Visitor Question

Torn shoulder injury at work…

Submitted By: Mindy (Fontana, CA)

I was helping a resident into bed when he kicked my hand. I heard a crack in my left shoulder followed by excruciating pain. I went to the company clinic, where doctors said I had sprained shoulder. I was put on light duty and therapy.

After 3 weeks I had an MRI which found a full tear and partial tear. I saw an orthopedic doctor and he said I need surgery. In less than 2 months the doctor put me on temporary disability. I know my employer is paying for my surgery. Should I see an attorney to get compensated for my injury and not being able to do my job after surgery? Thanks for any information you can provide.

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 Mindy,

Workers’ compensation laws in California prohibit workers from suing their employers for any injury sustained while performing customary work duties. From the facts you provide, it is clear your injuries work entirely work-related. As a result, it will very difficult to find an attorney who will agree to pursue a third party injury claim or file suit against your employer.

There is an exception. If a worker is able to prove his or her injuries resulted from the gross negligence or the willful/wanton acts of the employer, the worker may be able to circumvent the workers’ comp requirements and pursue a separate 3rd party action for damages. In these cases, damages may include compensation for medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

By seeking the advice and counsel of an experienced workers’ comp attorney, you can be assured you will receive all the benefits you are entitled to. For more information about your rights as an injured worker go to the California Department of Industrial Relations.

Learn more here: Third-Party Lawsuits and Workers' Comp

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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