Visitor Question

Dislocated Shoulder and Nerve Damage from Fall at Work…

Submitted By: Lin (Birmingham, AL)

My boss called from out of town and someone called me to the phone to speak to him on another line. While walking to the phone I tripped and fell, severely dislocating my shoulder, and had to be taken by ambulance to the emergency room. ER personnel noticed I had no feeling or movement in my right arm and part of my right side (dominantly right-handed professional typist).

Two weeks and one authorized doctor visit later, my arm remains paralyzed and I have a lot of pain in my neck. The doctor says surgeries may be necessary along with painful therapy, and the nerves may regenerate in two years – or perhaps never.

I’ve filed with workers compensation and have not been able to return to work (30-mile drive), but I’ve received very little contact from the insurance carrier and they have not made a determination. I am the primary wage earner in our family and need to know what to do to get compensation for my injuries and lost wages. What can I do to get money from the workers comp insurance company? Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Lin,

Before you receive any money from Workmans Compensation insurance your case will be investigated by the insurance company’s Claims Adjuster. Additionally, your injuries will have to be specifically diagnosed by the doctors. It’s very important to have the nature and extent of your injuries documented by a Medical Narrative.

Once the Claims Adjuster determines liability and accepts responsibility on behalf of their insured, your medical treatment should be paid by the insurance company. Your salary may be paid, but the amount may be only a portion of your normal salary. And the amount of time during which you receive partial salary may be limited to the time the doctors say you need treatment, and during your recovery time.

You must also be aware there is no guarantee your job will still be available when you do recover. Workmans Compensation is able to pay for your medical treatment, and you may receive partial salary during your treatment and recovery, but they have no authority to either pay, or force your employer to pay, your salary.

The State of Alabama is a “Right to Work State”. This means it is probable you are not represented by a Union, and as such may have little protection from losing your job if your employer decides she has to fill your position.

If you are not satisfied with the manner or speed in which your claim is progressing, you might consider consulting with a Personal Injury Attorney who specializes in Workmans Compensation Law.

Most skilled Personal Injury Attorneys will not charge you any fee for an initial office consultation.

Learn more here: Slip and Falls at Work

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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