UPS Drivers With Shoulder Injuries
Chicago Lawyers Helping Delivery Workers
The shoulder is made up of three bones: the clavicle, humerus and scapula. These bones are bound together with tendons, ligaments, and muscles. The shoulder’s ball-and-socket joint permits the arm to move out from the body and rotate. Those who drive large, heavy vehicles, such as UPS drivers, are especially vulnerable to shoulder injuries. The job requires lifting heavy boxes and performing repetitive manual tasks that can stress the shoulder bones, tendons and muscles. Additionally, UPS drivers may suffer acute trauma in an accident. UPS drivers with shoulder injuries should consult with an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney.
UPS Drivers With Shoulder Injuries
As a UPS driver, you may suffer shoulder injuries simply by performing repetitive movements. Repetitive motions are needed when loading and unloading the truck and getting in and out of the truck. Additionally, while you’re driving, you may need to use your left shoulder to steer and compensate for the grade of the road, which tilts right to permit rainwater runoff. These stresses can result in dislocation, impingement, bursitis, chronic joint inflammation and severe pain. Sometimes they result in rotator cuff tears or labral tears.
Shoulder injuries can limit your range of motion along with your ability to perform the routine tasks you would ordinarily perform as a UPS driver. If you were injured on the job, you should notify your employer. Although the law doesn’t mandate that notice be in writing, when you provide notification in writing, you may prevent your employer from claiming it didn’t know about your injuries.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
You may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, including all the medical care that’s reasonably needed to relieve or cure you from the impact of the injuries. Accordingly, UPS or its insurer may need to pay for emergency care, medical visits, surgery, physical rehabilitation, chiropractic care, and pharmaceuticals. The nature and severity of the injuries will dictate what care is reasonably needed. UPS or its insurer is supposed to pay the medical provider directly. To understand the full range of medical and disability benefits to which you may be entitled, meet with a workers’ compensation lawyer to consult about your case.
UPS may belong to a preferred provider program. While you can choose your provider, if UPS is part of one of these programs, you will be limited to two choices within the program. Any referrals made by the providers you chose will count as part of that choice. For example, if you visited a primary care physician as your first choice for a shoulder injury and then he referred you to an orthopedic surgeon to treat a rotator cuff injury, this would count as a single choice. You may still select a different doctor from the program if you didn’t like your primary care physician or the orthopedic surgeon. However, if you initially selected a provider outside the program, you will be limited to that one choice.
You may not be able to drive at all if you sustain a serious shoulder injury. In that case, you may be able to obtain temporary or permanent disability benefits. You may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation and retraining so that you can perform a different type of work that doesn’t stress your shoulder.
Third Party Lawsuit
Workers’ compensation doesn’t cover the full spectrum of losses arising out of an accident. If your shoulder was injured in a collision caused by someone else, you may be able to sue for compensatory damages. In most cases, you’ll need to establish another’s negligence. This requires you to show: (1) the defendant owed you a duty to use reasonable care, (2) breach of the duty to use reasonable care, (3) causation, and (4) damages.
Consult With a Chicago Attorney
Driving a heavy vehicle every day can leave you vulnerable to shoulder injuries. In Chicago, UPS drivers with shoulder injuries should discuss their situation with the seasoned lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We represent injured UPS drivers in Champaign, Aurora, Quincy, and Rockford, along with Adams, Sangamon, Winnebago, Cook, and Kane Counties. Call us at 312-724-5846 or complete our online form.