diagnosed with some tests at your doctor’s office.
An assessment is important when you first detect symptoms of shoulder or rotator cuff injury, especially if you have suffered an injury at work, as any evidence of your injury will be used to support a workers’ compensation claim.
Some of the most common shoulder joint and rotator cuff injuries happen due to;
Shoulder and rotator cuff injuries can happen to anyone and can occur as a result of injury, or worsen due to ageing. When you have suffered a shoulder injury you will experience pain and tenderness in your shoulder, as well as possible weakness or restriction in your movements.
There are a range of treatments that you can undergo to help manage your pain and repair the area, including physiotherapy, medical treatment, and even surgery for severe symptoms.
A report on Queensland workers’ compensation found that in 2019-20 there were 4,018 claims lodged for strains and sprains in the shoulder. Of these claims, the majority (39.6% of all claims for shoulder injuries) were in the age bracket of 45-59 years of age, although there were considerable claims for other age brackets.
Of the decisions made on claims for shoulder compensation, 95.4% were admitted into WorkCover compensation successfully.
The average time taken to decide on whether to pay compensation through WorkCover was 8.8 days in 2018-19 which, if taken to be similar today, means that you would be able to receive a decision within two weeks for a claim for shoulder injury compensation at work.
Professions with the highest rates of compensation claims overall (not just limited to shoulder injuries) include;
This is largely because physical jobs that require lifting or arms to be raised often can have long term effects and reduce ability to carry out certain professions and trades.
Carpenters and tradespeople who have to lift their arms for long periods of time can often suffer shoulder injuries which require WorkCover claims.
Car accidents are traumatic to the body. If you have been involved in a car accident and suffered a shoulder injury, whether the injury is mild, moderate, or severe, you may be able to claim compensation through the at-fault driver’s insurance (CTP insurance).
Even if you were a passenger in the vehicle, you may be eligible to claim against the driver’s CTP insurance.
Example: Francine is walking home from work when she is hit by a car while walking across a pedestrian crossing. She would be able to claim compensation from the at-fault driver’s CTP insurer, as well as through WorkCover as she was on a work-related journey when the accident happened.
Example: Gerry is driving and negligently hits another vehicle from behind as he is texting while driving. Gerry injures his shoulders when he hits the steering wheel, and the person driving the other car has whiplash and shoulder injuries. Gerry would not be able to claim on his CTP insurance as he was negligently responsible for the accident, but the driver of the other vehicle would be able to claim on Gerry’s CTP insurance.
While many shoulder injuries respond well to treatment such as pain management, physio, and other treatments, some injuries require surgery.
If your treating physician or specialist has recommended surgery as a treatment method, you should seek legal advice on whether you may have a claim for compensation and can get funding for the medical and rehabilitation treatment from an insurer.
When you choose Murphy’s Law as your personal injury lawyer, we will ensure that all of the necessary information is put forward within your claim so that you receive the appropriate benefit.
We can help you navigate this process and ensure that you have the appropriate assessment, which includes advising on what type of specialists to see, or how to proceed with the first steps in making a claim for compensation.
Shoulder injury claims are calculated by looking at the type and extent of your injury and examining the impact that this injury has had on your life.
If you have medical expenses and rehabilitation associated with your claim, you may be eligible to include this in your compensation payment. Similarly, if you have received care from a family member or friend, this may be compensable.
Our compensation lawyers can provide legal advice in your free initial compensation to ensure that you know what you may receive in compensation, and what you will need to do to secure an appropriate amount.
Every claim is different in that there are different causes, injuries, severity, and other related factors which must be considered as part of the claim. If your claim is relatively simple you can expect that your claim will be resolved rapidly.
Medical assessments all take time, and may be costly. When you work with us, we operate on a no win no fee basis which means that you will not pay us for our service unless we are successful in securing a settlement in your favour in your claim. We can assist you with guidance on the types of medical assessments you need to do, and how to get started.
There are strict time limits for making a claim for rotator cuff injuries and shoulder injuries. If you are claiming under WorkCover you have six months from the date of your injury, or the date of becoming aware of the injury.
If you are making common law claims against a negligent employer, road user or other party, then you have three years in which to bring your claim for injury compensation.
We recommend speaking to our legal team today about your shoulder injury claim. We can provide a realistic assessment on things like the time-frame for receiving compensation for your injury, and what to expect as you go through the process of commencing a claim.