A car accident can change your life at a moment’s notice. While there are many different types of injuries that can follow in the wake of a car accident, shoulder injuries are among the most common.
And, although most people may not realize it, we use our shoulders in almost every activity, from picking up our children to driving to getting dressed and bathing.
Those who suffered a shoulder injury after a car accident often find themselves struggling to maintain the same level of activity they had before the accident.
Whether you suffered a sprain, strain, torn rotator cuff, dislocated shoulder, or any other injury to your shoulder, you may be entitled to financial compensation from the at-fault driver.
Read on to learn more about the average settlement for shoulder surgery and what factors play into a shoulder injury settlement.
What Is the Average Settlement for Car Accident Shoulder Surgery?
Whenever average settlement amounts come up, it is important to understand that every case is different. Insurance companies, which are the ones making settlement offers, rely on complex formulas to determine when to make a settlement offer and for how much.
However, as a general rule, certain factors can increase or decrease a shoulder injury settlement figure. Generally, insurance companies try to settle cases to avoid the risk of taking a case to trial.
So, most of the factors that impact a shoulder injury settlement pertain to liability (the chances that the insurance company will need to pay out on your claim) and damages (the amount of money the insurance company must pay).
Factors That Impact Shoulder Injury Settlement
There are many factors that can impact an insurance company’s willingness to settle a case. However, some of the most influential considerations include the following:
Who Was at Fault?
Personal injury cases, including car accident claims, are based on the legal theory of negligence. Thus, to secure a settlement, you must prove that the other driver was negligent. However, even if the other driver was negligent, if your actions contributed to the accident, it can impact your settlement amount.
Under Texas law, accident victims who are less than 51% at fault may be able to recover compensation from another driver. However, the victim’s damages award is reduced by their own percentage of fault.
For example, assume you were involved in an accident. The case goes to trial, and the jury finds that you suffered $200,000 in damages, you were 10% at fault, and the other driver was 90% at fault.
In this case, your total damages award would be $180,000 rather than the full $200,000. Of course, cases that settle do not end up going to trial, but insurance companies still take fault into account when calculating settlement offers.
The Severity of Your Injuries
The primary reason insurance companies want to settle a case is to avoid the possibility of a much larger verdict at trial. As a result, the more serious your injuries, the greater the chance that the jury will award you significant damages if you succeed at trial.
For example, if you had to undergo total shoulder replacement or rotator cuff repair, your settlement figure could be higher than someone who experienced minor sprains. In some cases, a shoulder injury may prevent you from returning to work or require you to take a lower-paying job than you had before the accident.
This, too, can increase the expected settlement amount because accident victims are entitled to recover compensation for their lost wages and decreased earning capacity.
The Impact Your Injuries Have on Your Life
Personal injury cases allow victims to recover for their economic damages—like medical bills and lost wages—as well as their non-economic damages.
Non-economic damages refer to the emotional and psychological impact that a person’s injuries have on their everyday life. In many Texas car accident cases, non-economic damages make up a large percentage of a victim’s total damages award.
Thus, the greater the impact an accident had on your life, the larger settlement you should demand. Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, emotional distress, and a decrease in quality of life.
The At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Policy Limits
One of the less-known factors in shoulder injury settlements is the availability of insurance coverage.
In Texas, motorists must have an insurance policy that provides at least $30,000 of coverage for injuries per person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident.
Of course, not everyone can afford to pay for car insurance. In fact, a recent 2021 study suggests that many drivers cannot afford car insurance, and even those who can sometimes elect to purchase the minimum coverage.
Typically, an insurance company will want to settle a case for an amount at or below the insurance policy limits of the at-fault driver. However, accident victims may be able to tap into their own coverage, provided they have purchased underinsured motorist coverage.
What to Do After a Shoulder Injury Due to Negligence
The days and weeks after an accident can be a blur. However, this is also an incredibly important time, both for your health as well as your ability to recover compensation for your injuries.
The first thing you should do if you haven’t already is to report the accident. Once you file an accident report, you should make sure you get checked out by a doctor, even if you aren’t experiencing excruciating pain; often, shoulder injuries worsen over time.
Finally, you should reach out to an experienced Austin injury lawyer to discuss your case and what options you have to obtain compensation for your injuries.
Learn More About How Surgery Impacts Your Shoulder Injury Settlement by Speaking with an Experienced Texas Personal Injury Attorney About Your Case
If you or a loved one was recently involved in a serious car accident and needed to undergo shoulder surgery as a result, reach out to the dedicated Austin personal injury attorneys at Armstrong Lee & Baker, LLP.
At our firm, we recognize how an accident can interrupt your life and what it’s going to take to get it back on track. We provide each of our clients with custom-tailored representation based on their unique needs, answering your questions whenever they come up.
Calling is free, and because we accept all car accident shoulder injury cases on a contingency basis, we will not bill you for our legal representation unless we can recover compensation on your behalf.