Average Settlement Value of Arm Injuries

This page will look at broken arms and other types of arm injuries in personal injury lawsuits. We will discuss the various types of arm injuries that our lawyers typically see in tort cases, and we will analyze the average settlement payout value for these arm injuries in a lawsuit.

Arm Injuries in Car Accidents

Arm injuries in car accidents are common due to the confined space of the vehicle, the force of impact, and the natural instinct of occupants to brace for impact with their arms. The types and severity of these injuries can vary widely depending on factors such as the speed of the collision, the direction of impact, whether occupants were wearing seat belts, and the deployment of airbags.

Here’s an overview of how arm injuries can occur in car accidents and the most prevalent types:

Bracing for Impact: Occupants may instinctively extend their arms to brace against the dashboard, steering wheel, or side doors. This action can lead to fractures, sprains, and strains due to the force exerted on the arm during impact.

Steering Wheel Impact: Drivers, in particular, can suffer arm injuries if their hands are on the steering wheel at the moment of collision. The force of the impact can cause the steering wheel to jerk sharply, leading to fractures or soft tissue injuries.

Airbag Deployment: While airbags are critical for preventing more severe injuries, their rapid deployment can cause arm injuries, especially if the occupant’s arm is in front of the airbag when it inflates.

Penetration or Crushing Injuries: Sharp or heavy objects inside the car can become projectiles during a crash, potentially penetrating the arm or causing crush injuries. Additionally, parts of the car’s structure may crumple or intrude into the cabin space, leading to similar types of injuries.

Arm Injuries in Slip and Fall Cases

Serious arm injuries, particularly fractures, are most commonly seen in premises liability or “slip and fall” cases. If you stop and think about the physical mechanics of a slip and fall accident, it should be pretty obvious why arm injuries (specifically broken arms) are so common. When you slip and fall, your body instinctively uses your arms to brace you on impact. This means that the arms typically take the brunt of any physical punishment in a slip and fall.

Arm Injuries and Their Settlement Value

Settlement payouts for arm injuries are significantly influenced by the nature of the injury, its long-term effects, and the circumstances surrounding the incident that led to the injury. Each type of arm injury brings its own set of factors into the settlement equation, impacting potential payout amounts.

Settlement Value of Broken Arms

You would think fractures present a relatively straightforward scenario for settlement discussions, largely because the medical evidence surrounding such injuries is usually clear and well-documented.  It is straightforward to some extent. The treatment costs and recovery timelines are often predictable, enabling easier calculation of lost wages and medical expenses. However, from a settlement perspective, placing a dollar amount on that is a battlefield because we sometimes agree on everything with the insurance company and still disagree wildly on what the settlement compensation should be.

Fractures present a relatively straightforward scenario for settlement discussions, largely because the medical evidence surrounding such injuries is usually clear and well-documented. The treatment costs and recovery timelines are often predictable, enabling easier calculation of lost wages and medical expenses. However, from a settlement perspective, if the fracture heals completely, its perceived long-term impact might be minimal, potentially limiting claims for non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

Let’s look at specific types of fractures because it makes a difference.

Simple (Closed) Fractures: Simple fractures, where the bone breaks but does not pierce the skin, tend to have more straightforward treatment paths and recovery timelines. From a settlement standpoint, these injuries often result in more predictable compensation calculations for medical expenses and lost wages. However, the relatively uncomplicated nature of these injuries might limit claims for non-economic damages unless there’s a compelling demonstration of significant pain, suffering, or long-term impact.

Compound (Open) Fractures: Compound fractures, where the broken bone pierces the skin, pose a higher risk of infection and often require surgical intervention. The severity and visible nature of these injuries can justify higher settlement amounts, reflecting not just the immediate medical costs but also the potential for long-term treatment and rehabilitation. The psychological impact of a compound fracture, including the trauma of the injury and any resultant scarring, can also factor into non-economic damages.

Comminuted Fractures: In comminuted fractures, the bone is broken into several pieces, presenting a complex medical challenge that often necessitates surgical reconstruction. These injuries can lead to significant settlements due to the complexity of treatment, a longer rehabilitation period, and a higher likelihood of long-term impairment or disability. The intricate nature of these fractures means that settlements must consider not only current medical expenses but also future care needs and potential loss of earnings.

Hairline Fractures: Hairline fractures are fine cracks in the bone and are often harder to detect. While they may seem minor, they can cause significant pain and require a period of rest and immobilization, affecting an individual’s ability to work and perform daily activities. Settlements for hairline fractures might focus more on the impact of the injury on the claimant’s quality of life and ability to earn an income, rather than extensive medical treatments.

Greenstick Fractures: Greenstick fractures, most common in children, involve a partial break in the bone. These fractures generally heal well, but they raise unique considerations in personal injury cases involving minors. Settlements might need to account for the child’s future growth and any potential impact on bone development. While the immediate medical costs may be lower, the settlement could include considerations for monitoring and future medical evaluations.

Impacted Fractures: Impacted fractures occur when the ends of the broken bone are driven into each other. These injuries often require significant medical intervention to realign the bone, sometimes involving surgery. From a settlement perspective, the severity of the injury, the need for potential surgical intervention, and the impact on the claimant’s ability to function can all justify higher compensation, both for economic losses and non-economic damages.

Settlement Value of Other Types of Arm Injuries

Fractured arms are certainly not the only type of arm injury that our lawyers encounter in personal injury and accident cases. In fact, most arm injuries that we see in personal injury cases are not fractures. Below is an outline of the most common non-fracture arm injuries we deal with in accident cases.

Tendon Injuries

Tendon Injuries can increase the economic damages due to the often-required surgical intervention and extended rehabilitation periods. These injuries can lead to substantial claims for future damages or diminished earning capacity, especially when there’s a long-term reduction in the range of motion or strength. Yet, the challenge in tendon injury cases lies in substantiating the full extent of the injury and its lifelong repercussions, which may necessitate expert medical testimony. Insurers might also argue that pre-existing conditions contributed to the injury, complicating the settlement process.

Nerve Damage

Nerve Damage cases are particularly complex due to the significant and enduring effects these injuries can have, including chronic pain and loss of function. Such cases can justify substantial claims for non-economic damages due to their profound impact on quality of life. However, proving the full extent of nerve damage and its direct connection to the incident can be challenging since symptoms can be subjective and difficult to quantify. Insurers may contest the severity of the injury or its causation, often leading to detailed medical evaluations and the need for expert testimony.

Nerve settlement payouts for arm injuries are significantly influenced by the nature of the injury, its long-term effects, and the circumstances surrounding the incident that led to the injury. Each type of arm injury brings its own set of factors into the settlement equation, impacting potential payout amounts and the complexity of securing those settlements.


Amputations are among the most severe outcomes of arm injuries and tend to result in higher settlement offers. The permanent and visible nature of these injuries justifies extensive claims for medical costs, future care, prosthetics, and significant non-economic damages due to the dramatic impact on the claimant’s life.  The settlement value of these lawsuits can run into the millions pretty quickly.

Crush Injuries

Crush Injuries involve a combination of damages—bone, tendon, nerve—which supports comprehensive compensation claims. These injuries often lead to complicated medical conditions, such as infections or complex regional pain syndrome, warranting claims for extensive future medical treatments. The multifaceted nature of crush injuries can, however, lead to disputes over the causation and extent of each component of the injury, as well as the unpredictability of recovery outcomes, adding layers of complexity to the settlement negotiations.

Arm Injury Verdicts & Settlements

Below are summaries of recent verdicts and settlements in actual personal injury lawsuits in which on of the primary injuries alleged by the plaintiff was an arm injury.

$225,000 Verdict (New Jersey 2024): Plaintiff was walking to the garbage dumpster of her apartment complex, owned and managed by the defendants, when she slipped and fell on black ice. The plaintiff claimed to suffer fractures to her right olecranon and right radius, requiring open reduction and internal fixation and resulting in permanent injury to her dominant arm. She sued the management company for negligent maintenance of the complex.

$125,000 Settlement (Pennsylvania 2024): An elderly woman who was a non-ambulatory resident of defendant nursing home, suffered a right humerus fracture while being transferred by staff using a Hoyer lift and required surgical intervention. As a result of the surgery for the fracture, she developed a pressure sore which developed into sepsis and caused her death. Her estate sued the nursing home for negligence in dropping her from the lift causing the broken arm.

$3,100,000 Settlement (California 2023): The plaintiff, a 29-year-old motorcycle salesperson, was traveling eastbound at an intersection when a motor vehicle operated by defendant made a left turn, resulting in a collision with the plaintiff’s motorcycle. The plaintiff suffered an above-the-knee, left leg amputation, compound fracture of the right arm/wrist, fractured right femur/pelvis, T-6 spinal fracture, and liver laceration, resulting in a more than two-month hospitalization and multiple surgeries.

$5,164,000 Verdict (Florida 2023): The plaintiff was on the-job, pressure-washing the roof of a Value Pawn store in Kissimmee. While using an aerial lift, plaintiff was electrocuted by nearby powerlines. As a result, plaintiff suffered multiple second-to-third-degree burns and his left arm had to be amputated below the elbow. He sued the employer claiming that it failed to adequately train its employees, failed to have adequate policies and procedures in place, and failed to adequately supervise him.

$70,000 Settlement (New York 2023): Plaintiff, a minor, reportedly was a passenger in their mother’s vehicle that was rear-ended, at or near an intersection with an on/off ramp, by a vehicle driven by defendant. The plaintiff allegedly suffered a nondisplaced, lateral right condyle fracture of the right arm/elbow.

$265,000 Verdict (Pennsylvania 2023): The plaintiff was walking around a zoo owned and operated by defendant when he was caused to trip and fall on a decorative rock extending into the walkway. The plaintiff reportedly suffered two humeral fractures to his right arm which required surgical intervention and resulted in permanent impairment. According to the plaintiff, the defendant created a dangerous condition by placing the boulder next to the walking path and was the proximate cause of his permanent injury.

$18,938,352 Verdict (Illinois 2020): The plaintiff, an adult male, suffered a significant injury to his right arm, resulting in its amputation and permanent and disfiguring injury, and disability, when his arm became entrapped between the conveyor belt and the conveyor brush of a lift system to move skiers and snowboarders, which defendant Ropeway Design, Inc. provided engineering and design services for, while he was removing snow from the snow pit underneath the conveyor system.

Contact Us About Arm Injury Cases

If you suffered an arm injury in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact our lawyers today at 800-533-8082 or contact us online.

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