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Maryland Shoulder Injury Compensation Payouts

This page is for personal injury victims and accident lawyers who want to better understand shoulder injury cases’ trial and settlement value.

Our shoulder injury lawyers do this by looking at average settlement payout statistics and verdict and settlement payouts data from other shoulder injury cases. We also provide our attorneys’ real-life experience handling these claims to put this data in the proper context.

Our focus is Maryland personal injury claims. But the logic applies to shoulder injury claims in any state.

How the Science of Shoulder Injuries Impacts Settlement Amounts

Before we get into settlement value, let’s talk briefly about the science of traumatic shoulder injuries. To understand a shoulder injury claim in full context, you must understand the shoulder. The shoulder heals poorly, and this impacts settlement value. Too many insurance companies and accident attorneys in Maryland fail to appreciate this.

Should Pain Pump Claims

The part of the shoulder affected by pain pumps is the glenohumeral joint, also known as the shoulder joint, which joins the glenoid (the socket of the shoulder) with the humerus (the ball of the upper arm bone).

The cartilage of the shoulder joint is the labrum. The labrum is the disc of cartilage that lines the glenoid. It stabilizes the joint and limits excessive movement of the humerus. Additionally, it keeps the glenoid and the humerus together.

Many different types of injuries can require arthroscopic shoulder surgery, where a surgeon repairs the shoulder by making several small incisions in the joint to insert a camera and tools.

For example, rotator cuff tears, labral tears, and impingement syndrome may all be treated arthroscopically. Approximately four million patients in the United States seek medical attention each year for shoulder injuries. Shoulder arthroscopy is performed on 1.4 million people annually.

Shoulder Injuries Heal Poorly, Which Impacts Settlement Payouts

Many things about shoulder injuries are unique and impact the appropriate compensation payout for victims.

Let’s start with the joint itself. The shoulder joint is the least constrained joint in our bodies. For example, your hip joint fits concentrically into a socket. The mobile shoulder joint does not concentrically fit. The socket is flat, and the ball is round.

What does this mean? The shoulder joint really needs functional soft tissues around it – the rotator cuff, the labrum, the capsule, and so forth – to provide stability to the shoulder joints. What this means is that normal shoulder functionality requires a lot of moving parts to work well together.

The other important thing to understand about the shoulder when it comes to putting a settlement value on these injuries is that tendons, ligaments, and tendons in the shoulder are poorly vascularized. This means the shoulder does not get sufficient blood supply. This impedes the healing process. The result is often poor and incomplete healing after a motor vehicle crash. A soft tissue shoulder injury usually heals with no scarring or last injury.

These challenges in healing a shoulder injury often result in progressive deterioration of the shoulder over time, which can lead to future shoulder arthroplasty that may or may not be successful. Frozen shoulder is also a common secondary complication from car crashes.

These complications and future challenges need to be baked into the settlement calculus. They often are not if you do not have a personal injury lawyer to hold the defendant’s feet to the fire.

Finally, serious shoulder injuries are challenging to diagnose. Injuries like, for example, a tear of the cartilaginous labrum of the joint are often difficult to see on an MRI. So are cartilage defects. Defense lawyers like to pretend things that because something cannot be fully seen with radiographic testing, it does not exist.

As plaintiffs’ shoulder injury lawyers, it is our job to solve this problem by making these injuries come to life with the insurance company and, if necessary, a jury.

Settlement Value of Shoulder Injuries

Victims know that their attorney is not going to help them heal. Our job is to get as much money for our clients as possible. Clearly, permanent shoulder injuries will have a greater settlement value than injuries that fully resolve. Higher-energy or high-level cases where vehicle property damage is high will also drive settlement value.

The average shoulder injury verdict approaches $100,000. Shoulder injury cases often settle for much less. Insurance companies and even car accident attorneys habitually undervalue these cases. Why? Because they do consider challenges that are specific to shoulder injuries.

One injury that is often a battlefield is a torn labrum. A labral tear is more commonly seen in workers’ compensation cases from repetitive stress. But a labrum tear can also occur from car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. Our shoulder injury lawyers in Baltimore are more likely to need to file suit in accident cases like this.

Sample Verdicts and Settlements in Shoulder Damage Cases

Below are verdicts and settlements in selected shoulder injury cases. Most of these are car, truck, or motorcycle accident cases that comprise the vast majority of these claims (because the bar is higher to climb in premises liability cases).

These case outcomes are instructive in helping you understand the value of these claims. But they are just one tool of many and, used alone, are not predictive of the value of an individual case.

All of these verdict payouts and settlement compensation amounts are lump sum payments. Worker’s comp is often very different.

  • 2023, Florida: $4,500,000 Verdict:  While traveling as a passenger in her family’s vehicle in Jacksonville, Florida, a 17-year-old girl was sideswiped by a box truck. The collision led to several injuries, notably a painful torn labrum. This labrum tear, a serious injury often associated with persistent pain and limited joint mobility, significantly hampered her daily activities and well-being, A jury awarded her nearly $4.5 million in damages for her shoulder and other injuries.
  • 2022, Maryland: $111,860 Verdict: The plaintiff was driving an MTA bus when the defendant made a left turn in front of the bus and struck the front passenger side. The plaintiff claimed she sustained a right shoulder injury that required surgical intervention, headaches, and unspecified neck and back injuries. The verdict included $27,940 for past medical expenses, $58,920 for past lost wages (which seems very high), and $25,000 for pain and suffering damages.
  • 2022, Maryland: $40,000 Verdict: The plaintiff was stopped in traffic for a red light when a vehicle operated by the defendant collided with the rear of his vehicle and pushed it up against the vehicle in front of him. The plaintiff allegedly suffered a sprained shoulder, but his primary injury was lumbar disc herniation. He also claimed back sprains and headaches. The $40,000 award was all pain and suffering and included no medical expenses. Only a fraction of this was probably for the shoulder sprain.
  • 2021, Maryland: $78,471 Verdict: A 53-year-old male reportedly suffered right shoulder tears, requiring surgery and physical therapy, as well as injuries to his cervical and thoracic spine, when, while stopped at a red light, his vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by the defendant. The award included $35,000 for pain and suffering and $43,471 for medical expenses.
  • 2020, Maryland: $310,505 Verdict: A 50-year-old woman is struck in the Arundel Mills Mall parking lot. She experiences significant neck and shoulder pain. Four months earlier, she had undergone a multi-level cervical fusion. Her imaging studies reveal slight spinal changes. The woman receives chiropractic and physical therapy. Still, she claims permanent neck and shoulder pain. She testified that the collision prevented a full surgical recovery. She settled with the liability insurer for $30,000 but continued with an underinsured motorist claim against Allstate. A Prince George’s County jury saw the case her way and gave her a $310,505 payout.
  • 2019, Maryland: $220,000 Settlement: Our client is hit when the defendant’s vehicle attempts to make a U-turn in front of his motorcycle. He drives himself to a Baltimore-area hospital. After a few weeks of therapy, his doctor recommends an arthroscopy that includes a rotator cuff repair, subacromial decompression, and biceps tenodesis (tendon repair). The defendant offers $98,000 to settle the case. Our law firm files suit and the offer ultimately increases to $220,000. The defendant’s policy was $250,000.
  • 2019, Maryland $86,633 Verdict: A 78-year-old pedestrian was struck at a Baltimore intersection. She tore her left rotator cuff and biceps tendon. The woman also had her pre-existing back condition aggravated. She underwent physical therapy and painkilling injections. The woman also took pain medications. Her physicians testified that she reached her maximum medical improvement. The woman alleged that the driver’s failure to yield to a pedestrian caused her permanent injuries. A Baltimore City jury awarded $86,633.
  • 2019, Maryland: $120,429 Verdict: A 73-year-old man was rear-ended. He suffered a concussion and soft-tissue left shoulder, neck, and right rib injuries. The man also experienced the aggravation of his pre-existing degenerative lumbar condition. He has physical therapy and steroid injections. The man’s soft-tissue symptoms resolved, but not his lower back ones. His treating physiatrist testified that his injuries were permanent, collision-related, and required future surgeries. The man alleged that the at-fault driver’s negligence caused them. The defense contested this allegation. They argued that the man’s injuries were pre-existing and degenerative. The Montgomery County jury ruled in the man’s favor and awarded $120,429. (This case seems to be only partially related to the shoulder.)
  • 2016, Maryland: $250,000 Settlement: Our client stops in heavy traffic on Route 97 in Glen Burnie and is hit from behind by a driver who is not paying attention. She has shoulder surgery and, thankfully, makes a remarkable recovery. GEICO offered its $50,000 limits, and Erie paid $200,000 in uninsured motorist coverage.
  • 2014, Maryland: $315,000 Settlement. Our client was a passenger in a taxi cab that veered off the road and crashed into a ditch. An MRI revealed four torn tendons and “massive” damage to his cuff. He underwent surgery to correct the damage and was ordered to wear a protective sling for 6-8 weeks following surgery. Miller & Zois handled this case.Shoulder Injury
  • 2013, Maryland: $33,000 Verdict. A 56 year-old-woman is forced off the road when the defendant exits a parking lot in front of her vehicle. The plaintiff slams into a pole and totals her car. Her rotator cuff is torn during the accident. The shoulder needs surgery, but the plaintiff cannot afford it due to a lack of insurance. State Farm admits that its insured driver caused the accident but claims that the shoulder injury pre-existed the accident. The Montgomery County court awards the plaintiff a lump sum of $33,000.
  • 2013, Maryland: $93,612 Verdict. A motorcyclist in Baltimore County sustains a partial thickness rotator cuff tear that results in permanent injury. The defendant changed lanes abruptly, and the plaintiff runs into the back of the vehicle. Plaintiff additionally suffers abrasions to his lower body and unspecific injuries to his neck and back. The driver claims a phantom vehicle cut him off, causing the swerving maneuver. A Towson jury awards the plaintiff $93,612 for his injuries.Drives Shoulder Settlement
  • 2012, Maryland: $335,639 Verdict. A 50-year-old couple is injured when a construction site adjacent to their home collapses. The husband suffers a torn rotator cuff that requires surgery and eighteen months out of work. The wife receives severe lacerations around her eye that cause permanent disfiguration. The defendant had been attempting to construct a home for the past several years, and his negligent building skills resulted in the collapse. The Calvert County jury awards $335,630 when the defendant improperly answers the complaint and fails to appear at trial.
  • 2012, Maryland: $43,481 Verdict. Defendant driver swerves across two lanes of traffic into the opposing road and runs head-on into the plaintiff. The plaintiff receives a rotator cuff tear that requires decompression and debridement surgery. Additionally, the plaintiff suffers cervicothoracic, thoracolumbar, and lumbosacral spine strains. The defendant disputes the necessity of the medical treatment and the causation of the injuries, but a Prince Frederick jury awards $43,481 in relief.
  • 2012, Maryland: $72,162 Verdict. A 45 year-old-woman in stop-and-go traffic is sandwiched between the two defendants in an auto collision. The plaintiff sustains a painful rotator cuff injury. An Annapolis jury determines that the back defendant was the driver at fault, and the front defendant settles a separate injury claim for an undisclosed amount.
  • 2012, Maryland: $ 58,000. A man in his 60s receives bilateral shoulder injuries when the defendant driver turns into his lane while attempting a left turn. Defendant argues that the injuries were degenerative and predated the accident. An Ellicott City jury, however, determines one of the shoulder injuries related to the crash and awards $58,000.
  • 2012, Maryland: $10,000. A woman sustains a cervical strain, cervical radiculopathy, and a shoulder rotator cuff tear when the defendant driver crashes into the woman’s vehicle. The defendant admits liability for the collision but denies the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries. A Baltimore County jury finds for the plaintiff but awards only $10,000. Clearly, they did not buy the plaintiff’s case. This same case in Baltimore City might have a very different result. Baltimore County jurors are more skeptical than Baltimore City jurors. This was true in 2012 and it is true today.Shoulder Injury
  • 2012, Maryland: $5,000 Verdict. A woman is completely stopped at an intersection when the defendant driver struck her vehicle after colliding with another non-party vehicle. Plaintiff receives a torn rotator cuff in her dominant arm and requires several months of therapy and pain treatment. Eventually, Plaintiff has surgery to repair the shoulder damage. Defendant argues that the shoulder injury came from a prior condition, and she did not experience enough pain to have torn her rotator cuff. An Upper Marlboro jury originally awards $3,826, but the payout amount is raised to $5,000 due to a high/low agreement.

What Is the Average Settlement or Verdict in a Shoulder Injury?

The average value of a shoulder injury case is about $93,556. There are no statistics on the average settlement for a shoulder surgery lawsuit but, based on our history, our lawyers would expect the average settlement in Maryland for a surgery case to be more than $100,000.

What Is the Average Settlement or Verdict for a Rotator Cuff Injury?

The average rotator cuff award nationally is about $70,000.

Is There a Formula or Calculator for the Value of My Shoulder Injury Case?

The value of your shoulder case is generally calculated by adding up your past and future lost wages and medical bills plus your pain and suffering.

How much is your pain and suffering worth? That is the hard part. There are so many variables that go into a pain and suffering award that it is difficult to estimate without really understanding the case and the medical records, the jurisdiction, and the impact the injury had on the victim’s life.

What Is the Average Maryland Workers Comp Shoulder Injury Settlement?

The amount of a workers compensation settlement depends on the jurisdiction. Generally speaking, the value of an on-the-job shoulder injury will be less than the value of a third-party tort claim against a non-employer defendant. This generalization is true whether you are paid over time or whether you receive a lump sum payment.

Getting Help for Your Shoulder Injury Claim

If you have suffered a shoulder injury in an automobile or truck accident in the Baltimore-Washington area and want to bring a claim, call one of our Maryland shoulder injury lawyers at 800-553-8082 or get a free no-obligation Internet consultation. Our attorneys have handled scores of these lawsuits. We can help you maximize the value of your case.

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The last case I referred to them settled for $1.2 million. John Selinger
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The case settled and I got a lot more money than I expected. Ron even fought to reduce how much I owed in medical bills so I could get an even larger settlement. Nchedo Idahosa
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