Do you have a shoulder injury that you think is work related? We are experienced Illinois work comp attorneys who will talk to you for free and in plain English. If you’d like a no commitment, confidential and free consultation, please call us any time at 888-705-1766. We help with cases everywhere in Illinois.
There are two major ways injuries happen on the job in Illinois. The first is a one time accident. Those cases can be hard to dispute because if you are walking down a hallway and get hit by a forklift and break your tibia, making a defense to that case can be a challenge. That’s not to say the insurance company won’t try. They’ll drug test you. They’ll try to get old medical records. They’ll question if you really should have been there.
The second major way workers get hurt is through repetitive activities. There’s no one time event that causes an injury, but instead the continuous use of a body part and common activities cause your body to break down. Maybe you type a lot and get carpal tunnel. Maybe you lift a lot and hurt your back. Whatever the reason, it’s very common for insurance companies to fight these cases or make you jump through hoops to get benefits. That’s because there are often other reasons your problem could have developed such as age, other activities, illness, etc.
One common repetitive trauma injury is to the shoulder. The shoulder is susceptible to over use problems, especially when you are doing a lot of lifting or overhead activity. To prove your case is work related you need facts. That would mean providing clear, detailed information about what you do, how you move your arms, how frequent you do the activity and what pain you notice while doing this. A recent case highlights how to win a claim for a repetitive injury to the shoulder.
In that case, the worker was a forklift driver. She did the same job for five years and at trial and to her doctor gave very detailed testimony of what she did. She said the truck she used required her to make 300 to 500 rotations of the steering wheel daily. She described a quick turn knob she used and at the hearing demonstrated how she did the job. She was clear to show how she used her right arm and how she placed her left arm. She talked about the great effort involved in turning the steering wheel with her left arm. She talked about how the job got busier right before she got diagnosed. Eventually she was diagnosed with shoulder impingement, degenerative arthritis and a biceps injury.
Do you see any possible defenses to her case? Neither do I. While the opinion of a credible medical doctor is still required to win a case like this, she made crystal clear how the job contributed to her problem. To top it off, she mentioned at trial how she made an effort to work through the pain with hopes it would go away, but then sought medical care when it didn’t.
Given all of this she thankfully won her case. There was no defense, but like I said, you have to jump through hoops if your case is repetitive.
The bottom line is that you need an attorney who can make sure your testimony is detailed and your doctor is truly informed about your job duties. Almost every repetitive injury case needs at least the threat of a trial to prevail. If you’d like to discuss a case, please contact us any time.