Shoulder injuries are extremely common after a car accident and can be debilitating due to their complexity and proximity to the spine. Side collisions, pulling seatbelts, and rolling vehicles can all severely affect the shoulder, which is one of the most complex joints in the body.
Common Shoulder Injuries Caused by Car Crashes
Shoulder injuries can interfere with restful sleep and daily life, further prolonging recovery time and exacerbating suffering. Here are a few of the more common should injuries sustained in a car crash.
- SLAP Lesions: One of the most common shoulder injuries, a SLAP (Superior Labral tear from Anterior to Posterior) tear affects the tendons in the shoulder joint in varying degrees — from fraying tendon to detachment from the joint. SLAP lesions destabilize the shoulder and affect the bicep, making laying down especially problematic.
- Rotator Cuff Tears: Rotator cuff tears affect the rotator cuff tendons in the shoulder. A torn rotator cuff means the tendons no longer attach to the bones in the shoulder and usually occur with other injuries (such as a dislocated shoulder).
- Fractured Bones: With most shoulder fractures — when the bones partially or completely break after an impact — the bones stay in place, making for an easier recovery. When the bones move, recovery time is prolonged.
- Strains and Sprains: Sprains and strains occur when the shoulder ligaments stretch or partially tear but don’t separate completely. Another common but debilitating injury, a shoulder sprain can heal in a month or two with proper care.
- Whiplash: Whiplash occurs when when the head and neck snaps forward and back — leaving the neck bones, discs, tendons, and muscles sore and damaged. Long-term effects include dizziness, headaches, memory problems, and pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders. Whiplash is not always immediately evident, but a sore shoulder can indicate damage to the neck that might otherwise be overlooked.
- Cervical Herniated Discs: Discs are the shock absorbers of the spine. The forces of a crash can cause these fibrous, doughnut-shaped bodies to rip and stretch—creating a disc herniation. If the herniated disc presses on certain nerves in your neck, you can experience pain that runs into your shoulder and arm.
Shoulder Pain After a Car Crash Requires Prompt Medical Attention
After a car accident, it can be tempting to skip going to the doctor, especially if your injuries aren’t immediately apparent. However, for the following reasons, it’s critical to seek medical attention after you’ve experienced a crash.
Take Care of Yourself
As shoulders are connected to the neck, spine, arm, and collarbone, shoulder pain often indicates problems in other areas of the body. A visit to the doctor can also reveal latent shoulder injuries that would be expensive to treat later after the condition has worsened; you might even be referred you to a mental health professional to help you cope with the emotional aftermath. If you have the good fortune of not being injured, a checkup can provide much needed peace of mind.
Support Your Insurance Claim
To make a successful insurance claim after a car crash, you need medical records that document your injuries. Going to the doctor right away after an accident provides a paper trail demonstrating that you were injured and sought medical attention. If you choose to file claims later, you’ll have indisputable records on your side as evidence. Without them, the insurance can deny your claim on the grounds that you’re not hurt as badly as you claim, because you didn’t go to the doctor right away.
Collect Evidence for a Lawsuit
If your shoulder injuries after a car crash are the result of someone else’s negligence, filing a lawsuit is a way to recoup those damages. However, you won’t be able to recover financial compensation without proof of the severity of your injuries. Medical records, including doctors’ notes, x-rays, and other information, are invaluable as you build your case.
“…you won’t be able to recover financial compensation without proof of the severity of your injuries. Medical records, including doctors’ notes, x-rays, and other information, are invaluable as you build your case.”
Crosley Law: Representing Texas Car Accident Victims
If you or one of your loved ones has suffered a shoulder injury after a car crash in Texas, please contact our firm immediately. Crosley Law represents seriously injured victims, and we are ready to fight for you. Please complete this brief online form or call us at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 today to schedule your free consultation where we can discuss the particulars of your claim and begin developing a preliminary legal strategy.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.