If your shoulder hurts, you need to see a doctor. Then, you need to explore your legal options with an experienced car accident attorney
Shoulder pain is common after a car accident and should never be ignored; it is often a sign of a serious underlying injury and can get worse if left untreated.
Treating a shoulder injury after a car accident can be a lifelong and expensive commitment. Fortunately, crash victims are entitled to compensation. Unfortunately, the process of recovering your losses isn't always as easy as it should be. That's because the insurance company's goal is to give you the smallest settlement they can get away with—if anything at all.
If you suffered a shoulder injury in a car accident that was not your fault, a lawyer can protect your rights and handle the insurance company for you. While you heal, your attorney can investigate, build a strong case, and negotiate aggressively for the compensation your shoulder pain deserves.
Can I get compensation for shoulder pain after a car accident?
Shoulder pain is among the many types of damages for which car accident victims deserve compensation. Not all shoulder injuries can be observed in an X-ray, and that's okay. What matters is that your pain is real and you are entitled to compensation for the negative impact it is having on your life.
If my shoulder pain developed weeks after the car accident, can I still file a claim?
Yes. Shoulder pain after a car accident is not always immediate. Sometimes, shoulder injuries cause delayed pain that develops in the days, weeks, or months after a wreck.
What types of injuries cause shoulder pain after a crash?
Common shoulder injuries sustained in car accidents include:
- Dislocation - Your shoulder ball may come out of the joint socket due to the crash impact. Dislocation can be partial (subluxation) or complete.
- Frozen shoulder - A stiff, tender shoulder may be a sign of adhesive capsulitis, better known as "frozen shoulder."
- Fractured bone(s) - Shoulder bones most likely to be damaged in an accident are the collarbone (clavicle), upper arm bone (humerus), and the shoulder blade (scapula).
- Torn rotator cuff - Located inside your shoulder joint, your rotator cuff allows for smooth arm movement. A tear may cause intense pain and limit your range of motion.
- Sprains, strains, and tears - Soft tissues like muscles, ligaments, and tendons hold your shoulder together and coordinate for mobility. When one of these gets bruised, pulled, strained, or torn, the painful results can be long-lasting. Musculoskeletal injuries may lead to "referred pain"- pain that develops in an uninjured part of the body that is overcompensating for the damaged parts.
- Bursitis - The bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that surround your shoulder joint and cushion movement. When these become inflamed or swollen, movements like combing your hair or getting dressed can be difficult and agonizing.
- Impinged soft tissue or nerve - Crashes destabilize the body, temporarily allowing room for your shoulder bones to catch or "pinch" a nerve. The pain is often described as stabbing and shooting.
If left untreated, shoulder pain can become chronic. It can limit your range of motion so severely that you are no longer able to drive, work, do daily tasks, or enjoy hobbies.
How is shoulder pain medically treated?
Every injury is different, and only a doctor can tell you the best course for your recovery. In general, an X-ray or CT scan may be used to diagnose your injury. Treatment will likely begin with RICE - rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Pain medication, exercise, and physical therapy are also frequent components of shoulder injury recovery.
If your shoulder is still in pain months after the crash, you may need more advanced treatment. Arthroscopic surgery may be necessary to repair soft tissues, remove scar tissue, or investigate the pain further. Reconstructive surgery and joint replacement surgery are other options.
Who pays for a car accident in Maine?
In Maine, crash victims can seek compensation from the at-fault driver's insurance provider. Your settlement or verdict should compensate you for medical bills, treatments, and equipment; replacement services; lost wages, pain, and loss of mobility or body function, among other things.
How do I get maximum compensation for my shoulder pain?
You are not required to have a car accident lawyer represent you, but it's usually in your best interest to talk to an attorney and review your legal rights. This is because, on average, people who consult with lawyers recover more in compensation than those who do not. Getting maximum compensation means successfully negotiating with the insurance company for a larger settlement or taking your case to trial and fighting for a favorable verdict. In either instance, an experienced car accident attorney can advocate for the compensation you're entitled to.
We've recovered over $500 million for injured Mainers
The stakes are high when you've been injured in a car accident, and you can't afford to lose out on the compensation you deserve.
At the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein, we've been dealing with insurance companies and insurance adjusters since 1974. Since that time, we've secured over 25,000 victories for Maine families and have recovered over $500 million.
To find out how we can help you, contact us today to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation with an experienced Maine car accident attorney. There are no obligations, and if we represent you, you pay no fees unless we win your case. In other words, if we don't recover compensation for your injuries, there is no fee.
With offices in Sanford, Biddeford, Portland, Windham, Lewiston, Augusta, and Bangor, our law firm proudly represents injured Mainers throughout the state.