shoulder painShoulder pain is very common after an auto accident since it is a complex joint with lots of movement, muscles, tendons, bones, and nerves. Many people downplay injuries to their shoulder because it is not life threatening, but it’s almost always a big mistake. This type of injury typically gets worse over time, affects your ability to work, affects your quality of life, and can have a big impact on your future.

Shoulder pain after a car accident can be caused by all sorts of injuries including whiplash, damage to soft tissue, broken bones, and nerve impingement. Pain is very common from all the different types of injuries as well as a severely limited range of motion, and an unstable join. For all of these reasons, you should never ignore shoulder pain after an accident.

What Are The Most Common Shoulder Injuries Resulting From Car Accidents?

The shoulder joint is one if not the most complex joint in your body. Unfortunately, its one of the most common sources of injury related to car accidents. It’s a ball and socket join much like the hip. Because of this, it’s relatively easy to cause tears, dislocate, or even break bones. Here are some of the most common shoulder injuries caused by vehicle accidents:

  • Soft tissue injuriesSoft tissue refers to the muscles, ligaments, tendons in your body. Car accidents routine cause pull or torn muscles, ligament strains, and stretching or tearing of tendons.

    WhiplashWhiplash has a bad reputation with the public as a “fake injury” but if you ask anyone who was diagnosed with this injury, they will tell you how painful it really is. Its a very common source of neck pain after a car accident because of the rapid back and forth force put on the tendons. In severe cases, the tendons can actually tear that connect the neck with the shoulder.

    Rotator cuff tears – This is a painful injury that can cause a lifetime of pain as it hard to heal on its own. A torn rotator cuff occurs when the impact of the accident cause the tendons in the shoulder joint to tear.

    SLAP injury – Inside of your shoulder joint, there is cartilage that protects the joint. A slap injury (superior labrum from anterior to posterior) is a tear of this cartilage.

    Impingement – This can be an extremely painful and frustrating injury. It happens when the shoulder blade or scapula rubs against the shoulder joint. This can cause inflammation or the soft tissues and/or irritation of the nerves which can shoot down to the elbow, forearm, and hand.

    Fractures – A shoulder fracture involves breaking the bone structure of the humerus, scapula, and or clavicle. You will most likely need surgery, a cast, and possibly screws for months to start the healing process of an upper arm bone fracture. It might not ever heal back to 100% normal function.

    Dislocated shoulder – This is a very painful shoulder injury as the bones in the shoulder are totally ejected from the socket. A car accident causes alot of force on the shoulder bones and socket which can in turn lead to this injury.

Evident Signs of Shoulder Injuries

The most obvious sign after a shoulder injury car accident is pain. Pain might happen immediately after the accident or it could develop slowly over days or weeks after the crash. Sometimes you might have minor pain that worsens. Some of the most other common symptoms include:

  • Tightness and stiffness of the shoulder
  • Tingling or numbing feeling
  • Loss of strength or weakness
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising or contusion
  • Lack of mobility
  • Pain in the upper back
  • Pain in the cervical spine are
  • Muscle spasms or twitching
  • Grinding/popping/cracking noises when moving the shoulder

Surprisingly enough, shoulder injuries can also cause cognitive issues. For example, shoulder pain in the neck area can cause migraines, headaches, symptoms closely resembling a concussion, dizziness, and loss of memory.

Should I Seek Medical Treatment For My Shoulder Pain?

The best thing to do if you are experiencing shoulder pain after a car accident is to get it checked out regardless of the level of pain. Many shoulder injuries start off with minor pain or no pain at all. After a car accident your body can go into shock or fight or flight mode. Your adrenaline levels will be much higher and can mask an injury. Once this wears off, you might notice a pain that is clearly there now. You should always seek medical attention immediately. The sooner you receive medical care, the better your chances of making a full recovery.

Get Imaging For Your Shoulder Pain

Shoulder injuries are complex and you will want a clear image of what damage has occurred. Getting an MRI, CT, and X-Ray will help determine the level of injury and what sort of treatment is best. Another advantage is that it will create documentation of your injury and that is was indeed related to the accident. In many instances, the insurance company will claim that your aren’t hurt or that the injuries weren’t related to the accident. Having documentation is vital to getting the compensation that you deserve.

The High Cost Of A Shoulder Injury in a Vehicle Crash

Most people don’t realize how much they use their shoulder until they injure it. Having poor shoulder mobility can affect even the most simple things of daily life such as brushing your teeth, combing your hair, picking up your child, etc. It can have a huge impact on both your independence and your overall quality of life.

How It Affects Your Ability To Work

Another huge cost is that a severe shoulder injury from a car accident can effect your ability to work and make a living to support your family. Some shoulder injuries are temporary, yet others are permanent and you will never be the same. It costs a lot of money to properly treat shoulder pain.

When you hire a car accident lawyer to file a lawsuit for car accident shoulder injuries, you can collect damages for the following:

  • All of your medical expenses – Medical bills add up quickly. Having your medication, surgeries, physical therapy, and any other medical treatments paid can alleviate major financial troubles from occurring. Future medical expenses will also be taken into account.
  • Lost wages – If you are unable to work because of your shoulder injury from a car accident, you can recover wages that you were unable to earn as well as future income that you are unable to earn.
  • Modifications to your home or vehicle – You might need to have modifications made to your home or vehicle to get around and you can get compensation for this.
  • Loss of quality and enjoyment of life – This can be substantial if your injury affects your ability to spend time with your family or enjoy activities that you love.
  • Pain and suffering

Can I Sue For A Shoulder Injury Car Accident?

common shoulder injuriesYes, you can sue for shoulder pain or shoulder injury after a car accident in Michigan. Michigan is a no-fault state which means that your medical bills will be covered under your personal injury protection auto coverage unless your insurance company denies the claim. If the other driver was at fault for the accident and you have suffered a threshold injury, you can also sue them and their insurance company for your pain and suffering.

With the help of a personal injury lawyer, you can file a lawsuit against the insurance company for your damages. While you certainly can attempt to do this on your own, insurance companies often offer you a low-ball offer that won’t give you fair compensation. They realize you are vulnerable without an attorney and they can get away with paying you less that what you deserve.

The Clark Law Office Can Help You Receive Compensation For Shoulder Pain After a Car Accident

A shoulder injury is very common after being involved in a car accident. If you hurt your should as a result of a crash, you are entitled to compensation to properly care for all of your injuries. At The Clark Law Office, we will fight the insurance companies of your behalf to get a fair settlement and start your personal injury claim.

Our experienced attorneys have dedicated their lives to helping injured accident victims, and we can help. With offices all over Mid-Michigan, we can help you with shoulder pain after a car accident.

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