Shoulder & Rotator Cuff Tear Settlement Values in Florida Accidents

Rotator Cuff Surgery Settlement Value Florida Car Accident

This article talks about:

1. Anatomy of the shoulder, and the effect of pre-existing injuries and causation issues in a shoulder surgery case. 

2. Shoulder surgery caused by a work accident.

3. Estimated pain and suffering settlement value for a shoulder surgery case in Florida.

4. How medical documentation and/or testimony affects your case.

5.  Other factors that can affect the settlement value of a shoulder surgery case in Florida.

6. My and other attorneys’ shoulder injury settlements and verdicts.

7. How to calculate a possible settlement in a shoulder surgery case, including examples.

Anatomy of the Shoulder

The shoulder is made up of three bones:

  • Scapula (shoulder blade)
  • Clavicle (collarbone)
  • Humerus (arm bone)

This article does not really talk about the settlement values of a fracture of one of those bones. Instead, I talk more about settlements involving the soft tissues (ligaments, tendons, muscles, and joint capsule) that join those bones together and to allow the arm to function.

The shoulder is made up of three joints:

  • Glenohumeral joint
  • Acromioclavicular joint
  • Sternoclavicular joint

A rotator cuff tear occurs when one of the tendons is torn from overuse or injury.  A rotator cuff repair is a surgery to repair a torn tendon in the shoulder. It can be done with a large cut or with a shoulder arthroscopy, which uses small hole sized incisions. Most of the cases that I have handled and hear about involve arthroscopic surgery and not a large incision (“open”) surgery.

You may want to know how much your case is worth if you have rotator cuff surgery after an accident in Florida – or on a cruise ship or boat – that was caused by someone else.

In order to know how much your case may be worth, you need to know the full value of your damages. Once you know the full value, then you can start to reduce it by things can lower a possible settlement of a case.

1. Pre-existing Injuries/Causation

Many shoulder surgery cases involve a tear of the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that keep the shoulder steady. The four muscles of the rotator cuff are the Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres minor, and the Subscapularis. Other shoulder surgery cases involve a repair of a labral (labrum) tear.

Shoulder tear surgery cases are similar to herniated disc cases because the liability claims adjuster will generally argue that your injury existed before the accident or incident. You should always consider pre-existing injuries when evaluating your case.

Even if your shoulder tear existed before an incident or accident, in Florida you are still entitled to get damages for an aggravation of a shoulder tear or other pre-existing injury.

Now, as a practical matter, if you are young and you have a rotator cuff tear then you have a strong argument that an incident or accident caused the tear. For example, if you are 15 years old and you have rotator cuff surgery following an accident then it generally will be tough for a claims adjuster to make the argument that you had this tear before the incident or accident.

If you are older, your case may be tougher because a shoulder tear may come with age and repetitive use. This is especially true if you worked in the construction or a similar field which required hard use of your shoulder.

It is also important that your orthopedic doctor relates the shoulder tear to the incident or accident. You can read more about the effect of pre-existing injuries on a personal injury case here.

Sometimes the radiologist will say in his report that the tear “may” have been related to a motor vehicle accident or other incident. A doctor who looks the MRI may say that you have a pre-existing rotator cuff tear based on calcification, which may lower the value of your case.

2. Shoulder Injuries From Work Accidents

This article applies if you have a personal injury case.  Some of this article (where I talk about the settlement value of a shoulder injury) does not apply if you only have a workers compensation claim.  It does apply if you are hurt while working and you also have a personal injury claim.

If you are injured by working, I generally suggest that you treat through workers compensation instead of using Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance or asking the doctors to treat you on a letter of protection. I recommend using your PIP benefits to pay off the workers compensation lien at the end of the injury case.

A letter of protection is when a doctor or other medical provider agrees to give you treatment without asking for money up front, so long as you agree to pay them when your personal injury case settles.

If you do not treat with workers compensation, then the workers compensation insurer may later deny treatment by saying that you failed to follow the workers compensation rules.

Advantage of Getting Workers compensation benefits for your Shoulder (Rotator Cuff Tear, Labral Tear) Surgery

If you were injured while working, one of the advantages is that you may get benefits from your employer or their insurer.

Disadvantage of Using Workers Compensation Insurance for your Shoulder Surgery Case.

The biggest disadvantage to using workers compensation insurance is that a doctor who is paid by a workers compensation insurer may say that shoulder tear was old and unrelated to the accident than a doctor who is a patient advocate. An orthopedic doctor who treats shoulders and is more “patient friendly” is more likely to relate your surgery to the accident.

This is because the doctor being paid by the workers compensation insurer:

a. Knows that if he doesn’t relate the injury to the accident or minimizes your injury then the workers compensation insurer will send him more patients.

b. May be believed by the jury if he or she says that he did not see a tear when he operated on you.

Example of Settlement for a Shoulder Surgery Case if you were working but someone Other than your Employer caused your Accident

Let’s assume that you are working for a company in Florida. Perhaps you are a truck driver. While you are driving your company’s truck you were rear ended by another 18 wheeler. The other truck driver receives a ticket. You report the accident to your employer but you don’t go to the hospital because the pain is not bad enough.

A few days later you decide to go to your primary doctor because your shoulder pain has not gone away. You give that doctor your health insurance information.

You then receive a call from the workers compensation insurer for your employer. They refer you to a medical facility where you receive treatment. A month later you receive an MRI and the report says that you have a torn labrum tear, but the radiologist is unable to tell whether the tear if from the accident. A labral tear basically means that a ligament in your shoulder is torn.

Your doctor – who you were referred to by your employer – continues to treat you. He then says that he will perform shoulder surgery on you if you would like. You choose to have shoulder surgery. You then receive a little more treatment and the doctor tells you that you are as good as you are going to get. The doctor then says that you have a permanent impairment of 2%.

Let’s assume that workers’ compensation gives you benefits.  How much your case is worth against the driver that hit you?  The formula to figure this out is:

Injury Settlement = (Medical bills and lost wage paid by workers comp.) + Pain and Suffering + (Lost wages not paid by Workers Comp)

3. Settlement Value of Shoulder Injury (Rotator Cuff or Other)

a. No Surgery

The full value of pain and suffering for a rotator cuff tear is between $40,000 and $70,000, and possibly higher depending on resultant disability. The lower end of the range is for minimal treatment and little limitation. The higher end of the settlement range is for a longer period of treatment – such as one year or more – and a greater disability.

b. Where Surgery is performed

For a starting point, the settlement range for pain and suffering on a torn rotator cuff where surgery is performed is between $100,000 and $175,000. The low-end of the range is if you had little treatment, are left with limitations and disability after the surgery.

The higher end of the range is for longer treatment (over a year or more), when you left with a larger resultant disability, and your life has significantly been affected.

Without surgery, the full value for pain and suffering is generally less for purposes of settlement. A lot of this article also does not apply to workers’ compensation cases in Florida, as you can generally not get pain and suffering in those cases unless you also have a claim against someone other than your employer. But I do discuss settlements where you were injured while working and someone other than your employer was at fault.

4. How medical documentation and/or testimony affects your case.

You should provide your medical bills, records & diagnostic studies (e.g. MRI cd, CT scan, etc.) to an insurer as soon as possible. Radiologists who are often hired by the insurance companies for the at fault party or defense attorney, claims adjusters or defense attorneys may say that your injury existed before the incident. You may not know whether the radiologist or orthopedic doctor who is treating you will be honest and is someone who is a patient advocate.

Even if the radiologist and treating orthopedic doctor say that they cannot determine the age of your shoulder tear, you still have the right to get a 2nd opinion with a doctor of your choice. This doctor may feel that the shoulder tear is related to the incident or accident. He will probably want to see the actual MRI films.

So how do you know how much your shoulder surgery case is worth if the doctors who treated you and reviewed the MRI have different opinions? Often times you have to cut the full value of your case by a certain percentage.

You have a stronger case if the radiologist describes the shoulder tear as an acute tear. An acute injury refers to trauma or injury to any body damage due to a due a physical impact or accident. All of the tears above are usually diagnosed by an MRI. An orthopedic doctor may also state that a shoulder tear cannot be caused by certain types of accidents.

5. Other factors that may affect the value of your settlement involving a shoulder injury or tear are:

  • Amount of property damage (particularly true in auto accidents) to the vehicles involved.
  • Whether you were taken by ambulance to the hospital from the accident scene.  Some doctors may state that if an accident causes a rotator cuff tear you would feel pain immediately following the incident. Despite this, I have settled shoulder injury cases for fair value for clients who did not go to the emergency room on the date of the accident or incident.
  • Whether you went to the hospital or waited to treat with a doctor.
  • When you initially complained of shoulder pain.
  • Whether there is liability insurance.
  • The actual claims adjuster handling your case.
  • Type of witness the plaintiff makes.
  • Whether you exaggerated injuries at the deposition (if a lawsuit is filed).
  • Whether you lie at the deposition (if a lawsuit is filed).
  • The county where the case will be brought.
  • Inability to prove a permanent injury (only applies in some auto accident cases).
  • And many other factors.

Certain Insurers and Claims adjusters Have a Reputation for Offering more than others.

Similar to any personal injury claim, one factors that may affect the amount that you may get offered to settle your shoulder (rotator cuff) injury is the particular insurance company that you are dealing with. Some insurance companies have a reputation for offering more money than others for the pain and suffering component of a rotator cuff tear.

As you can see, there are many factors that go into the value of a case. There is no guarantee that you get any money for pain and suffering.

6. Shoulder Injury (Rotator Cuff Tear) Settlements

All of my settlements below are before deduction for attorney’s fees and expenses. Most cases result in a lower recovery. It should not be assumed that your case will have as beneficial a result.

a. Without Surgery

$18,000 Settlement (My Case): I settled a personal injury case against Publix in Miami, Florida where my client had a rotator cuff tear for $18,000. She said that she thought that she slipped on water at a Publix in Homestead, Florida. Liability was difficult in that case. My client was 58 years old and the claims adjuster from Publix argued that my client’s rotator cuff tear was from overuse and not caused by this injury.

Actual Case (not mine): $55,000 Verdict for Pain and Suffering alone for a man who suffered a herniated disc and rotator cuff tear when he slipped and fell on a Royal Caribbean gangway (walkway) when it was raining.

Actual Case (not mine): $10,000 verdict for pain and suffering for a 75-year-old female shopper who fell down in Target in Miami-Dade County, Florida who tripped over a garden hose. She broke 2 teeth, tore a shoulder (rotator cuff) and had wrist pain. $5,000 was for past pain and suffering and $5,000 was for future pain and suffering. She was walking into Target in Miami through the garden entrance and she tripped over a garden hose that was in the aisle that was used for customers to walk through this section of the store.

She claimed that the hose should not have been left in this aisle. Target argued that there was a sign next to this hose and that she saw the hose before she fell.

My thoughts: The jury awarded her $500 a year for her future pain and suffering. I arrived at this amount by using the life tables, which show her life expectancy to be 10 more years. $5,000 divided by 10 is $500 per year.  This verdict for pain and suffering is way below the average settlement for pain and suffering for a torn rotator cuff (shoulder).  Check out some other injury verdicts and settlements against Target in Florida.

b. My Shoulder Surgery Settlements

My case: $210,000 Settlement (Gross) for a man who claimed a labrum tear (in his shoulder) after he was hit by a truck. He had arthroscopic surgery to repair the fraying/tear in his shoulder. The other driver who received a ticket for careless driving. The other driver was under dispatch by a trucking company based in Jacksonville, Florida who had a self-funded retention of $250,000. Broadspire adjusted the claim.

The other trucking company was insured with Travelers Insurance above the self-funded retention. We also received a $10,000 settlement check from my client’s auto insurer – Progressive – who provided uninsured motorist coverage.

My case: $147,000 Settlement (Gross) for a woman who had shoulder surgery following a car accident in Bonifay, North Florida.  My client lived in Virginia. The shoulder surgery was unsuccessful so she later underwent a manipulation  under anesthesia (MUA).

I have also settled car accident cases where my client had surgery to repair a rotator cuff tear for $65,000 (against a small Miami auto insurer) and $57,000 (with Geico and Progressive). In some of those cases, the liability claims adjuster argued that my client’s rotator cuff tear was not caused by the car or truck accident due to minimal property damage. The claims adjuster also argued that the rotator cuff tear was degenerative (old) and was due to age and overuse.

My case: $35,000 Settlement for a man who had surgery to his rotator cuff when he was hit by another driver. The adverse driver and owner had limited bodily injury liability limits, and my client did not have uninsured motorist insurance coverage.

As you can see from the above settlements amounts, I was still able to collect a lot of money for each client even though there case had some “issues.” The bottom line is that every case is different and even though you may have several things that work against you in a case, your case still may be worth a lot of money.

I had a torn rotator cuff settlement for a client for $18,000 who was injured at a Supermarket in Miami, Florida. My client said that she slipped and fell on water on the floor in the store. In that case, my client was significantly at fault and her injury may have been preexisting.

Other (Not Mine) Shoulder Surgery Settlements or Verdicts

$183,697 Verdict (not my case) for pain and suffering damages and additional undisclosed settlements for a shoulder sprain, multiple bruises to the left shoulder, shoulder; type 1 AC joint sprain, a partial thickness articular sided tear, a partial thickness tear of the subscapularis tendon, shoulder impingement and fraying of the superior labrum and bicep with a type 1 SLAP lesion; subsequent left shoulder arthroscopy with subacromial decompression, distal clavicle and SLAP repair, including insertion of 2 metallic screws and anchors.

Plaintiff settled at mediation with the other 3 defendants, one of which was an uninsured motorist (UM) insurance company.

The Plaintiff, a 48 year-old employee of UPS, was driving home on a highway. He claimed that the Defendant, Rodriguez, made a U-turn (where it was not allowed) and was driving 25 miles per hour below the speed limit. He said that he attempted to avoid the other vehicle and tried to avoid the crash by driving into the grass median.

His truck flew in the air and landed on its side and ended up in the opposite lane of travel. The jury determined that the truck driver was driving a company car. The verdict was in September 2011. The case is Kata vs. K.K. Car Co., Inc. and Ambassador Rent-A-Car.

My thoughts: I do not know the amounts of the other settlements. But because there were additional settlements, the award for pain and suffering is larger than the $183,697 verdict for pain and suffering mentioned above. The amount awarded for pain and suffering is above the average settlement range that I may use as a starting point for pain and suffering for a shoulder surgery.

$69,500 Verdict for Pain and Suffering for a torn rotator cuff that required surgery, neck (cervical) and back (lumbar) strains, and bruises to her arm when she slipped and fell on an unknown substance at a Publix grocery store in Broward County, Florida. She argued that Publix failed to provide a safe environment for her, negligently allowed a dangerous condition remain for an unreasonable length of time, and failed to remedy or warn of the known dangerous condition.

Publix denied liability and argued that the woman was not hurt as bad as she claimed. The jury found her to be 5% at fault. She was also awarded $44,000 for past medical expenses and $80,000 for future medical expenses. The total verdict was for $193,500. The case is Lopez v. Publix Supermarkets, Inc. 05-1465.

My thoughts: The woman who fell was awarded $69,500 for pain and suffering. Most of this money was probably for her torn rotator cuff that required surgery. This is because most juries do not award much for a simple neck and back pain or bruises. This award for pain and suffering is below the average settlement range for a torn rotator cuff with surgery.

7. Calculating Projected Total Settlement

Let’s see how the value of pain and suffering affects the possible total settlement of your accident case where you have rotator cuff surgery. You can calculate your damages in any personal injury case by using the following formula:

Settlement = Out of pocket Medical Bills + Lost Wages + Pain and Suffering

Example #1

You are passenger in a car in Bonifay (North Florida) or any city in Florida. The car that you are riding in is struck by another car. The other car receives a ticket for causing the accident. The other car does not have bodily injury liability insurance, but you have $300,000 of uninsured motorist insurance (UM) available and the owner of the car that you are in has $100,000 UM/UIM with State Farm insurance.

You treat with doctors for 1 year or so and the doctor who sends you to get an MRI that shows that you have a rotator cuff tear.  Physical therapy does not relieve you of your pain so you have surgery to repair your rotator cuff. The orthopedic doctor says that you have a permanent injury. This allows you to make a claim for pain and suffering in a car accident case in Florida.

You are still able to work at the job that you had before the accident. Your out-of-pocket medical bills are $5,000. Your health insurance company has paid $15,000 in medical bills and they may be entitled to be reimbursed. You have $2,000 in lost wages, mainly for the time that you could not work after the surgery.

Possible Settlement = Out of pocket Medical Bills + Lost Wages + Pain and Suffering

Because your life has been minimally affected after the surgery, taking the pain and suffering value from the lower end of the range, let’s plug in the numbers:

Possible Settlement = $20,000 + $2,000 + $100,000

Possible Settlement = $122,000

This above example was from an actual case that I handled. The actual settlement was for $130,000 which is within the settlement range that I gave above. You can read about that shoulder surgery settlement from a car accident in Florida.

Example #2

Let’s take the same facts as Example #1 except that you were driving the car in Miami, Florida and you were 50% because you and the other driver both say that you had a steady green light at the time of the accident. There are no witnesses. In this case you would use the formula below:

Possible Settlement = (Out of pocket Medical Bills + Lost Wages + Pain and Suffering) x (% Other car’s fault)

Possible settlement = ($122,000) x (50%)

Possible settlement = $61,000

As you can see, if you change one fact to the case the value is cut in half. This is one of the reasons why you should be very careful when comparing your case to your friend’s case or other cases that you read or hear about.

Example #3 – Rotator Cuff tear – No Surgery

You are 18 years old and you are riding a motorcycle in Miami-Dade county – or any county in Florida – and you are stopped at a red light. A car hits you from behind. The impact of the crash causes you to fly of the motorcycle and land on your shoulder.

An MRI reveals that you have a torn rotator cuff.  The orthopedic doctor that you are treating with states that your rotator cuff tear is related to the accident.  Your out-of-pocket medical bills are $6,000 and you have $500 in lost wages.  Your total treatment with the orthopedic doctor is for 3 months.

To get an idea of the settlement range for your case, the formula to use is:

Possible settlement = Out of pocket medical bills + lost wages + pain and suffering

Because your treatment was rather short, and you are left with little if any disability, I will assign $40,000 (taken from the range mentioned above) for pain and suffering for settlement purposes. (Because you were on a motorcycle and you were hit by a truck (a motor vehicle), you do not need prove that you have a permanent injury in order to be entitled to money for pain and suffering.) Now I will plug-in the medical bill and lost wage figures that I gave in the example into my settlement evaluation for this case:

Possible settlement = $6,000 + $500 + $40,000

Settlement = $46,500

Example #4

Now let’s take the same facts from Example #3 except that you were speeding and the other car violated your right of way. To keep it simple, let’s assume that you are 50% at fault for the accident.  The formula is:

Possible settlement is= (Out of pocket medical bills + lost wages + pain and suffering) x (% fault of other driver)

Possible settlement = ($6,000 + $500 + $40,000) X (50%)

Possible settlement = ($46,500) X (50%)

Possible settlement = 23,250

As you can see from this example, changing one fact to the case cuts the value of your case in half.

I have settled many personal injury cases for people injured in Florida. Check out some of my settlements in different types of cases where my client had a torn rotator cuff (and possibly surgery) caused by an accident in Florida:

I want to represent you if you have surgery from a torn rotator cuff – or another injury – from an accident in Florida, or on a cruise ship or boat. Call me now at (888) 594-3577 to Get a Free Consultation. I represent clients who are injured in car accidents, truck accidents, slip and fall accidents and much more.

 Image Credit: Zameer Hirji

I will not become your attorney by you leaving a comment. There is a time limit to file a lawsuit. All comments are posted anonymously but will be public.   I only can represent you if your injury happened in Florida or on a cruise ship; or if the injured person lives in Florida or a family member (in the case of a death) lives in Florida. This is because I am only licensed in Florida.

Comments

  1. Person Who Hasn't had Surgery on Rotator Cuff 1, says:

    i have not had any surgery for the torn rotator cuff. should i settle now or wait until they ok surgery?

    • Justin "JZ" Ziegler, Florida Injury Lawyer, Site Owner says:

      Dear Person Who Hasn’t had Surgery on Rotator Cuff,

      It is tough for me to answer this question without knowing whether you were in a work-related accident/incident, or whether this is a personal injury claim against a person or business other than your employer. My answer only applies if your injury occurred in Florida, which is where I am licensed to practice law.

      I almost always recommend that my client’s wait to settle their personal injury cases until they have finished all of their medical treatment. This is because the insurance company may not include the cost and pain and suffering associated with your surgery until you have surgery on your rotator cuff.

      Many people get recommendations for surgery but never go through with having surgery. Thus, many times an insurance company doesn’t factor in the future cost of surgery when paying a claim unless you have already had the surgery. But it depends, in part, upon the limits of liability coverage available.

      Perhaps there is a limited amount of liability insurance available to pay your claim. I have settled cases for my client’s before they had surgery. But it depends on the facts of the specific case and I know too little about your case to give an educated answer.

      You should always hire an injury attorney who can help you look for all the available liability insurance that could pay your claim. Do not expect the liability claims adjuster to voluntarily tell you how to get or find extra insurance available. Most of the time they will not go the extra mile for you. They want the claim closed and want to move on to the next claim.

      This is why I always recommend that people hire an attorney to handle their personal injury case, especially when they have injuries as serious as a rotator cuff tear requiring surgery. My answer to your question would depend, in part, on the limits of all the liability insurance that is availability, or if you are dealing with a corporate defendant (then the collectibility of the defendant.)

      What type of accident/incident were you in? What caused your injury? What city and state did it happen in? How did the accident or incident?

      I have many other questions to ask but this is just a starting point.

      I would like see if this is something that I can handle for you. Please call me at (888) 594-3577 twenty for hours a day, 7 days a week. There are no fees or costs unless I recover money for you! The consultation is free.

      There is a 4 year time limit to sue for injuries based on negligence. There is also a time limit to file a workman’s compensation claim.

      I am not your attorney. This is not legal advice.

  2. Anonymous #2 says:

    I have both rotator cuff my company offer my 75000.00 and will put me on long term I been working for them 34 year I wored offshore over sea so i be i long shored man act. I can retier but they say it be better to go on long term, I still be added year to y retement. I am 58 years old can’t get my 401 k unstill 59 1/2
    George

    • Justin Ziegler, Miami Injury Lawyer says:

      Hi Anonymous #2,

      Did you injure both of your rotator cuffs? Did you have surgery on your rotator cuff (shoulder)? How did the accident or incident happen? I assume that you are stating that your company offered you $75,000. Did they offer to give you a check for this amount?

      I also assume that you mean that the company will put you on long term disability. When you say you worked overseas, where exactly did you work?

      You didn’t ask a question, but I assume that you were going to ask whether you should retire now or whether you should make a claim under long term disability. Please clarify so that I can give my thoughts.

      You are welcome to call me at (888) 594-3577 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to get a free consultation. There are no fees or costs unless I get you money.

      Disclaimer: Please remember that there is a TIME LIMITS ON FILING A LAWSUIT (STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS). I am not your attorney at this time.

  3. Anonymous 3 says:

    I had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff/labrum and I had 6 anchors inserted to repair my shoulder. I’m only 4 months removed from surgery and this is a work related injury from being physically attacked by a youth at a facility. What is a valid offer from the insurance company in this case. I still have a long way to recovery from this accident.

    • Justin Ziegler, Miami Injury Lawyer says:

      Anonymous 3,

      Thank you very much for your question. I am sorry to hear that you were assaulted and had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff/labrum. I am only licensed in Florida, so I will assume that the facility that you were attacked in was in Florida. I have many questions:

      1) Was the youth that attacked you also an employee of the facility?

      Normally in Florida, if a co-worker injures you, then your only claim may be against your employer. However, there are limited exceptions as to when you can make a claim against both your employer, a coworker and a third party such as a security company who was negligent. But in this case because you were attacked (intentional act), I think you are also allowed to sue the coworker (assuming the youth was an employee of the facility) in tort (personal injury).

      2) Was your surgery arthroscopic (a few holes in your arm) or open surgery (where you will have a long scar)?

      Open surgeries are generally worth more than arthroscopic surgeries. This is because they are usually more invasive and leave a scar.

      3) If the youth was not an employee, do his parents have homeowner’s insurance or do they have money to satisfy a judgment if you were to win at trial?

      In Florida, sometimes homeowners insurance will not cover intentional acts or intentional harm. In Florida, a child who lives with his parents may be covered under his parents’ homeowners insurance policy.

      4) Did you have any problems with your rotator cuff/labrum before you were attacked?

      Does the doctor say that when he operated on you he actually saw the tear? Sometimes an MRI will show a tear but when the doctor operates he cannot see a tear. If the doctor does see a tear, then your case is worth more than if he did not see a tear. Workers compensation doctors are known for being “conservative,” and sometimes not relating an injury to the incident or accident. The workers comp doctor knows that he or she is being paid by the workers comp insurer, and he or she wants future business so if there is a diagnosis in the “gray”, he or she will usually say that you should return to work.

      5) What was the date of the incident and within what city and state?

      As you may know, you have a time limit to make a claim in a personal injury or workers compensation case in Florida.

      6) What city and state do you reside in?
      7) Was an incident report filed when you were attacked?

      8) Finished treatment.

      Like you mentioned, it has only been 4 weeks since your surgery, which is a relatively short period of time. In most workers compensation and personal injury cases, you should wait until after you are finished getting your medical treatment to settle your case. There are exceptions to this rule, but it is a general rule of thumb. This is because you don’t know the full extent of your injuries until a doctor states that you are as good as you are going to get.

      9) As I mentioned in my article, the full value for settlement purposes for pain and suffering of a rotator cuff/labrum injury is between $100,000 to $175,000. But this amount is for a case against someone other than your employer. This amount doesn’t apply to a settlement with a worker’s employer in many cases, because in Florida a worker that is injured on the job cannot get money for pain and suffering. However, in some situations you may be able to make a negligence claim for injuries or death against your employer.

      In a case against a youth who attacked you, you may have to reduce the value of the case for things such as whether you provoked the attack and other factors.

      I am only licensed to represent people who are injured in Florida or on a cruise ship. In some situations, I can represent a Floridian (Florida resident) that is injured in another state. Call me at 888-594-3577 to get a free consultation.

      No Legal Advice: The above information is general information and is not legal advice. I am not your attorney until you hire me. There is a time limit to file a lawsuit.

  4. Person Whose Workers Compensation Insurer is Chubb says:

    I was injured at work, in Florida, in March 2013. I injured my neck, shoulder and lower back. The diagnosis, from my doctor was / is, the accident did damage to the vertebra in my neck, although arthritis and previous damage did exist before the accident of March 2013.
    The accident in March 2013 did damage to my shoulder, rotor cuff, ligiment tears. The doctor now wishes to operate after going through months of PT, medication and a very conservative approach before deciding on surgery.
    I have had nerve tests done, diagnosis, no nerve damage. (not so sure)
    I have had cortizone shots in both my neck and my shoulder with no respone except spazams increase.
    My back problems come and go. No real treatment done.
    My doctor works for JOI and I feel has had my best interest in mind since the beginning. He has had to go to bat for me against the adjuster more than once, although the adjuster has for the most part been good. Things have moved along fairly smooth, not like some of the horror stories I have read or been told about by other injured workers.
    Chubb is the insurance company handling the WC for my employer.
    I have not been back to work since the accident March 2013, per instructions from my employer, because of restrictions by the doctor.
    I have been recieving partial wages from the insurance company.
    I have NOT hired an attorney yet.
    All said,….
    What would you recommend should be my next action?
    With your experience, what could I reasonably expect as a settlement when the time comes?

    • Justin Ziegler, Injury Lawyer, Site Owner says:

      Dear Person Whose Workers Compensation Insurer is Chubb,

      Thank you for your comment. I am sorry to hear that you were injured at work. I will assume that your accident happened in Florida, which is where I am licensed to practice law. Did the “ligament tears” that you mention exist before your injury at work; or Does your doctor say that the ligament tears were caused by the accident? I assume when you say your doctor works for JOI that you are referring to Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute.

      Though there are no guarantees, I give Chubb an “A” rating as they (along with a few other insurance companies) have been the best for paying claims and fair treatment of their policyholders. Do you know whether Chubb is the actual insurance company providing workers compensation insurance for your claim, or whether Chubb is acting as a TPA (Third Party Administrator) and handling the claim in that capacity for your employer? If the latter, then Chubb has little or no decision-making authority in terms of settlement but hopefully that employer will listen to Chubb’s input.

      Although not a workers compensation case, I settled a personal injury case for $64,900 with Chubb Insurance and FIGA where my client had ankle surgery after he tripped and fell in a hole covered with grass overgrowth at an office complex and Chubb paid me fairly which is refreshing. Chubb paid about half of the settlement and FIGA paid approximately the other half. But it required a lawsuit and Chubb denied liability (responsibility) even after I filed a lawsuit.

      You have missed a long time for work! I am happy to hear that Chubb (or your employer) has paid you for partial wages. I assume that they are paying you for 66 2/3% of your wages, correct?

      Do you want to continue working for your current employer?

      I suggest that, at the least, you get a free consult with a workers compensation attorney so that you can better understand your rights. The consultation is free and there is no downside.

      Is there any other 3rd party (someone other than your employer) whose negligence cause your injury? If so, I would like to hear more details about that. I represent people who are injured in 3rd party claims. There is a time limit to file a lawsuit for a case based on negligence.

      I work on workers compensation cases with another law firm. I am happy to refer you them and we can all speak about your claim. If you want me to refer you, please let me know whether you have a preference as to the law firm’s location. There is a time limit to file a workers comp. claim.

      I cannot give you an amount that you can reasonably expect as settlement when the time comes because:

      1. You are not finished treating, and therefore do not know the full extent of your injury; and
      2. I do not have the answers to the above questions that I have asked.

      I have over 10 years of experience working on workers compensation cases, by far most of which is working on these cases with different law firms. Though as I said above, I can handle a 3rd party claim completely by myself. There are no fees or costs unless we recover money. Call me at (888) 594-3577 to get a free consultation now! We accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

      In the meantime, feel better!

      I am not your attorney. This is not legal advice. There is a time limit to file a lawsuit.

  5. Anonymous #5 says:

    Injured at work during fall caused by lifted sidewalk being uneven.Witnessed by residents at my job.Tried injection and p.t. Had mri tear in the
    Rotator cuff(PARTIAL TEAR)TEAR (INFRASP.)bicep reattachedad with screws.also ground away spurs? Had surgery but stil having problem with impingment.W/C Cincinnati In. Has been stellar to this point! .Working 6 to 8 hrs a week as I am unable to do my job(4Months after surgery)Last week had injection for impigment problem!Shouldnt have that been fixed with all the surgery?Is this common?I am hopefull I will be able to return to work as maint.Tech.What if I cant return to my job?I need to waite to settle untill this impingment is addressed satisfactory. What would be responsible for settlment??My employer has been stellar also!Do I really need attorney at this point !

    • Justin Ziegler, Injury Lawyer says:

      Hi Anonymous #5,

      Thank you very much for your comment. I am sorry to hear that you were injured. I will assume that you were injured in Florida, which is where I am licensed to practice law. Thus my reply assumes you were injured in Florida. This is not legal advice. I am not your attorney.

      I am glad to hear that the workers compensation insurer, Cincinnati Insurance Company, has been awesome so far. I suggest asking your doctor whether having an impingement problem, and getting an injection for that, is common after the surgery that you had. To better educate yourself, I suggest looking at the “acknowledgement of risks of surgery” form that you may have signed before you had surgery. This may talk about some of the risks of having surgery.

      If you are not satisfied with the doctor’s answer, perhaps you should ask the workers compensation insurer, Cincinnati Insurance Company, if they will allow you to see another doctor.  You can ask that doctor the same question that I mentioned above, and you mentioned in your comment, above.

      I represented a client who had an unsuccessful shoulder surgery. She ultimately needed a MAU (manipulation under anesthesia), which is a manual therapy treatment which is used to improve articular and soft tissue movement using manipulation where the patient is under sedation. The gross (total) settlement was for $147,000 and her case was against a driver who hit the car that she was a passenger in. She did not have a workers compensation case because she was not on the job when it happened. The accident happened in Bonifay, Florida (North Fla.).

      I hope that you will be able to return to work. You should speak with a workers compensation attorney (and possibly, personal injury lawyer…I’ll get to that in a moment) if you cannot return to your job. You should also speak to a workers compensation lawyer now to protect your rights. Workers compensation attorneys usually give a free consultation. I work on the workers compensation part of a case with an attorney from a different law firm(s) who gives a free consultation.

      I do not understand what you mean when you ask “What would be responsible for my settlement?” Are you asking, “Who is responsible for your settlement?”

      I agree that it is generally a good idea to wait to settle a personal injury case until the shoulder impingement is “addressed satisfactorily.” I think that you are referring to the medical term of  “maximum medical improvement” (MMI), which occurs when an injured employee or person gets to a state where his or her condition cannot be improved any further or when a treatment plateau in a person’s healing process is reached.

      Even though you feel that Cincinnati Ins. has been great so far, I still suggest that you at least get a free consultation with an attorney immediately. An insurance company, whether a workers compensation insurer or liability insurer, can change its stance in a moment’s notice.

      Do you want to continue working for your employer?

      One, of the many, good reasons to hire an attorney is in case there turns out to be a personal injury case in addition to your workers compensation case. If you have a personal injury case, then there are some questions which should be asked:

      • Do you know whether it is a good idea to ask the workers comp insurer whether they will waive subrogation, or assign you’re their right of subrogation of the workers compensation lien, if any?
      • Do you know the proper language to use when drafting a workers compensation settlement release?

      I noticed that your question did not seem to be directed at the possible personal injury aspect of your claim. In Florida, a personal injury claim is separate and distinct from a workers compensation case. One of the biggest differences between a workers compensation case and a personal injury case in Florida is that in the latter you can get money for pain and suffering if you can prove negligence. In a personal injury case, you would need to prove that there was something wrong with the sidewalk that caused your injuries.

      What was the elevation change of the sidewalk that you described as “lifted and uneven?” (E.g. one-fourth of an inch, one half of an inch, three-fourths of an inch).

      Did you take pictures of it?

      If so, did you take pictures using measuring tape that shows the exact change in elevation?

      You should write down the description of the sidewalk so that you can use it refresh your recollection later on. You should also write down the direction that you were walking because the defendant’s expert may argue that a raised sidewalk, may only be a tripping hazard if you are walking in a certain direction. Your expert may agree with the defendant on this point.

      I ask this question because, in Florida, if your employer did not own the sidewalk then you may have a personal injury claim against the entity (business, etc.) who owned the sidewalk. In rare instances, you may still have a personal injury case against your employer even if it owned the sidewalk.

      Even if your employer owned the sidewalk, perhaps you may still have a personal injury claim against a property management company, if any, who may have been hired to maintain the sidewalk. There may also be other entities who you are legally responsible for the condition of the sidewalk.

      A good start to finding out who owned the property where a fall happened in Florida is the property appraiser’s website for the county where the fall happened. If the fall happened in Miami-Dade County, you can go to the Property Search on the Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser’s website  and enter the address where the fall happened.

      There is a time limit to file a lawsuit, after which your claim will be barred. The time limit to sue a private business for a case based on negligence is 4 years. Workers compensation cases have their own time frame.

      As you can see there are many questions that should be answered. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. I am happy to answer any more questions that you have. You can reply here or call me at (888) 594-3577 to get a free consultation now! There are no fees or costs unless I recover money for you. Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  6. Man Whose Wife Fell on Mini-Golf Course says:

    My wife fell at a Resort in Florida on a wet and slippery mini-golf course. She broke her wrist and tore her rotator cuff. The manager at the hotel filed a report with the resort and we contacted them. They sent a form requesting a release of all medical records from all doctors past and present. This seems a bit extreme. What is the likelihood that the resort owner will compensate us for at least our out-of-pocket expenses (with her shoulder surgery last week we are well into four figures)? Do you think we’ll need an attorney to get any compensation from them?

    • Justin Ziegler, Injury Lawyer says:

      Dear Man Whose Wife Fell on Mini-Golf Course,

      Thank you for your comment. I am sorry to hear that your wife fell and was injured. While you may think the request is extreme, they sent you the release asking for all medical records from all doctors past and present so that they can know:

      1) Her entire medical history, both before and after the fall, as well as the prognosis.
      2) The amount of medical bills, both what was billed and what is owed.

      If she files a lawsuit, they are entitled to most of her medical history. They probably want all past medical records to see if your wife has issues with:

      a) Her eyesight.
      b) Balance or walking issues.
      c) Dizziness.
      d) Excessive alcohol or drug consumption.
      e) And many other things.

      They also want past medical records to determine whether her rotator cuff tear pre-existed the incident. Insurance claims adjusters make similar arguments in herniated disc cases in an effort to pay less money to settle.

      I suggest she cross of any language in the release that mentions giving them psychological or mental health records.

      If the resort has medical payments coverage, then the chance that the resort owner pays your out-of-pocket medical bills is high. You may need to get an attorney involved in order to get compensation, but it really depends on the claims adjuster involved as well as the insurer and/or owner of the resort. If they are denying liability, then you most likely will need to get an attorney involved.

      You should send them a request to preserve surveillance video and audio.

      Have you spoken with them on the phone? Did they accept all or some responsibility?

      I hope that I answered your question. If you have any more questions, just ask me here and I will generally answer in 12 hours and sometimes – like with your question here – within 30 minutes or less.

      There is a time limit to file a lawsuit for injuries caused by negligence. I am not your attorney. This is not legal advice.

  7. Person in Car Accident Who had Shoulder & Knee Surgery says:

    I was in a car accident and from that I had to have two surgeries, my shoulder- rotator cuff and knee done. A teenager ran a stop sign and hit the driver side of my car. I have recieved a check for the damages of my car for $2000 and 3 monthly checks of $1500 for not being able to work after surgery. I have also lost my job due to all the time I had to take off for both surgeries. I am ready to settle now but I have no idea what is a fair amount. Could you please give me an idea of what that would be?

    • Justin Ziegler, Florida & Cruise ship Injury Lawyer, Site owner says:

      Dear Person In car accident who had shoulder and knee surgery,

      I am sorry to hear that you were injured. I will assume that this accident happened in Florida because this article applies to Florida law and I am only licensed in Florida. I also want to say that I am not your attorney. This is not legal advice. There is a time limit to file a lawsuit in Florida based on negligence.

      I suggest that you read my article about things that can affect the value of a personal injury case. In order to determine a fair about, as a starting point, I would need to know:

      Was it a work-related accident? If so, what are you injuries? What was the date of the accident and in what city and state? Where do you live?

      Also:

      1. Who received a ticket?

      2. Did the other driver admit fault?

      3. Did you take an ambulance to the hospital?

      4. How long after the accident did you first get medical treatment, and was it with at the hospital or with a doctor?

      As you can see, there are so many questions that need to be answered. This is one of the reasons that I recommend an attorney, especially where you have suffered big injuries like in your case.

      Please feel free to answer these questions and ask me anymore here and if the accident happened in Florida please call me anytime at 888-594-3577 or Get a Free Consultation.

  8. Police Officer with injured AC joint who needs surgery says:

    I am a police officer and injured my AC joint in a fight with a drunken driver with no insurance. All paper work was done for work men’s comp. it was determined by two dr that I need surgery to repair A.C joint this occurred in October 2013 as of today I am still waiting for approval from wkmens comp. for surgery. I have been paid since injure so no loss in wages. But it has been a long time waiting for surgery and am still in pain. I believe wkmens comp tried to say it was pre-existing but has since been proven wrong. I am wondering what typ of settlement might I be receiving if any and should I retain a attorney?

    • Justin Ziegler, Injury Lawyer says:

      Hello Police Officer with injured AC joint (in the shoulder) who needs surgery,

      I am sorry to hear that you injured your AC joint in a fight with a drunk driver who was uninsured. I am only licensed to practice law in Florida, so my response only applies if your injury occurred in Florida. I will not become your attorney by giving you a response. Can you be more specific about how and where the fight happened? (E.g. Was the driver inside his vehicle when he fought you? Were you both outside the car? If so, how many feet from the car were you?).

      I definitely suggest you hire an attorney ASAP.

      How old are you? In almost every shoulder injury case that I have, the MRI states that there is degenerative disease. Basically, the MRI states that the shoulder injury had occurred over time. I argue that my client had no symptoms before the accident and that the accident aggravated the pre-existing injury.

      I have still been able to get gross personal injury settlements in the amounts of $210,000, $147,000, $65,000 and $57,000 for shoulder injuries with degenerative issues. These settlement amounts were before attorney’s fees, costs and medical bills were paid. Now, these are personal injury settlements and not workers compensation settlements.

      A big issue is whether there were major complaints of pain and/or treat on the shoulder before the injury.

      Perhaps you may be also able to make a claim under the uninsured motorist coverage under an auto insurance policy. Does the vehicle that you were driving have uninsured motorist coverage which could provide benefits?

      In Florida, your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage under your auto insurance policy may pay your medical providers up to $10,000 for your medical treatment. If you have not already done so, you should report the claim to your auto insurance company – or any auto insurance policies that may provide coverage – immediately.

      Perhaps the drunk driver’s liability coverage in his homeowners insurance policy or renters insurance policy – if he has one – will cover you. There may also be additional sources of insurance coverage.

      I cannot give you a figure for the type of workers compensation settlement that you might receive because there are too many factors that I do not know.

      There is a time limit to file a lawsuit.

  9. Hurt Nurse says:

    Hi,
    I was hurt last June (2013) when a larger resident fell in a shower and took me out with him. I tore my rotator cuff and it required surgery with an anchor to fix. This was done in January (2014) after they forced me to to several months of therapy that didn’t work. It’s now April, and I’m told I will have to have a bicep cut to relieve the pain that I’m still having which will leave my arm with a popeye deformity and a high likely hood of a loss of around 50% of my current strength which will effectively remove me from ever being a nurse again.
    I’m only 30 and will have to be re-educated into another career, not to mention having that deformity on my arm. I’m a woman so I wont be able to hide it like a man.
    Should i find a lawyer or settle like they are pressuring me into doing.

    • Justin Ziegler, Injury Lawyer says:

      Dear Hurt Nurse,

      Thank you for telling me about your incident. I am sorry to hear that you were injured. I assume that you mean that you were assistant a resident while performing your nurse duties and you fell down when he fell down. I hope you feel better.

      If you want to hire an attorney and this accident occurred in Florida or you live in Florida, you are more than welcome to call me at 888-594-3577 to see if I can represent you. I definitely suggest that you speak with an attorney immediately.

      There is a time limit to file a lawsuit. I am not your attorney.

  10. hurt on the job says:

    Hello sir, i got major rota tor cuff tear in Jan 20 2014. I had surgery on 4-14-2014, i have been in physical therapy and range of motion has gotten better but there is still a lot of pain and can’t still extend my left arm above my head. i just had a MRI with ink injected into the shoulder, and there’s a area that tore again, part of the surgery that was performed. the doctor that did the surgery does other repairs as well, he said that a 2nd repair is needed. but he can’t do it and his partner that only repairs shoulders is gonna look at it and see if he can fix it or not. My case nurse said i have 3 options. do a second surgery, 2 re-employment through the state and be considered disabled status, 3 settle my claim. I have been getting $2016 a month since Jan. What should i do? Sept 16th i go and see my doctor and than same day i see his partner. please advise, do i now need a lawyer. Being out of work for a another whole year, just doesn’t sound good at all, i cant live on $2000 a month, its hard. i got 14 months left on Workers Comp if i have to go back into surgery.

    • Justin Ziegler, Injury Lawyer says:

      Dear “Hurt on the Job”:

      Thank you for telling me about your injury. I am sorry to hear that you were injured. In part because you have such a serious injury, I definitely suggest that you speak with a workers compensation lawyer. I have settled many Florida workers compensation cases throughout the state of Florida along with a different law firm with whom I work on these cases. Please call me at 888-594-3577 and we can speak further about your workers compensation case. I represent injured people throughout the entire state of Florida.

      If you also have a personal injury case, I may be able to represent you in that matter by myself. If you have an injury claim, there are over 11 reasons to hire a lawyer. I have settled injury cases throughout the state of Florida as well. Again, please call me at 888-594-3577.

      There is a time limit to file a lawsuit. I am not your attorney. This is not legal advice.

  11. hurt on the job says:

    this injury happened in Florida and on the job.

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