In January 2013, we secured over £550,000 (inclusive of interim payments) in compensation for a 38 year old woman - after she suffered permanent damage to her right shoulder, in a serious road traffic accident. The impact of her shoulder injury has left her permanently incapacitated. The effects of that debilitation are discussed in this case study, along with the details of her shoulder injury compensation claim.
To protect confidentiality, the claimant will be referred to as 'Mrs C'.
In June 2008 Mrs C's vehicle was hit from behind at such force, that there was a 'second rebound impact'. Her allegations against the guilty driver were that they:
The defendant agreed with this account and admitted full liability. The shoulder injury claim was against the defendant's insurance provider. Details on the case itself are discussed near the conclusion of this case study.
Mrs C suffered damage to the nerves around her shoulder, and was later diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), which is a neurological condition secondary to the damage caused in the impact.
Mrs C suffered from serious and persistent chronic pain in her neck, dominant right shoulder, right arm and hand. The skin on this arm became ultra-sensitive, meaning any slight discomforts were heightened to a level of intense pain. This became worse following treatment eight months after the accident. Her entire right arm was affected by a pins and needles sensation and varied in colour and temperature from her left.
Unfortunately these symptoms did not fully subside, and remained permanently. Mrs C was also experiencing pain in her lower back, which forced her to rely on crutches for several weeks. But this pain subsided over time and was not permanent.
The entire event had also left Mrs C somewhat traumatised.
Mrs C underwent physical therapy for her shoulder injury and did recognise improvement - albeit only slight and this was not maintained long term. Four months after the accident, she was sent for a shoulder injury MRI scan. Then in December that year, she was given an injection to the shoulder joint. Following this, she was placed on a waiting list for surgery.
Meanwhile Mrs C continued her physiotherapy despite showing no improvements in her condition.
Two months went by before her shoulder was operated on under anaesthetic. Unfortunately, the procedure only led to more pain and discomfort. As mentioned earlier, Mrs C started showing severe symptoms of CRPS - with her right arm becoming highly sensitive to touch. It was also reported that she could no longer tolerate the weight of clothing on her arm.
Mrs C then went through a second operation in August 2009, which involved two procedures: Athroscope Subacromial Decompression and Capsular Release. Again, Mrs C showed no signs of improvement after the surgery.
Aside from the direct pain and suffering incurred in the initial car accident, Mrs C's quality of life was heavily impacted by her injuries. She was required to step down from her children's cancer charity fundraiser role. Her contract of employment came to an end in December 2009.
Just over a year later, she started her own business - selling wall art. Beyond regaining a sense of fulfilment through this venture, the nature of the work was also therapeutic for her. Unfortunately, the business was not sustainable. Her two children were young at the time of the accident. It was impossible for Mrs C to fully care for them in her condition.
As Mrs C had no strong function in her right arm, she was unable to carry out many household activities. Her husband's job required him to sometimes work away - therefore he would prepare meals in advance, and freeze them for the family to reheat in his absence.
This made things slightly easier for Mrs C when caring for her children alone. However, due to her condition, her children grew increasingly anxious about the possibility of an emergency breaking out in the home - to which their mother might struggle to respond to.
Obviously this was extremely sad and distressing for Mrs C. In the end, the family was left no choice but for Mrs C's husband to change his job, so he could work from home more often to provide the care she needs.
Mrs C would continue to need such care and support around the home. As a result, a number of specialist aids and appliances were recommended to her at the time of her shoulder injury compensation claim taking place.
We receive a lot of contact from potential clients, asking questions like 'how much compensation will I get for a broken shoulder?' And our answer is always that it depends on the severity and conditions of your individual case.
As you can see from Mrs C's story above, her condition was extremely serious. In this particular case we secured £557,599 on her behalf.
During negotiations the parties did not provide an official breakdown of how the settlement was calculated. Therefore the below is our own estimate of how the compensation breakdown:
We have extensive experience in handling road accident compensation claims, and this was not our first severe impact shoulder injury we have dealt with.
If you have been affected by any of the above, it is important you seek advice from specialist solicitors. Contact us on 08000 93 00 94 or fill out our short online enquiry form. There's no obligation for you to pursue your claim with us. We're here to advise and support you.
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