You can sustain a shoulder injury at work in a multitude of ways which could leave you unable to work whether for several days, weeks or even months. Your shoulder injury may be so severe that it prevents you from working ever again causing financial hardship, pain and suffering. If you were in an accident at work that left you with a shoulder injury and the incident happened in the last 3 years, you may be entitled to claim compensation from your employer, providing it can be proved they were liable for your injuries due to negligence.
Common Workplace Shoulder Injuries You Could Sustain
There are several types of workplace shoulder injuries that you could sustain in an accident at work which includes the following:
- A damaged rotator cuff
- A fractured bone in your shoulder that could result in a frozen shoulder
- A dislocated shoulder
- Torn ligaments
If you suffered any sort of shoulder injury at work through no fault of your own, you should seek legal advice on whether you would be entitled to file for compensation against your employer. You may find that your employer could be held liable for your injury whether it is due to their negligence or the fact they failed to keep the workplace a safe environment for employees to work in.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Shoulder Injuries at Work?
You can damage your shoulder in various ways in the workplace with the most common causes being listed below:
- A slip, trip and fall
- Lifting items
- Moving items
- Falling from a height
- Insufficient manual handling training
- Slipping on wet floors and surfaces in the workplace
- Incorrect posture when sitting at a work desk
- An item falling from a height onto the shoulder
If you suffered a shoulder injury in an accident at work, you should seek legal advice on whether you have a strong case against a negligent employer and you should do so sooner rather than later to avoid missing the strict 3 year deadline for filing work-related personal injury claims.
How is a Shoulder Injury Assessed?
When it comes to assessing the severity of a shoulder injury, this can often prove challenging. The reason being that even minor damage to any part of your shoulder can result in long-term pain whether your rotator cuff is damaged or whether it is the ligaments and tendons that are negatively impacted. The symptoms associated with a shoulder injury can vary from a slight numbness in an affected area to a total loss of movement and tremendous pain. As such, it is crucial for any sort of shoulder injury to be correctly diagnosed and treated by a doctor as soon after the damage has occurred as possible.
What You Should Do Following a Shoulder Injury at Work?
You should always follow the accident at work procedure that is set out by an employer which should involve seeking first aid from the designated person as soon as you sustain a shoulder injury. Following this, you should seek medical attention and then make sure the following is carried out:
- That the accident and your injuries are reported to the person in charge
- That the incident and the shoulder injury you sustained are recorded in the accident report book. If there is no book, make sure you write down all the details of the accident and your injuries and send the report to your employer keeping a copy for your own records. If you are unable to because your injuries are so severe, make sure a work colleague does this for you
- Make sure the incident is reported to the necessary authorities if it is an “reportable accident”
- Take photos of where the accident occurred
- Take photos of your shoulder injury before you receive any treatment
- Get witness statements and their contact details
- Get an official medical report that provides a detailed account of the extent of the injuries to your shoulder
All of the above provides solid evidence that you sustained your shoulder injury in the workplace and would be needed should you decide to seek compensation for the pain, suffering and expenses you incurred as a direct result of your injuries.
What Level of Compensation Could I Receive in a Shoulder Injury Claim?
When it comes to the level of compensation you may be awarded in a successful shoulder injury claim, it would depend on the severity of your injury and the complexity of your case. It is worth noting that all shoulder injury at work claims are treated as unique and as such, the amount you would be awarded either by a court or by your employer’s insurers should they decide to settle out of court and not dispute your claim, would be calculated on the pain, suffering and out of pocket expenses you incurred together with any loss of earnings, future earnings and the treatment and care you would need to make a full recovery. The amount you would receive would also factor in whether your injuries are life-changing.
What are My Workers Rights After Suffering a Shoulder Injury at Work?
Should you be in an accident at work that leaves you with a shoulder injury, you have certain rights which are detailed below:
- That you are not prevented from seeking compensation for the out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering you had to cope with
- That your job is safe even if you seek compensation from an employer
If your employer makes your life difficult because you choose to file a shoulder injury claim against them, you should seek legal advice on how best to proceed.
Should I Sue My Employer for a Shoulder Injury?
A work-related shoulder injury can leave you incapacitated for days, weeks or even months. The damage you sustain to your shoulder could be so serious that it prevents you from carrying out job and other activities you enjoyed before you suffered a workplace injury ever again. As such, seeking compensation could alleviate any financial burdens you may have to cope with even though the accident at work that left you injured occurred through no fault of your own.
Your employer is legally required to have liability insurance in place and as such, seeking compensation for the out of pocket expenses, pain and suffering you had to cope with would be negotiated by your employer’s insurers and the amount you are awarded in a successful shoulder injury claim would be settled by the insurers and not your employer. It is also worth noting that the majority of accident at work claims are settled before they are heard by a judge with many insurance companies preferring to negotiate a settlement before the case goes to court.
Is There a Time Limit to Filing a Shoulder Injury Claim?
As with all personal injury claims, there is a strict 3 year time limit associated with work-related shoulder injury claims. The time limit starts as follows:
- From the time you sustained your shoulder injury
- From the time you were officially diagnosed as suffering from a work-related shoulder injury
- If you sustained your shoulder injury when you were under the age of 18, the time limit begins from the date of your 18th birthday
It is best to start a shoulder injury claim against an employer as soon as possible because if you wait too long, you could miss out on seeking compensation even if you can prove your employer was negligent in their duty to keep you safe at work which resulted in you sustaining a shoulder injury.
Are There Any Benefits to Working With a Solicitor on a Shoulder Injury Claim?
There are many benefits to working with a solicitor who is an expert in accident at work claims. Not only could it take a lot of pressure and stress off your shoulders, but it could also speed up what is often a complicated, long drawn out legal process. A solicitor has access to legal libraries which is essential when it comes to finding precedents involving shoulder injury claims against employers who failed in their duty to keep employees safe at work. A solicitor would communicate directly with your employer’s insurers and this alone can speed things along considerably.
An accident at work solicitor would also ensure you receive the level of compensation that suits your injuries and the pain and suffering you had to endure. They would ensure that you are compensated for all the out of pocket expenses you incurred as a direct result of having been injured in the workplace through no fault of your own.
Can My Employer Fire Me For Filing a Shoulder Injury Claim?
Your employer cannot fire you should you decide to file a shoulder injury claim against them unless they have a good reason other than the fact you are seeking compensation for doing so. Should your employer show you the door because you choose to seek compensation, you should seek legal advice because you could be entitled to file an “unfair dismissal” claim as well as a shoulder injury claim.
Would a Solicitor Work on a No Win No Fee Basis on My Shoulder Injury Claim?
Employers have a duty of care to keep you safe when you are at work and should they fail to do so, it could entitle you to file an accident at work claim against them without the fear of losing your job. The best course of action following a workplace accident that leaves you with a shoulder injury whether minor or a lot more severe, is to speak to a solicitor and one who is an expert in accident at work claims. A solicitor would typically listen to your case which they would take place in an initial, no obligation consultation that is offered free of charge. In short, you would be provided with valuable legal advice without the worry of finding the funds to pay for it.
Once a solicitor has determined that you have a strong claim and that your employer could be held liable for your injuries, they would offer their legal services to you on a No Win No Fee basis. If you agree to the terms set out in the Conditional Fee Agreement, the solicitor can start working on your claim without you having to pay an upfront fee for them to do so. The contract details the percentage you would pay on a successful shoulder injury claim. This is referred to as a “success fee”.
Should your case not be successful, the solicitor would not raise an invoice for the legal services they provided on your shoulder injury claim, having accepted the risks of losing a case when the Conditional Fee Agreement was signed. It is also worth noting that the percentage you pay would be deducted directly from the amount you are awarded whether you accept an “out of court” settlement on your shoulder injury claim or from the amount of compensation awarded through a court.