Our firm handles a large number of shoulder injury lawsuits. This post looks at average workers’ comp payout for shoulder injuries in Maryland such as a torn labrum or torn rotator cuff. We will look at some of the most common types of workplace shoulder injuries and examine how the typical course of treatment for these injuries can impact their workers’ comp value in Maryland.
Workplace Shoulder Injuries
The shoulder is a vitally important part of the body with a lot of moving parts. The shoulder joint is where the large ball at the top of the upper arm bone (humerus) connects into the shoulder socket (glenoid). The labrum is a cartilage disc that lines the shoulder socket and functions as a stabilizer to restrict the movement of the humerus ball in the socket. The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that closely encase the shoulder socket basically hold everything in place.
Injuries involving the shoulder are a very common workplace injury. Almost any type of shoulder injury can occur on the job, from a mild sprain to a severe fracture. However, certain types of shoulder injuries are much more common. The types of shoulder injuries that you see most frequently in workers comp cases are:
The labrum is a ring of stiff cartilage in the shoulder socket. A labral tear occurs when this ring of cartilage is torn or damaged. Labral tears are the most common workplace shoulder injury because they can occur from strain on the biceps or from pinching or compression of the shoulder. Labral tears are grouped into 2 types of categories: traumatic and non-traumatic.
Traumatic labral tears are usually injuries that are caused by a single accident that damages the labrum ring. Trying to lift something too heavy or swinging a hammer are examples of activities that can cause traumatic labral tears. Non-traumatic labral tears tend to develop over time because of muscle weakness or shoulder instability. A torn labrum can cause significant and continuing pain in the shoulder. It can also cause significant weakness and instability in the affected shoulder.
Torn Rotator Cuff
The muscles and tendons encasing the shoulder socket and holding it all in place are known collectively as the rotator cuff. Rotator cuff tears are the second most common type of workplace shoulder injury. A torn rotator cuff can result in significant pain and discomfort and often takes a long time to heal.
What Is the Average Maryland Workers Comp Shoulder Injury Settlement?
The average Maryland workers comp payout for shoulder injury claims is about $25,000, which is slightly higher than the average comp payout for back injury claims. The value of an individual injury will depend on a number of factors including the type and severity of the shoulder injury, the level of treatment it requires, and what Maryland jurisdiction your claim is in.
How Impairment Ratings Impact the Value of Workers Comp Shoulder Injury Claims
If you are pursuing a workers’ comp claim for a shoulder injury, a doctor will examine your injury and give you an impairment rating or disablement rating based on his or her examination. The rating is expressed in a percentage range (e.g., 10-30%). This rating is supposed to be a reflection of how serious your injury is and what impact it has on your ability to work. The ratings will often play a key role in dictating the settlement value of your shoulder injury claim.
Level of Treatment Impacts Value of Workers Comp Shoulder Injury Claim
The level of extent of medical treatment that is required for a shoulder injury will have a big impact on the potential payout value of a workers’ comp claim. If a shoulder injury only requires a week or two of physical therapy the workers’ comp claim will have a very limited value. By contrast, an injury that requires surgery and months of recovery will have a much higher value because these medical expenses get factored into the workers’ comp settlement.
Example Maryland Shoulder Injury Comp Payouts
|INJURY / TREATMENT
|Labral tear / extensive physical therapy and pain meds
|Surgery and several years of physical therapy
|Limited physical therapy and single cortisone round
|Surgery, cortisone injection, and extensive therapy
|Surgery, injections, and continuing disablement