Rotator Cuff Injury Case Value | Personal Injury Lawyers

A Jury Verdict Research study reports that rotator cuff injuries reached a 7-year high in 2006 with a compensatory award median of $72,667. This is almost 50% higher than previously reported settlements and verdicts in rotator cuff injury cases.

Our lawyers have never understood while the national data in these cases was so low. Washington D.C. rotator cuff injuries have averaged well over $100,000 for rotator cuff settlements and verdicts, so we have never understood why the national average was as low as it has been. In any event, for whatever reason, rotator cuff verdicts are on the rise.

Factors That Increase Settlement Value

The primary factor that drives the settlement value of a rotator cuff injury case is the severity of the injury. The best rotator cuff injury settlement will include one or more of these variables

  • Some limitations with overhead activities and some weakness
  • Surgery
  • A complete full-thickness tear
  • A revision surgery
  • An acute injury without a history of problems with that shoulder
  • An MRI that shows few degenerative changes
  • Under 60 years old

In addition to the severity of the injury, several factors influence the calculation of settlement amounts for rotator cuff injuries in car accidents:

Medical Expenses: The overall cost of medical care, encompassing surgeries, physical therapy, medications, and rehabilitation, plays a crucial role in determining the settlement. These expenses, coupled with lost wages, provide a baseline for insurance adjusters and juries when assessing settlement figures. Higher medical costs often result in larger settlements, provided the insurance company or jury deems them necessary and attributable to the car accident.

Lost Wages and Future Earning Capacity: If the shoulder injury hampers the victim’s ability to work or significantly impacts their future earning potential, the settlement may account for lost wages and potential loss of future earning capacity. Individuals with physically demanding jobs may receive higher settlements due to potential future wage losses.

Pain and Suffering: This factor, closely tied to the injury’s severity, considers the physical pain, emotional distress, and suffering endured by the victim. The impact on daily activities, hobbies, and overall quality of life is taken into account. Generally, rotator cuff injuries requiring surgery are valued higher in settlement negotiations compared to those managed without surgery.

Insurance Coverage and Policy Limits: In cases where insurance coverage is insufficient, the at-fault party’s insurance coverage and policy limits become critical factors. These parameters can cap the maximum settlement amount obtainable. Limited coverage on the part of the at-fault party may constrain the settlement amount accessible to the victim.

Insurance Company Defenses

If there are degenerative changes or evidence of chronic inflammation in the rotator cuff prior to the crash, the defense lawyer and the medical expert that the insurance company hires will try to run with the argument that the accident did not cause the injuries.   If your MRI report says there is rotator cuff tendinopathy with a tiny intrasubstance tear, the insurance company lawyers will also push the theory that this is chronic repetitive microtrauma on the rotator cuff (that often leads to a tendon injury).

This argument carries greater weight with older plaintiffs.  Rotator cuff tears are not uncommon as people get older.

The other big defense is “How bad can it be if you did not get the surgery?”  Rotator cuff repair surgery is certainly not a lifesaving procedure. Many people rightfully fear surgery and kick that can down the road and they are willing to tolerate a malfunction shoulder and even significant disability in terms of range of motion, strength, and endurance.

Rotator Cuff Settlements & Verdicts

Below are summaries of verdicts and settlements from injury cases in which the primary injury alleged by the plaintiff was a rotator cuff tear.

$2,750,000 Settlement (2024 – New York):  A 43-year-old construction worker suffered severe injuries after falling from an improperly secured ladder while working on a renovation project. The incident led to a lawsuit against the general contractor. He had a lot of injuries.  They included herniated discs in both the cervical and lumbar spine, tears in the medial and lateral meniscus of the left knee, and a partial tear in the left shoulder’s rotator cuff. These injuries necessitated multiple surgeries, including knee arthroscopy, cervical discectomy with fusion, and lumbar fusion, culminating in permanent disability and an inability to return to construction work. This case reminds us that evaluating and valuing rotator cuff injuries for settlement can be challenging due to their frequent co-occurrence with other shoulder injuries or systemic health issues. When injuries are entangled, attributing these factors specifically to the rotator cuff injury can be difficult.

$62,932 Verdict (2024 – New Jersey): The plaintiff was a passenger in a van when the host driver recklessly turned right from the middle lane at a high speed, causing a collision with another vehicle. The plaintiff claimed to suffer a left rotator cuff tear, tears to the left supraspinatus and subscapularis, cervical radiculopathy, and cervical and lumbar disc herniations.

$54,419 Verdict (2023 – Washington): A 66-year-old woman collided with the defendant’s vehicle after the defendant negligently made a left-hand turn in front of oncoming traffic. As a result of the accident, she sustained a severe strain in her right rotator cuff capsule, along with soft tissue injuries to her neck and back.

$1,954,024 Verdict (2023 – Alabama): While delivering goods to the defendant Dollar General store, the plaintiff experienced an accident when a loading ramp (supplied by the store) collapsed beneath him, resulting in a fall and subsequent injuries including a torn rotator cuff, a broken toe, and additional injuries.

$238,000 Verdict (2022 – Tennessee): In a transport van collision with another vehicle, two passengers—a paraplegic man and his female caregiver—were involved. The man incurred minor soft-tissue injuries, received minor medical treatments. Conversely, the woman sustained a rotator cuff tear, necessitating shoulder surgery approximately one year later. Additionally, the non-fault driver experienced soft-tissue injuries, aggravating a preexisting condition. The three plaintiffs filed negligence claims against the transport van driver, alleging failure to adhere to a stop sign and yield the right-of-way. Subsequently, the jury awarded $238,000 in damages.

$200,000 Settlement (2021 – Virginia): At a red light, the plaintiff was rear-ended by the defendant driving a Ford F-350. An MRI revealed a degenerative tear necessitating surgery. The plaintiff accumulated $100,000 in medical expenses, a substantial amount in a rotator cuff injury case. The plaintiff contended that they were asymptomatic prior to the collision. Erie Insurance countered, asserting that the injury was degenerative and unrelated to the truck accident. Nevertheless, they agreed to settle for $200,000.

$639,000 Verdict (2021 – Mississippi): An 18-wheeler struck a 70-year-old woman, resulting in a torn rotator cuff and a disc injury. Following the accident, the woman underwent steroid injections and physical therapy. However, she now faced the necessity of future fusion and shoulder repair procedures. The woman claimed that the truck driver’s negligence was responsible for her injuries, a contention disputed by the defense. Ultimately, a jury sided with the woman and granted her a $639,000 award.

$55,000 Settlement (2020 – Pennsylvania): A woman was involved in a sideswipe accident, resulting in a partially torn right rotator cuff and soft-tissue injuries to her neck and back. Her physician advised future shoulder surgery. The woman attributed her injuries to the negligence of the at-fault driver. As a resolution, she received a settlement of $55,000.

Getting a Lawyer for Your Claim

Our attorneys handle rotator cuff injury cases. Our lawyers have handled scores of rotator cuff injuries in car and truck accidents, typically with side collision or “T-bone” accidents.

Our lawyers believe that insurance companies do not give fair value in most rotator cuff injury cases and we will fight to get you the financial compensation you deserve. Call a rotator cuff lawyer to protect you at 800-553-8082 or click here for a free consultation and case evaluation.

Contact Information