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Warnken, LLC Attorneys at Law, Attorneys & Lawyers, Pikesville, MD

COVID Safety Shields Are Creating Shoulder Injuries for Bus Drivers

As vaccination rates rise and mask mandates drop, the long awaited post-Covid return to normalcy finally appears to be on the horizon. But for workers injured while implementing pandemic safety protocols, the world is still turned upside down.

Case in point: a new alert from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. It reports an uptick in shoulder injuries for bus drivers who must manually operate on-board plastic safety shields designed to prevent transmission of the virus from passengers. While the shields were installed to protect drivers, they seem to have had an unintended consequence. By repeatedly reaching and pulling to open and close the shields, drivers are damaging their shoulders.

Shoulder trauma ranks among the most common workplace injuries nationwide. This was true long before Covid. The anatomy of the human shoulder is amazingly complex. It contains joints, tendons, bones, and muscle all working together to create a wide range of motion. With so many moving parts, it is especially vulnerable to stress. And when shoulder injuries occur, they can be severe. Ruptured tendons may never fully heal. A deep tear of the muscle surrounding the shoulder joint, known as the rotator cuff, can require surgery to repair. In extreme cases a joint replacement could be necessary.

The potentially life changing nature of shoulder injuries is why they can have significant value in a Maryland workers’ compensation claim. While every case is unique and outcomes vary, the average shoulder injury award in Maryland is over $25,000. If your shoulder injury has occurred in conjunction with some other body parts, the possibility for financial compensation is even greater.

But make no mistake – this is never a situation you want to be in. Workers’ compensation insurance adjusters don’t care about you. They care about making your claim go away as quickly and cheaply as possible. And when you’re sitting at home in pain and unable to work, wondering how food will get on the table and bills will be paid, life can get really hard really fast.

That is why it’s imperative to get help. Having an experienced injured workers’ attorney on your side lets you focus on getting better while they advocate for everything you are entitled to. You don’t deserve to live in pain. You don’t deserve to worry about lost wages. You deserve someone who will fight so you can heal.