If you have a shoulder injury from a car accident in Georgia, you deserve to be compensated for your pain and suffering, related medical expenses, decreased use of your arm, and other related issues.
The value of your claim could span a wide range because there are different factors that will influence it. Shoulder injury claims can typically be anywhere from $10,000 to $200,000, or more.
Knowing how much money you can expect to receive requires information about your accident. Our experienced lawyers will look closely at each contributing factor and give you more information to help you determine the potential outcome of your case.
Types of Shoulder Injuries From Car Accidents
One element that will impact the final value of your case is the exact type of shoulder injury you experienced. Severe injuries will impact your daily life more than minor sprains, so it is important to know the difference.
The following is a list of the most common shoulder injuries from car accidents.
Fractured or Broken Bone
Three bones might be involved in this kind of fracture or break – the clavicle (collar bone), proximal humerus (top of the upper arm), and the scapula (shoulder blade).
In a car accident, just one or even all three might sustain injury. The severity of your break will impact your daily life in different ways and could take longer to heal.
AC Joint Injury
The AC joint injury is very common in car accidents. This describes any injury that involves the place where the acromion bone (the front of the shoulder blade) attaches to the clavicle (or collarbone).
This type of injury is very traumatic and typically requires open surgery. Not all cases are the same, but it usually takes about 4-6 weeks for people to get full motion back after healing from it.
Rotator Cuff Tear
A torn rotator cuff is the most common shoulder injury that happens in car accidents. It can be either a partial or complete tear.
With a partial tear, the muscle is not torn all the way through. Depending on the severity of the tear, this might be very painful and could impact your shoulder’s range of motion.
If someone experiences a complete tear, this means the rotator cuff was torn all the way through. It is also known as a full-thickness tear.
A full-thickness tear is the most painful of the two injuries and has the longest recovery time. It might take a torn rotator cuff anywhere from 6-9 months to completely heal, though mobility and full use may never return.
Deep Tissue Bruising
Bruising deep in the tissue is another common shoulder injury from car accidents. It is extremely painful and dangerous because it may cause internal bleeding.
This common injury people sustain from car accidents happens when the upper arm bone pops out of the shoulder socket. This requires prompt medical attention and some people may lose shoulder function for weeks.
Shoulder dislocation is a factor in total compensation because it might make your shoulder prone to repeat dislocations in the future.
Shoulder sprains are also a common shoulder injury from car accidents. With a sprain, you might experience swelling, tenderness, limited movement, and impact on future mobility.
These are just the most common types of injuries people might receive from car accidents. It is not a complete list of all the shoulder injuries that someone might experience.
Factors That Affect Settlement Amounts
There are quite a few components that will affect your settlement amount. These are some of the most common ones a lawyer will look at when trying to estimate your settlement.
Nature of Medical Treatment and Amount of Medical Expenses
The type of medical care and/or rehabilitation you receive will also influence the amount of your compensation. A few examples that will increase what you are owed includes whether you had to undergo surgery as a result of the accident, the final cost of your medical bills, and whether hardware was put in.
The invasiveness of the treatment is another factor that must be considered. Shots, injections, physical therapy, and even post-surgical prognosis (such as limiting your previous activities) will all be factors in your final settlement amount.
Negligence of the At-Fault Party
Determining who was at fault and their level of negligence will affect how much you will receive. If the other party was breaking driving laws or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then this will increase the amount of your compensation.
If you were partially or completely the at-fault party, then that will change your settlement total as well.
Severity of Injury
The severity of the shoulder injury also affects the value given to an injured person.
A more severe injury will require higher-cost procedures, treatments, and rehabilitation services to treat it. This leads to higher costs of medical bills, possible surgeries, extended physical therapy, and even time off work.
In cases where surgical repairs are recommended, the value of the claim is greatly increased. Not only is the pain and suffering increased by enduring surgery and recovery, but the cost of surgery in some cases is $75,000 or more. All things being equal, the need for surgery always increases the value of a shoulder injury case.
Even minor injuries are entitled to compensation, especially if you have to go through physical therapy to regain full movement of your shoulder.
Time Off Work
If your shoulder injury affects your ability to work, then a loss of earning capacity will be a factor in your final compensation.
This can include time off work to attend physical therapy. If your injury is so severe that you cannot fulfill your duties at your place of employment, then this will lead to loss of income. Any loss of income is an important factor in settlement amounts.
Loss of Personal and Family Activities
If your injury causes you to miss out on family activities it will influence the total compensation you recover. For example, if your injury causes you to miss out on vacations or family activities, then that will be considered.
Loss of enjoyment of life should be considered if the injured is no longer able to participate in things that once brought them joy. An example could be a father being unable to coach on his daughter’s softball team anymore due to his shoulder injury.
Decreased Use of Arm
The decreased use of your arm is a determining factor in settlement amounts, especially if you rely on your arms for your employment. Shoulder use could affect your daily ability to care for yourself or others, resulting in having to use extra services.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is always a factor. Your pain may be invisible, but it isn’t intangible. The injured is the one suffering from the pain and lack of quality of life due to the negligent actions of another.
Our lawyers will look closely at your case and help you determine how much compensation your pain and suffering entitles you to.
Contact a Duluth Car Accident Lawyer
If you have a shoulder injury from a car accident, contact Scholle Law immediately. We will take a closer look at every detail in your case and help you determine how much you are entitled to so you can receive what you deserve.