Shoulder InjuryCompensation Claims

Shoulder injuries are debilitating and can seriously impede an injured person's life. The injury has knock-on effect repercussions on a person's mobility at work and at home.

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.

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Shoulder Injury Compensation Claim Types

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.

Shoulder Injury at Work
Workers in the workplace, particularly in factories, workshops, and construction sites are often exposed to risks and accidents. Think of building sites with scaffolding, falling objects, ladders; factories with machinery; lack of personal protection equipment; inadequate training; lifting and carrying heavy objects; also office accidents like slipping on stairs.

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 while you're at work or while travelling to and from work.

When you claim worker's compensation for a shoulder injury, Workers' compensation covers workers for up to 85% of your weekly wage while you're unable to work as well as medical treatment and 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).

Worksafe regards shoulder injuries as a type of permanent impairment. However, to be able to claim workers' compensation, you need to meet a certain disability rating (degree of impairment) which is measured via WorkSafe's whole person impairment (WPI) percentages.

In order to qualify for a permanent impairment benefit, your whole person impairment percentage must be more than 10%.

You may also, or instead be able to make a common-law claim through the courts if your employer has been negligent or otherwise failed in his responsibility for your health and safety.
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Shoulder Injury Due to a Motor Vehicle Accident
Motor vehicle accidents include those in which the following vehicles are involved: motor vehicles, motorcycles, bikes, buses, trains and trucks. This 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 bump against hard surfaces.

In this case, the injured person's claim is against the CTP (Compulsory Third Party) 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.

You should undergo a thorough medical examination and obtain a lawyer's advice before putting your signature on any document or settlement offer from the other party as you may lose your right to claim compensation.

Find out more about making a car accident compensation claim.
A Shoulder Injury Caused by Slip and Fall
In this instance, you tend to think about the scenario when you slip and fall on a wet floor in a shopping centre or supermarket with no 'caution' sign displayed. You could slip and fall on the stairs, escalator or lifts.

Personal injury claims can occur in other places as well, like, hotels and cafés, schools, entertainment venues, footpaths; even shoulder injuries sustained inside your rental home or someone else's home.

These claims fall under Public Liability insurance. Businesses, individuals and organisations have a duty of care to avoid harm to others on their premises where the harm could be reasonably foreseeable.

You have to prove that the person or business owed you a duty of care; that they breached the duty of care; they should have known it would cause a shoulder injury; you were hurt and suffered an injury as a result thereof.

In a recent case, a claim for a shoulder injury against McDonald's was dismissed. It was found that the woman sustained the injuries as a consequence of her failure to pay attention to where she was walking. CCTV footage was presented in evidence.
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What Evidence is Required to Make a Shoulder Injury Workers' Compensation Claim?
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.
Is There a Time Limit for Making a Shoulder Injury Compensation Claim?
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.
How Long do Shoulder Injury Settlements Usually Take?
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.
How Much Does it Cost to Lodge a Shoulder Injury Compensation Claim?
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.

Most lawyers are usually paid between 10 to 20% of a worker's compensation settlement award. 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.
What Are The Average Payouts for Shoulder Injury Claims?
Under the WorkCover system, if you succeed in an impairment lump sum for your shoulder injury, you could receive a minimum amount of $ 21,000. It could be more if your injury required surgery.

According to Worksafe statistics, the average cost of a finalised common law claim was $ 172,472 for 2020/21.

The Supreme Court of Queensland in 2017 awarded a compensation amount of $231,22.45 to an employee against his employer for shoulder injuries sustained in the workplace. The employer was required to lift and stack cartons in a warehouse in certain ways. During the course of a workday, he would make those movements 1,600 times.

When he was employed, the worker already had a pre-existing degenerative condition in his shoulder. The work movement strain aggravated his condition and produced a form of bursitis in his rotator cuff. The injured worker nevertheless received a payout for his injured shoulder joints.

In another recent case Supreme Court eventually awarded the worker damages in the amount of $482,696.99. A reduction of 10% was made due to the worker's contribution to the circumstances of the accident. The impact on the injured worker's future earnings (as confirmed by the medical evidence) formed the primary basis for the award.
Can I Represent Myself When Making a Shoulder Injury Workers' Compensation 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 promisewhich 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.
Lodge A "No Win No Fee" Claim
If you suffer injuries while at work, you don't have to worry about the whole process of making your claim or the legal fees involved. Here at Smith's Lawyers, we offer free consultation services for injured workers looking to kickstart their claims. As mentioned before, we also have a no-win no fee, no catch policy.
Get in touch with us to give yourself the best opportunity to receive the maximum compensation possible for your claim.
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