At Grossman Law Offices, we see many clients with shoulder injuries after an accident. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), 205,498 Texans experienced non-fatal injuries in car accidents in 2020.
When you are in a car crash, the impact can cause your shoulder to hit the steering wheel, seat belt, or airbag. At the same time, your shoulder can jerk back and receive further injury when your vehicle comes to a stop (similar to when you experience whiplash).
Your shoulder is also at risk at work when you lift heavy objects or do repetitive tasks. Texans reported 3,170 shoulder injuries at the workplace in 2020.
If you've suffered a serious shoulder injury either in a vehicle collision or at the workplace, you want to know what kind of compensation you can expect. Here, we'll highlight a few of the shoulder injury settlements we've helped our clients secure, and explain what factor most impacts the amount of compensation you may receive.
Does Grossman Law Have Experience Maximizing Shoulder Injury Settlements?
You deserve to receive financial compensation if you experienced a shoulder injury because someone acted wrongfully, carelessly, or recklessly.
We have the expertise and compassion to assist you through your shoulder injury settlement. Every injury and every case is different. Only an experienced personal injury lawyer can tell you the value of your claim after meeting with you for a free consultation.
While it’s not very useful to know the average settlement for a shoulder injury after a car accident or workplace injury, we can tell you what amounts we’ve recovered for our clients with shoulder injuries:
- $475,000 recovery for an airline pilot who suffered a shoulder injury requiring surgery after a motorcycle collision with an 18-wheeler. Our attorneys proved the truck driver’s liability at trial.
- $226,000 recovery for a delivery driver who sustained a shoulder injury requiring surgery after a workplace accident where a worker for a third party negligently operated a forklift. The forklift driver attempted to unload the truck and pushed an estimated 400 pounds of hay onto the plaintiff. Our attorneys proved that the forklift driver was negligent in the way he pushed the bales and in using a forklift designed for lifting objects, not moving hay bales. We successfully resolved the case in mediation.
- $162,500 recovery for a worker who experienced a shoulder injury lifting a heavy object in a workplace accident.
The rest of this page will help you understand what you need to know after an accident resulting in a shoulder injury, the average settlement for a shoulder injury, and the benefits of contacting an attorney.
What Are Common Shoulder Injuries?
The shoulder is a joint comprising the clavicle (collarbone), the scapula (shoulder blade), and the humerus (upper arm bone). These bones are held in place by muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The shoulder is the most moveable part of your body.
However, it can be prone to injury because the head of the arm, which is larger than the socket that holds it, must remain in a confined space and still move freely. The most common symptom of a shoulder injury is pain. Other common injuries include:
- Sprains and strains,
- Tendon inflammation (tendinitis, bursitis),
- Rotator cuff tears,
- Frozen shoulder,
- Fractures (broken bones), and
Shoulder injuries are common in car accidents, especially rear-end collisions, because you may tense up, causing your shoulder to stay in place while your body flings forward. Workplace shoulder injuries are also common because it is easy to damage the many soft tissues required to hold your shoulder in place while lifting, twisting, or performing repetitive tasks.
What Should I Do After An Accident Resulting in a Shoulder Injury?
Often after an accident, your adrenaline may prevent you from feeling the full extent of the pain. Always seek medical care as soon as possible. Shoulder injuries commonly appear or worsen days or weeks after an accident. The only way to understand the full extent of your injuries is to receive a professional medical evaluation.
Next, you should report the accident to your insurance company. They will help cover your expenses and identify the at-fault party.
Finally, you should call your attorney, who will be on your side and not let any insurance company bully you.
Don’t Accept an Unfair Settlement for Your Shoulder Injury
After an accident, you may receive a call from the other driver or your employer’s insurance company. Often they will call while you are still recovering. They will likely pressure you to accept an early settlement. Understand that once you accept a settlement, you can’t change your mind. That's why it's important to consult with an attorney before accepting any settlement offer.
Texas is an at-fault insurance state when it comes to car accidents, which means the person who caused the accident (or who had a duty to prevent accidents) must compensate you for the damage they caused (or failed to prevent). While compensation is usually paid through insurance coverage, you do not have to accept a settlement for less than the total value of your damages.
Even if you are partially at fault for an accident, you should expect to recover some of your damages. Texas follows “modified” comparative fault rules. So long as you are 50% responsible or less, the law allows you to recover damages from the at-fault party.
What Should a Shoulder Injury Settlement Cover?
When considering how much your damages are worth, you should consider all losses from the accident. Common economic damages include:
- Medical bills, including treatment, physical therapy, and testing;
- Property damages;
- Lost wages (not being able to work); and
- Lost earning capacity (not being able to work as you used to).
Non-economic damages include the costs of your pain and suffering or loss of quality of life.
A rotator cuff injury settlement amount from a car accident should cover both economic and non-economic damages. However, if you suffered the injury at work and your employer has workers' comp insurance, your damages will be limited to medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages.
After calculating your damages, consider that insurance companies likely will not offer you more than the insured’s policy limits. Every Texas driver must have insurance coverage for a minimum of $30,000 per injured person, up to a total of $60,000 for everyone injured in an accident, and $25,000 for property damage. If your damages exceed the policy limits, you may need to consider filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Texas law does not require private employers to have workers’ compensation. However, if they do not, you can sue your employer for negligence and seek non-economic damages in addition to medical expenses and lost wages.
How Can the Severity of Your Shoulder Injury Affect Your Settlement Amount?
The worse your shoulder injury is, the more you can expect to receive in a settlement. Shoulder injuries that require more prolonged and more expensive medical care have more significant damages than short-term injuries.
Injuries resulting in ongoing pain, arm weakness, and limited mobility will likely involve greater damages. As a result, you can expect more compensation for a shoulder injury requiring surgery than one that your doctor can treat without surgery.
When to Call a Personal Injury Attorney
You shouldn’t wait to call an attorney after an accident. When you contact an attorney, they can start collecting evidence to prove the at-fault party’s responsibility. Your attorney will investigate your story, interview witnesses, and document physical evidence. Because Texas experiences one reportable vehicle crash every 1 minute 7 seconds, we see many clients after an accident each year.
Negotiating with insurance companies is part of our job. Stop wondering, What is the average settlement for a shoulder injury? Call Grossman Law Offices and let us fight to secure the total amount of compensation you deserve for your shoulder injury.