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Amazon Workers With Shoulder Injuries

Chicago Lawyers Helping Delivery Employees

Amazon promotes itself as offering great opportunities for workers. However, Amazon workers are under immense pressure to meet delivery deadlines and may sustain serious injuries as a consequence. Shoulder injuries are common when repetitive motion, such as lifting, is a part of the job. The shoulder has several parts and an injury can render a worker unable to perform his or her job duties. Amazon workers with shoulder injuries should talk to the experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca about filing a claim.

Amazon Workers with Shoulder Injuries

The shoulder is a joint where upper arm bones meet the clavicle and scapula. A cup-shaped piece of cartilage called the labrum reinforces the shoulder joint. The shoulders are kept in place by tendons and muscles that form what’s known as the rotator cuff. An injury to any part of the shoulder can make it painful or even impossible to raise or move your arms freely. You may need medical care and may not be able to do your job at Amazon. Workers’ compensation benefits can address the cost of medical care, partial wage replacement, and vocational rehabilitation.

If you’re an Amazon worker with a job-related shoulder injury, Amazon or its insurer is responsible for paying the medical expense for anything that’s reasonably needed to relieve or cure you from the impact of your injury. This may include emergency care, doctor’s visits, physical therapy, chiropractic care and rehabilitation. For example, if you sustain a torn labrum or rotator cuff, you may require surgery. An insurer may seek to avoid surgical treatment because it is more expensive than other medical benefits. You’ll probably be asked to go to an independent medical exam. You should speak with a lawyer if the insurer and independent medical exam physician propose a different treatment than that recommended by your physician.

Independent Medical Exam

In spite of its name, independent medical exams are not necessarily objective. These exams are conducted by doctors who are retained by the insurer and who are known to provide conservative recommendations and restrictions. Amazon’s insurer may require you to undergo an independent medical exam. Your benefits may be terminated if you do not attend. Because the independent medical exam doctor is not your treating physician, you should not view him as such. His goal is to examine you and your records and respond to any inquiries posed by the insurance company. For example, Amazon’s insurer may ask if your shoulder injury requires surgery or whether you’re well enough to go back to work. If you’re able to go back to work, but your treating doctor suggests significant restrictions to avoid reinjuring your shoulder and your insurer doesn’t believe those restrictions should be imposed, it may ask the independent medical exam doctor to evaluate whether you can go back to work without restriction.

Temporary Partial Disability

You are supposed to cooperate with medical treatment and any job offers that meet your restrictions. For instance, with a shoulder injury, your doctor may restrict you from performing certain types of movement or limit the amount of weight you lift. If you’re released to return to Amazon, but only part-time or with restrictions that put you in a lower paying position, you may qualify for temporary partial disability benefits. These are calculated using 2/3 of the difference between your average weekly wage and what you’re receiving currently. For example, if you used to work at 40 hours a week for $15 an hour, but with the condition of your shoulder you can only work 20 hours a week, your loss would be $300 each week. You’d be able to receive $200.

You may wish to refuse to go back to work at all for fear of reinjuring your shoulder. However, if you refuse to accept the new job or restricted work, Amazon’s insurer can suspend temporary total and temporary partial disability benefits.

Consult a Seasoned Attorney in Chicago

In Chicago, Amazon workers with shoulder injuries should talk to the seasoned lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our firm represents injured Amazon workers in Rockford, Aurora, Quincy, and Champaign, along with Winnebago, Kane, Cook, Adams, and Sangamon Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.