Shoulder damage from a motor vehicle accident could drastically affect your quality of life after it happens and even a long time later.
These injuries can manifest in large medical bills, absences from work, and other losses.
The good news is you might be able to recoup those unexpected and burdensome costs, and we can help.
What Are Common Shoulder Injuries After an Accident?
The shoulder is a ball and socket made up of three main bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons—all providing people with a wide range of movements.
While some victims experience symptoms of a shoulder injury right after a car accident, others may not feel any discomfort for days or longer after the wreck. Common shoulder injuries include:
- Bone fractures of the humerus, shoulder blade, or collar bone;
- Deep tissue bruising of the muscles and connective tissues; and
- Strains and sprains that result in pain, swelling, and limited range of motion.
A rotator cuff tear is one of the more serious injuries after a car accident. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that keeps the upper arm bone in the shoulder socket.
When any of the muscles or tendons tear, a person can experience a dull ache, difficulty moving the arm, and weakness in the arm.
Can I Receive Compensation for My Shoulder Injury?
The most common basis upon which an injured person may receive compensation is negligence.
To prove the driver who hit you was negligent and responsible for a crash, you must show that the driver breached their “duty of care” or that they intentionally and recklessly caused your injury.
In addition to showing a breach of duty, you must show that the breach caused your accident. Common forms of driver negligence include driving aggressively, carelessly, or under the influence.
If the driver receives a traffic ticket at the time of the accident, that can provide strong evidence that the driver breached their duty of care.
Average Settlement for Shoulder Surgery
The average settlement for a rotator cuff and bicep tear or any other shoulder injury, including shoulder surgery, depends on several factors.
Because of these various factors involved in calculating a settlement, it is difficult to determine the average settlement for shoulder surgery.
Compensation for a shoulder injury requiring surgery will typically be greater than compensation for an injury that healed on its own in a few weeks.
The best way to estimate your settlement is to talk to an attorney about the specific facts of your case. But we can give you a general idea of how different factors will impact your claim.
First, the settlement amount depends on the extent of the disability and long-term impairment. In other words, how does your shoulder injury impact your day-to-day life, and how will it affect your life in the future?
Suppose your car accident caused a rotator cuff tear or the muscles have broken down too much over time. In that case, you may require surgery to correct the rotator cuff injury.
The settlement amount increases after surgery because of the cost and painstaking rehabilitation required aftward.
Also potentially impacting a settlement amount is the time missed at work. Lost wages are dollars and benefits you forfeit for missing work after an accident.
You can also recover future lost earnings and capacity from the negligent party if you cannot return to work as usual over the long term.
Lastly, the settlement amount might depend on your shoulder injury’s impact on your quality of life.
If the injury impacts your self-esteem, your relationship or any other emotional aspect of your life, it’s important to document these changes so your attorney can articulate this in your case.
Let Us Help Determine Your Possible Settlement
At Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C., we are members of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum—one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States.