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  • Writer's pictureAlex Maltese

Calculating the Average Settlement for Shoulder Injury – Car Accident (NY)

Updated: Feb 9

The consequences of car accidents can be devastating, leaving victims with emotional trauma, physical pain, exorbitant vehicle repair and medical bills, and injuries that require expensive treatment.

Such consequences often include shoulder injuries, which are common in motor vehicle accidents. Since the shoulder is a vital body part that people use frequently, these injuries can be quite painful and make daily tasks much more difficult or even impossible to complete.

As a result, car accident victims who sustain shoulder injuries often have to pay huge bills, spend fortunes on treatment, and may even lose their ability to work or generate income.

Considering all of these variables, it's difficult to determine how much the average shoulder injury settlement is worth. However, certain factors could help victims estimate how much compensation they could recover in these cases.

The Average Car Accident Settlement in New York

The Average Car Accident Settlement in New York

In New York, car accident settlements are higher than in other states, with an average of $287,628. However, this sum may vary depending on the type of accident or the severity of the injuries sustained by the victims.

Those who sustain a serious injury may be able to recover more than $900,000 in compensation, for example. For head-on and rear-end collisions, awards could even exceed $2,000,000.

Why Are New York Personal Injury Settlements So High?

In New York, juries often favor victims. However, what really affects how much compensation individuals can recover in personal injury cases is the need for smaller lawsuits.

This state is governed by a no-fault law. Therefore, insurance companies are required to pay fair compensation to car accident victims for the economic and medical losses they suffered. This sum is capped at $50,000. However, insurers don't provide compensation for pain and suffering.

More often than not, only those cases where victims sustain permanent injuries result in more substantial compensation. As a result, the number of smaller claims is lower. Since the payout for more serious lawsuits is higher, this causes the overall award in New York to increase.

However, car accident victims shouldn't focus on these statistics to determine how much compensation they can recover. This information says very little about the expected settlement. Ideally, claimants should ask an experienced car accident law firm in Long Island NY to review their cases to estimate their value.

What is the Average Settlement for a Shoulder Injury in New York?

In personal injury cases resulting from car accidents, victims can recover compensation for damages to different body parts, and this includes shoulders.

This leads to another question: how much can people recover in a car accident case for a shoulder injury? Shoulders are vital for doing daily activities and, when they are hurt, it can be difficult and even impossible for people to complete essential tasks.

Due to the importance of this frequently used body part, people who sustain shoulder injuries are entitled to compensation. In these cases, the settlement could range anywhere from just $10,000 to $200,000 just for the damage to this portion of the body.

However, the average shoulder injury settlement in a New York accident case can vary depending on several factors. As mentioned, the most common are the severity of the injury and how negligent the at-fault party was, in some cases.

Understanding New York Car Accident Law

New York handles motor vehicle accidents under a no-fault car insurance statutory scheme, which means that drivers' own insurance policy should pay compensation for lost wages and medical expenses that result from these incidents.

These are the minimal coverage requirements for insured and uninsured motorists:

  • $10,000 for property damage

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person

  • $50,000 for bodily injury per accident

However, this type of no-fault insurance doesn't offer emotional injury coverage, which means those who suffer a small car accident aren't eligible to recover pain and suffering damages.

In New York, to recover pain and suffering damages, car accident victims must prove that they have suffered a serious injury, which is defined as any of the following:

  • Fracture

  • Dismemberment

  • Significant disfigurement

  • Death

  • Loss of a fetus

  • Permanent limitation of use of a body organ

  • Significant limitation of use of a body system or function

  • Permanent loss of a body system, function, or organ

  • An injury or impairment that, although not permanent, prevents the injured person from performing the acts that constituted that individual's customary daily activities for not less than 90 days within 180 days after it occurred

Severe shoulder injuries may fall into the latter category, which is one of the three types of cases that often set the stage for litigation.

What Happens When Serious Injuries Exceed the No-Fault Threshold?

People who sustain severe shoulder injuries can sue the at-fault party for the damages they suffered if they exceed the no-fault threshold. However, New York is a pure comparative fault state.

This legal principle states that there's compensation available for the injuries the plaintiff suffered even if they're 99% liable for the accident. However, the amount that injured people can recover for their damages will be reduced according to their percentage of fault.

Here is an example: A person is awarded $100,000 for damages in a personal injury case but contributed to the accident that caused their injuries and is found to be 50% at fault. Therefore, they'll only receive $50,000 in compensation.

What Determines the Settlement Value for Shoulder Injuries?

To sum up, the value of a personal injury claim is determined by several factors, which may include the following:

  • The severity of the shoulder injury

  • The number of injuries, if the victim sustained multiple injuries

  • How long the injury or its complications are expected to last

  • Costs for medical treatment related to the injury

  • The income or earnings lost due to the injury, including anticipated lost earnings

  • The percentage of fault of the victims

Damages That Shoulder Injury Victims Can Recover

Whether compensation is recovered through an insurance claim settlement or litigation, shoulder injury victims may be entitled to different damages.

The damages that are often awarded to victims are intended to help them recover from the shoulder injury and reduce the effects that it has had on their lives.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the personal injury case and the factors mentioned above, plaintiffs could be compensated for the following:

Medical Bills

These damages include all costs related to the treatment victims receive for their shoulder injuries, including doctor's visits, emergency or ambulance services, physical therapy, assistive devices, prescription medication, and others.

Lost Income or Earning Capacity

Since recovering from a shoulder injury can affect people's income, victims can seek compensation for the paychecks they have missed. However, this payout can only replace a portion of the lost wages.

If they sustain permanent shoulder injuries, and these affect their ability to work because their job requires physical labor, plaintiffs can recover compensation for reduced earning capacity.

Additional Damages

Besides the damages that cover the medical treatment for a shoulder injury, victims can seek compensation for other losses and hardships, including pain and suffering, mental distress, vehicle and property repair costs, and diminished quality of life.

Punitive Damages

In New York, courts can award punitive damages if the defendant is found guilty of willful and wanton disregard for other people's safety. They seek to deter people from committing similar actions in the future. This state doesn't cap this type of compensation.

Common Shoulder Injuries Resulting from Car Accidents

Both the collision itself and the seatbelt can cause damage to the upper body in a car accident. These are the most common shoulder injuries in these incidents:

  • Shoulder sprains

  • Shoulder dislocations

  • Shoulder tears and other soft tissue injuries

  • Shoulder fractures

  • Floating shoulders

  • Torn rotator cuff

  • Bruising

  • Soreness

  • Broken bones

  • Torn muscles

  • Clavicle fractures

Final Thoughts: Can Victims Estimate The Potential Compensation in a Motor Vehicle Accident?

It's difficult to estimate how much a person can recover as compensation if they have sustained a shoulder injury in a car accident, as several factors can affect this payout, including the extent of damage.

Considering this, soft tissue victims could recover less compensation than people who suffer permanent disability or significant disfigurement. When the plaintiff underwent physical therapy, is unable to exercise physical labor as before, or requires prolonged treatment for their injuries, the settlement may be higher.

Since proving the severity of a shoulder injury can be challenging, as is demonstrating that the other party was negligent, victims should contact an attorney to negotiate a settlement with the other driver's insurance company or file a personal injury lawsuit.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today!

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today!

Those who have sustained a shoulder injury in an accident caused by someone else are entitled to legal representation. An experienced attorney can help them evaluate their cases to determine how much compensation they can recover. They can also advise on the average settlement for soft tissue injury car accident NY.

Moreover, a seasoned personal injury lawyer can help victims gather the evidence they need to prove their claims, handle conversions with insurance companies to pursue a fair settlement, and represent them in court if their claims must be resolved through litigation.

At The Law Office of Carl Maltese, located in Long Island, New York, we have extensive experience handling car accident cases, and we are willing to help shoulder injury victims recover the compensation they deserve. Contact us today!


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