If someone caused your SLAP Tear, you may be able to get compensation.
A SLAP tear is an injury to your labrum in the shoulder. The labrum is a ring of cartilage that goes around the shoulder joint’s socket.
Your shoulder is a ball and socket joint that consists of 3 bones:
- Upper arm bone (humerus)
- Collarbone (Clavicle)
- Shoulder Blade (Scapula)
The head of the humerus goes into a round socket in the shoulder blade. The socket is known as the glenoid.
Around the glenoid’s outside surface is a rim of tough, fibrous tissue known as the labrum. The labrum makes the socket deeper and balances the shoulder joint.
The labrum also acts as a joining point for several of the shoulder ligaments, in addition to the tendons from the biceps muscle in your arm.
What is a SLAP Tear?
SLAP is the acronym for Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior. In a SLAP injury, the superior (top) part of the labrum is damaged.
The top part is where the biceps tendon joins the labrum. A SLAP tear happens both in the front (anterior) and back (posterior) of the attachment.
The biceps tendon can also be damaged in the SLAP injury.
What Causes a SLAP Tear?
Injuries to your superior labrum can happen from an accident or by repetitive motion. One of the difficulties in SLAP tear cases is proving that the accident caused the SLAP tear.
Hopefully, your doctor will say that your accident caused the SLAP tear.
The insurance company’s doctor will likely say that your SLAP tear wasn’t caused by the accident. Instead, their doctors routinely say that your SLAP tear was caused by repetitive motion.
A SLAP injury can happen from these accidents:
- A car accident, motorcycle crash, or truck wreck
- A fall on your outstretched arm
- A quick or powerful movement of your arm if its above shoulder level
- Dislocated Shoulder
If the insurance company argues that a car accident can’t cause a SLAP tear, send them this article by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons that says that it can.
Claimants who do repetitive overhead sports like weightlifters may have labrum tears caused by repeated shoulder movements. So, if you’re a weightlifter, expect the liable party’s insurance company to say that weightlifting, and not the accident, caused your SLAP tear.
A lot of SLAP tears caused by the wearing down of your labrum that occurs as you age. Doctors may see tearing or fraying of the superior labrum as part of the normal occurrence of aging, for people who are over 40 years old.
If you’re over 40 years old, the insurance company’s doctor will likely say that your SLAP tear or fraying is part of the normal process of aging.
On the other hand, for people under 40 years old, tearing of the superior labrum is caused by a sudden injury. Thus, if you’re under 40 years of age, it may be easier for you to prove that an accident caused your SLAP tear.
Driver Gets $210,000 for SLAP Tear from Truck Crash
See my settlement where a truck driver got a $210,000 settlement for a Type 2 SLAP Tear. A tractor-trailer driver (18 wheeler) rear ended him.
A picture of the vehicle whose driver was cited for careless driving is below.
The treating doctor told us that he did not see a tear. He said that he only saw fraying. My client had arthroscopic surgery to repair the fray in his shoulder.
The other driver received a ticket for careless driving. The other driver was under dispatch by a trucking company based in Jacksonville, Florida that had a self-insured retention (SIR) of $250,000.
Broadspire was the third party administrator (TPA) that adjusted the claim. Broadspire is part of Crawford Co.
Travelers Insurance provided bodily injury coverage to the trucking company/dispatcher.
Passenger in Car Crash Gets $138,433 for SLAP Debridement
See my case where a passenger got $138,433 for a SLAP debridement and a rotator cuff repair.
Man Gets $183,697 for Pain and Suffering from SLAP Tear in Car Crash
This is not my case. The claimant’s injuries were:
- a shoulder sprain
- multiple bruises to the left shoulder
- type 1 AC joint sprain
- a partial thickness articular sided tear
- a partial thickness tear of the subscapularis tendon (1 of the four rotator cuff muscles)
- 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.
The claimant settled with the other 3 defendants, one of which was an uninsured motorist (UM) insurance company.
The claimant, a 48 year-old employee of UPS, was driving home on a highway. He claimed that the another driver, 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 don’t know the amounts of the other settlements that the injured man made with the other defendants. Since 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 the pain and suffering component of a SLAP tear surgery case.
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