Your employer is wrong. As was mentioned by another writer, a cumulative trauma, also referred to as a "CT", can come about based upon the repetitive nature of your job duties. This can be addressed by the doctor that your lawyer designates as your primary treating physician. An MRI of your shoulders should confirm an injury. If it does not there are other tests that your doctor can perform.
If you are in a union, I suggest you speak with your representative about filing a grievance.
A good doctor and a talented lawyer should be able to help.
Hang in there and choose wisely.
Michael Ian Rott, Esq., Managing Partner
HIDEN, ROTT & OERTLE, LLP
2635 Camino del Rio South, Suite 306
San Diego, California 92108
Office: 619.296.5884, ext. 14
San Diego - El Centro
Please be advised that the advice provided does not create any attorney/client relationship; that due to the various state laws that the information provided is a general overview of work comp law, which might not be applicable to you, based upon the laws of your state. We will not file anything on your behalf nor protect any statute of limitations which might arise and recommend that you IMMEDIATELY consult legal counsel for advice.
You have a serious uphill climb, trying to connect a lower back injury to a shoulder injury. You certainly need an experience WC attorney to help you with this. Good luck.
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No, what you need for this is a good local workers' comp lawyer. If you try to manage this yourself, without a lawyer, you will almost certainly lose.
This answer is intended as general information and not as specific legal advice. If you want to have a free consultation with me, please contact me through AVVO.
It sounds like you have what's called a "continuing trauma" claim, meaning, there is no specific date and time, because like you said, it's getting worse over time from the repetitive nature of your job duties. What's important is that you notified your employer when the pain started. It sounds like they must have known that it was work related because you took off time for the back surgery. Did you tell them at the time it was due to work? This is key in a worker's compensation claim. You should have gotten an attorney for the 2011 case because now the surgery may have made it worse and the fact that you weren't given modified duties after the surgery. Your boss should have put you on modified duty. In California, lawyers are only allowed to recover 15% of your settlement by law. When you try to do this by yourself, it's not a good outcome for you because now it's going into "litigation". It may not be too late to get an attorney to get you back on track.
You are right on in understanding that the burden of proof is yours. The evidence you need is an expert medical opinion. An attorney can help put the pieces together to prove an injury. As for the claim form, you can put a range of dates - the continuous trauma period.
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