Car Accident Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder injuries can inflict serious pain on car accident victims, and they can occur in nearly any kind of crash. The victim will likely need intensive and potentially long-term medical care.

Depending on the nature of the injury, it may not be possible for the victim to resume the career he or she had prior to the wreck.

Have you or someone you love suffered shoulder injuries from a car accident? Discuss your legal options with the team at David R. Price, Jr., P.A. Our car accident attorneys offer free consultations.

How Is the Shoulder Hurt in a Car Accident?

The shoulder is a complex body part consisting of several muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. It is designed to allow a wide range of motion and support considerable weight loads. However, a car accident can easily push the shoulder beyond its normal limits and result in significant, often painful injuries for the victim. Even a low-speed collision can leave a victim with damage to the shoulder and surrounding areas.

Shoulder injuries from a car accident happen because of contact with the seatbelt, steering wheel, interior of the vehicle, or flying debris. They can often occur in a rollover accident, especially if the seatbelt fails or isn’t worn. The various components in the shoulder can be injured during a car crash. The rotator cuff area is especially at risk of injury and can leave a victim with intense shoulder pain after a car accident.

Potential Injuries to the Shoulder in a Crash

Because there are many different types of car accidents, there are many ways that damage can be done to the shoulder. The following are a few potential shoulder injuries:

  • Shoulder strain or sprain: Despite the shoulder’s wide range of motion, a car crash can force it to extend beyond its capacity. This can cause the ligaments to stretch too far and tear (sprain) or the fibers in the muscles or tendons to tear (strain).
  • Deep bruising: While a bruise may not sound too severe, deep tissue bruising can damage the shoulder’s muscles and connective tissues. Victims may experience internal bleeding and significant pain.
  • Bone fractures: Pain in the shoulder blades after a car accident could indicate that the bone (scapula) is broken. The impact from the wreck can also break other bones nearby, such as the clavicle (collarbone) and humerus (upper arm bone).
  • Rotator cuff injury: The rotator cuff is a collection of tendons and muscles that surround the shoulder joint. Painful tears in the rotator cuff can limit movement and often require surgery.
  • Dislocated shoulder: An automobile collision can pop the upper arm bone out of its socket. Dislocations can happen in various directions and lead to pain, muscle spasms, and ligament, tendon, and nerve damage.
  • Separated shoulder: Shoulder separation injuries are caused by tearing of the ligaments between the collarbone and shoulder blade. Significant enough damage can cause the shoulder blade to partially separate from the collarbone.
  • Brachial plexus injury: The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that send signals from the brain through the shoulder and down the arm. Injuries to this nerve cluster may result in pain, numbness, and decreased or total loss of use of the shoulder, arm, or hand.

See a doctor immediately if you experience shoulder pain after a car accident or any of the following:

  • Weakness in the shoulder
  • Limited range of motion
  • Numbness
  • Cracking or grating noises when you move your arm
  • Inability to sleep on your side because of pain

Treatment for Shoulder Injuries

If you’re experiencing shoulder injuries from a car accident, it’s essential to see a physician as soon as you can. After a thorough examination of the affected area, your doctor can recommend a treatment regimen. It may include some or all of the following:

  • Cold packs
  • Slings
  • Medication
  • Steroid injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation

Seeing a doctor isn’t just essential for your health. Failing to do so could jeopardize your legal rights as well by allowing the at-fault party to claim that the delay worsened your injuries. Follow all recommended treatments and attend all medical appointments your physician schedules for you.

Available Compensation for Victims With Shoulder Injuries

If possible, your attorney will work to settle your car accident claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Otherwise, your lawyer will take your case before a jury. Either way, you can seek such compensation, also known as damages, to pay for:

  • Medical expenses for surgery, medication, physical therapy, adaptive medical equipment, and other medical services
  • Lost wages during the time you spend recovering from your injuries, attending follow-up medical appointments, and tending to other accident-related needs
  • Lost future wages if your injuries prevent you from either working your previous job or working at the same productivity level
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Our Attorneys Can Help With Your Car Accident Case Involving Shoulder Injuries

Medical treatments, missed time from work, and other losses can quickly add up. If you’re facing the effects of shoulder injuries after a car accident, let the Greenville, SC, car accident attorneys at David R. Price, Jr., P.A. review your case. Call us today to schedule your initial consultation.


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