A SLAP tear --
SLAP refers to a Superior Labral tear from Anterior to Posterior -- is an
injury to the shoulder ball and socket joint, most specifically the cartilage
and tendon that holds the ball into the socket. This condition is often associated
with baseball pitchers, and it can also be caused by a pulling, wrenching or
flinging movement of the arm caused in a vehicle accident, fall or any other
type of trauma to the shoulder joint. If
you have suffered a SLAP tear because of an accident or during the
physical activity required on the job, you may have the basis to bring a
personal injury claim.
Symptoms. The common symptoms include a throbbing pain in the joint and a feeling of the joint catching or stopping during movement, particularly over the head. Treatment usually includes surgical repair to reattach the labrum or upper part of the shoulder tendon. Treatment post surgery requires intensive physical therapy and strength training.
Recovery. A SLAP Tear is typically repairable, and after surgery and intensive rehabilitation and strength training, full range of motion is generally seen in most patients. Recovery time can be lengthy, depending on several factors, including the age, health status and general fitness of the injured person. For months after the surgery, full range of motion will not be possible, and there may be ongoing pain, inability to sleep due to shoulder discomfort, and inability to do normal activities at a job or in the home. Because of the extensive recovery associated with this injury, any personal injury settlement amounts should accurately reflect these issues and the cost of therapy, possible home care and even retraining for other career options.
Proving a SLAP tear injury is usually simple and is commonly demonstrated by the surgical procedure required to correct the problem. Even in cases in which a surgical procedure is not required, a doctor can provide records indicating the diagnosis and the treatment required. The difficulty, when making a personal injury claim, is in proving that the injury occurred in the specific accident or work activity, and further that the third party – the party who caused the injury was negligent. That is, the third party breached a duty of care and that resulted in the SLAP year claim.
Because of the complexity of filing and proving a SLAP tear injury, the person bringing the claim (the “plaintiff”) should seek advice from an experienced personal injury attorney. The attorney can file all the required paperwork and supporting evidence before the statute of limitations (the time limit to bring the case) on personal injury cases expires.
In most personal injury cases, an attempt is made to settle the case prior to going to court. The insurance company or other party will make an initial offer, which may appear to be substantial. However, it is important to keep in mind that all damages can be included in the settlement. The insurance company will attempt to settle the case quickly to potentially avoid some of the additional costs for therapy, rehabilitation or loss of income that have yet to occur. Other damages contained in the offer should include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other property damages if the injury occurred in an accident.