Over my years as a personal injury lawyer in Ontario, I have helped many clients with rotator cuff injuries receive the proper compensation. Through this experience, I have seen how rotator cuff injuries can have a widespread impact on a person’s daily activities of living.
What is a Rotator Cuff Injury?
I see rotator cuff injuries most often as a result of slip, trip, and fall cases. The client lands on their side with one of their arms outstretched, causing the injury. That being said, rotator cuff injuries can also occur in car accidents.
The rotator cuff plays an important role in the proper function of the shoulder. Rotator cuff injuries are usually as a result of either a partial or a full thickness tear of one or more of the tendons in the rotator cuff muscles. Full thickness tears penetrate the tendon, creating a hole or severing the tendon. Partial thickness tears do not involve a detachment of the tendon.
Through my interactions with clients, I have come to recognize that partial thickness tears tend to result in more pain than full thickness tears. In cases of a partial tear, the person has more range of motion but certain types of movements cause pain. When a person has a full thickness tear, they eventually tend to lose their range of motion altogether but not necessarily suffer as much pain. Therefore, it is important to note that the size of your tear is not a direct correlation of the pain you might be experiencing.
Rotator cuff injures are best diagnosed with an MRI scan, but due to monetary restrictions, it is common for X-rays and ultrasounds to be used first. Due to this, rotator cuff tears can be left for long amounts of time without a proper diagnosis, until the injured person begins to be increasingly more impacted by it.
Seeking Compensation for Rotator Cuff Injuries
A rotator cuff injury, particularly when left untreated, impacts a person’s life in a variety of ways. When I see a client with this injury, I believe it is necessary to recognize, and draw attention to, how it has affected them.
For me, level of pain and physical symptoms are not the most important elements; my main concern is what my client’s injury prevents them from being able to do. I ask how my clients’ injuries are affecting their lives, and I work with them to help get their lives back while at the same time seeking compensation for their pain and suffering, and other pecuniary losses.
To that end, I usually involve an Occupational Therapist (OT) in my clients’ cases. Doctors and physiotherapists are focused on trying to help the patient get their range of motion back, or treat their pain. An OT is concerned with how to best get the patient back to their normal life. This involves a comprehensive assessment of the person’s life, and what the injury has made problematic for them.
As mentioned, rotator cuff injuries usually lead to loss of motion. Many sufferers complain about difficulty with hair care, donning a bra, overhead dressing, sleep issues, and many other upper arm tasks. An OT will provide aids and tools to help the client return to their regular activities: in their home, personal life, occupation, childcare, recreation, and so on. OTs assess the client as a whole, helping them return to activities that are central to their lives.
When I recommend an OT to my clients, it also allows me to quantify their claims. I get a report providing me with a thorough insight of where my client was before their accident, where they ended up because of their accident, and where they have returned to since. I can show exactly how their injury has affected their life – which enables me to precisely quantify the damages they have sustained.
A rotator cuff injury can result in many ongoing challenges and therefore amount to a substantial settlement or court judgement.
A lawyer who takes the time to understand your life and your responsibilities before the accident will ensure that you do not end up under-settling your case. I quantify every bit of damage and ensure that my client gets the best settlement possible.
>> If you have sustained a rotator cuff injury or other personal injury at another party’s fault, please do not hesitate to contact me and my team of experienced Ontario personal injury lawyers for a free consultation.
*Roger R. Foisy is not a medical professional. The advice in this blog is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice.
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