Slap Tear Workers’ Compensation Settlement

slap tear workers' compensation settlement

Shoulder injuries are all too common in the workplace. From repetitive motions to sudden accidents, the shoulder joint is susceptible to a range of injuries, including labral tears. Among these, SLAP (Superior Labrum Anterior to Posterior) tears stand out as a significant concern for workers. If you’ve experienced a SLAP tear in the workplace, navigating the complexities of workers’ compensation and legal settlements can be daunting. This article aims to shed light on SLAP tears, their implications, and the process of seeking compensation.

What is a SLAP Tear?

Before delving into the intricacies of workers’ compensation settlements, let’s understand what a SLAP tear entails. The labrum is a ring of fibrous cartilage surrounding the shoulder socket, aiding in stability and movement. A SLAP tear occurs when the top of the upper arm bone pops out of the cup-shaped shoulder socket, often resulting from repetitive overhead motions or acute trauma.

Types and Symptoms of Labral Tears

Labral tears can vary in severity and location. Common types include SLAP tears, Bankart lesions, and posterior labral tears. Regardless of the type, symptoms may include:

  • Shoulder pain: Especially with overhead movements or lifting.

  • Decreased range of motion: Difficulty reaching behind or overhead.

  • Popping or clicking sensation: Often felt during shoulder movement.

  • Weakness in the shoulder: Difficulty with activities requiring strength.

Causes of Labral Tears

Labral tears can result from various workplace activities and accidents, including:

  • Repetitive motions: Such as overhead lifting or carrying.

  • Falls: Landing on an outstretched arm can cause significant trauma to the shoulder.

  • Forceful pulling: Sudden, forceful pulling motions can strain the shoulder joint.

Identifying the precise cause of your labral tear is crucial for pursuing a workers’ compensation claim.

Diagnosing and Treating Shoulder Labral Tears

If you suspect a labral tear, seeking prompt medical attention is essential. Diagnosis typically involves a combination of physical examination, imaging tests (such as MRI or CT scans), and sometimes, diagnostic injections. Treatment options may include:

  • Physical therapy: Strengthening exercises and stretching can help improve shoulder stability.

  • Medications: Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs may alleviate symptoms.

  • Steroid injections: These can provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation.

  • Surgery: In severe cases or if conservative measures fail, arthroscopic surgery may be necessary to repair the torn labrum.

Workers’ Compensation for Labral Tear Shoulder Injuries

If you’ve sustained a labral tear as a result of a work-related accident or repetitive stress on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under California law. Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that provides medical benefits, wage replacement, and other forms of assistance to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses.

Can You Receive a Settlement for a Labral Tear in the Shoulder?

Yes, you may be eligible for a workers’ compensation settlement to compensate you for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages resulting from the injury. However, the amount of the settlement can vary widely depending on a variety of factors, including the severity of the injury, the extent of your medical treatment, and the impact of the injury on your ability to work and perform daily activities.

Factors Affecting Your Settlement

Several factors can influence the amount of your workers’ compensation settlement for a labral tear shoulder injury. These may include:

  1. Severity of Injury: The extent of the SLAP tear influences settlement value, with more severe tears often resulting in higher settlements.

  2. Treatment Expenses: Settlement amounts are impacted by the total cost of medical treatment, including surgeries, therapy, and ongoing care.

  3. Degree of Disability: Settlements consider how the injury affects the ability to work and perform daily tasks, especially if it leads to permanent impairment.

  4. Lost Wages: Compensation for time off work due to the injury and potential future loss of earnings is factored into settlements.

  5. Negotiation Skills: The expertise of legal representation influences the ability to negotiate higher settlement amounts.

  6. Pre-existing Conditions: Insurance companies may argue that the injury existed before the workplace incident, affecting settlement value.

  7. Age and Occupation: Your age and occupation may also play a role in determining the amount of your settlement, as older workers or those in physically demanding jobs may be more severely impacted by a labral tear injury.

How to Calculate the Value of Your Settlement

Calculating the value of your workers’ compensation settlement for a labral tear shoulder injury can be complex, as it involves assessing various factors and determining the appropriate compensation for each. Typically, your settlement will include compensation for:

  1. Medical Expenses: This includes the cost of all necessary medical treatment for your injury, including doctor’s visits, surgeries, physical therapy, and medications.

  2. Lost Wages: If your injury has caused you to miss work or has resulted in a permanent disability that affects your earning capacity, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages.

  3. Pain and Suffering: Estimate compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and the impact on your daily life.

  4. Permanent Disability: If your labral tear results in a permanent impairment that affects your ability to work or perform daily activities, you may be eligible for additional compensation for permanent disability.

  5. Legal Fees: Remember that your attorney’s fees will be deducted from your settlement amount, typically on a contingency basis.

How to Maximize the Value of Your Settlement

While every case is unique, there are several steps you can take to maximize the value of your workers’ comp settlement for a labral tear shoulder injury:

  1. Report the Injury Promptly: Be sure to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible after it occurs, as there are strict time limits for filing a workers’ compensation claim in California.

  2. Seek Medical Treatment: It’s essential to seek prompt medical attention for your injury and follow your doctor’s recommendations for treatment and rehabilitation.

  3. Document Everything: Keep detailed records of all medical treatment related to your injury, including doctor’s visits, diagnostic tests, medications, and physical therapy sessions.

  4. Follow Through with Treatment: Attend all scheduled medical appointments and follow your doctor’s recommendations for treatment and rehabilitation to ensure the best possible outcome for your injury.

  5. Consult with an Attorney: Consider consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can help you navigate the claims process, advocate for your rights, and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.

Sample Labral Tear Settlements & Verdicts

While the value of workers’ compensation settlements for labral tear shoulder injuries can vary widely depending on the specific circumstances of each case, here are some sample labral tear shoulder settlements and verdicts from California:

  1. $100,000 Settlement: A construction worker sustained a labral tear in a fall from scaffolding and underwent shoulder surgery to repair the injury. The worker received a $100,000 settlement to compensate for medical expenses and lost wages.

  2. $150,000 Verdict: A warehouse employee developed a labral tear due to repetitive lifting and reaching tasks on the job. The employee underwent surgery and received a $150,000 verdict in a workers’ compensation lawsuit.

  3. $200,000 Settlement: A car accident victim obtained a $200,000 settlement for a labral tear or rotator cuff injury. The settlement covered medical expenses, rotator cuff tears surgeries, rehabilitation, and long-term impact on quality of life.

  4. $80,000 Verdict: A warehouse worker received an $80,000 verdict for a workplace accident resulting in a labral tear. The compensation included medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress.

  5. $175,000 Settlement: A customer injured in a slip-and-fall accident at a retail store settled for $175,000. The settlement compensated for medical treatment, pain and suffering, and future medical needs.

Average Labral Tear Shoulder Settlement

The average labral tear shoulder settlement can vary widely depending on factors such as the severity of the injury, medical expenses, lost wages, and the jurisdiction where the claim is filed. In particular, the average settlement for SLAP (Superior Labrum, Anterior to Posterior) injuries, as indicated by examples on this page, spans from $60,000 to $1,000,000, with a median settlement of $448,750.

Challenges in Proving Your Case

While workers’ compensation is designed to provide benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries, proving your case can sometimes be challenging, especially in cases of labral tears and other soft tissue injuries. Common challenges include:

  1. Pre-existing Conditions: If you have a pre-existing shoulder injury or condition, the insurance company may argue that your labral tear is not entirely work-related, which could impact your eligibility for benefits.

  2. Complexity of diagnosis: SLAP tears can mimic other shoulder injuries, leading to misdiagnosis or delayed treatment.

  3. Causation: Establishing a clear link between your injury and your job duties can be difficult, particularly if the injury developed gradually over time rather than as a result of a specific accident.

  4. Insurance Company Tactics: Insurance companies often employ various tactics to minimize or deny claims, including surveillance, independent medical examinations, and delaying tactics.

How an Attorney Can Help You in a SLAP Tear Workers’ Compensation Case

In the realm of workers’ compensation claims involving SLAP tear injuries or any other shoulder-related issues, enlisting the support of an experienced attorney can be invaluable. Here’s how an attorney can assist you throughout the process:

  1. Understanding Your Rights: Your attorney explains your entitlements under workers’ compensation laws, including medical treatment coverage, disability benefits, and compensation for lost wages.

  2. Identifying Potential Compensation: Assessing the possibility of additional compensation through third-party liability claims if your injury resulted from a defective product or negligence.

  3. Gathering Evidence: Your attorney collects compelling evidence, such as medical records and witness statements, to support your claim.

  4. Establishing Causation: Your attorney works to establish a clear link between your job duties and the development of your SLAP tear, strengthening your case.

  5. Handling Communication: Your attorney manages all communication with insurance adjusters, protecting your rights and interests.

  6. Negotiating Fair Settlements: Your attorney evaluates settlement offers, advises on their fairness, and advocates for better terms if necessary.

  7. Advocating for You: Your attorney presents your case persuasively and defends your rights before a judge or administrative law judge if necessary.

  8. Handling Appeals: Your attorney guides you through the appeals process, filing paperwork and presenting arguments to challenge unfavorable decisions.

slap tear workers' compensation settlement

Secure Your Shoulder Injury Settlement with BLG

Suffering a labral tear shoulder injury can be a painful and distressing experience, but you don’t have to navigate it alone. If you’ve sustained a shoulder labrum tear in a work-related incident in California, it’s essential to understand your rights and options for workers’ compensation benefits. By seeking prompt medical attention, documenting your injury and treatment, and consulting with an experienced attorney, you can maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injury and getting the support you need to recover and move forward with your life.

Are you struggling to steer the complexities of a SLAP tear workers’ compensation settlement? Don’t shoulder the burden alone! At BLG, we specialize in advocating for individuals like you who have suffered shoulder injuries in the workplace. Our dedicated team of legal experts is ready to fight for the compensation you deserve.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

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