Article Updated February 28, 2022

Torn Rotator Cuff Settlement Value

Rotator CuffTorn rotator cuffs can be debilitating and lead to you missing out on work, family events, and your personal life. A rotator cuff lawsuit is therefore important in helping you deal with the financial repercussions of your injury. These financial losses can include lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering compensation and more.

If you want to know what your torn rotator cuff settlement value could be, then read on to learn how much average rotator cuff injury settlements are, as well as:

   What is a rotator cuff injury?

♦   Treatments for rotator cuff injuries

♦   Outlook on recovery

♦   Settlement averages

  How to increase your rotator cuff injury settlement amount

Read on to learn more about these topics.

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Rotator Cuff Injuries

Increasing Rotator Cuff Settlement ValueThe rotator cuff is made up of the muscles and tendons that are in your shoulder. When in an accident, the trauma your body faces is intense and the upper body in particular faces a large amount of force.

The damage to the rotator cuff comes from both from the seat belt as well as the force of the accident, which together can cause serious damage to your rotator cuff area.

The rotator cuff is called this because it is a cuff of tissue that connects the shoulder’s joint together. This is an important and constantly used part of the body as the rotator cuff helps to stabilize and make usable the entire portion of the upper body that includes your shoulder and arms.

The rotator cuff is made up of multiple parts with the main parts being the 4 major muscles of the rotator cuff:

♦   Supraspinatus

♦   Infraspinatus


♦   Teres Minor

These four muscles are connected to the scapula and together create the rotator cuff tendon which is attached to the shoulder blade. The rotator cuff is important because it is what helps to hold the shoulder together and in place.

When you have an injury to the rotator cuff, the muscle to most often get damage is the supraspinatus tendon which has a tendency to tear in an accident.

These injuries can be worse for some as variables such as age can have an effect on your prevalence towards damaging the rotator cuff.

supraspinatus rotator cuff injury

Variables like this will have an affect on your rotator cuff injury settlement because the insurance company often tries to use it to escape culpability and reduce your full settlement value.

Read on to learn torn rotator cuff settlement values and treatments.

Rotator Cuff Injury Treatments

A rotator cuff cannot heal itself and will need some form of treatment so that you do not further injure the tendons and muscles.

The intensity of your treatment will depend on how severe your original injury was to start with. Some of the more common treatments are below

Medication and Physical Therapy

Less serious injuries can be treated with methods like applying heat and cold to the affected area to help with reducing swelling. Medications can also be taken orally in addition to help with the healing process as directed by your physician.

Wearing a sling to keep the arm in place and allow for inflammation to go down is a common treatment. This is done to reduce pain and requires periods of rest so that the muscles and tendons are not further strained.

The more impactful injuries will also need to have weeks and sometimes months of physical therapy exercises that can help to restore and strengthen the range of motion of the rotator cuff and surrounding area.

Injections for Injured Rotator Cuff

Some injuries cannot be addressed with these methods alone and need more invasive methods to help bring about a full recovery. Injecting the area with cortisone steroid shots helps with both the pain and the inflammation and may be recommended by your pain management doctor.

Rotator Cuff Surgery

In severe cases, surgery will be needed for a rotator cuff injury. Rotator cuff settlements are affected by the need for surgery because of the invasiveness of the process and the fact that not all of these surgeries are effective.

Rotator cuff surgery helps to return blood flow to the area and attempts to reattach the rotator cuff if the tear is severe, or the body is not able to recover from other less invasive methods of recovery.

Rotator Cuff Injury Recovery Outlooks

Rotator cuff injuries can take months to recover from. Even minor cases of these injuries can take from 2-4 weeks while more serious cases can take 6-8 months.

When the rotator cuff is torn at 80%-90%, surgery is almost always needed, and even then, recovery may not mean a return to normalcy. This is why average settlement for a torn rotator cuff that involved surgery will be fought for at a higher value, generally well into the six-figures.

Medical research journals have noted that the chance for a positive recovery outlook will depend on many factors including age, gender, presence of illnesses like diabetes and previous injury.

These factors are broken down into multiple demographics factors, clinical factors, rotator cuff integrity factors and the success or failure for any surgery.

Therefore, positive recovery outlooks can be far lower depending on how many factors are working against an individual who has had a rotator cuff injury such as being male, or being older or presence of obesity, having diabetes, and how many tendons are hurt in the injury.

Torn Rotator Cuff Settlement Value

Your rotator cuff injury settlement value will be affected by many things. The major one will be the severity of the injury itself. Cases where you need surgery will be far more valuable in court.

However, simply needing surgery does not mean that you are guaranteed a large payout. Pre-existing problems with your rotator cuff and past injuries for example can, and often are, used by insurance companies to try and reduce your payment.

Even the type of surgery you have can make a difference because the rotator cuff settlement you get can even depend on whether your surgery was an open surgery or an arthroscopic surgery.

This does not mean that surgery alone is going to affect your torn rotator cuff settlement value. Even in cases where surgery is not needed, there can be major impact and inconvenience in your life.

Surgery is generally only used in cases where a large portion of the rotator cuff is damaged, usually above 60%.   However, this is a subjective assessment that your surgeon will make based on your injury is impacting your ADLs.

Other cases still require potentially months of downtime where you cannot work or participate in your daily tasks which can take an emotional and financial toll on your life which need to be calculated into your rotator cuff injury settlement.

How Much is Your Rotator Cuff Worth?

Understanding how much your rotator cuff injury is worth means understanding the factors that can make your case value higher or lower.

Many variables exist and being able to argue these from clinical as well as pain and suffering standpoints can help your torn rotator cuff settlement value.

To help understand your rotator cuff settlement potential, a few major areas of concern can be looked at and assessed:

  How serious was your injury and what percentage and part of the rotator cuff was injured

♦  Your age at the time of the accident

♦  Prior medical history and injuries

  Was surgery needed, and if yes, which kind of surgery was needed

♦  Presence of other medical conditions

These variables and your answers to them help to create the average ranges seen in many states for rotator cuff injuries. These averages range from $30,000 on the low end and $300,000 on the higher end.

Average settlement for rotator cuff surgery repair cases in California for example are similar to the cases in Maryland which shows a national average that tends to remain on average the same from location to location.

Rotator Cuff Injury Verdicts & Settlements

VERDICT: $600.000.00.  Plaintiff was hit while waiting to make a left turn in an intersection. While waiting the car was hit from the rear by a vehicle traveling at 50 m.p.h. The accident led to the plaintiff suffering numerous injuries including a rotator cuff tear. Insurance company initially offered a much lower settlement, but arbitration nearly tripled the settlement to $600,000.

VERDICT: $76,500.00.  Plaintiff was stopped at a stop sign when another vehicle running through the intersection struck the vehicle. The impact caused a torn rotator cuff which required surgery to correct the injury. Plaintiff was awarded this amount for the medical costs as well as for emotional distress, mental anguish and inability to resume daily activities for a period of time after the surgery.

VERDICT: $175,000.00.  Plaintiff filed a lawsuit after his vehicle was hit from behind while he was stopped at an intersection waiting to make a left turn. Plaintiff suffered a torn rotator cuff during the impact as well as other injuries. The defendant in the case was an uninsured individual and plaintiff took his complaint to a third-named individual’s insurance company.

VERDICT: $525,000.00.  Plaintiff was injured when the car was struck after the defendant’s car crossed the center line and into oncoming traffic. The accident caused the plaintiff to lose consciousness and also suffer bilateral rotator cuff tears. The defendant was under the influence of drugs and alcohol which contributed to the accident. Despite the insurance for defendant contesting all aspects of the case, ultimately plaintiff was able to recover for pain and suffering, medical costs and lost wages, with this recovery over half a million dollars.

Rotator Cuff Injury Q&A

What is the average settlement for a torn rotator cuff?

Torn rotator cuff injury settlements can range a great deal depending on variables such as age, previous injury and whether or not you needs surgery.  These injuries can cause varying levels of debilitation and recovery time which is why average amounts for settlements for a torn rotator cuff range between lows of $30,000 and highs of $500,000+.

I had surgery for my rotator cuff injury, does this make a difference?

Yes. Having rotator cuff surgery, be it an open surgery or an arthroscopic surgery, will have a high chance of affecting your settlement value. This is both because surgery indicates your rotator cuff tear was serious, and also because surgery is invasive and requires longer recovery times and results in more medical expenses.

Which variables make the biggest difference with rotator cuff injury settlements?

A few particular variables make the biggest difference in rotator cuff injury settlements. This includes the severity of your tear and whether or not you needed surgery. The need for surgery is one variable that makes settlement amounts higher. It also matters whether or not you have had any previous injuries to your rotator cuff as well.

Does my age impact how much a rotator cuff surgery settlement is?

Age can have an impact on your rotator cuff injury settlement. Higher age can lower your settlement because of the natural degeneration of the muscles and tendons that make up the rotator cuff. Because of this, many insurance companies will attempt to offer you lower settlement values.

Are rotator cuff injuries common in accidents?

Yes, rotator cuff injuries from vehicle collisions are very common because the upper body often suffers intense pressure and trauma in an accident. This trauma causes pressure on the shoulders and arms which leads to the many connected muscles and tendons in the arm and shoulder to become damaged.

How long is the average recovery time for rotator cuff injuries?

Rotator cuff injury recovery times depend on the intensity of the injury and whether or not you needed surgery. Cases with surgery can take as long as 8 months on average while cases without surgery can heal in as short as a few months.

Our Los Angeles Lawyers Can Help
Win Your Rotator Cuff Injury Claims

If you have had a rotator cuff injury and need help navigating the legal process, we invite you to contact us our Los Angeles legal team for a free consultation.  Regardless of where you are, whether in Los Angeles, California, or nationally, there are ways we can help you.  Our practice and focus, geographically, includes Los Angeles and all its surrounding counties.

We have years of experience helping to maximize rotator cuff cases and working hard to make our clients have the maximum settlements possible by taking into account all the settlement variables that make a top-dollar settlement.

Call, email, or submit the contact form below to speak with one of our attorneys right now.

Lawyer Experienced in Herniated Disc Injuries

Fermont, A. J., Wolterbeek, N., Wessel, R. N., Baeyens, J. P., & De Bie, R. A. (2014). Prognostic factors for successful recovery after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair: a systematic literature reviewjournal of orthopaedic & sports physical therapy44(3), 153-163.

Manaka, T., Ito, Y., Matsumoto, I., Takaoka, K., & Nakamura, H. (2011). Functional recovery period after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair: is it predictable before surgery?. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®469(6), 1660-1666.

Kim, Y. K., Jung, K. H., Kim, J. W., Kim, U. S., & Hwang, D. H. (2018). Factors affecting rotator cuff integrity after arthroscopic repair for medium-sized or larger cuff tears: a retrospective cohort study. Journal of shoulder and elbow surgery27(6), 1012-1020.

Rokito, A. S., Zuckerman, J. D., Gallagher, M. A., & Cuomo, F. (1996). Strength after surgical repair of the rotator cuffJournal of shoulder and elbow surgery5(1), 12-17.

Kurowicki, J., Berglund, D. D., Momoh, E., Disla, S., Horn, B., Giveans, M. R., & Levy, J. C. (2017). Speed of recovery after arthroscopic rotator cuff repairJournal of shoulder and elbow surgery26(7), 1271-1277.

Charousset, C., Grimberg, J., Duranthon, L. D., Bellaïche, L., Petrover, D., & Kalra, K. (2008). The time for functional recovery after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair: correlation with tendon healing controlled by computed tomography arthrography. Arthroscopy: The Journal of Arthroscopic & Related Surgery24(1), 25-33.

Cho, C. H., Bae, K. C., & Kim, D. H. (2020). Patients who have undergone rotator cuff repair experience around 75% functional recovery at 6 months after surgeryKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy, 1-8.

About the Author

Article Author:  This law article was written by attorney Ray Benyamin, Esquire.  Mr. Benyamin received his Juris Doctor degree from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and his license to practice law from the State Bar of California.  His law license number is 277263.  He has been practicing law for 10 years.  Mr. Benyamin is a registered member of the following legal organizations: Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), the State Bar of California, the American Bar Association (ABA), and the American Association for Justice (AAJ).  Mr. Benyamin has personally helped his clients recover over $10,000,000 in vehicle accident insurance claims in the State of California.

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