Yakima man looks up how to appeal a workers' comp denial

How to Get Benefits and Financial Stability

A physically demanding job, or any job that causes some degree of strain, stiffness and pain in your shoulders, can slow you down—or knock you out of commission.

You can, and should, get financial compensation for this interruption to your livelihood. No shoulder injury should leave you wondering how you’ll pay your bills.

Workers’ compensation benefits, run by the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) in Washington State, can provide economic support and a more secure life while you heal.

Workers’ comp pays lost wages and covers medical care for your workplace injury. This can makes a major difference for you.

Almost all employees in Washington are covered by workers’ comp. But qualifying for workers’ comp means proving that your injury, beyond any doubt, happened because of your work. And to get the maximum benefits available to you, you have to show the seriousness of your injury and how it affects your functioning.

Every shoulder injury claim is different. A workers’ compensation lawyer from the Bothwell & Hamill law firm can help you pursue your best options for recovery—physically and financially.

Our firm helps people win workers’ comp benefits in Yakima, Kennewick, Sunnyside, Spokane, Richland, Ellensburg, Wenatchee, Walla Walla and anywhere in Central Washington.

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Yakima man denied workers' comp benefits

Types of Workers’ Comp Claims for Shoulder Injury

When you’re struggling with a shoulder injury from work, you should know you are far from the first person to have this problem.

Workers in Washington State made more than 5,437 claims for shoulder injuries in one recent year. Those claims amounted to more than $95 million in workers’ comp costs.

Shoulder injuries involving muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, the shoulder blade and collarbone were the fourth most common type of workers’ comp claim, with 4,241 injuries reported.

With a shoulder injury, you could have a claim for either of these types of cases:

  • Injuries from a sudden accident or trauma
  • Injuries from repetitive stress

Your shoulders can be particularly vulnerable to the second type—cumulative trauma injuries that develop with wear and tear over time.

When you’re lifting, reaching, twisting, using machinery with heavy vibrations, or working at a computer all day, you might not notice the damage taking place in the moment. But after months or years of doing the same physical tasks over and over, it takes its toll.

Or maybe one day something hits your shoulder, or you make a move and immediately know there’s a problem.

You could hurt any of these parts of your shoulder, making it difficult to continue in your job:

  • Muscles
  • Tendons
  • Ligaments
  • Joints
  • Bones
  • Nerves
  • Skin, with injuries from burns or other surface traumas

Injuries like sprains, strains and rotator cuff tears can leave you with pain and limit your motion until you recover.

For your workers’ comp claim, you’ll need to show how your injury occurred in an incident at work, or how everyday conditions in your workplace led to the pain.

Bothwell & Hamill workers’ comp attorneys know what you need to make a strong workers’ comp claim, and claim the benefits you’re owed. You can start by getting a no-cost review of your case from our firm.

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Yakima man meets with local workers' comp lawyer

How to Start an L&I Claim for a Shoulder Injury in Washington

The first moment you realize that your shoulder is not right, and it’s because of your job, you should get your workers’ comp claim started right away. These are the first steps:

  • Report your injury or illness to your employer. GET THE REPORT IN WRITING.
  • Go to a doctor for initial treatment of your injury.

Also, talk to a workers’ comp lawyer.

The workers’ comp system may look for reasons to deny your benefits. Workers’ comp may try to give you fewer benefits than you’re entitled to receive. Claims administrators may try to rush you back to work before you’re ready.

A workers’ comp lawyer won’t let them pressure you. When you have a lawyer, you can protect your rights under Washington workers’ comp law.

Bothwell & Hamill workers’ comp attorneys know the laws, doctors, courts and judges that belong to the special legal system created just for handling workers’ claims when they’re injured.

The law is supposed to protect you when a job injury makes you vulnerable. Let’s make sure you get the benefits you earned and strong footing to move forward after your injury.

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More Questions?

You might have a lot of questions. Bothwell & Hamill has answers.

Common Questions »
Happy Yakima man wins workers' comp with the help of Tim Hamill

Every time L&I would send me to an independent medical exam with one of their doctors (you know, the ones that always say nothing is wrong), Timothy would make sure that L&I would fail in their attempt to close my case.”


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