Shoulder impingement injuries following a car accident can lead to a significant financial burden in the form of added medical costs and lost wages. If your injury was the result of another driver's negligence, filing a personal injury claim is the best way to protect your right to compensation.
Types of Shoulder Injuries Following A Car Accident
Shoulder injuries are classified into two main types: instability and impingement. Instability occurs when one of the joints in the shoulder is out of alignment, causing pain when you raise your arm or creating the sensation that your shoulder is slipping out of place. Impingement happens when muscles in the shoulder rub against the top of the shoulder blade.
About Shoulder Impingement Injuries Resulting From A Car Accident
Shoulder impingement syndrome causes your rotator cuff tendons to become intermittently trapped and compressed during shoulder movements. As a result, it becomes painful to move the shoulder during everyday activities. Impingement does not occur when the shoulder is functioning normally.
When impingement causes the rotator cuff tendon to be inflamed and swollen, the result is a condition called rotator cuff tendonitis. If the bursa becomes inflamed, the result is a condition called shoulder bursitis.
Diagnosis of Shoulder Impingement Injuries
Some common symptoms suggesting shoulder impingement include:
- Pain that extends from the top of the shoulder to the elbow
- Increased pain when you try to lie down on your affected shoulder
- Increased pain when you attempt to put your hand behind your back or head
- Increased pain reaching for the seatbelt in a car
- Weakness when attempting to reach or lift
Impingement can be diagnosed with a physical exam and an ultrasound. X-rays may be taken to rule out arthritis as a cause of your pain.
Treating Shoulder Impingement Injuries
Treatment depends on the severity of the injury. Mild cases of shoulder impingement are treated with over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Daily stretching and refraining from activities that will aggravate the injury are recommended for the first six to eight weeks.
In more serious cases, your doctor may recommend corticosteroid injections, physical therapy, and/or surgery to control your pain and improve your range of motion.
Proving Your Shoulder Injury Case
Shoulder impingement injuries can be the result of any trauma that creates a hard, direct blow to the shoulder. Car accidents and slip and fall injuries are common sources of shoulder impingement injuries. However, a shoulder impingement can also be the result of repetitive motions made during athletic activities or manual labor employment. Impingement injuries also become more common as people age.
To protect your right to compensation if you suffered a shoulder impingement in an accident, it's vital that you seek immediate medical treatment and follow your doctor's recommendations as specified. Being able to provide a clear link to the cause of your injury is essential to the success of your claim.
Types of Available Compensation For Your Shoulder Injury
If your shoulder impingement is the result of a car accident, you can seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses, including emergency care, diagnostic tests, follow-up visits, physical therapy, and prescription medications
- Lost wages, if your injuries have kept you from working or have you working in a reduced capacity
- Pain and suffering, including both physical pain and emotional trauma from the accident
You will need to provide documentation of your medical expenses and lost wages as part of your request for compensation. Pain and suffering funds are generally calculated using a multiplier of your medical expenses and lost wages.
If you were partially at fault for the accident that caused your shoulder impingement, you can still seek compensation. However, your settlement will be reduced by your assigned percentage of fault.
How Neblett, Beard & Arsenault Can Help
If you've sufferred a shoulder injury following an accident you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call us directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation. The attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault have extensive experience helping people receive the compensation they need to move forward with their lives after suffering serious car accident injuries.