My Actual Case: $65,000 Settlement (Gross) for my client, a 47-year-old driver of a rental car in Orlando, who had arthroscopic shoulder surgery after she was hit in the rear by a 16 passenger van.
The driver of the van received a ticket for careless driving. The picture above and below is the car that my client was driving.
The most that the liability insurer would offer was $20,000, so we filed a lawsuit in Osceola County, Florida.
My client was a resident of another state and was in Orlando for vacation. An ambulance came to the scene and she complained to them of back pain and shoulder pain. She was then taken by ambulance to the hospital.
At the hospital, she complained of left shoulder pain, neck pain and back pain. Her lower back pain level was listed as a 6 out of 10. She complained that the pain was traveling from her neck to her left
She complained that the pain and the base of her skull made in difficult for her to sleep. Our client lived with an elderly woman that she assisted. She had some difficulty taking care of the woman due to her neck pain from the accident.
Our client treated with a physical therapist who said that her range of motion of her neck was limited by about 75%.
Her shoulder pain did not go away. Three months after the car accident, she had an MRI of her left shoulder. The MRI revealed:
1) Full-thickness tear in the supraspinatus tendon of the rotator cuff near the insertion of the greater tuberosity. Superimposed on this is
some generalized tendinopathy and partial tearing.
2) Bulky hypertrophic degenerative spurring in the AC joint with associated subacromial/subdeltoid bursitis.
3) Tendinopathy in the subscapularis tendon. Additionally there may be some tendinopathy in the long head of biceps tendon but no complete tear or subluxation.
4) Mild glenohumeral joint degenerative change.
5) There is no muscle retraction or atrophy in the supraspinatus muscle or tendon.
When she would reach overhead, it would bother her. The orthopedic doctor performed a rotator cuff repair (surgery).
Her total medical bills were about $12,500. We made a made a claim under the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage of the rental car that she was driving. PIP is one of the coverages that may pays medical bills after a car accident in Florida.
I did not recommend her orthopedic surgeon to her. However, I took the time to find an attorney in her home state who knew her doctor’s reputation.
He confirmed that her doctor would be fair to her.
In Florida, I know which orthopedic doctors have a reputation for giving a person injured in an accident a fair shake and helping their case.
Her surgery was successful. The case settled the day before we were going fly to the Midwest to take the deposition of her orthopedic surgeon. The settlement saved the expense of airfare, a hotel, food, reporter charges and expert witness fees. The case settled a few weeks before trial.
The other driver disputed liability in this case. The fact that there was a huge amount of property damage to the rental car helped my client show that the injury was related to the accident.
By the time the case was nearing settlement, her neck pain was a 0-1 out of 10.
This is one of the smaller shoulder surgery settlements that I have had. I have settled other shoulder surgery cases for the following amounts: $210,000, $147,000, and $57,000.
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