Shoulder injuries can have devastating effects on injured Maryland employees and it is important to know how much compensation the injured worker should receive.
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Unfortunately there is no clear answer as to the compensation the injured will receive for their shoulder injury. An introduction to the process of obtaining a rating a how the permanency payments are determined can be found on a separate blog entry of mine. I also discuss other factors that come into consideration when determining the value of a workers’ injury. In regards to a shoulder injury case the estimated value can be determined based on a number of factors including the amount of medical treatment, remaining complaints or problems once discharged from treatment, the wages an employee was making at the time of the accident, future medical coverage expected, the rating and other factors.
As you continue to read on please note that any figures below are very rough estimates and are susceptible to change based on many factors. The form of compensation obtained can be a huge factor in determining the value of any workers compensation case. See settlement versus permanency
The figures below are based on permanency compensation.
Remaining complaints and how they affect settlement value in a shoulder case
A permanency award will be issued by the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission after a hearing or a stipulation has been entered. The permanency award will be based on just that- permanent problems the injured worker has with their shoulder. If the injured worker fully recovers from their accident there could likely be very little if any compensation to be had. Unlike car accident cases, under Maryland Workers Compensation laws pain and suffering during the treatment is not a factor. In some circumstances, just undergoing surgery or treatment and having scars can produce a permanency impairment to the shoulder even if the injured employee has no complaints.
Ratings affect the value of your shoulder injury workers comp case
A rating will be performed and impairment numbers will be issued by both a doctor chosen by the injured workers attorney and by the insurance company. These number are ordinarily a good indication of the lowest possible award that can be expected and the highest possible award that can be expected. If the high number is 20% impairment to the shoulder, and the low number is 2% to the shoulder than it can be expected the award will be somewhere between $1,660 and $33,000. Ratings are helpful to a qualified Maryland workers compensation attorney but can often mislead the injured worker. The drastic difference in numbers above show how ratings can be misleading to claimants.
Workers Comp shoulder injury cases vary in value depending on the workers average weekly wage
The wages an employee earns may hugely effect on the amount of compensation they can expect at a permanency hearing for their shoulder injury. Maryland legislature has provided that the average weekly wage directly affects what the injured worker will receive at permanency. Comparing two individuals with the same exact injury and treatment but with different wages can help shed some light on this problem.
Both employees sustained life altering injuries on January 1, 2016 which resulted in multiple right shoulder surgeries. The last of which was a shoulder replacement. As permanency approached they obtained their ratings, went to a hearing and were both awarded 30% to the shoulder. Employee X is a crossing guard and has an average weekly wage of $50 dollars. Employee Y is an engineer and has an average weekly wage of $1,000. Here are the number and how it would play out.
30% would equal 150 weeks and a second tier rate of 343. Employee X would not be paid at $343 for 150 weeks.
X- 150 x $50= $7,500
Y- 150 x $343= $51,450
This is an example of how wages can grossly affect the amount of a recover and this same scenario does occasionally occur.
Expectations of future medical care will affect the settlement value of your shoulder injury in a workers comp case
Expected future medical care usually has more of an effect on settlement than on permanency however it can be a factor that influences the permanency award when dealing with shoulder injuries. If an injured employee is expected to undergo palliative care such as physical therapy regularly or pain management on a monthly basis this surely is an indication of the severity of the permanent injury.
Amount of treatment is important when determining the value of a shoulder injury in a Maryland workers comp case
The amount of medical treatment the injured worker or claimant received is usually a good indication of how serious they were hurt. The construction worker who just bumps his shoulder on some scaffolding and gets only a week or two physical therapy will likely not walk away with much more than a $5,000.
On the other hand consider the nursing assistant who was attempting to roll over an obese patient when she heard a pop in her left shoulder and could not raise her arm above her rib cage. Perhaps she had an MRI which revealed full thickness tearing, received extensive therapy, cortisone injections and surgery. In this scenario it can be expected to obtain a permanency award of $20,000 or more. Consider though the previously discussed factors. Low wages and little remaining complaints can quickly reduce the expected $20,000 to a few thousand dollars.
For a thorough explanation and discussion about expected settlement or permanency valueon your shoulder case you can contact Maryland workers compensation attorney Andrew M. Rodabaugh Esquire at