Upper Extremity Injuries
Workers' Compensation Attorneys in St. Louis
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 Injury Law, 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) 485-4005 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 Injury Law, 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 Injury Law 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 Injury Law immediately if you have a workers’
compensation injury so that we can begin protecting your rights as early
in the case as possible.
Repetitive Trauma (Carpal tunnel syndrome)
You may be experiencing an injury caused by repetitive trauma. If your
job requires you to do the same job over and over again, you may have
developed carpal tunnel in the wrists, ulnar tunnel or neuropathies in
the elbows, rotator cuff tears and the like. You must report these injuries
to a supervisor and demand care. We encourage you to call us immediately
if you have a repetitive trauma injury at (314) 485-4005 so that we can
begin protecting your rights as early in the case as possible.
In order to win these cases you need to engage a law firm that has experience
handling them. In carpal tunnel cases, your lawyer must be able to interpret
the medical records and secure an independent medical exam from a doctor
who will assist you. In other words, your lawyer needs to be able to hire
and expert to issue an opinion that work was the prevailing cause of your
injury, and not age or degeneration or some other medical condition. You
can bet the insurance company doctors are working against you from the
moment your injury is reported, so hire us right away. You probably need
a nerve conduction study or other procedure, and we may be able to assist
you in securing that treatment. Unfortunately, your employer has the advantage
in these claims because they choose the treating doctors and the law is
written against the worker, and in favor of the employer and their insurance company.
These claims became much more difficult after August 28, 2005 when Missouri’s
legislature change the law that work no longer has to be a substantial
contributing factor to an injury, but must be “the prevailing cause”.
This is a higher standard and makes these cases more difficult. Nonetheless,
Cantor Injury Law has both tried and settled these cases with significant
payments to our clients.
If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, or any other repetitive injury caused
by repetitive motion, please call us at (314) 485-4005 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.
I always tell my clients that if they are disfigured beyond their mother’s
recognition of them, that the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial
Relations Division of Workers’ Compensation will only provide them
40 weeks of disfigurement. However, on every case where there is a surgery
that is from below the shoulder to the fingertips or from the shirt collar
up towards the nose and the face, I always argue for disfigurement in
our cases. The general rule is that a person receives about one week of
disfigurement per inch of scarring on the arms. Some Judge’s like
to give more disfigurement for scars on the face or for other disfiguring
marks such as a lighter skin as a result of some trauma or a keloid scarring
as a result of surgeries.
A week of disfigurement is calculated at 2/3 (two - thirds) of your average
weekly wage, up to the maximum amount. As of 6/30/2011 the maximum you
could recover for one week of disfigurement is $418.58.
At Cantor Injury Law, we will not accept a claim based solely on disfigurement,
but we will certainly add disfigurement to any claim deserving. For instance,
if you have carpal tunnel surgery and you have an open procedure that
is usually worth between two and four weeks of additional pay for disfigurement.
The same is true with ulnar nerve transpositions and with some rotator
cuff tears (only if the surgery is an open procedure, not endoscopic as
those scars are usually smaller and above the sleeve area so as not to
be compensable for disfigurement purposes.)
Unfortunately, Missouri Workers compensation laws are cheap and benefit
the employer. In Missouri, if your scar is on your legs, abdomen, chest,
back or anywhere other than your arms from below about the shirt sleeve
or your neck and face you are not compensated for that injury. This again
is because Missouri Workers’ Compensation favors in large part for
the employers and was designed by big business to do exactly that. If
you have a scar as a result of a work related injury, we will assist you
with being compensated for both the underlying injury as well as the disfigurement
which was caused by repairing the underlying injury.
Please call us at (314) 485-4005 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.