Last Updated: 3/16/2023
A rotator cuff injury can prevent you from doing your job. If your rotator cuff injury was caused by a work-related activity, then you are probably eligible for workers’ compensation insurance. Workers' comp also covers rotator cuff surgery. Here’s what you should know:
What is a rotator cuff injury?
A rotator cuff injury is an injury to the group of muscles and tendons around the shoulder joint. These injuries cause tears and stretches in the rotator cuff, which can lead to the following symptoms listed below.
- Loss of mobility
- Arm weakness
A rotator cuff injury can make performing basic tasks complicated. In fact, it can even be a significant impediment to the most routine activities, including sleep.
Causes of Rotator Cuff Injuries
It is rare for a rotator cuff injury to be sustained as an acute injury type; rather, rotator cuff injuries often develop over time. Usually, degeneration of the tendon is to blame. Repetitive overhead motions or lifting heavy materials for extended periods of time cause degeneration. For this reason, warehouse and construction workers may be at increased risk of sustaining a rotator cuff injury.
Does workers’ compensation cover rotator cuff injuries?
Workers’ compensation insurance in Iowa is designed to cover all injuries that occur during work-related activities. As such, a rotator cuff injury that occurs during an employee activity should be covered under workers’ compensation insurance. Workers' comp covers rotator cuff surgery as well.
Types of Benefits for Rotator Cuff Injuries Under Workers’ Comp
Medical benefits, in their full amount, are paid under workers’ compensation insurance for work-related injuries. In addition to medical expenses benefits, an injured worker suffering from a rotator cuff injury may be eligible for disability benefits. Disability benefits can help pay lost wages for missed time from work as a result of the injury.
Surgery to Repair Damage from a Work Injury is Covered
Workers' compensation benefits are required to cover all reasonable medical costs related to recovery and rehabilitation from a work-related injury. If your doctor is suggesting surgery to repair your torn rotator cuff; it is a medically necessary procedure for your recovery and therefore covered by your benefits.
An example of when your treatment may be denied is when you elect to undergo an experimental or elective procedure. If you wanted to try acupuncture instead of the doctor-recommended surgery, your workers' compensation benefits might not cover acupuncture treatments because it is not a doctor-approved treatment option.
Make Sure You Follow Doctor's Orders
When you are receiving workers' compensation benefits for an extended period it's important to follow all of your doctor's instructions. If you need surgery, you should follow the doctor's advice and go for the procedure. Following your rotator cuff surgery, you should follow instructions for bed rest, keeping the shoulder immobilized, and taking appropriate medications.
Don’t return to work until your doctor allows you to do so. Some workers worry that their employer won’t have any work for them and so attempt to return to work early. Don’t do this, and if you are running into problems with your employer after a work accident, exercise your rights by hiring a workers’ comp attorney.
How to Get Started
The first step of filing your workers’ compensation claim and recovering benefits is to notify your employer of your injury. Then, you’ll need to make sure that you have medical evidence to substantiate your injury and its cause. Remember, if the rotator cuff injury isn’t directly related to a work-related task, you may not be eligible for benefits.
To help you file your claim, negotiate a fair workers’ compensation insurance amount and make sure that your claim isn’t denied, hire an attorney. At Walker, Billingsley & Bair, we know how debilitating a rotator cuff injury can be. We also know how much it can affect your ability to do your job and earn a living. To ensure that you get the benefits that you deserve, let us represent you. Call us at (888) 435-9886 or contact us online today.