The Illinois Workers Compensation Act has determined that the value of a rotator cuff tear is based on a man as a whole pursuant to recent case law, as opposed to loss of use of an arm. A man as a whole case has a total value is 500 weeks, whereas loss of use of an arm has a total value of 253 weeks. The Illinois Workers Compensation decisions between 2014 and 2016 have found that rotator cuff tears with surgery have a value between 10% man as whole to 35% man as whole. Work injuries that result in a partial thickness rotator cuff tear had less of a value than cases with full thickness rotator cuff tears of the supraspinatus tendon. The higher valued cases also had surgery involving a biceps tenodesis, this is where the bicep tendon is cut from the bone then reattached with an anchor to the bone in a different spot.
Rotator cuff tears are regularly surgically repaired arthroscopically when possible and at the same time the surgeon may also perform a gelenohumeral debridement, subacromial decompression and sometimes with a distal clavicle resection. Other times when there is a massive tear, an open procedure is required. An open procedure usually involves a more extensive surgery and has a higher value because the recovery from an open procedure compared to an arthroscopic procedure is usually longer and results in much more of a disability. The Illinois Workers Compensation Commission decisions seem to award additional monies if the surgery is performed on the injured workers dominant arm compared to the non-dominant arm.
It is not uncommon that a worker who had a rotator cuff tear with surgery is also given permanent lifting restrictions for the injured arm. In some cases, those permanent restrictions will prevent the injured employee from returning to his normal job then his case should be resolved on a wage differential basis as opposed to man as a whole.
A work injury with a rotator cuff tear that requires surgery is a significant injury and anyone facing such a situation should retain an experienced workers compensation attorney to help with their case. It is not uncommon for surgeons not to find the injured worker to be at maximum medical improvement, MMI, for a full year following surgery, due to the recovery time for a rotator cuff tear and because of the complications that may develop after a rotator cuff surgery. An injured worker should never settle his or her case until they are at MMI, maximum medical improvement.
As with all work injuries, the injured worker should not rush to settle his workers compensation case until his doctor has released him from care and found that he was at maximum medical improvement because it is not uncommon for injured workers with surgical repaired rotator cuff tears to require a second surgery. If the injured worker is in a hurry to obtain a settlement and signs the pink settlement contracts before he is at MMI and his doctor releases him from care then he subsequently needs a second surgery, that injured worker will have to pay for that second surgery himself. Worse yet, the injured worker will not receive TTD benefits when he misses work, while he is recovering from the surgery.
If you have a work related rotator cuff tear that requires surgical intervention, you should hire David N. Rechenberg, an experienced Illinois Workers Compensation Attorney. You should also order Rechenberg’ s free book entitled “Everything You Wanted to Know About Recovering Money in Your Illinois Workers Compensation Case, but Were Afraid to Ask” to educate yourself as to the aspects of your claim.
You may not know that the workers compensation insurance company has a team of professionals working against you in an effort to save the insurance company money by not paying the full value of your claim. Their professional claims adjusters and attorneys are trained how to save the insurance company money and convince you to not hire an experienced workers compensation attorney so you will never learn the value of your case and the rights and benefits you are entitled to under the law. David N. Rechenberg has over 29 years of experience fighting insurance companies on behalf of injured workers. If you have a work injury, specifically, a torn rotator cuff that required surgery, call Dave at 847-854-7700 to get him on your side right away.