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Workers’ Compensation for Upper Extremity Injuries
Hand, Wrist, Elbow and Shoulder Injuries
If you have a workers’ compensation claim involving hand, wrist, elbow or shoulder injury it is advisable to seek the legal help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Missouri workers’ compensation does not treat Claimant’s with upper extremity injuries fairly and will underpay you for your injuries if you do not have knowledgeable legal representation familiar with workers’ compensation laws.
Wrist, Elbow and Hand Injuries
Your hand and wrist are made up of many small bones in the carpal, the metacarpal and the phalanges, and they also have both the medium and ulnar nerve which can be easily damaged from work injuries. We commonly see carpal tunnel syndrome cases, ulnar nerve transpositions, and other wrist and hand injuries from both trauma and repetitive motion. Because hands and wrists can be fragile, it is important to have an expert testifying to the disability in hand and wrist injury cases.
In Missouri, if you had your hand amputated at the wrist, the permanent partial disability schedule allots for 175 weeks of disability (the number of weeks is increased by 10% for the dismemberment which would qualify you for 197 weeks). The forearm is worth 200 weeks of pay and the elbow is worth 210 weeks of pay. A severe shoulder injury is worth 232 weeks of disability payment. This means that if a person loses an arm at the shoulder the insurance company claims that the victim is only entitled to 232 weeks of disability payment at 2/3 of their salary, sometimes less.
This is not very much money if you sustain a severe injury and workers’ compensation in Missouri does not pay for pain and suffering. It is your workers’ compensation attorney’s job, combined with your efforts, to prove that you have permanent partial disability to that body part caused by the personal injury you sustained. In order to prove disability, your attorney should engage the services of a physician to opine as to the cause of your disability and the percentage of disability you have sustained. At Cantor & Burger, we advance this expense and you do not need any money to go to our doctor for an evaluation, just like you do not need any money to hire us.
If you have an injury to your hand or wrist, forearm or elbows please call us at (314) 542-9999 so we can get you the money that you deserve, the medical attention that you require and the lost wages that you are entitled to under the law. We do this based on a contingency fee and only get paid if we win for you.
Rotator Cuff and Shoulder Injuries
At Cantor & Burger, we have experience working with individuals who have suffered rotator cuff and shoulder injuries on the job. The rotator cuff in the shoulder is the most complex joint in the body and a rotator cuff injury will affect you for the remainder of your life. It is not uncommon for our clients with rotator cuff injuries to be operated on by an insurance company doctor who then releases the client at maximum medical improvement, when in fact they are continuing to have problems and need more medical care. It has been our experience that rotator cuff injuries are difficult to fix, sometimes involve the bicep and frequently involve the neck.
Rotator Cuff injuries must be handled properly by both the doctor and your lawyer. Often times, conservative insurance company doctors will attempt to endoscopically repair rotator cuff injuries. An endoscopic repair is when the doctor simply makes holes and goes in with a scope in an attempt to do a minor fix. This sometimes works, but rotator cuff injuries frequently require a subsequent “open” procedure, which is where they actually open your shoulder and visualize the injury. Unfortunately, because of the delicacy of the shoulder and rotator cuff, many of our clients have suffered frozen shoulder and other complications as a result of their shoulder injuries. Insurance companies usually do not want to pay for this disability – but they know that they owe for it. Your lawyer should fight to get you the full amount for your rotator cuff injury. Some law firms settle these cases far too quickly. If you have a shoulder injury make sure that the injury is repaired and that you have maximum medical improvement before resolving your workers’ compensation claim.
The Missouri workers’ compensation lawyers at Cantor & Burger are experts at handling workers’ compensation cases and if you are accepted as a client, we will do everything in our power to secure you a settlement or an award, even if the insurance company’s position is that your claim is not valid or compensable. It is important to have your law firm engaged in your workers’ compensation case early in the process. Remember, in Missouri the employer chooses the doctors and the medical providers for your workers’ compensation claim. These people are working in favor of the employer from the very beginning. We encourage you to call Cantor & Burger immediately if you have a workers’ compensation injury so that we can begin protecting your rights as early in the case as possible. Please call us at (314) 542-9999 so we can get you all the medical attention, lost wages, and lump sum payment you deserve for permanent partial disability or permanent total disability.
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