You probably haven’t thought much about your shoulders recently. And that’s completely understandable–who really spends time thinking about shoulders? But think about what might happen if you injured your shoulder in a car crash or a slip-and-fall accident.
You may not realize how much your shoulders impact everything you do–from everyday household tasks to driving…even sleeping. An injured shoulder can cause significant pain and inconvenience, so if you or someone you know has suffered a shoulder injury due to an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you should contact the Attorney for Shoulder Injuries in Washington, DC–The Lapidus Law Firm.
Common Causes of Shoulder Injuries
When accidents are involved, there are a few common causes of shoulder injuries:
- Seat belts–In car accidents, one of the leading causes of shoulder injuries is the impact from the seat belt restraining you, which can cause joint injuries and other inflammation.
- Bracing for impact–Whether it’s a car accident or a slip-and-fall situation, the first instinct for most people is to put their arms straight out while bracing for the impact. Once impact hits, the arm and shoulder absorb all of the force of the fall, causing potentially significant shoulder injuries.
- Direct impact–There are many instances when impact occurs, and you simply had no time to brace for it. In those situations, a direct impact on the shoulder can cause serious injury.
Types of Shoulder Injuries
While there are many types of shoulder injuries you could sustain in an accident, these are some of the most common:
- Shoulder dislocation–This is a prime example of a “bracing for impact” injury. Impact to the outstretched arm can force the top of the humerus (upper arm) bone to dislodge itself from its joint in the shoulder. Sometimes these can be fixed with manipulation, but in cases where soft tissue is damaged, surgery may be necessary.
- Shoulder separation–Often confused with dislocation, separation generally occurs during direct impact to the shoulder area. While dislocation involves the bone dislocating from the joint, shoulder separation is an injury to the joint itself, when ligaments holding the joint together are damaged or torn. Mild separations don’t require much medical intervention, but serious separations could lead to surgery.
- Fractured clavicle–This is another common injury as a result of a fall or impact. As its name implies, the clavicle (collarbone) breaks upon impact; in most cases, immobilization and rest help heal the injury. In more severe cases, surgery might be required.
- AC joint–This is caused when the humerus bone is forcefully compressed by the seat belt in a car accident. This causes the bones between the collarbone and shoulder to separate, resulting in pain, swelling and decreased range of motion.
- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome–TOS occurs when blood vessels compress due to the body violently pressing against the seat belt. TOS can cause extreme pain and loss of mobility in the arms, neck, and shoulder.
- Impingement–During a car accident, a seat belt may cause the humerus bone to compress backward. That leads to injury to the rotator cuff and its surrounding tendons. As the rotator cuff heals, it may thicken, which causes impingement (chronic pain and reduced range of motion).
What Should I Do If My Shoulder Is Injured in an Accident?
Shoulder injuries caused by accidents are usually excruciating, so seek medical attention immediately if the injury appears to be serious. Even if the injury doesn’t appear serious, it’s still important to see a doctor or visit an ER as soon as you’re able to. If you’re injured in a car accident, get the at-fault driver’s insurance information and contact the police so you can get a police report of the accident.
If you’ve slipped and fallen inside or on the property of a business or parking lot, take some photos of the scene if you can; this can help prove negligence. Then call the Attorney for Shoulder Injuries in Washington, DC, at The Lapidus Law Firm.
Attorney for Shoulder Injuries in Washington, DC
With more than 40 years of experience, The Lapidus Law Firm is ready to help you if you’ve sustained a shoulder injury during a car accident caused by another party’s negligence.
We’re ready to go to work for you, with the goal of a fair settlement to compensate for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and more. Call The Lapidus Law Firm at (202) 785-5111 to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.