Car accidents can lead to injuries and pain, including those affecting the shoulder. Because shoulders are delicate and connected to the neck and back, they are particularly susceptible to the impacts of both minor and severe car accidents.
Unlike visible injuries, such as cuts and significant fractures, many shoulder injuries are not immediately obvious. This can make a shoulder injury challenging to diagnose and treat after a car accident. Waiting for shoulder pain to go away and not properly treating a potential injury can lead to long-term complications.
Your shoulders are vital to your ability to function in your daily life. Debilitating shoulder pain and decreased mobility can make it difficult to perform simple tasks, such as getting dressed, grocery shopping, lifting children, cooking, and most recreational activities.
If left untreated, a shoulder injury can turn into a chronic condition that may affect your quality of life. You should always seek treatment and the guidance of an experienced car accident lawyer. Ensuring that you are correctly diagnosed, treated, and protected is essential to increase your chances of a full recovery and fair compensation for someone else’s negligence.
With any injury from a car accident, the pain level can range from minor to severe. Sometimes, shoulder pain after a car accident is due to temporary inflammation or bruising. It is also related to more significant injuries in the shoulder blades, shoulder joints, or upper arm bones. Some of the common causes of shoulder pain and injuries after a car accident are listed below.
Torn Rotator Cuff
This is a tear in the group of four muscles that attach the arm bone to the shoulder blade. This causes shoulder pain and possible weakness or cracking sensations when moving your arm. A torn rotator cuff may also require shoulder surgery.
Whiplash happens due to the neck’s whipping back and forth motion that often occurs when a car is hit from the rear or front. This causes problems for the neck, shoulders, head, and back. Pain from muscle strains and tears from whiplash often radiates into the shoulders.
The primary bones that influence shoulder pain after a car accident are the clavicle, the collar bone, the humerus, and the arm bone. Fractured clavicles are especially common in car accidents, but both bones are vulnerable because of their proximity to the steering wheel, dashboard, and windows. A forceful impact in a car crash can also cause a fracture in the scapula or shoulder blade.
When a car accident forces the body to twist or turn, the arm might also rotate in a particular position causing it to come out of the shoulder joint. This certainly causes shoulder pain and can cause you to lose shoulder mobility or make it feel like your arm is separated from your body. Proper medical treatment is crucial to prevent permanent muscle damage and other severe conditions.
Separated and dislocated shoulders seem similar but are different injuries. Separated shoulder injuries are also common in car accidents. A separated shoulder injury occurs when a ligament that connects the collarbone to the shoulder blade is torn. The collarbone then moves and presses against the flesh at the top of your shoulder, resulting in pain and discomfort.
Bursitis is shoulder impingement, rotator cuff tendonitis, or supraspinatus tendonitis. This can happen if your bursa is crushed in a car accident.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Though not as severe, soft tissue injuries are more common than bone injuries after car accidents and are undoubtedly painful. The shoulder is surrounded by soft tissues, including muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. Soft tissues give the shoulders strength and mobility, and when they are damaged, it can cause pain, swelling, weakness, and loss of mobility.
What Are Common Symptoms of Shoulder Injuries?
There are several symptoms of shoulder pain you might experience after a car accident that should prompt you to seek medical treatment and legal counsel from an experienced car accident lawyer. These symptoms include:
- Pain when lifting or lowering the arm, reaching up or behind the back.
- Pain when lifting or pulling objects.
- Loss of range of motion.
- Limited range of motion.
- Shooting pain.
- Tingling and numbness.
- Burning sensations.
- Swelling and stiffness.
- Popping, locking, and grinding sensations.
What Should I Do After a Collision?
After being in a collision, you should start thinking about hiring a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Often, you will need to file multiple claims, which can be a complex task. You will need an experienced lawyer who knows the proper procedures for filing the necessary paperwork.
Personal injury protection insurance (PIP) is no-fault auto insurance coverage. PIP coverage provides immediate funds to cover lost wages and medical bills if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident. PIP insurance entitles you to benefits regardless of who caused the car accident. In addition to medical expenses, PIP insurance provides some death and disability benefits.
PIP starts paying your medical bills and a portion of your lost wages quickly after your accident. These benefits cover your out-of-pocket losses from your accident regardless of who caused the crash. It is essential to keep in mind that PIP insurance will only reimburse you up to your policy’s limits, which could be lower than the total cost of your medical bills. In that case, you would need to turn to your medical insurance, disability insurance, or the at-fault driver’s liability insurance policy if you were not the cause of the accident.
Your PIP insurance will also not reimburse your car repairs or any damage you cause to another person’s property. It only covers medical expenses and lost wages. It is almost always necessary to file more than one type of claim after a car accident, and it is wise to hire an experienced car accident lawyer.
Why Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
There are many benefits to hiring a car accident lawyer to assist you with your shoulder injury case. An experienced car accident lawyer will do the following:
- Investigate the accident site.
- Examine all police and medical records.
- Interview witnesses.
- Consult with experts in related fields.
- Work diligently to develop a strategy.
- Negotiate and litigate skillfully against defending lawyers.
- Allow you to focus on recovering from your physical injuries and emotional distress.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Can Help if You Were Involved in a Car Accident and Have a Shoulder Injury
If you have a severe shoulder injury from a collision, do not hesitate to contact one of our Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. Call us at 215-569-8488 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. With offices in Philadelphia, Abington, and Media, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.