Shoulder injuries can range from common to severe, with the infamous rotator cuff often bearing the brunt of the impact. A torn rotator cuff is not just painful but also limits mobility, affecting the injured person's ability to perform routine activities.
Victims find themselves thrust into a world of medical treatments, shoulder surgeries, and physical therapy, all while dealing with the aftermath of a car accident.
Shoulder injury cases let plaintiffs seek financial compensation for their pain and suffering. A Houston car accident lawyer is knowledgeable about such lawsuits. They can help maximize the chances of recovering a hefty amount from the defendant's insurance company.
While there is no specific settlement value for a shoulder injury claim, victims can receive up to $70,000. The amount may vary depending on the case's specifics and according to the plaintiff's degree of fault. Texas law follows a contributory negligence system for car accident lawsuits.
As such, victims found less than 51% liable for the crash can recover reimbursement for their rotator cuff injuries. However, the court will decrease the amount plaintiffs are set to recover if they are found more than 50% responsible.
Determining the average settlement for a shoulder injury needs a careful consideration of various elements. The severity of the shoulder injury, whether it's a torn rotator cuff or another form of damage, plays a key role. Also, the extent of medical treatment needed, including surgeries and physical therapy, matters. Another section below will explain these factors in depth. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also provide insight on an average settlement for soft tissue injury car accident.
The Different Types of Shoulder Injuries
Shoulder pain is not limited to arthritis and sprains. Car accident victims suffer from various types of injuries which they may or may not recover full compensation for. Only a qualified personal injury attorney can bring those silent issues to light. They can help clients receive a rotator cuff injury settlement value they truly deserve.
Rotator Cuff Injury
Forceful accidents can cause the network of muscles and tendons in the shoulder area to tear. Rotator cuff tears can be relentless, leaving the plaintiff immobile and out of work in many cases. Rehabilitation involves targeted exercises and, in severe cases, rotator cuff surgery intervention.
Superior Labrum Anterior to Posterior (SLAP) tears serve as a reminder of the shoulder's vulnerability. Whether due to a traumatic event or overuse, such severe shoulder injuries affect the labrum, leading to pain, instability, and a decreased ability to perform overhead activities.
While physical therapy can help victims deal with shoulder pain, many patients go on to need shoulder blade surgery.
A dislocated shoulder happens when the upper arm bone pops out of the shoulder socket. The impact from car accidents can force the shoulder out of place, causing intense pain. Immediate medical attention is crucial. Treatment involves relocating the shoulder joint, followed by rehabilitation exercises to prevent future dislocations and pain and suffering.
Victims can also suffer from tendinitis. This is the inflammation of tendons. It results from the sudden impact of a car collision. Such shoulder injuries lead to pain, swelling, and difficulty moving the affected arm. Treatment involves rest, ice, and physical therapy to reduce inflammation and restore normal function.
The collarbone, or clavicle, is vulnerable in car accidents, particularly in side impacts. A fractured collarbone can cause significant shoulder pain and impair movement. Treatment varies, with some fractures healing with conservative measures while others need surgical intervention.
Factors Determining the Settlement Value
Understanding the factors that influence the settlement value for a rotator cuff injury claim can help people navigate the aftermath of a collision.
The seriousness of the car accident shoulder injuries is a central factor in determining the rotator cuff tear settlement value. More severe injuries often lead to higher payments. This is a logical reflection of the impact these wounds have on the victim's life, considering pain, suffering, and potential long-term consequences.
How long the victim needs to recover from their rotator cuff tear plays a big role in settlement negotiations with the insurance company. Longer recovery times generally result in higher settlements, as they indicate the extended impact of the injuries on daily life.
Hospital expenses, highlighting infirmary stays, surgeries, medications, and rehabilitation, provide a tangible representation of the financial impact of the car accident. Properly presenting and communicating these expenses contributes to a smoother negotiation process.
Lost income due to the inability to work following a car accident is another integral factor. Whether it's a temporary setback or a more prolonged absence from work, lost wages directly influence the shoulder injury settlement value.
Openly discussing these financial repercussions ensures a realistic evaluation of the overall impact on the plaintiff's livelihood. A lawyer can calculate the average weekly wage value and negotiate the final amount with the defendant's insurance company.
Insurance Policy Limits
When a victim pursues a claim against the at-fault driver, it's important to recognize that the insurance policy acts as a financial safety net. This coverage has limits that determine the maximum amount the insurance company will pay for damages resulting from the accident.
If the damages exceed the defendant's insurance policy limits, plaintiffs may face challenges in recovering the full extent of their losses. Generally, all motorists in Texas must carry coverage up to $30,000/injuries/person. Also, they must carry approximately $60,000/accident.
Victims should be prepared for negotiations. They should draft a strong case supported by evidence to maximize compensation within the established boundaries.
How to Maximize Compensation for Rotator Cuff Injuries
Maximizing compensation for rotator cuff tear injuries involves a strategic approach. Attorneys specializing in personal injury can deal with such lawsuits while their car accident clients recover from shoulder pain.
Seeking Medical Attention
The first and most essential step is seeking immediate medical attention. Displaying the details of the rotator cuff injury to a medical professional ensures an accurate diagnosis. It also establishes a clear link between the shoulder injury and the car accident. The medical record becomes a cornerstone in building a solid case for compensation.
Following the Doctor's Orders
Once the physician prepares a diagnosis, sticking to the doctor's prescribed treatment plan is vital. This not only contributes to a smoother recovery but also strengthens the case for compensation. Properly following medical advice demonstrates a commitment to healing. It also provides a tangible record of the victim's efforts to fix the impact of the rotator cuff injury.
Recording Treatment Plan
At the same time, victims should also record their treatment plans. This includes visually capturing their prescription medication, therapy sessions, and lifestyle adjustments. It shows the court that the plaintiff followed all orders to the T.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer for Shoulder Injury Claims
The first step in hiring a personal injury lawyer for shoulder injury claims is understanding why it's crucial. A lawyer brings expertise in navigating the legal intricacies. They ensure victims receive fair compensation for their common shoulder injuries.
Researching and Shortlisting
Anyone who wants to hire a lawyer to represent their shoulder injury case should start researching. Online reviews, referrals, and client testimonials provide valuable insights. Shortlisting potential attorneys based on their track record and expertise lets plaintiffs make informed decisions.
Next, car accident victims should sit for a free consultation session with their chosen lawyer. During this meeting, they should discuss the severity of their shoulder injury. At the same time, plaintiffs should mention if they had or need any shoulder surgery. Clients should not withhold any information from the attorney. Openly discussing the case's specifics allows the lawyer to assess the shoulder injury lawsuit.
Once the two parties come to a middle ground, they should start discussing the fee. Most lawyers work on a contingency-based system, while others specify upfront payments.
Anyone who is already dealing with many medical expenses for their shoulder injury should settle for contingency-based payment structures. This way, they only have to pay the lawyer if they win the case. Who can also explain what compensatory damages are. Additionally, a clear explanation of the legal process ensures clients know what to expect at each stage of pursuing a shoulder surgery/injury lawsuit.
Insurance companies representing defendants often evaluate the average shoulder injury settlement based on medical expenses. However, they may not include therapy costs and the overall impact of the shoulder injury on the victim's life. Agencies try their best to decrease the payout amount, offering victims minimum compensation that does not reflect their pain and suffering.
As a result, victims must present a strong case supported by medical evidence. This evidence may include details about the rotator cuff tears, the necessity of surgery, and the resulting impact on the victim's daily life. Plaintiffs should discuss the specifics of their shoulder injury case clearly. They must address how the accident directly led to the shoulder injury and the subsequent medical treatment.
To increase the chances of a favorable outcome, clients should hire knowledgeable personal injury lawyers for legal representation. They can accurately highlight the victim's physical and emotional distress. Stating, "We Go to War for You," the pros at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys help clients increase their chances of securing a fair settlement amount.