Shoulder injuries can vary in severity from mild muscle aches to serious ligament damage or even fractures and dislocations. When these types of injuries occur, it can affect your range of movement, which might make it difficult (or impossible) to carry out your usual daily activities.
Although accidents and injuries can occur anywhere, it’s not unusual for people to sustain physical harm while they’re performing their duties at work. Fortunately, the PA Workers Compensation Act entitles employees to claim workers’ comp if they experience an injury in the course of their duties.
If you’ve been hurt at work and want to claim workers’ comp, there are some steps you’ll need to follow, including:
1. Get Medical Treatment
Getting medical treatment should be your first priority following any type of injury. Although you might assume your shoulder injury is relatively mild at first, it could worsen over time. By consulting a doctor, you can ensure that the injury is fully diagnosed and obtain any treatment you need. In addition to this, you’re likely to need to medical evidence to confirm what injuries you’ve sustained and how they occurred if your workers’ comp claim is disputed by your employer.
2. Keep Evidence Relating to Your Injuries
When an accident occurs, the shock can make it difficult to recall the incident at a later date. By writing your own personal account of how the accident occurred, you can ensure that you have all the details available. Additionally, if you’re given any copies of paperwork or your medical records, be sure to keep them safe in case they need to be used when you’re making a workers’ comp claim.
3. Notify Your Employer
In Pennsylvania, you’re required to notify your employer of a work-related injury or illness within 120 days. In practice, however, you should notify your employer as soon as possible. Delays to notifications can result in your claim being rejected, or your benefits being postponed. Furthermore, telling your employer that you’ve been hurt may enable them to implement new safety procedures that could prevent other people from being hurt in a similar way.
4. Get Legal Advice
You don’t have to hire a lawyer in order to claim workers’ comp, but it can be advisable to do so. The claims procedure can be notoriously difficult to navigate and, if you’re recovering from a serious injury, you won’t want to deal with the stress and hassle of fighting a workers’ comp claim.
By getting legal advice from a workers’ comp lawyer, however, you can ensure that an experienced professional is handling your claim while you’re recuperating. Not only will this increase the chances of your claim being successful, but it should also ensure that you receive the full amount of benefits you’re entitled to.
Recovering from a Shoulder Injury
Depending on the severity of your shoulder injury, it could take weeks or months to recover, or you might be permanently affected. Due to this, it’s important to follow your doctor’s advice and avoid rushing back to work too quickly. By getting the workers’ comp benefits you’re entitled to, you can ensure that you won’t suffer financially while you’re recovering from a work-related injury.