Shoulder Injury After a Car Accident

Determining the Settlement Value of your Car Accident Shoulder Injuries

One of the most common types of car accident injuries is a shoulder injury. Because of the shoulder’s location in your body and its relationship to your arm, it often bears the brunt of a car accident’s impact.

            The shoulder has the widest range of motion out of all of your body’s joints and serves many important functions. Therefore, when your shoulder suffers an injury, you’re more likely to face challenges in your daily life and experience pain that could result in more serious, long-term damage. These concerns are considered when determining your settlement.

With that in mind, figuring out the source of your car accident shoulder pain and how to treat it are crucial. When you discover the type of shoulder injury that is causing your pain, not only is it easier to treat, but you also have more information to use to get the settlement you deserve. Schedule your free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer today at Snedaker Law.

Common Car Accident Shoulder Injuries

The five most common car accident shoulder injuries are whiplash, soft-tissue injury, torn rotator cuff, dislocation, and fracture.


The most frequent of these is whiplash. In addition to back and neck pain, whiplash also causes pain to radiate to the arms and shoulders. Other symptoms of whiplash are soreness, stiffness, and decreased mobility.

Soft-Tissue Injury

Soft tissue includes the parts of your body that are not bone, like muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Soft tissue injuries, although less serious, are more common than bone injuries. For example, the labrum, or the cartilage that surrounds and stabilizes your shoulder joint, can tear during an accident. Soft tissue injuries like this can cause pain, swelling, weakness, and spasms in your shoulders.

Torn Rotator Cuff

Your rotator cuff, the group of muscles surrounding your shoulder, can tear—especially during high-impact car accidents. Your rotator cuff stabilizes and provides a full range of motion to your shoulders and arms. Signs of a torn rotator cuff are pain in the shoulders, radiating pain in the arm, swelling, and popping or clicking sounds during arm movements.


The ball of your shoulder may become dislocated from the socket during a car accident. Shoulder dislocations are not only painful, but they can also cause tears, fractures, and other injuries. If not treated, shoulder dislocations can lead to muscle damage and other chronic conditions.


Shoulder fractures can also occur in car accidents. This is particularly true when the force of the collision causes your seatbelt to put too much pressure on your collarbone, the bone that connects your shoulder to your sternum. A fractured collarbone can lead to major limitation of shoulder movement, swelling, and significant pain.

Valuing Car Accident Shoulder Injury Settlements

Car accident shoulder injury settlement amounts rely on several factors: the type of injury, the estimated damages, and liability. Below are some examples of shoulder injury settlement values and jury verdicts.

  • Settlement for $757,000 for a car accident shoulder injury that caused a major loss of earning potential
  • Settlement for $300,000 for torn shoulder tendons and a damaged rotator cuff caused by a car accident; treatment included surgery and six months of physical therapy
  • Settlement for $190,000 for a torn rotator cuff resulting from a bus accident; damage affected the non-dominant shoulder and required surgery

The type of shoulder injury is important for calculating a settlement because it affects the form of treatment, and that treatment is evidence of how seriously the injury has affected your life. In addition to those factors, shoulder injury settlement values are decided by determining what a jury verdict would amount to, balanced by how much the other party is prepared to pay.

But when it comes down to it, the most essential elements in valuing a shoulder injury case are your damages, or your injuries and other losses, and the probability a jury would find the other party liable for those damages.

The damages sustained in a car accident are estimated by objective factors like loss of income and subjective factors like “pain and suffering,” which can be different for everyone. The objectivity of medical bills, for example, makes those types of calculations simpler than pinpointing the value of lost quality of life.

An attorney can increase your compensation

Shoulder injury settlement amounts are based on how much evidence exists that could prove the other party was at fault and caused your injury. If there is very little evidence of liability, the other party will be more likely to take their chances in court. If the vice versa is true and the evidence is stacked against the other party, they will likely opt to offer a settlement. And if fault is not easy to assess, you will probably be more willing to accept a low settlement rather than risk receiving nothing at trial.

Insurance companies are not on your side. Hiring an experienced attorney can make all the difference in the final settlement amount in your case.

Injured after a car accident? Hire a personal injury lawyer.

To get the settlement that is best for you, you must seek treatment for your injury and get an evaluation of what has caused it. In addition to speaking to a doctor, retaining an attorney, like those at Snedaker Law, is critical to your overall health and financial wellbeing. When you understand how settlements are calculated, you’ll be prepared for the conversations with the legal and medical teams that will assist you on your journey to physical and monetary recovery.

At Snedaker Law we’re here to help you. There’s no fee unless we can win your case.
All consultations and case evaluations are free. Call us today at 407-553-3529.

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