This article aims to provide personal injury victims and accident lawyers with a comprehensive understanding of the trial and settlement value of shoulder injury cases. We analyze average settlement payout statistics and verdicts and use real-life experiences of our attorneys to contextualize this data. While our focus is on Maryland personal injury claims, the principles apply to shoulder injury claims in any state.
How Science Impacts Settlement Amounts for Shoulder Injuries
Before delving into settlement value, it’s important to discuss the science behind traumatic shoulder injuries. To fully comprehend a shoulder injury claim, a clear understanding of the shoulder’s anatomy is crucial. Notably, the shoulder heals poorly, which directly influences settlement value. Unfortunately, many insurance companies and accident attorneys in Maryland fail to recognize this fact.
The shoulder joint, also known as the glenohumeral joint, connects the glenoid (the shoulder socket) with the humerus (the upper arm bone). The cartilage lining the glenoid is called the labrum, which stabilizes the joint and limits excessive movement of the humerus. Furthermore, the labrum keeps the glenoid and humerus connected.
Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is often necessary for various types of injuries, such as rotator cuff tears, labral tears, and impingement syndrome. Annually, approximately four million patients in the United States seek medical attention for shoulder injuries, with 1.4 million undergoing shoulder arthroscopy.
Impact of Poor Healing on Settlement Payouts for Shoulder Injuries
Several unique aspects of shoulder injuries directly affect the appropriate compensation payout for victims. Firstly, the shoulder joint is the least constrained joint in our bodies. Unlike the hip joint, which fits concentrically into a socket, the mobile shoulder joint does not. The socket is flat, and the ball is round.
This lack of constraint means that functional soft tissues, such as the rotator cuff, labrum, and capsule, are necessary for shoulder stability. Normal shoulder functionality relies on multiple moving parts working harmoniously.
Another crucial factor in determining settlement value for shoulder injuries is the poor vascularization of tendons, ligaments, and tissues in the shoulder. This limited blood supply impedes the healing process, often resulting in incomplete healing after a motor vehicle crash. Soft tissue shoulder injuries typically heal without scarring or lasting damage.
The challenges associated with healing shoulder injuries frequently lead to progressive deterioration over time. Future complications, such as frozen shoulder, further complicate the situation. These long-term considerations must be factored into settlement calculations, which unfortunately doesn’t always happen if you lack a personal injury lawyer to advocate for you.
Lastly, diagnosing severe shoulder injuries can be challenging. Conditions like labral tears are often difficult to detect on MRI scans, causing defense lawyers to dismiss their existence due to incomplete radiographic evidence. As plaintiffs’ shoulder injury lawyers, it is our responsibility to bring these injuries to life for insurance companies and, if necessary, a jury.
Settlement Value of Shoulder Injuries
It is essential for victims to understand that their attorney’s role is not to aid in healing but to secure the highest possible compensation. Permanent shoulder injuries generally result in larger settlement values compared to injuries that fully resolve. Moreover, high-energy or high-level cases with significant vehicle damage typically drive up settlement value.
While the average shoulder injury verdict approaches $100,000, settlement amounts are often lower. Insurance companies and some car accident attorneys consistently undervalue these cases due to their failure to consider the unique challenges posed by shoulder injuries.
One common battleground in such cases is labral tears. While more frequently seen in workers’ compensation cases resulting from repetitive stress, labrum tears can also occur due to car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. In Baltimore, our shoulder injury lawyers typically need to file suits in cases like these.
This page specifically focuses on the settlement value of rotator cuff shoulder injury cases and settlement amounts for arm injury cases.
Sample Verdicts and Settlements in Maryland Shoulder Damage Cases
The following are selected verdicts and settlements in Maryland shoulder injury cases, mainly involving car, truck, or motorcycle accidents. These outcomes provide insight into the value of such claims but should not be solely relied upon as each case is unique.
- 2022, Maryland: $111,860 Verdict: The plaintiff, driving an MTA bus, was struck by the defendant making a left turn. The plaintiff suffered a right shoulder injury requiring surgery, headaches, and unspecified neck and back injuries. The verdict included $27,940 for past medical expenses, $58,920 for past lost wages, and $25,000 for pain and suffering damages.
- 2022, Maryland: $40,000 Verdict: The plaintiff’s vehicle was rear-ended by the defendant’s vehicle at a red light. The plaintiff sustained a sprained shoulder and lumbar disc herniation. The $40,000 award was solely for pain and suffering.
- 2021, Maryland: $78,471 Verdict: A rear-end collision resulted in right shoulder tears, cervical and thoracic spine injuries for the plaintiff. The award covered pain and suffering ($35,000) and medical expenses ($43,471).
- 2020, Maryland: $310,505 Verdict: The plaintiff experienced significant neck and shoulder pain following a collision. The pre-existing cervical fusion complicated the injuries. A $310,505 payout was awarded.
- 2019, Maryland: $220,000 Settlement: Following a collision, the plaintiff required surgery, including rotator cuff repair and biceps tenodesis. The settlement amount increased from $98,000 to $220,000.
- 2019, Maryland: $86,633 Verdict: A pedestrian struck at an intersection suffered a torn rotator cuff and biceps tendon. The driver’s negligence resulted in permanent injuries. The plaintiff was awarded $86,633.
- 2019, Maryland: $120,429 Verdict: A rear-end collision caused a concussion and soft tissue injuries in the plaintiff. The injuries were deemed permanent and required future surgeries. The plaintiff received $120,429.
- 2016, Maryland: $250,000 Settlement: A rear-end collision resulted in shoulder surgery for the plaintiff. The settlement amount reached $250,000.
- 2014, Maryland: $315,000 Settlement: A taxi veered off the road, causing severe shoulder damage to the passenger. Surgery was necessary, with a protective sling worn during recovery.
- 2013, Maryland: $33,000 Verdict: A vehicle exiting a parking lot collided with the plaintiff’s vehicle, causing a torn rotator cuff. The plaintiff was awarded $33,000.
- 2013, Maryland: $93,612 Verdict: A motorcyclist sustained a partial thickness rotator cuff tear in a collision. A jury awarded $93,612 for the injuries.
- 2012, Maryland: $335,639 Verdict: Negligent construction adjacent to a couple’s home caused a torn rotator cuff and permanent disfiguration. The jury awarded $335,639.
- 2012, Maryland: $43,481 Verdict: A head-on collision resulted in a rotator cuff tear and other injuries for the plaintiff. The jury awarded $43,481.
- 2012, Maryland: $72,162 Verdict: In stop-and-go traffic, the plaintiff’s vehicle was sandwiched between two defendants. A painful rotator cuff injury was sustained. The jury determined fault and awarded relief.
- 2012, Maryland: $58,000: A man in his 60s suffered bilateral shoulder injuries due to a defendant turning into his lane. The jury awarded $58,000.
- 2012, Maryland: $10,000: A woman sustained multiple injuries, including a shoulder rotator cuff tear, in a crash. The jury awarded $10,000.
- 2012, Maryland: $5,000 Verdict: A woman suffered a torn rotator cuff in a collision. A jury initially awarded $3,826, which was later raised to $5,000 via a high/low agreement.
Average Settlement or Verdict in a Shoulder Injury
The average value of a shoulder injury case is approximately $93,556. While there are no statistics on average settlement amounts for shoulder surgery lawsuits, based on our experience, we expect the average settlement in Maryland for surgery cases to exceed $100,000.
Average Settlement or Verdict for a Rotator Cuff Injury
Nationally, the average rotator cuff award is approximately $70,000.
Formula or Calculator for the Value of a Shoulder Injury Case
Calculating the value of a shoulder injury case generally involves adding past and future lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering compensation. Estimating the worth of pain and suffering is challenging due to various factors, such as case specifics, medical records, jurisdiction, and the impact on the victim’s life.
Average Maryland Workers Comp Shoulder Injury Settlement
Workers’ compensation settlement amounts depend on the jurisdiction. Typically, on-the-job shoulder injuries yield lower compensation compared to third-party tort claims against non-employer defendants. This holds true whether the payment is received over time or as a lump sum.
Seeking Assistance for Your Shoulder Injury Claim
If you have suffered a shoulder injury in an automobile or truck accident in the Baltimore-Washington area and wish to file a claim, contact our Maryland shoulder injury lawyers at 800-553-8082 or schedule a free consultation. Our experienced attorneys have handled numerous shoulder injury lawsuits and strive to help you maximize the value of your case.