What Does Shoulder Pain after a Car Accident Indicate?

Posted on: November 1, 2021

Being involved in a car accident can cause confusion and disorientation. In some cases, being shaken up or experiencing an intense adrenaline rush after a major accident can cause an accident victim to be oblivious to a physical injury caused by the collision. In other cases, the person may be hyperaware of their body and find it difficult to distinguish between different sensations that may or may not be serious. One area of the body that can often be a site for such undefined but possibly serious personal injury is the shoulder.

Shoulder injuries can cause inflammation and discomfort. Injuries to the shoulder that may be quite serious may take a while to become apparent.

Shoulder pain after a car accident could be a simple bruise or pulled muscle, or it could be a sign of something much more serious.

What Are Some Shoulder Injuries that Are Caused by Car Accidents?

Some of the possible shoulder injuries that result from car accidents include the following trauma:

  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Other soft tissue damage
  • Shoulder joint damage
  • Dislocated shoulder
  • Broken bones or fractures

Can Injuries to Areas Near the Shoulder be Responsible for Shoulder Pain?

Serious injuries in the neck or arm may involve shoulder pain that radiates from a broken or fractured bone in the arm or neck. The clavicle, or collarbone, is vulnerable to injury in a collision. A broken or fractured clavicle can cause pain and mobility issues in the shoulder. Similar damage to the arm bones can also cause shoulder pain and limit range of motion in the shoulder.

What Symptoms Are Experienced by Car Accident Victims Who Suffer Shoulder Injuries?

Car accident injuries to the shoulder can result in the following symptoms:

  • Shooting pain
  • Dull pain
  • Inflammation
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Burning sensation

What Other Kinds of Damage Are Caused by a Shoulder Injury after a Car Accident?

Besides the physical damage to the shoulder, a car accident victim will be affected by the financial burdens involved in obtaining the medical care they need. Diagnostic testing, doctor visits, and treatments are not inexpensive.

Besides the medical costs that result from a shoulder injury after a car accident, another significant cost is the possible loss of income stemming from the inability to work while recovering from the accident.

Additional personal costs of a shoulder injury might include the inability to engage in once-cherished hobbies or to remain active in the same way as before the injury. The physical impairments can impede daily activities and get in the way of personal care.

What Treatments Are Available?

Initially, a shoulder injury may require ice to bring down swelling and medicine to address inflammation.

It is important to seek a proper medical diagnosis to know how to proceed with caring for the injury. An X-ray can determine if any bones are broken or fractured, but determining if the injury involves tissue damage will require more involved testing. An MRI or ultrasound can provide more information.

Once a shoulder injury is diagnosed, the injured person can begin to discuss more long-term solutions to healing and recuperating from the accident. 

The treatment for some shoulder injuries may involve rest, alternating with heat or ice, and keeping swelling down with anti-inflammatory pain relievers. More serious injuries may require a stronger pain medication available by prescription. Injuries such as a torn rotator cuff will require physical therapy and possibly months of recovery. The most serious shoulder injuries will call for surgery.

Other options that may cause some relief for injured shoulders are corticosteroid injections and chiropractic care.

No matter what the diagnosis and no matter how serious the injury, the most important thing is to get seen by a doctor right away. Putting off treatment can cause symptoms to get worse. Seeing a doctor soon after a car accident is essential for other reasons as well. Establishing a record of injuries related to the car accident will help if it becomes necessary to prove that specific injuries can be traced back to the accident.

Why Is a Record of My Shoulder Injury Vital to My Car Accident Claim?

When another person is responsible for an accident that causes significant and costly injuries, the insurance company responsible for covering the claim may attempt to prove that their client was not at fault after all. They may present arguments that their client was not at fault, possibly making the case that the injured person was responsible for the accident.

In a personal injury suit against a person or entity that bears liability for an accident, the lawyers representing these parties may try to make the case that the injuries listed in the claim did not result from the accident.

When this happens, it is crucial to have documentation supporting the facts. Medical records are the best way to prove that car accident injuries were reported in the aftermath of the collision, but this can be used as proof only if the documentation exists, which underscores the importance of having a doctor check out any and all car accident-related injuries.

Monmouth County Car Accident Lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova Help Injured Clients Recover after a Serious Collision

If you were involved in a serious car accident that left you or a loved one with severe injuries, you should be able to collect damages from the person responsible for the accident. Whether it was the fault of another driver, owing to the negligence of a vehicle or car part manufacturer, or the result of a hazardous road condition that should have been addressed, your accident may have caused injuries that require significant financial resources to address. The person or entity responsible for your accident is legally liable for those costs. The Monmouth County car accident lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova can help you prove their fault and support your case for damages. Call us at 732-705-3363 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Hazlet and Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Ocean County, Sussex County, Neptune, Middlesex County, and Pennsylvania.