When someone is injured in a workplace accident, things like broken bones tend to get the most attention. But while these types of injuries are certainly important to take care of, injuries to the neck, back, and shoulders can hurt you a lot more over the longer term, necessitating complex and costly treatments and sidelining you from work for longer. If you’ve been hurt at work and suffered back, neck, and/or shoulder injuries, call us for a free consultation: We have helped many injured workers in your situation, and we can help you get the maximum compensation possible.
- Typical Back, Neck, and Shoulder Injuries
- How Workers Injure Their Back, Neck, and Shoulders
- Back, Neck, and Shoulder Injury Facts
- Treatment for Workers’ Back, Neck, and Shoulder Injuries
- Filing Claims for Back, Neck, and Shoulder Injuries
- Determining a Worker’s Back, Neck, or Shoulder Injury Claim Value
- Illinois Work Comp Back, Neck, and Shoulder Settlements
- Hire an Experienced Law Firm to Handle Your Work Injury Claim
Typical Back, Neck, and Shoulder Injuries
Illinois has a lot of heavy industry, and working in heavy industry often leads to these kinds of injuries.
- Disk Injury: Slipped or herniated discs in the spine are common in on-the-job injuries, and complications can arise in the neighboring tendons or muscles as well.
- Rotator Cuff: Bones and tendons that surround the shoulder can tear or break in what’s known as a rotator cuff injury. These injuries can keep you out of work for weeks or even months.
- Whiplash: Stop and start moving quickly and you might get whiplash, an injury to the neck that commonly results from a car crash.
- Lower Back Injuries: A strong force or repetitive motion can cause a lower back injury, which can be very painful and last for a long time.
- Sprains/Strains: You might sprain or strain your back, neck, or shoulder, causing pain and a loss of joint function.
No matter how you injure your back, neck, or shoulders on the job, we can help you get compensation. Contact us to file a claim and get relief from the financial toll of these injuries.
How Workers Injure Their Back, Neck, and Shoulders
How do these injuries happen? To understand how workers hurt their back, neck, or shoulders, look to these key factors:
- Repeated Work: Repetitive motion can put significant stress on bones, muscles, and tendons. Examples include loading trucks, hammering, and packaging.
- Accidents: One-off events can hurt the back, neck, or shoulders. You might slip and fall, be struck by a falling object, or be hurt by machinery.
- Equipment: Many workers use heavy equipment like forklifts, drills, and other devices that can subject the neck/back to injuries.
- Travel: Work may require travel, and when you’re driving a company vehicle, you’re always at risk of a car or truck accident that could cause significant injuries.
Back, Neck, and Shoulder Injury Facts
- Nearly all adults injure their backs at some time in their lives, and many of these injuries happen at work.
- Work is responsible for millions of back, neck, and shoulder injuries every year.
- Twenty percent of work injuries are back- or neck-related.
- After cold and flu, more people miss work for back injuries than anything else.
- Common jobs where workers injure these body parts include construction, nursing, moving, janitorial work, trucking, vehicle repair, and manufacturing.
- Back, neck, and shoulder pain from work cost Americans billions of dollars a year.
- These injuries require at least two or three weeks away from work on average to recover.
Treatment for Workers’ Back, Neck, and Shoulder Injuries
Hopefully, you just need rest and relaxation for these injuries, but workers often need more than that. Sometimes, medications or cortisone shots are enough, but other times, braces and other devices may also be needed to stabilize the back, neck, or shoulder and allow them to heal. More severe injuries might require surgery, which is often followed by a lengthy rehabilitation program.
Filing Claims for Back, Neck, and Shoulder Injuries
The workers’ comp system scares many people due a lack of knowledge about how it works. But with our help, you can navigate your compensation options. Illinois has two different ways you can file a claim: with your employer or with the state.
When you seek recovery from your employer, you must give them a written description of what happened within 45 days of the incident (though the state does allow exceptions for injuries that don’t appear right away). They can accept or deny your claim, but either way, they must give you an explanation in writing. If they accept it, they should provide benefits and access to health care. If they deny it, you can appeal to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC). The IWCC will look at the matter and rule.
You can also file your claim directly with the IWCC. This might speed up the process, and it’s a good option if you think your employer will reject your claim. Again, you need to send a claim with a description of your injuries within a set period of time. What you need to write and when you need to send it by depend on the specific details of your accident.
The courts and the workers’ comp system can be complicated, but we can help you to ensure that your rights are protected. Our team has years of experience assisting workers, and we can ensure that you get every dime Illinois allows. To learn about the workers’ comp claim process, call our offices: We will walk you through every step of the way.
Determining a Worker’s Back, Neck, or Shoulder Injury Claim Value
Under Illinois law, you can get compensation for medical costs, lost income, and temporary or permanent disabilities caused by an on-the-job injury. The amount you can recover will depend on the severity of your injuries and how long they kept you away from work. Illinois sets a maximum compensation amount for each body part, multiplying that figure by the percent of disability to arrive at a total. But keep in mind that you may also be able to file suit against third parties, raising the amount of your potential compensation.
Illinois Work Comp Back, Neck, and Shoulder Settlements
Here is a sampling of decisions from the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission that dealt with upper body injuries.
2015: Cook County, 15 I.W.C.C. 0218
The employee in this case was a police officer who worked for the city of Park Ridge. One day at work, his manager instructed him to move some heavy filing cabinets. In the process of doing this, he injured his dominant hand and shoulder. The injuries required surgery to both affected areas as well as rehabilitative care over an extended period of time. Eventually, he was able to return to work at the same salary, but only in a modified capacity. He filed a claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, and they awarded him permanent disability benefits (not temporary because he was compensated in the interim period):
- $664.72 per week for 50 3/5 weeks for permanent partial disability benefits due to a 20% loss of function in the affected arm/elbow
- $664.72 per week for 60 weeks for permanent partial disability benefits due to a 12% loss of function in the affected shoulder
2007: LaSalle County, 04 I.W.C.C. 41351
This dispute involved a 41-year-old mason at a high school. He had to construct a scaffold, so he began putting the pieces together. The individual pieces weighed well more than 100 pounds each. Unfortunately, one got stuck between two others, and while he tried to remove it, he hurt his neck and shoulder. He felt tingling and spasms in the affected areas. To address these injuries, he was forced to undergo multiple surgeries as well as a program of rehabilitative treatment. He was temporarily disabled for almost a year, and when he returned, he could only do light and sedentary work. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission gave him the following benefits:
- $584.87 per week for 139 2/7 weeks for temporary total disability benefits
- $526.38 per week for 370 weeks for permanent partial disability benefits. This represented a 74% loss of function to his body as a whole (combined loss of shoulder, neck, and other injuries).
- $46,905.53 for medical expenses
2015: Jefferson County, 15 I.W.C.C. 0132, Rotator Cuff Workers’ Compensation Settlement
The victim here was a 58-year-old male. He worked as a tank truck driver, and while attempting to unclog a pipe on the truck, he injured his shoulder as the pipe fell onto him. Despite rigorous medical treatments, he still was unable to return to work because he could not lift anything of substantial weight. Therefore, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission decided that he was permanently disabled and awarded him lifetime benefits of $319.99 per week.
2013: McHenry County, 90 I.W.C.C. 62988, Workers’ Comp Back Injury Settlement
A 38-year-old salesman brought a workers’ compensation claim when he slipped and fell at work as well as for years of on-the-job deterioration of his back and shoulders. He pointed to almost 20 years of work in support of his arguments in addition to various surgeries and other medical care he received to address the injuries. At the time of the hearing, he could no longer work anymore because of the cumulative effect of the job on his body. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission awarded him temporary and permanent disability benefits as well as medical expenses:
- $618.23 per week for 1,084 weeks for temporary total disability benefits
- $618.23 per week for life beginning with the date of the commission’s order
2013: Madison County, 12 I.W.C.C. 39942
The petitioner in this case was a 32-year-old bus driver. While working, he was involved in an accident and he lower back, neck, and wrist injuries. He filed a claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission even though many of his injuries had subsided and he did not suffer from any significant temporary disabilities. However, he still sought permanent disability benefits, and the commission agreed that he deserved them. He received $319 per week for 15 weeks in permanent partial disability benefits due to a 3% loss of function in the affected areas of his body.
2013: Cook County, 10 I.W.C.C. 00816, Illinois Workers’ Compensation for Back Injuries
The injured worker in this matter was a 29-year-old grocery store employee. He was bringing in and unloading beer cases when a pile of them toppled over and fell on him. The incident left him with back and knee problems. He had to miss about a month of work and was unable to return to work with the same speed and strength. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission awarded him the following benefits:
- $319 per week for 13 5/7 weeks for temporary total disability benefits
- $309.33 per week for 66.125 weeks for permanent partial disability benefits due to a 7.5% loss of function to his leg and a 10% loss of function to his back/neck
- $6,852.83 for medical expenses
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers stands out among Illinois firms for our commitment to workers’ rights. We fight big companies and make them repay workers for injuries on the job. We do this by connecting clients to our network of legal, medical, and business contacts who can help us make their case.
Contact us for a free consultation: Our Chicago attorneys are experienced with a variety of workplace injury cases, and we work on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t pay anything out of pocket for our services. Call today to see what we can do for you.