Home » Work Injuries » How To Handle A Shoulder Injury At Work


How you handle your work-related shoulder injury will have an impact on the type and amount of benefits received. Prompt medical treatment is the first concern. The law requires notice to the employer. A journal of the injury’s impact on your life is often a good idea.
A shoulder injury is one of the most common workplace accidents in New Jersey. This includes damage to the rotator cuff. A shoulder injury can arise in all types of work environments. For example, industries like trucking have a significantly higher percentage of shoulder injuries. This is due to the significant risk of injury inherent in the job. A workplace fall or awkward lifting can also tear the rotator cuff portion of the shoulder. Medical treatment and time off work to recover can result. 

What Does A Rotator Cuff Tear Look Like?

Rotator cuff tear anatomy diagram in anterior and lateral view
Rotator Cuff Tear

A physician may recommend surgery. There are several surgical options to discuss with your authorized medical provider. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons maintains a resource on surgical options for a torn rotator and post-op care. Arthroscopic surgery is often the most minimally invasive surgical technique. This can allow for increased speed of recovery for rotator cuff tears.

A workers comp settlement for a rotator cuff tear might reflect loss of range of motion in the shoulder, loss of strength and/or numbness in the shoulder. These are potentially relevant current symptoms. Such symptoms are important for assessing the settlement value of your case. What your case is worth will depend on the unique facts and circumstances of your rotator cuff injury, treatment and recovery including work restrictions, if any.

Workers Comp Shoulder Settlement for Rotator Cuff Tear

A rotator cuff tear is a serious shoulder injury. But, there are full recoveries including the cases of Kobe Bryant. The star guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, who tore his right shoulder rotator cuff in a game against the New Orleans Pelicans during the 2014-2015 season. A rotator tear on his working (shooting) shoulder. He claimed to have had shoulder pain for a long time before the game. He adjusted himself and played through the pain and discomfort.
Kobe executed a two-handed dunk in the third quarter of the game. He was taken to the locker room shortly afterwards. He underwent surgery soon thereafter to repair the tear. The injury appears to have been what workers comp calls a traumatic injury. That is an event on a certain day and time was the cause of the injury. But the injury may have been what workers comp called an occupational injury. That is an ongoing series of repetitive movements over the course of time resulted in his rotator cuff tear.
Kobe recuperated for the rest of the season. He returned without restrictions the following year after being medically cleared to play. The clearance was nine months after the surgery. Kobe retired following the 2015-2016 season. This icon of professional sports and American culture tragically died in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020, along with his daughter Gianna
Kobe Bryant smiling after recovery from a shoulder injury
Kobe Bryant

Just Hurt My Shoulder On The Job-What Should I Do?

Authorized treating physician examining an injured employee

1. Get Medical Help

You need to see a doctor right away to diagnose your problem and begin a course of treatment if needed. You should receive any medically necessary treatment. Your employer should authorize a specific medical provider for you. If you have an emergency medical situation then you can proceed to get the medical attention you need immediately from an available medical provider. Keep a record of the treatment for your attorney.

2. Give Your Employer Notice

You need to tell your employer what happened to cause you to get hurt on the job. The specific day and time, key facts on how the injury occurred with names of any witnesses to the event. Notification triggers a host of responsibilities of the employer. This includes the filing of a report known as the employer’s First Report of Injury and information to the workers compensation insurance carrier of the accident assuming the employer is not self-insured.

3. Keep a Journal

How does this injury impact your life? Note for your work injury attorney activities that you are no longer able to do. Also, those activities that you do on a more limited basis. This information is important. It will “fill in the blanks” of how this workplace injury has caused a change in lifestyle and affected your normal everyday routine.

Summary Flow Chart on How To Handle a Shoulder Injury at Work

Please see below an important diagram of some basic concepts on how to handle a shoulder injury at work.

Key steps to handle a shoulder injury at work

How To Move On After A Hard Stop To Life From A Workplace Accident?

The best way to move on is to assemble a team around you to help you fight for your present recovery and future security. A New Jersey Workman Comp attorney should be a vital part of your team. Workers Comp in New Jersey is an adversarial process. You have a life to live. You have worked hard for what you have. Your lawyer should be part of the solution. That is, getting you back to your everyday life to the greatest possible including working toward your life goals. Last but not least, our contact number is (856) 596-8000.

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