Crash victims may often feel some pain in one or both shoulders, along with other aches and pains. Yet sometimes shoulder pain after a crash could indicate a more severe injury.
This article discusses some of the most common shoulder injuries victims may experience after a car crash. Learn more about shoulder pain after a car crash and when it could indicate a serious injury.
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Is Shoulder Pain After a Car Crash Always Serious?
Shoulder pain after a car crash may often be nothing more than bruising and muscle pain. The restraint of the seat belt may even cause soreness for a few days.
If your injury is internal, however, it may be difficult to know for sure what is going on. This is why we recommend seeking emergency care right after the accident. Diagnostic testing can rule out any fractures or other serious injuries.
What Types of Shoulder Injuries May Occur in a Car Crash?
When shoulder pain becomes severe enough that you cannot move your arm or rotate your shoulder, something more severe may be going on. Some common shoulder injuries from a car crash may include:
- Soft-tissue shoulder injuries: Soft-tissue injuries always sound like something more minor. However, for people who sustain a soft-tissue injury in their neck, back, shoulders, or elsewhere, the pain can be excruciating. In a shoulder, crash victims could suffer a SLAP tear in the soft tissue. What this generally means is that the soft tissue surrounding the shoulder has a tear. This can greatly impede movement in the shoulder and affect the overall stability of the joint.
- Dislocated shoulder: If the impact of your collision was forceful enough, you may have suffered a dislocated shoulder. This is not an injury that can heal on its own, and it is extremely painful. Victims who delay getting treatment may actually cause the injury to get worse and long-term may experience chronic pain as a result.
- Torn rotator cuff: The rotator cuff in your shoulder also helps to provide stability in movement. If you have a torn rotator cuff, you may find yourself unable to lift your arm or rotate it. Victims with this injury may also be unable to lie on their side because of the pain.
- Fractured shoulder: You may be surprised to hear that there are bones you can fracture in your shoulder. However, if you hit your shoulder on something hard during the crash, there are several bones supporting your shoulder that could break. For instance, you could suffer a fracture in your collarbone or humerus. Symptoms indicating a fracture could include swelling, bruising, being unable to lift anything without pain, and limited range of motion.
How Are Shoulder Injuries Treated?
The shoulder is easily injured due to the complicated ball-and-socket joint that provides both motion and stability. The first step is to diagnose what is causing your pain and where you are injured. Depending on the type of shoulder injury you sustained in the crash, treatment could include:
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Ice and heat therapy
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Massage therapy
- And more
Shoulder injuries can take six to 12 weeks or longer to heal. The sooner you are diagnosed and begin treatment, the better your chances for a full recovery.
What Symptoms May Indicate a Severe Shoulder Injury After a Crash?
Any type of debilitating pain that impedes your ability to lift things or move your arm may indicate a severe shoulder injury. However, there are other symptoms to pay attention to, such as:
- Extreme bruising and discoloration
- Swelling in the area, along with stiffness
- Decreased range of motion
- Inability to lift or move your arm
- Hearing any cracking or popping sounds in the shoulder
- Tingling and numbness in the affected area
- Sudden onset of muscle cramps or spasms in your shoulder and/or arms
- A bony bump or bulge appearing on the shoulder or near the collarbone
- Atypical upper back and neck pain
Can I File a Claim for My Shoulder Injury?
It is possible to sue for shoulder pain after a car crash. However, to learn more about your eligibility, you should speak to a licensed attorney about your situation.
Damages you may be eligible to recover could include:
- All medical expenses related to the incident and your injuries
- Prescription medication and over-the-counter medication costs
- Transportation costs to and from your medical appointments
- Emergency room and ambulance transport costs
- Lost wages if you were unable to work while recovering
- Property damages
- Expenses to accommodate your home care needs
- And more
Our Trusted Law Firm is Ready to Help
At Schmidt Kramer, we are dedicated to helping victims injured in a car crash caused by the negligence of another person. We always fight for maximum compensation on behalf of our clients and have a history of proven results.
If you choose to hire our firm, there is nothing to pay us up front or while we manage your case. You only pay our fees if we win your case.
Call our law offices 24/7 to request a free case review. (717) 727-1403