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Shoulder Injuries From a Car Accident

Posted in Car accident,Personal injury on October 31, 2019

The impact of an auto accident could injure the nerves, tendons, soft tissues or bones in the shoulder. A shoulder injury could arise from impact with the seat belt or with other objects inside the vehicle, such as a steering wheel. Shoulder injuries can cause significant pain, as well as nerve damage and difficulty moving the arm. You may have grounds for a personal injury claim if you suffered a shoulder injury in a car collision in West Virginia.

How Do Shoulder Injuries Happen?

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint connected by ligaments and muscles. The shoulder joint has the most mobility of any body part. The acromioclavicular joint, where the shoulder blade meets your collarbone, is the most likely to suffer injuries in a car accident. The other main parts of the shoulder are the glenohumeral joint, rotator cuff and joint capsule. Any of these elements could sustain serious injuries in auto accidents.

The gravitational forces a car accident exerts on the body could be enough to injure the shoulder. The forceful forward motion of the body against a seat belt could injure the shoulder beneath the belt. The forces of an airbag could force the shoulder back into the seat, also causing an injury. Any abrupt back and forth motion of the head or neck could also tear tendons or muscles in your shoulder.

Symptoms of Shoulder Injuries

After a car accident, search for any potential signs of injury. Notice how your body feels in the hours and days after the crash. If you feel any pain, tenderness, numbness or tingling, you could have an injury. Pain or other symptoms in your shoulder, arm, neck, chest or collarbone could point to a shoulder injury.

  • Pain or tenderness that worsens with motion
  • Limited range of motion
  • Stiff shoulder or arm
  • Pain while sleeping
  • Swelling or inflammation
  • Arm weakness or shoulder instability
  • Tingling or lack of feeling in the shoulder or arm
  • Sharp pains in the shoulder region
  • Bruising or skin discoloration

Visit a doctor after a vehicle collision, even if you feel fine. Your adrenaline could be covering up sensations such as pain or lack of mobility in your shoulder. A physical examination could diagnose issues such as a fractured or dislocated shoulder. If you feel any symptoms in the days following your accident, visit a doctor for a checkup. Keep copies of all medical records and documents.

Types of Shoulder Injuries

An auto accident could cause soft-tissue shoulder injuries, dislocations and/or bone fractures. Soft-tissue injuries can affect the tendons, muscles or ligaments in the shoulder and surrounding joints. Any soft-tissue tears in the rotator cuff or elsewhere in the shoulder can cause pain and temporary disability. Performing regular activities may be difficult with a soft-tissue shoulder injury. It will require professional treatment such as anti-inflammatory medications and rehabilitation to repair a soft-tissue injury in the shoulder.

A shoulder dislocation refers to the separation of two bones in the shoulder. Shoulder dislocation can damage the ligaments that stabilize your shoulder joint, resulting in bone separation in some cases. Dislocation could cause a visible deformity or may need an x-ray to diagnose. Treatment may be nonsurgical or surgical for shoulder dislocations. Bones in the shoulder, such as the proximal humerus or clavicle, could suffer fractures in a car accident. Shoulder fractures can be painful and lead to swelling and skin discoloration. Most fractures do not require surgery to repair unless the bone is severely displaced.

Can you Recover Compensation from a Shoulder Injury Sustained in a Car Accident?

A shoulder injury can be enough to give you grounds for an injury claim after an auto accident. If you had to pay for medical care, go to rehabilitation or miss work due to your shoulder injury, the party that caused your car accident could owe you compensation. You may be eligible to receive payment for your vehicle repairs and pain and suffering as well. Speak to a personal injury lawyer for counsel after suffering a shoulder injury of any kind in a car accident.