When a bone breaks or cracks, the injury is called a fracture. In the arm, a fracture most often occurs in the long shaft of one of the three-arm bones. The three-arm bones are the humerus, radius, and ulna.
One of the many injuries a victim can suffer in a car accident or a slip and fall is broken arm. Arm injuries, particularly arm fractures, are more common in slip and fall cases than car accidents although they can occur in either. The average settlement value of the broken arm depends on the placement and degree of the injury.
After an accident resulting in an injury, such as an arm fracture, it is important to find an attorney who can get you the compensation you are entitled to. Although every case is unique with a different set of circumstances, knowing the value of your injury can help determine your best chances of success.
A common question that accident victims ask is, how much is my injury claim worth? The economic and non-economic damages that can be awarded for broken arm claims vary depending upon the type of fracture and the location of the arm fracture (upper vs. lower).Upper Arm Fractures
The humerus is the bone that extends from the shoulder to the elbow. In otherwise healthy people, fractures of the humerus are generally caused by a direct blow to the upper arm. This type of arm fracture can be caused by a motor vehicle accident or high-impact fall. Less often, the humerus can fracture because of a severe twist of the upper arm, for example, a fall on an outstretched arm while trying to catch oneself. This types of break curves around the bone and is sometimes called a spiral or a ball throwers fracture. While these tend to be severe they are fairly rare amongst non-athletes.
It is unlikely that the humerus would break from a low-impact bump or fall. If it does, this may mean that the bone has been weakened by an illness, such as cancer. These are called pathologic fractures. Cancer-related fractures of the upper arm bone tend to occur in older people. While trauma-related fractures of the humerus tend to affect younger adults and children. The majority of humerus fractures heal with a sling or brace and do not require surgery. However, if you are forced to undergo surgery, for a humerus fracture your pain and suffering will likely elevate the value of your claim. Nonetheless, depending on the cause of the injury it may have a substantial effect your settlement value. For example, if you have a pre-existing medical diagnoses, such as cancer or osteoporosis, it may weaken the value of your case.
Upper arm fractures are generally considered a more serious injury than a lower arm fracture. A fracture of the upper arm involves more pain and longer recovery time. A break of the upper arm also has a higher possibility of resulting in some type of permanent impairment. Upper arm fractures therefore have a slightly higher settlement value in personal injury cases.Lower Arm Fractures
The forearm contains two bones, the radius, and the ulna. Each bone extends from the elbow to the wrist. The radius is on the same side of the arm as the thumb. While the ulna is on the side of the pinky finger. When the forearm is fractured, either the radius or ulna may be fractured alone, or both fractured collectively. In either case, the injury is almost always caused by a direct blow to the forearm, or by falling on an outstretched arm. Among young Americans, forearm fractures are most common in young adults as sports-related injuries.
The average settlement value of a forearm break is going to depend on the degree and whether the injury was permanent. A clean break that heals in the normal amount of time is going to have a very different value than an injury that continues to the day of trial. In addition to the anatomical location of the injury, the value of your claim will depend on the type of fracture and additional symptoms that the injury has caused you to experience. For example, if you broke both the radius and the ulna, your settlement value may be higher, than if you fractured just the radius. Most often the value of your claim depends on upon the circumstances that caused the fracture, and its continued effects.Broken Arm Settlements & Verdicts
Below are summaries of recent jury verdicts and reported settlements from personal injury cases involving broken arms.
- 2020, Michigan: $4,500,000 Settlement. A tractor-trailer struck a man’s vehicle while traveling along a local freeway. The man suffered a broken right arm, a broken left leg, a broken right leg, a drop foot, a right ankle fracture, a traumatic brain injury, and depression. He was brought to a hospital, where he underwent multiple surgeries and rehabilitative treatment. After two years of litigation, the case settled for $4,500,000.
- 2019, Missouri: $1,000,000 Settlement. A 10-year-old girl suffered a right arm fracture that resulted in permanent scarring. This occurred after the ATV she was a passenger in crashed. The accident took place during a house party. Another attendee took her on an ATV ride. However, he was intoxicated at the time, which contributed to the crash. His insurance paid its $500,000 policy limit. The girl’s counsel also settled with the party’s hosts for another $500,000 policy limit. Her recovery totaled $1,000,000.
- 2019, Oregon: $90,000 Verdict. A 66-year-old woman slipped and fell on a concrete lip as she returned to her vehicle after getting coffee at Starbucks. She suffered bilateral arm fractures, a facial injury, unspecified soft-tissue injuries, and a large hematoma on her forehead. She underwent surgery to insert hardware on her left arm. Nine months later, she underwent a second surgery to remove the hardware. She sued the City of Hillsboro, claiming that the location was unmarked. The jury awarded her a $90,000 verdict.
- 2019, Wisconsin: $60,000 Settlement. A vehicle struck a 12-year-old boy as he crossed a street while walking home from school. The collision took place in a school zone. He suffered a right arm fracture and a lacerated tendon of the long finger on his left hand. The boy’s counsel claimed that the driver’s excessive speeding caused him to lose control of the vehicle. This case settled for $60,000.
- 2019, Washington: $1,480,004 Verdict. A 61-year-old wheelchair-bound woman visited the University of Washington Medical Center for an echocardiogram. She suffered from osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic disorder that caused her bones to break easily. The woman mentioned this to the sonographer who would perform her echocardiogram. This required her to get onto a table. However, the table was too high for her to get onto without any assistance. The sonographer called for another sonographer to help get her onto the table. The woman sustained a fractured left upper humerus while the second sonographer tried to lift her from her wheelchair onto the table. Her humerus fracture never fully healed because of her condition. This permanently limited the use of her left arm. The woman could no longer use her modified van that helped her get around. She now needed in-home assistance. The woman sued UWMC for failing to provide appropriate equipment and failing to train its staff regarding the facility’s safe patient handling policy, which prohibited manual patient lifting. The two sonographers were initially unaware of this policy until after she filed suit. A jury awarded her a $1,480,004 verdict.
- 2019, Washington: $1,800,000 Settlement. A 55-year-old woman entered an intersection on a green light. A dump truck failed to yield the right-of-way and made a left-turn into her vehicle’s path, which caused a T-Bone collision. She suffered left arm fractures, a radial head fracture, a femur fracture, a dislocated right ankle, a left-arm laceration, a scalp laceration, and hearing loss. The woman underwent surgery to treat her radial head fracture, comprising the insertion of hardware. She also underwent surgery to treat her dislocated right ankle. Despite undergoing these procedures, she now claimed permanent injuries. This case settled for $1,800,000.
The average settlement value for a broken arm in a personal injury lawsuit is around $50,000 to $80,000. Upper arm fractures are worth more than lower arm fractures. The most serious broken arm cases (those involving multiple fractures or bone splinters) can have a settlement value of $300,000 or more.What Impacts The Value Of A Broken Arm Case?
There are 2 primary factors which drive the settlement value of broken arms in personal injury cases: (1) the type and location of the fracture, and (2) how the broken arm impacts the victims life.How Much Do Insurance Companies Pay for Pain & Suffering for a Broken Arm?
There is no exact formula to calculate the amount of pain and suffering damages that a plaintiff can expect for a broken arm. Insurance companies usually calculate settlement offer for pain and suffering based on the extent and length of any medical treatment and lost wages. The more treatment and lost wages, the higher the pain & suffering.Broken Arm Injury Lawyers
If you have suffered a broken bone in an accident, you should contact a lawyer. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options in a personal injury claim, and give you an honest opinion of the value of your potential case.