Suffering an injury in a car accident can be a very traumatic experience. Not only do you have to deal with the pain and suffering of the injury, but you also have to worry about how you’re going to pay for medical bills and make up for lost wages.
Were you injured in a car accident? If so, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn. In addition, you may be wondering how much your injury is worth and whether or not you should file a lawsuit. Here we review shoulder injury car accident settlement value to give you a sense of how these cases are typically evaluated by insurance companies.
Our personal injury attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC understands that seeking legal advice can seem daunting; an experienced personal injury lawyer is here to help. At Rosenfeld law firm, we will work with you every step of the way to get the average settlement value you deserve.
Call Chicago car accident lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential and sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
The speed and blunt force of car accidents in Illinois can put tremendous trauma on different body parts, including the shoulder.
Those blows can manifest themselves in different ways and with different personal injuries. You may need surgery, prescription medication, physical therapy, and other rehabilitative care to address these serious injuries.
Physical and financial recovery will not be easy. We can help, though!
A shoulder injury from a motor vehicle accident can change your life. They often tax personal injury victims in medical bills, missed work, handicaps, lost hobbies, pain, and other direct and indirect costs.
Schedule a free consultation with one of our car accident attorneys to discuss what options and injury settlement amounts may be available to you.
Our team is dedicated and committed to your recovery in Illinois. Review the following information to understand this issue more thoroughly, and use our contact form to get in touch with us for any questions.
Shoulder Injuries in Illinois Automobile Accidents
The shoulder connects different parts of the human body. Therefore, it can get pulled into unnatural angles and harm in many ways, including sprains, fractures, punctures, and strains.
The type of injury endured depends on the force the person receives impact and how a person’s body reacts to that force. For example, a shoulder injury can also be referred to as a shoulder strain or sprain.
A shoulder injury occurs when a person’s bones and ligaments in their shoulder experience trauma. Often, this happens after an automobile accident because the impact may twist someone’s upper body to harm one or more of the joints, tendons, and muscles within the shoulder.
Although this type of injury can be painful, it is easier to treat than other injuries. Additionally, shoulder pain may gradually decrease over time with treatment.
Nonetheless, shoulder injuries are often difficult to diagnose because they might not result in apparent serious physical damage. Unfortunately, your injury may not present itself until you are in the recovery stage of the healing process.
Here are some of the most common shoulder injuries in car accidents across Chicago.
- Rotator Cuff Tear: At high speeds, the muscles around the shoulder can tear and cause a rotator cuff injury. Car accident victims commonly suffer from this.
- Soft Tissue Trauma: Ligaments, muscles, and tendons around your shoulder socket might suffer blunt trauma or piercing pain if they are impacted. These are some of the most serious and expensive shoulder injuries.
- A Dislocation happens in car accidents when arms eject from the shoulder blade socket. It is quite common, too, because the shoulder is the body’s less-fixed and most moveable joint.
- Whiplash: A motorist can experience whiplash in their shoulder socket after a sudden start and stop motion. You might feel this as pain shoots through your shoulder, or it stiffens and locks up.
Symptoms of the Arms and Torn Rotator Cuff Injuries
The doctor is the only one who can evaluate your shoulder problem as a torn rotator cuff. Their diagnosis will be critical in pursuing personal injury claims.
After your car accident, these symptoms might indicate a more serious injury, such as a rotator cuff tear.
There is a telling sign that your upper arm bone is injured. When you try to protect the injury during movement, there might be pain by keeping your injured arm as still as possible and drawing it close to your body for support. It’s called muscle guarding.
When you have a torn rotator cuff injury or torn labrum from your car accident injuries, any of these may be present:
- Pain and tenderness to the touch on your shoulder blade or around the upper part of your shoulder as it connects with your neck
- A visible lump, bump, or depression at either end of your collarbone due to swelling from tears in muscles and tendons that attach to the bone
- Sudden or gradual loss of range of motion in your shoulder, especially if you feel a stretch or tearing sensation
- An ache, muscle weakness, stiffness, swelling at night with pain and suffering wake you up
- Popping noises with movement and weakness in your arm
If you have any of these symptoms after a car or truck accident, there is a possibility you could have a torn rotator cuff injury, which is also known as shoulder separation.
Common Rotator Cuff Tears That Can Result in Permanent Injury
A severe rotator cuff tear might at times result in a permanent loss of full range of motion in the shoulder. This injury type can severely limit a person’s ability to carry out activities and be considered a total disability.
The following are some examples of traumatic rotator cuff injuries that can result in long-term shoulder problems:
- Shoulder impingement
- Torn labrum
- Partial tear of the rotator cuff
- Dislocated shoulder joint
Accident victims often experience frozen shoulder injury as a secondary complication from the vehicle accident that often leads to significant pain and inflammation. Typically, these injuries result from bracing the hands and arms against the steering wheel as the accident happened, tearing the rotator cuff.
Some minor injuries like a shoulder sprain or strain can heal in a matter of weeks with rest and physical therapy.
Cause of Rotator Cuff Tear and How it Affects Your Injury Case after Car Accidents
The two most common causes of a torn rotator cuff are injury and degeneration.
Acute Rotator Cuff Tear
A sudden, forceful injury causes acute rotator cuff damage to the shoulder. For example, a rotator cuff injury could occur when a person tries to break their fall and their arm swings out in front of them and is hit against an object forcefully in a car accident.
Degenerative Rotator Cuff Tear
Tendon wear is the most common cause of rotator cuff tear injuries, which develop gradually over time. Therefore, the victim’s doctor is an important witness in a torn rotator cuff injury case.
If the doctor indicates that the rotator cuff tear was acute, this will increase the overall value of the case since they confirm that it was caused by the car accident.
The case’s full value could be reduced should the physician conclude that it’s a degenerative tear. Nevertheless, you may be eligible for compensation for aggravating a pre-existing rotator cuff tear.
If the injured person files a lawsuit against the negligent party, the defendant has the option of having any doctor of their choosing examine the claimant.
How to Diagnose a Rotator Cuff Tear Injury
The symptoms you are experiencing caused by the car accident are critical in correctly diagnosing your shoulder injury.
If you consult a medical professional, they may use one of two diagnostic tests to determine the extent of the rotator cuff tear.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): A powerful MRI can identify rotator cuff tears and other damage, but it cannot indicate how old they are.
- Arthrogram: This test involves taking an x-ray of the shoulder joint while a dye is injected into your arm. If the doctor spots tears on the MRI, he may recommend surgery to relieve your shoulder pain and restore function to the affected area.
Treating a Shoulder Injury Suffered in a Chicago Car Crash
To determine the correct treatment path for shoulder injuries, you will need extensive testing (x-ray, MRI, ultrasound, etc.) and consultation with your doctors and specialists.
They will give you a comprehensive set of options to treat the immediate and recurring pain and suffering you may experience due to shoulder damage.
Your path to recovery will be determined by the severity of your rotator cuff injury, as well as your age, overall health, and occupation. You might even need help from a physical therapist if you are looking at surgical procedures.
Some of the most common treatments for shoulder injuries include:
- Medication: Prescription pain medication can help significantly reduce rotator cuff injury pain levels.
- Splinting: If the bones are still aligned in your shoulder, you might need to wear a temporary splint of sorts to prevent pain.
- Surgery: Rotator cuff injuries that are complicated or do not heal properly may require surgery. Otherwise, you could risk losing your range of motion and incurring chronic inflammation inside your shoulder joint.
- Rehabilitation: A physical therapist might help you regain your range of motion with simple exercises completed at home or in an outpatient center.
- Rest: As the body heals, it needs time to rest and recover. You might have to reduce your physical activity levels while your shoulder recovers from shock and strain.
- Injections: Your doctor might also recommend an injection of steroids and pain medication to help reduce swelling and inflammation in your shoulder.
Surgery Treatment for Rotator Cuff Tear
Surgery may be required in the case of a severe rotator cuff tear. Torn rotator cuff surgery can take two forms:
- Arthroscopic surgery: This procedure is used when only part of the rotator cuff has to be repaired. The surgeon makes tiny incisions, inserts an arthroscope (a telescope-like instrument) and a camera into the shoulder, and repairs the damage by stitching or removing the damaged tissue.
- Open surgery: In this procedure, larger incisions are made to work on the full thickness of the rotator cuff tear. Rotator cuff surgery is associated with a longer recovery period than arthroscopic surgery.
The severity of your injury will determine whether you need surgery and which type you will choose.
Surgery may be required in case of a large or small tear in multiple rotator cuff tendons. The surgeon will repair the tendon by stitching each torn end to its proper location on the arm bone. In some car accident cases, the surgical intervention aims at removing damaged tissue.
Surgery for a rotator cuff injury is associated with a longer recovery than arthroscopic surgery. Physical therapy is an important aspect of the recovery process post-surgery.
Your therapist will guide you through your exercises so you can regain the range of motion in your shoulder as quickly as possible, with minimal risk of re-injury.
Non-Surgical Treatment for Rotator Cuff Tears
Non-surgical treatment is often used when the tears are small, not in both shoulders (unilateral), and the person does not have much pain. Many people can eliminate their symptoms with physical therapy exercises to strengthen the shoulder muscles around the joint. Steroid injections may also be helpful.
Your doctor might recommend that you wear a sling for comfort, especially at night. In addition, the sling will help ease the shoulder pain and swelling if it is still unstable following an injury, even after conservative treatment (such as medication or physical therapy).
You may need one or many of these suggested treatments or even something not listed here. The important thing is to talk to a specialized doctor and record all of your medical care in proper records.
A doctor’s care will help you a lot when you have a personal injury claim or other car accident claim for financial compensation.
Shoulder Injury Car Accident Settlement Values from Illinois Auto Accidents
- The average payout for shoulder injury settlement is nearly $100,000.
- Most automobile accident victims with shoulder damage experience pain for between one to two months.
- Shoulder surgery (arthroplasty, hemiarthroplasty, etc.) can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and many people need more than one following a Chicago car crash.
- Rehabilitation for shoulder surgery can take several months and could require many weeks or more away from work, costing thousands of dollars.
- The most common shoulder injuries from Illinois motor vehicle accidents are torn rotator cuffs, fractured clavicle, broken humerus, soft tissue damage, shoulder strain, and whiplash.
Chicago Car Accident Shoulder Injuries with Highest Settlement
Items Affecting Settlement in Car Crashes Cases with Shoulder Injuries in Chicago
Shoulder damage from an automobile accident or any other accident has drastic consequences on your health right after it happens and for a long time after that. These injuries can manifest in large medical bills, absences from work, and other losses.
If you are considering a personal injury case to recoup some of these costs, there are some factors you should consider that bode well for a possible settlement amount.
- First, disability or long-term impairment: One of the biggest things that affect the average settlement value and your ability to settle is if the shoulder harm will impair your life for a long time in the future. Disability does that precisely, so you should highlight that fact to increase your odds of a fair settlement amount.
- Second, missed income or investments: If you could not work while recovering from the rotator cuff injuries suffered in the car crash, or if you missed out on expected work during that time, this could drastically increase your settlement value. It may especially go up if it appears to decrease your earning potential as well.
- Third, and finally, quality of life declines: If the car or truck accident and subsequent shoulder injuries changed your life for the worse-suffering, lost self-esteem, and lost relationships-you should articulate this in your personal injury claim.
It can fundamentally affect what you receive and your chance to resolve the matter swiftly.
Work with our car accident attorneys. We can illustrate how the factors of your specific crash impact settlement and what you can do to preserve your financial compensation options.
Jury Awards and Settlement Amounts for Car Accident Shoulder Injuries Across Chicago
A large truck tractor-trailer sideswiped a man in his early forties on Interstate 80. He attempted to exit off the highway when the big rig slammed into him.
The plaintiff claimed the crash left him with a torn labrum injury, worsened spinal condition, and other personal injuries. He forked over nearly $400,000 for medical treatment to cure these ills, including fusion surgery and other procedures.
The defendant (the large truck driver) denied these claims and suggested the plaintiff’s injuries pre-dated this crash.
Yet, the two sides soon started haggling to find an amount of financial compensation that would end this lawsuit. In the end, the man obtained $850,000 for his injuries and losses.
A truck driver rear-ended the plaintiff, a man in his late fifties, as he sat waiting in his automobile in a traffic jam on an Illinois highway. Due to the event, the plaintiff experienced shoulder tendonitis, torn rotator cuff injury, shoulder joint damage, and PTSD.
Counting all of the medical bills, he spent one-quarter of a million dollars because of the car crash and lost almost $200,000 from missing work during recovery.
To make up for this and the affair’s trauma, pain, and suffering, he sued the truck driver and a large truck company. The parties decided to get around the trial by privately negotiating, and they eventually settled for $800,000.
This car accident case was between a driver and a passenger. The latter, an eighty-year-old woman, was being driven around by a friend in the Chicagoland area. At some point, the driver turned left but collided with another vehicle.
The older woman sustained a broken clavicle, fractured ribs, rotator cuff injury, and other serious injuries because of the crash. Bills for her medical treatment almost hit $100,000. She sued the driver for these costs and the pain and suffering damages.
The woman lived a relatively quiet and sedentary lifestyle but still claimed a reduced quality of life. The driver’s insurance carrier took over this car accident case and eventually settled with the woman for $250,000.
A young woman in her late teens was injured when her friend crashed into a pole in the Cook County suburbs of Chicago. She sustained a concussion, a broken clavicle, and other personal injuries. They necessitated multiple surgeries (medical bills were more than $75,000).
The young girl also experienced ongoing shoulder pain and disability due to the motor vehicle accident circumstances. As a result, she sued the driver for reckless driving and negligence. The pair agreed to settle the matter for $495,000.
A young man and his teenage girlfriend crashed into a tree in Lake County, Illinois. He claimed that another car caused him to veer off the road.
The man suffered a shattered elbow, shoulder impingement, rotator cuff injuries (he lost some use of his left hand), and other physical problems.
His girlfriend experienced similar pains and a torn rotator cuff injury from this wreck. They sued the alleged at-fault party for lost wages, pain, and suffering and came to an average settlement value of $165,000.
A young woman was rear-ended at almost sixty miles per hour by a big rig truck in an intersection. Her car spun around and hit another vehicle (a four-door sedan) that had stopped at a red light.
The woman broke her arm, injured her neck and back, and was unconscious. She also had to have two surgeries done on her right wrist.
Medical bills topped $50,000 while she missed work to recover from the accident. She sued for pain and suffering as well as lost wages. The truck driver denied responsibility but eventually agreed to pay $500,000 to end the case.
A young woman was driving in rural Chicago when she slowed down because of a traffic jam and came to a stop. A drunk driver smashed into her from behind at fifty miles per hour.
Because of this, she and her passenger (her boyfriend) were launched out of the car and slammed into a fence. The woman suffered multiple fractures, extensive nerve damage, and the affected shoulder required rotator cuff surgery.
She sued the drunk driver who caused this serious injury — as well as his insurance carrier — to compensate her for medical bills ($30,000), lost wages ($20,000), and compensatory damages for pain and suffering ($1 million).
The vehicle plaintiff was riding in was struck after the defendant’s car crossed the center line and into oncoming traffic. The accident affected the plaintiff’s rotator cuff, and they lost consciousness.
The defendant was intoxicated and on drugs during the collision, influencing his behavior. As a result, the plaintiff suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery.
Even though all aspects of the case were disputed by insurance for the defendant, the plaintiff could secure a recovery for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages totaling over $500,000.
Factors That Determine Rotator Cuff Injury Compensation Amount
The shoulder is an essential component of the body, and it is one of the most frequent types of personal injury cases. You use your shoulder daily, and it’s important for movement.
For example, if you suffer shoulder damage in a car accident, you can recover compensation for your damages. The amount you receive in settlement will be based on the severity of the injuries, the effect on your life, and what treatment is necessary to bring you back to normal.
The Injured Person’s Age
One of the most important aspects of shoulder injury cases, especially through the court system, is the injured person’s age. The amount of compensation people receive is largely dependent on their age.
A younger injured person will receive more compensation than an older person for the same injury because they have a longer life expectancy and need the money for retirement or other needs.
The Severity of Injuries Received
The amount you receive for a rotator cuff injury settlement varies depending on whether bones were broken or joints were affected. What type (if any), how many muscles were damaged, to what degree nerves were affected, etc.
A shoulder injury claim will be paid based on the severity of your injuries. For example, a person with six broken bones would receive more compensation than someone with one.
The Effect on Your Life
A rotator cuff injury claim is usually paid based on how much it will affect your daily living. For example, can you still work, attend school, and take care of yourself?
On the other hand, would you need to hire help, at least temporarily? If so, the compensation you receive would be greater than someone who could do all daily things without assistance.
The Treatment Needed to Treat Injuries
Health insurance will cover a certain percentage of medical costs, and you can use the rest as part of your rotator cuff injury claim (if necessary and not covered by insurance). The amount you receive for this type of claim will be less if the treatment is short-term and minor or greater if it is long-term and expensive.
How to Recover Compensation Through Uninsured Motorist Coverage
If you are hurt in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, your compensation claim will be bolstered if you can show proof of the driver’s carelessness.
However, most often, compensation does not come directly from the driver; instead, it comes through their car insurance company via liability coverage. If it is an uninsured motorist, this poses a significant
Fortunately, if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, you may have another alternative for covering your medical expenditures and other losses.
Namely, you can submit a claim with your insurance provider through your uninsured motorist coverage. All Illinois car insurance companies are required to include this coverage.
However, ensuring that you receive the full compensation that you need for shoulder injuries and any other damages will require some effort on your part.
First, you’ll need to gather all of the evidence regarding the at-fault driver’s negligence, including witness statements, accident reports, photos of the scene, and so on.
You may also be able to press charges against them in exchange for dropping your claim against their insurance company — only if the charges would hold up in court, of course. So again, you may not get everything that you want through this process, but fighting for what you’re owed will help you come closer to a resolution.
When the At-Fault Driver Is Not Charged
If no charges can be pressed, and if the defendant’s car insurance company denied your uninsured motorist claim, you may have to sue the at-fault driver directly in a personal injury lawsuit. In this case, you’ll have to prove negligence on their part and cover legal fees yourself.
Luckily, though, car insurance companies typically provide accident victims with a free consultation by a qualified attorney if their uninsured motorist claim is denied twice. Legal advice will help you decide the best course of action for getting your claim on track.
Suppose you or a loved one has been hurt by someone else’s negligence and suffered a significant shoulder injury. In that case, you should talk with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Rosenfield Injury Lawyers LLC’s experienced personal injury attorneys are available to assist you in obtaining the compensation you need and deserve for your shoulder problem.
Talk to our Chicago Car Accident Lawyers About Your Shoulder Injury Car Accident Settlement Value
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has worked on a contingency fee basis with thousands of car accidents suffering from serious rotator cuff injuries. Our law firm understands the hard work and resources that make the difference with personal injury claims. Our experience will surely count when you are pursuing financial compensation in Illinois.
Talk to one of the car accident attorneys in a free consultation today. All confidential or sensitive information you share about your temporary or permanent injury remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Your personal injury attorney can lay out a plan that leaves nothing to chance for your case. We can begin today! You deserve the best.