Visitor Question

How do I calculate compensation for a torn rotator cuff?

Submitted By: Michelle (Warrenton, VA)

My family and I were in an accident in West Virginia that was not our fault. We were hauling our 29ft camper when another driver lost control and hit our F250 truck & our camper. Because of the impact, we were forced to hit a concrete highway divider.

Our truck was totaled and our camper received $10,000.00 in damages. I was transported to the hospital by ambulance and long story short, I have two tears in my right rotator cuff that two orthopedic doctors have looked at.

I was told that through intensive physical therapy I achieved satisfactory healing according to the health insurance standards of today. I was given a list of things I would not be able to do and how to manage my pain. I was also bruised on the leg, which still shows on my leg with a small burn scar from the air bag.

Please advise, what I should be asking for pain and suffering, which continues to this day? How can I make sure I get full compensation? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Michelle,

According to Virginia law, drivers are required to carry the following minimal amounts of car insurance

– $25,000.00 for injury to one (1) person in one (1) car accident

– $25,000.00 for injuries to two (2) or more person in one (1) car accident

– $25,00.00 for property damage in one (1) accident

When calculating compensation for damages, including pain and suffering, the amount of property damage is irrelevant. Damages are unique to every accident and to every person involved in the accident.

In car accident personal injury claims, damages can include medical, dental and therapy bills, out of pocket expenses (for such items as medications, slings, crutches, costs of travel to treatment, etc.), lost wages, and for pain and suffering.

While insurance companies rely on sophisticated computer programs to evaluate car accidents and the amount of compensation to be paid, an injured victim representing himself or herself doesn’t have that luxury.

However, it is still possible for an injured victim to estimate a settlement demand which will include compensation for pain and suffering, by taking the total medical bills and multiplying by 1.5 – 5 times. The multiples of 5 or higher are used for very serious injuries such as disfigurement, multiple fractures, head trauma, 3rd degree burns, and the like.

A rotator cuff tear may require a multiple of anywhere from 2 to 3 times medical bills. That figure gives you a rough estimate of the amount of compensation you could reasonably demand from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Learn more here: Calculating Pain and Suffering Costs

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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