The shoulder joint is one of the most used parts of the body. An injury to any of the structures within the joint can be pretty painful and incapacitating. Severe shoulder injuries, such as a labral tear, may require surgery. An arthroscopic surgery is supposed to be the safest way to fix partial or complete tears, yet accidents still occur during the procedure. Individuals with rotator cuff injuries who experience complications as a result of a doctor’s error have a right to demand compensation or rotator cuff settlements. However, there are a lot of legal complexities involved in medical malpractice. This post, therefore, explores obtaining compensation for arthroscopic shoulder surgery settlements in Maryland.

Shoulder Injuries that Require Arthroscopic Surgery

Before we get into settlements, let’s discuss shoulder injuries that require arthroscopic surgery.

An arthroscopic shoulder surgery is one where a surgeon repairs the damaged or torn structures in the shoulder joint by making several small incisions in the joints and working through them with the aid of a camera and other tools.

Shoulder Injuries that Require Arthroscopic Surgery

Several types of shoulder injuries require this type of surgery. The most common examples are torn rotator cuff, labral tears, and impingement syndrome.

Every year, over 4 million people in the United States require medical attention for different shoulder injuries. Not all shoulder injuries may require surgery. Some may require long-term physical therapy. However, injuries like rotator cuff tears often require surgical management. According to statistics, about 1.4 million people undergo arthroscopic shoulder surgery every year.

Consequences of Subpar Shoulder Surgery

As mentioned earlier, arthroscopic shoulder surgery is a minimally invasive way for doctors to repair a torn rotator cuff. Despite the relatively small incision required for this procedure, possible complications may still arise.

Unlike physical therapy, patients undergoing rotator cuff surgery are required to be put under anesthesia during the procedure. Hence, such individual’s blood circulation and cardiovascular health may be at risk. A patient may develop heart or brain damage or a permanent disability as a result of poorly administered sedatives during shoulder replacement surgery.

There are also other cases where the site of the incision becomes infected. Such infection may manifest in the shoulder joint or spread to other body parts. It can cause permanent damage or further jeopardize the individual’s health.

Since shoulder surgery involves contact with the nerves, blood vessels, and corresponding structures within the joint, medical negligence may cause the shoulder to be worse off than before the surgery.

An experienced rotator cuff surgery settlement lawyer in Maryland can assist victims in pursuing negligent hospitals or healthcare providers for rotator cuff injury settlement.

Medical Negligence in an Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery Case

Sports medicine has evolved, and medical professionals undergo years of continual training and research to offer top-quality healthcare to patients with shoulder injuries. This, however, does not mean that they are incapable of making mistakes. If a doctor or another medical professional commits a medical blunder that exacerbates a patient’s condition or causes permanent partial disability, such a mistake may qualify as medical negligence or malpractice.

According to the law, there is a specific standard that medical professionals in Maryland must care for their patients. Whether dealing with a rotator cuff tear or other rotator cuff injuries common, physicians, surgeons, nurses, and others are expected to meet the standard and perform their duties diligently.

A rotator cuff surgery is always performed under safe and supposedly sterile conditions. Surgery for rotator cuff injuries usually consists of an interdisciplinary medical team with access to the necessary technology.

In an ideal setting, there is little or no reason to expect complications from surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. However, complications may arise as a result of a doctor’s carelessness or negligence.

Making a rotator cuff injury claim will require the help of a medical malpractice attorney and a medical expert.

Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery Settlements Malpractice Claims

A shoulder injury could affect any part of the shoulder joint, including the left and right rotator cuffs, the shoulder blade, the supraspinatus tendon, and associated structures.

There is no doubt that every surgery has its associated risks. Still, if you have suffered damage following a shoulder replacement surgery or any related surgery for a shoulder injury, then you may be able to bring your case to court.

It is possible to successfully receive compensation for a medical failure in Maryland for one or multiple surgeries. However, it must be proven that:

  1. The shoulder injury is due to negligence or medical malpractice by a hospital, surgeon, nurse, or other healthcare provider.
  2. The damage or shoulder injury directly caused shoulder pain, suffering, permanent or partial disability, or death of the victim.

Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery Settlements Malpractice Claims

As stated by the Maryland Courts and judicial proceedings code §5 – 109, a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within three years from when the injury was discovered or within five years after it was acquired. This means that if you have a shoulder injury as a result of negligence, you should not waste time in filing for a rotator cuff settlement claim.

After filing a lawsuit, a certificate of merit is required from the medical profession to support your claim.

How to Obtain a Certificate of Merit

According to Maryland Courts and judicial proceedings, §3-2C-01, a certificate of merit can be obtained from a medical professional in the applicable field.

For an arthroscopic shoulder surgery settlement, an orthopedic surgeon must swear under oath that they believe the standard of care was compromised, which allegedly resulted in the damage or injury in question.

Note that a certificate of merit must be filed within 90 days of filing a malpractice lawsuit. Your claim will be dismissed if you fail to file a certificate of merit after the 90-day mark.

How to Calculate Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery Settlement Amount in Maryland

A lot goes into deciding the value of compensation for a shoulder injury. For instance, for injuries sustained from car accidents, malpractice attorneys will consider the medical bills and other details of the case to come up with an appropriate valuation.

The settlement amount for a required arthroscopic shoulder surgery for rotator cuff cases or any other shoulder injury is usually calculated by adding the medical expenses, past and future lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Whether it is the left or right shoulder, determining how much your pain and suffering are worth is the tricky part.

There are a lot of factors and variables that determine how much your shoulder pain and suffering is worth. Understanding the peculiarities of the case, if there are multiple injuries, the medical costs, surgery records, the jurisdiction, and the impact the injury has on the victim’s life is vital to determining a fair compensation amount.

What is the Average Compensation / Settlement for Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery in Maryland?

What is the Average Compensation _ Settlement for Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery in Maryland

The severity of the damage the plaintiff suffered and the prognosis for recovery are major factors that influence how much compensation you can get for a shoulder injury.

For instance, injuries from car accidents or an injury requiring surgery would have a higher settlement value.

The average settlement payout for an Arthroscopic shoulder surgery requiring rotator cuff tears in Maryland is about $150,000 to $220,000.

In 2020, compensation medical malpractice suits were capped at $830,000 as per Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceeding Code, §3-2A-09.

There is little information on the average settlement payout for a shoulder surgery lawsuit. However, based on our legal experience, we expect the least settlement amount for surgical procedures to be between $250,000 and $300,000 in Maryland, depending on the case’s specifics.

What Type of Compensation Can You Receive From a Surgical Error Lawsuit?

Medical error lawsuits typically demand economic damages or non-economic damages for injured patients.

Economic Damages

Economic damages compensate you for documented monetary losses such as lost wages and medical costs/expenses. If the medical error leads to a disability or death, future medical expenses and future income losses may be demanded.

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages compensate for non-monetary losses such as pain and suffering, emotional and psychological distress, and more. The former lifestyle of the victim may be considered when demanding non-economic damages. An example is if a professional dancer is no longer able to perform as a result of a surgical error.

What Are the Different Settlement Payout Options?

What Are the Different Settlement Payout Options

Personal injury settlements like medical malpractice can be paid out in different ways depending on how you decide to receive your awarded compensation. Generally, there are two main options when claiming for arthroscopic shoulder surgery settlements: lump-sum payment and structured settlements.

Lump-sum payout

Choosing a lump-sum payout option means you’ll receive all compensation in one single, immediate payment.

One of the significant advantages of this option is that you can immediately access your funds. However, in the long run, lump-sum payments are generally worth less than structured settlements.

Structured settlements

Structured settlements mean you’ll receive the settlements for arthroscopic shoulder surgery in installments. This option is long-term, and usually, payment is made on a monthly or yearly basis.

While you will receive less payment at a time, structured or periodic settlements generally exceed lump-sum payment amounts.

Before deciding on a payout option, it is best to seek counsel from a financial professional.

When Can You Make an Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery Settlement Claim?

A medical malpractice lawsuit claims that a hospital or a medical professional committed an avoidable mistake that caused a patient to be injured.

All surgeries, including those involving rotator cuff tears, have risks. This means that not all adverse outcomes can pass for a malpractice lawsuit.

When Can You Make an Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery Settlement Claim

If the harm caused is a result of the surgeon’s failure to act as a reasonable surgeon would, then you can make a shoulder surgery compensation claim.

One thing to note, however, is that you must be able to establish (with the help of a medical expert) that the doctor in question failed to exercise the degree of care and skill that another doctor would have in similar situations.

Common Surgery Complications that Lead to Lawsuits

  • Wrong site or side of injury

In most hospitals, nurses prep the surgery patients by marking the intended surgical sites. While this should never occur, a nurse may mark the wrong side/sites, or the ink marks may fade before the surgeon begins the procedure.

  • Wrong surgical procedure

Aside from a nurse marking the right shoulder for left shoulder surgery, other errors, such as a wrong surgical procedure, could occur. This may be due to a miscommunication among the medical team and will result in more medical expenses and emotional distress.

  • Wrong patient

One of the most devastating errors is when a surgical procedure is done on the wrong patient. This can also result from a miscommunication, scheduling issue, or when a patient or the orthopedic surgeon is guided into the wrong operating theater.

  • Hematoma

A Hematoma is a collection of blood in or near a recent surgical incision and is a common post-arthroscopic surgical complication.

  • Neurovascular Complication

Shoulder surgeries involve close contact with neurovascular vessels, so an accident involving these vessels will result in risky neuromuscular complications like deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

  • Technical Error

Every surgery requires the use of specific tools and instruments. A technical fault may cause a medical accident that could have been avoided with proper instrument maintenance and inspection.

  • Musculoskeletal Complications

Stiffness, also known as arthrofibrosis, frozen shoulder, joint pain, and numbness, are common musculoskeletal complications associated with arthroscopic surgery.

Causes of Medical Negligence for Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery in Maryland

  • Increased patient expectations and demands

Patients trust the medical system in the United States to provide complete healing. It is not unusual to hear patients expecting miracle results. Further, the failure to achieve these desired results can be attributed to medical errors or negligence.

  • Risks and complications not explicitly stated before the surgery

Long-term damaging complications of the surgery are not always clearly stated in the informed consent forms filled by patients. When such complications arise, they are automatically attributed to medical negligence.

  • Poor patient-doctor relationship

Poor patient-doctor relationship often leads to miscommunication. Hurried or rushed dialogue between the patient and healthcare providers is a major reason many doctors face medico-legal issues today.

  • Misdiagnosis

Correct treatment is only possible when there is a correct diagnosis. Most severe shoulder injuries are challenging to diagnose. For instance, labral tears can only be seen with an MRI. Likewise, it takes a skilled doctor to make a proper diagnosis and provide appropriate treatment.

How Injury Severity Impacts Compensation for Shoulder Surgery Settlements in Maryland

How Injury Severity Impacts Compensation for Shoulder Surgery Settlements in Maryland

Your lifestyle, job, and activity levels before arthroscopic shoulder surgery greatly impact the compensation you can receive for surgery settlements.

If you have partial or permanent restrictions in your shoulder joint following a surgical error, you may not be able to return to your lifestyle before the injury and surgery. Not only does this subject you to long-term pain, but it also involves long-term medical bills.

Cases like this translate to a higher shoulder surgery compensation amount. The increase in the compensation amount will depend on your future medical needs and the life activities affected.

Conclusion

Despite advancements in medical sciences, things can still go wrong during an arthroscopic shoulder surgery. If an accident or mistake during the procedure is severe enough to cause harm or a new injury, that patient has a right to receive compensation.

A lot of victims often get discouraged by the medical and legal complexities of fighting for a rotator cuff injury settlement or any other shoulder injury settlement. While the process is indeed challenging, victory is achievable with expert representation.

Medical malpractice attorneys in Maryland understand Maryland’s law concerning pursuing claims for arthroscopic shoulder surgery settlements. If you or someone you love has a rotator cuff injury settlement claim, please contact the Law Offices of Alex Poberesky, P.A., a personal injury lawyer in Maryland who can help you make the necessary connections and obtain your due compensation. You may reach us at (410) 484-0400.