If someone’s carelessness caused your elbow injury, you may be entitled to compensation.
Types of Elbow Injuries
There are many different elbow injuries that an accident can cause. Some of them are:
- Biceps Tendon Tear at the Elbow
- Distal Humerus Fractures of the Elbow
- Elbow (Olecranon) Fracture
- Dislocated Elbow
- Elbow Fractures in Kids
- Radial Head Fracture of the Elbow
- Recurring and Chronic Elbow Instability
- Elbow (Olecranon) Bursitis
- Osteoarthritis of the Elbow (from prior elbow fracture or dislocation)
- Ulnar Nerve Entrapment at the Elbow (Cubital Tunnel Syndrome)
Types of Elbow Surgeries
- Elbow Arthroscopy
- Total Elbow Replacement
Let’s take a look at a few different types of accidents that can an elbow injury.
1. Work Injuries.
This article applies if you have a Florida personal injury case. Some of this article does not apply if you only have a workers compensation claim. This is because in a Florida workers compensation case you are generally not entitled to money for pain and suffering. Below are some examples to help better explain this.
Example – Work Injury When Pain and suffering of an elbow injury does not apply.
If you are an employee of Publix in Florida, working in the meat section of the store, and you slip and fall on a soapy substance that is used to mop the meat section, then it is likely that the only claim that you have is against your employer (Publix).
Therefore, because your only injury claim is against your employer, you are not able to get money for pain and suffering. But you may be able to get benefits from Publix. Learn more about injury settlements with Publix in Florida.
However, this article does apply to your personal injury case if you are hurt while working and you also have a personal injury claim.
Example – Work Injury when another is at fault – Pain and suffering of an elbow injury applies.
However, if Publix uses an outside company to clean its floors and you slip and are injured, then you may be entitled to pain and suffering in your case against the cleaning company.
2. Value of Pain and Suffering.
In Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County, the full value that I use as a starting point for the pain and suffering component of an elbow injury for settlement purposes in a Florida accident, or cruise or boat injury case is:
- Broken elbow for settlement purposes that heals without a resultant disability is approximately $25,000 – $50,000. This is similar to a broken upper arm (humerus) case.
- Elbow tendon or ligament tear with surgery (without hardware) that heals with little or no resultant disability is $50,000 to $100,000.
- Surgery with hardware (plates and/or screws) inserted in your elbow is between $150,000 and $250,000.
The pain and suffering component may have a smaller value in more rural counties in Florida because juries are typically more conservative and thus generally award less in those counties.
In Florida, although I have not done in-depth research, I think the full value of pain and suffering for settlement purposes of a broken elbow with hardware inserted would be very similar to the settlement value for pain and suffering of a broken humerus (upper arm) with hardware inserted.
The upper end of the above ranges is if you have a big resultant disability. Now, there is no guarantee that you will get any money at all. I will discuss that in a moment.
By “full value”, I mean that this is the value of pain and suffering if there are no problem areas with your case. In order to arrive at the settlement range for your case, you would then add the full value of pain and suffering to your out of pocket medical bills and lost wages.
Example when you may be able to get full value for a broken elbow that heals
You are stopped at a red light and a car hits you. You go to the emergency room (ER) and diagnosed with a fractured elbow, which later heals. Your out-of-pocket medical bills are $10,000 and your lost wages from not being able to work are $5,000.
You may be entitled to the “full value of pain and suffering” of $40,000 – $50,000 because the other car was at fault and you did nothing wrong to cause the accident. So to calculate how much your case may be worth, you would use this formula:
Settlement = Pain and suffering of elbow fracture + Medical Bills + Lost Wages
Now let’s plug in the numbers from the above example:
Settlement = ($40,000 to $50,000) + $10,000 + $5,000
Possible Settlement = $55,000 to $65,000
Now, let’s assume that the same incident happens in Florida except that you had surgery on your elbow and a metal plate or screws were inserted. You would use the same formula as above except you would insert the $150,000 to $250,000 value for pain and suffering for settlement purposes. If you had the same accident described above, but you had surgery to your elbow, you would plug-in the following numbers to the formula.
Settlement = Pain and suffering of elbow fracture with surgery + Medical Bills + Lost Wages
Settlement = ($150,000 to $250,000) + $10,000 + $5,000
Settlement = ($150,000 to $250,000) + $15,000
Possible Settlement = $165,000 to $265,000
Example when you may NOT be able to get full value for a fractured elbow that heals
You are staying at a hotel in Florida. You are walking on the sidewalk to get to your room and the sprinklers are on. The sprinkler sprays water onto the sidewalk and you slip and fall on the sidewalk. You fracture your elbow.
You may not get full value in this case because the hotel will argue that you are partially at fault for this accident, and therefore the value of your case should be reduced by your fault.
There are many other things that can affect how much your case is worth.
You can argue that the hotel is at fault because the sprinklers should not spraying water onto the sidewalk.
You may be 25-50% at fault for not paying more attention given the fact that you knew that the sprinklers were on. To keep it simple in this example, I will assume that you are 35% at fault for not paying better attention.
You would then reduce the value of your case by 35%. Therefore, in Florida you would only be able to get 65% of the full value of your case. (I arrived at 65% by taking 100% and subtracting 35%).
So let’s your out-of-pocket medical bills are $10,000 and your lost wages from not being able to work are $5,000. The settlement range, in Florida, of the pain and suffering component of a broken elbow that heals is between $40,000 and $50,000. For this example, I will use the number $45,000. To see how much your case may be worth, I will use this formula:
Settlement = (Pain and suffering of elbow fracture + Medical Bills + Lost Wages) x (100% – % Your fault)
Settlement = ($45,000) + $10,000 + $5,000) x (100% – 35%)
Settlement = ($60,000] x (100% – 35%)
Possible Settlement = $60,000 x 65%
Possible Settlement = $39,000
Again there is no guarantee that you will get this amount. Your case could go to trial and a jury could find that the hotel was not at fault.
3. My elbow fracture settlements
Bike Rider Gets $10,000 for Elbow Fracture
This settlement is 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.
Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue arrived at the scene but he refused transport to the hospital. My client had $10,000 per person in non-stacking uninsured motorist (UM) coverage through his auto insurer, GEICO.
I think that the settlement value of the case was worth more but we were limited by my client’s low policy limits.
There were at least 2 factors that may have decreased the full value for settlement purposes of this case if there would have been insurance coverage that was greater than the value of the damages that the bicyclist suffered.
These 2 factors would have been:
- The bicyclist did not take an ambulance to the hospital.
- The bicyclist went to get treated by a doctor instead of going to the emergency room.
Insurers have different reputations for paying injury claims. GEICO has a reputation for being an average insurer in terms of paying bodily injury claims. Here this was a nonissue because there were limited policy limits.
In order to get the bicyclist’s medical bills paid, his bills were submitted to his PIP coverage through GEICO which paid for up to $10,000 of my client’s medical bills. The UM settlement covered his small out of pocket expenses.
In most cases, if a motor vehicle hits you while you are riding a bicycle in Florida, then you would have to be able to prove that you have a permanent injury in order to have a shot at being awarded money for pain and suffering.
However, if you are a non-resident bicyclist who is hit by a motor vehicle in Florida, and you aren’t covered under PIP, then you do not need to prove that you have a permanent injury to get money for non-economic damages (pain, suffering, etc.).
GEICO is one of the largest Florida private passenger auto liability insurers. Per the FLOIR Annual Report, the insurers that make up the top 15 (by Florida market share) are:
- State Farm
- United States Automobile Association (USAA)
- Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Company
- Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois (A Liberty Mutual Company)
- 21st Century Centennial Insurance Company (part of the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies)
- Infinity Insurance Company
Did someone’s carelessness cause your injury in an accident in Florida, or on a cruise or boat?
See Our Settlements
Check out some of the many Florida injury cases that we have settled, including but not limited to car accidents, truck accidents, slip or trip and falls, motorcycle accidents, drunk driving (DUI) accidents, pedestrian accidents, taxi accidents, bicycle accidents, store or supermarket accidents, cruise ship accidents, dog bites, wrongful death and much more.
We want to represent you!
Our Miami law firm represents people anywhere in Florida if someone’s carelessness caused their injuries in car accidents, truck accidents, slip, trip and falls, motorcycle accidents, bike accidents, drunk driving crashes, pedestrian accidents, cruise ship or boat accidents, store or supermarket accidents, wrongful death, accidents at an apartment complex, condo building or home, accidents involving a Uber or Lyft Driver, and many other types of accidents.
We want to represent you if you were hurt in an accident in Florida, on a cruise ship or boat. If you live in Florida but were injured in another state we may also be able to represent you.
Call Us Now!
Call us now at (888) 594-3577 to find out for FREE if we can represent you. We answer calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
No Fees or Costs if We Do Not Get You Money
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2013 and has been completely revamped and updated.