How Much is My Shoulder Injury Worth under Iowa Work Comp Law?

In Iowa, we see lots of work related shoulder injuries and potential clients call our office every week asking how much is my work comp shoulder injury worth?  We tell them that it depends upon the facts in there case.  If they have made a good recovery and returned back to their regular job, it is worth a lot less than if they have permanent restrictions which their employer could not accommodate and they lost there job.  Because the value of a shoulder injury is so fact dependent, we cannot answer your question without knowing your facts, but we will provide you with some general information. 

First of all, if you have a permanent shoulder injury caused by your work, your permanent compensation is based upon 500 weeks of benefits.  For example, if it is determined that you have 20% industrial disability (please remember that your impairment rating is much different than your industrial disability) then you should receive 100 weeks of permanent compensation (20% X 500 = 100 weeks).  The weekly amount is the same amount that you are paid for the time that you missed from work called your weekly rate.  Your permanent compensation is supposed to be paid back in a lump-sum, plus interest to the date that you last received TTD (temporary total disability) benefits or if you never missed work back to the date you were injured. 

Here is a partial list of some of the things that are considered when assessing your permanent compensation (also known as industrial disability) for a shoulder injury in Iowa under the workers' compensation system:

  • Permanent impairment rating (don’t get too concerned if your rating is relatively low like 5% as it is generally based only on your lack of range of motion in your shoulder)
  • Permanent work restrictions (these are much more important that your impairment rating);
  • Type of medical care, for example rotator cuff surgery, distal clavicle excision, torn labrum surgery, total shoulder replacement, steroid injections, etc.
  • Your educational level;
  • Age;
  • Earnings;
  • Earnings history for the past 5 years;
  • If you have been able to return to the same job that you were doing when you were hurt, or not; and more . . . .

Keep in mind that the insurance company will probably send you a letter setting forth how much they have paid you for your time off work and how much they plan to pay you for your impairment rating.  Impairment ratings for shoulder injuries can vary from 0% to as high as 50% to the whole person.  Remember, your impairment rating is only one factor so if your rating is 10%, but you have permanent work restrictions placing you in the "sedentary" or "light" work category then your industrial disability is likely much higher than 10%.  You can cash the checks that the insurance company sends you for your impairment rating, but before you agree to any type of settlement, you should consult with a qualified Iowa workers compensation attorney so you do not make a mistake.  Remember that often you are owed more than the impairment rating that the insurance company wants for you to accept.  If you would like to know more about "how much is my shoulder injury worth" call our office now and ask to speak with one of our attorneys.  If an attorney is not immediately available then ask to schedule a no cost Iowa workers compensation evaluation. 

Iowa Workers' Compensation GuideTo receive a Free book entitled "Iowa Workers' Compensation- An Insider's Guide to Work Injuries" which describes Iowa work injuries including the "7 Mistakes To Avoid If You Are Hurt At Work" Call Now 1-800-707-2552 (ext. 511) (24 Hour Recorded Message) or log onto www.IowaWorkInjury.comWhy offer a Book at No Cost?  Iowa Workers' Compensation Attorney Corey J. L. Walker practices primarily in workers' compensation law and has represented hundreds of Iowans hurt at work and has seen too many clients from Des Moines, Newton, Cedar Rapids and throughout the state of Iowa make mistakes before they had the “right” information about work injuries resulting in them losing thousands of dollars.  Iowans hurt at work are beginning to realize that the insurance company is not there to help them and that they should have someone on their side.  Finally, you can learn about work injuries in the comfort of your own home with no cost, risk or obligation.  For immediate assistance call 515-440-2852 and ask for Corey.

Corey Walker
With over 20 years legal experience, Corey has been recognized for his work as an injury attorney.