Jury Verdict Research found that the median jury verdict in arm nerve damage cases over the last 10 years was $81,095.
Arm nerve damage is defined by the study as injuries to the median nerve, radial nerve, ulnar nerve, musculocutaneous nerve, and axillary nerve which are all branches of the brachial plexus. Carpal tunnel injuries were, however, specifically excluded from this study. Why? The vast majority of carpal tunnel injury cases are not the result of medical malpractice or a motor vehicle accident. Before you get outraged, it is absolutely true that people get CPS all of the time from tensing up and gripping the steering wheel before a crash. It is just that most of these injuries are not caused by car accidents.
JVR provides more median verdicts for arm injuries:
- Arm amputations: $3,500,000 (75% of verdicts over $1,000,000)
- Arm and Elbow Nonfractures, Arm Nerve Damage and Arm Amputations: $61,863 (13% of awards over $1 million).
- Elbow Injuries without a Fracture: $13,420 (2% of awards over $1 million)
Brachial Plexus Injuries
Brachial plexus injuries (also called brachial plexus palsy) are the most common of these injuries that we see in litigation. This injury usually occurs during childbirth and is often the result of medical malpractice. The brachial plexus controls the arm, hand, and shoulder muscles. Brachial means are and plexus is a collection of nerves that are very close to each other in the body. The nerves give out branches to each other. They are interconnected like a network of wires where every wire has its purpose.
The brachial plexus is a series of five nerve roots that come from the spinal cord. The roots are C5, C6, C7, C8, and T1. Each root has an incredible 10,000 fibers. These fiber-optic cables are called axons.
Most brachial plexus injury cases — either birth injury or trauma like a motor vehicle accident — are the result of the head and neck going in one direction and the shoulder going in the other. The greater the separation or stretching, the more severe the injury. If they stretch just a little bit, the insulation can be disrupted, but they bounce right back. Thankfully, this happens in most brachial plexus injury cases. If they stretch further, some of those inside fiber-optic cables begin to tear. The results at this level are mixed. Some resiliently bounce back and others do not. At some point, the stretch reaches the point where they tear apart in two places. The worst scenario is nerve avulsion which a tearing of a nerve from its connection to the spine. This is like pulling a plug from a socket. The nerve loses its connection to the spinal cord.