As you lift your shopping bags, you feel the awful pain in your shoulder shoot right down into your arm; even the back of your neck aches.
Then you remember the unfortunate accident at work yesterday... What an annoying performance it was to get dressed this morning. How distressing when you couldn't pick up your daughter. Opening and closing the car door was a huge effort.
You feel lonely, frustrated and anxious about whether you'll be able to continue working and pay the bills. Fortunately, medical, legal and other assistance is at hand.
A person's shoulders are particularly vulnerable and serious shoulder injuries could require surgery. It is crucial to receive specialist medical treatment and rehabilitation in the long term. It can become costly and have far-reaching financial implications.
The good news is that personal injury lawyers can greatly assist you in compensation claims as they are experts in this complicated legal field.
Each shoulder injury claim is unique and depends on the circumstances of that particular case. Lawyers can also give advice on the prospects of success for your specific shoulder injury claim.
Talk with an experienced workers compensation lawyer to learn more.
Payouts for shoulder injuries, when certified by medical specialists, are a regular occurrence.
Some common shoulder injuries include shoulder strain or sprain, rotator cuff injury or tear, dislocated shoulder, shoulder impingement syndrome, fractures, bursitis and tendonitis.
Rotator cuff injury is particularly prevalent. A rotator cuff is a group of 4 muscles and tendons that keeps the upper arm bone in the shoulder socket. When any of these muscles and tendons are torn, a person can experience any or more of the following: pain, a dull ache, difficulty moving the arm and weakness in the arm.
You could potentially claim for existing and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, existing and future loss of wages/income, loss of enjoyment of life, and maybe other incidental expenses.
Let's have a look at the types of shoulder injury compensation claims. Claims for shoulder injuries are made either under legislation or under common law claims.
Workers, particularly in factories, workshops, and construction sites are often exposed to significant risks. Think of building sites with:
Businesses in Queensland that employ workers are legally obliged to insure them against work-related injuries. A workplace shoulder injury is covered under WorkCover insurance or a workers' compensation scheme policy held by the employer. These are applicable to injuries that occur whilst you're at work, carrying out work tasks or while travelling to and from work.
When you claim workers compensation for a shoulder injury, workers compensation schemes usually provide a percentage of your wage, whilst you're unable to work as well as medical treatment, medication, rehabilitation, hospital and travel expenses.
Doctors use tables and scales to determine the impairment rating of a worker after a shoulder injury. Injured workers receive an offer of a lump sum compensation based on their work-related impairment or degree of permanent impairment (WRI/DPI).
You may also, or instead be able to make a common-law claim if your employer has been negligent or otherwise failed in their responsibility for your health and safety.
Motor vehicle accidents include those in which the following vehicles are involved:
CTP (compulsory third party) insurance provides for compensation payouts for people injured or killed when a vehicle is involved in an accident. We have referred to common shoulder vulnerability and injuries above. During a motor vehicle accident, the occupants of the vehicle are jolted about and their shoulders often bump against hard surfaces.
In this case, the injured person's claim is against the CTP insurer of the vehicle at fault. The driver or passenger in a vehicle or even a pedestrian bystander may claim compensation provided they suffered personal injury and did not cause the accident.
If the details of the at-fault vehicle are unknown or the vehicle was unregistered at the time of the car accident, you may still be able to submit a claim for compensation via the state government's 'Nominal Defendant Fund'.
Find out more about making a car accident compensation claim.
When thinking about shoulder injuries resulting from slip and fall injuries, you may tend to think about the scenario when you slip and fall on a wet floor in a shopping centre.
However, personal injury claims can occur in other places as well, like:
These claims fall under Public Liability insurance. Businesses, individuals and organisations have a duty of care to those on their premises, where harm could be reasonably foreseeable.
It has to be proved that the person or business owed the claimant a duty of care; that they breached the duty of care; they should have known it would cause a injury; you were hurt and suffered an injury as a result thereof.
The medical evidence of your shoulder injury is essential. Medical assessments, treatment and reports serve as crucial evidence to substantiate your claim.
Doctors determine the nature and extent of shoulder injuries through physical examination, X-rays and Ultrasound. If these methods are inconclusive, doctors will resort to CT (Computed Tomography) and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans.
You should meticulously keep a record of all your injuries, medical treatment and expenses. It is a good idea to take photos of your injury (or have them taken) and the place where your shoulder injury occurred. Write down what happened to you while the incident is still fresh in your mind. Obtain the contact details of any witnesses.
Make notes of lost wages and expenses relating to your shoulder injury claim. Keep your medical evidence safe and share it with your appointed lawyer.
Strict time limitations apply to a shoulder injury claim in Queensland so you are encouraged to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
A Notice of Claim for compensation payouts for shoulder injuries must usually be served on the party at fault within 9 months of the injury or within 1 month of consulting a lawyer whichever is first.
Under certain circumstances and if you show good reason, an application for an extension may be made.
Court claims must be instituted within 3 years of the accident.
As each case is different, it will depend on the nature and severity of your shoulder injury; what treatment you may need; how long it takes for your injured shoulder to stabilize; and the presence of other medical conditions.
The less serious and straightforward your injury and claim, the sooner you can obtain a shoulder injury settlement and payout. A severe rotator cuff tear that requires surgery may take more time to heal. Also, a shoulder injury that appears slight at first may turn out to present complications later.
Settlements could be resolved within a couple of weeks; between 12 and 18 months; or longer in the case of a common-law claim or severe shoulder injury.
Compensation lawyers will represent you on a no win no fee basis in most personal injury claims. This means that if your claim is unsuccessful, you won't have to pay the lawyer. However, if your worker's claim is successful, you'll have to pay the lawyer's fees.
Smith's Lawyers uphold a no win, no fee, no catch policy and they bear the costs if the claim were to go to court and have an unfavourable outcome. There is no financial risk and in over 25 years they have never had a client out of pocket.
When you receive a shoulder injury compensation payout, your lawyer will receive an agreed-upon percentage of the amount you recover.
In Queensland, the 50/50 rule applies which caps the fees a law practice can charge in personal injury compensation claims. It states that a law practice is entitled to charge no more than half the amount to which they're entitled under a judgment or settlement after deducting certain expenses a client is required to pay, including disbursements. Disbursements are the costs incurred by a legal firm in pursuing your claim.
Yes, you can. Any injured worker can represent themselves in a personal injury claim.
As mentioned, shoulder injury claims can be complicated and it is important to have a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer looking after your best interests. He or she will be able to ascertain whether your injuries are correctly assessed and be able to fully investigate issues like employer negligence or possible other options for you.
At times, engaging with a compensation lawyer can be quite costly. However, Smith's Lawyers offers a No Win, No Fee, No Catch promise which provides no financial risk to their clients. only charge for the actual work done, not a fixed percentage.
There are no hidden fees. In over 25 years we have never had a client out of pocket.
If you suffer injuries whilst at work, and you are looking for further information in terms of making a claim. Here at Smith's Lawyers, we offer a free consultation for injured people looking to seek compensation. As mentioned before, we also have a "No Win. No Fee. No Catch." policy, which means you will never be out of pocket.
Get in touch with us today to give yourself the best opportunity to understand your rights.
I would highly recommend Smith’s Lawyers. The work they put into my case was exceptional, even with such a busy working life and at most times being unreachable. They went above and beyond to ensure the best possible outcome. I am very pleased with their work and the result.
"I highly recommend Smith’s Lawyers! They are very easy to deal with, all staff from the reception ladies through to the lawyers are friendly and action emails and phone messages promptly. I couldn’t have asked more from any of the team. I’ll certainly use Smith’s again in the future if I need to"
"Greg, Luke and the team at Smiths Lawyers were absolutely amazing in the handling of my cases from day one they were so proactive right through to finalisation of my claim. It’s true what they say no win no fee ( A broad statement) we won my claim and the cost associated with the claim was as such after deductions."
"People cringe at the thought of dealing with lawyers but my experience so far has been an absolute pleasure."