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Shoulder Injury From California Car Accidents and Case Values

A person’s shoulder has more mobility than any other joint in their body. Each shoulder consists of three bones. Those are the collarbone (clavicle), the shoulder blade (scapula) and the top bone of the arm, known as the humerus. These bones are held together by soft tissue consisting of the joint capsule and tendons, ligaments and muscles. The actual shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint. What’s curious about it is that the ball end of the humerus is larger than the socket of the clavicle. That causes natural shoulder instability which results in many shoulder injuries. Here at Maison Law, our California car accident lawyer helps victims who have suffered shoulder injuries in car accidents that have been caused by the carelessness and negligence of other drivers.

Symptoms of Car Accident Shoulder Injuries:

As there are a wide variety of types of shoulder injuries that a victim can suffer, symptoms of such injuries can vary. Here are a few of them.

  • A chronically tender and dull aching shoulder that hurts more at night and disturbs sleep.
  • Weakness and tingling in the shoulder joint.
  • Highly localized shoulder pain that increases with physical activity.
  • A sudden onset of pain in a specific part of the shoulder.
  • Audible shoulder pops or snaps.
  • Loss of range of motion of the affected shoulder.

Some Common Car Accident Shoulder Injuries:

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons reports that most shoulder issues fall under four categories. Those are tendon inflammation or tears, instability, and fractures. 

  • Tendon Inflammation and Tears: Tendons connect muscles to bones. The shoulder’s rotator cuff consists of four small muscles and their tendons along with the bicep tendon. They cover the head of the humerus and work to keep that head inside of the shoulder socket. Its that rotator cuff that provides the shoulder joint with stability and range of motion. It becomes inflamed from overuse of the shoulder, especially with overhead use. Rotator cuff tears are among the most common types of shoulder injuries. Such tendon tears might be partial or complete. Treatment for a torn rotator cuff will often require surgery.
  • Instability: Washington University Orthopedics advises that shoulder instability is often a consequence of a shoulder dislocation injury. As a result of that original dislocation, the ball of the shoulder needs to be physically returned to its socket. At the rim of the shoulder socket is a thick piece of cartilage known as the shoulder labrum. If the labrum is torn from the bone, the victim can expect future instability and dislocations. Future dislocations might also occur if the ligaments in the shoulder joint are overstretched.
  • Fractures: The surgeons at AICA Orthopedics advise that when shoulder fractures occur in car accidents, they’re most often clavicle fractures or fractures at or near the ball of the humerus. A clavicle fracture will drastically limit the range of motion of the affected shoulder. A humerus fracture is likely to cause severe swelling to the entire joint. Although they’re extremely painful, most clavicle fractures can be treated without surgery. When surgery is necessary, plates, screws or rods are used to stabilize the bone. According to Johns Hopkins Medical, whether a humerus fracture will require surgery depends on the pattern of the fracture. Many of such fractures only require the use of a brace or shoulder immobilizer. If the fracture is fragmented, internal fixation of a fragment is ordinarily performed with plates or screws.

Other Types of Shoulder Injuries:

Aside from rotator cuff tears, instability and fractures. Here are a couple of other types of less common shoulder injuries that are suffered in auto accidents. 

  • SLAP Tears: SLAP is an acronym for superior labrum anterior and posterior injury. These types of tears occur where the tendon from the bicep muscle attaches to the labrum. Most SLAP tear injuries require surgery. The procedure is usually performed arthroscopically. Small instruments are used to remove frayed edges of the labrum tear. As per the surgeons at OrthoVirginia, one or more small anchors are implanted in the labrum that help provide shoulder stability.
  • Whiplash Injuries: When people think of a whiplash injury, they think of an injury to the neck and upper spine. That’s exactly what a whiplash injury is. It’s caused by sudden and violent acceleration and deceleration in less than a half of a second. Whiplash pain and discomfort typically involves neck muscle tenderness and loss of range of motion. There are spinal nerves that originate from the spinal cord at neck level that travel across the shoulders and into the arms and the hands. Neck vertebrae can become displaced, and the spinal discs between those vertebrae can also get become displaced or even herniated. Any of those conditions can cause impingement on spinal nerves. With nerve impingement comes pain and discomfort across the shoulder and into an arm or hand. Conservative treatment for this condition is usual and customary. When a spinal disc has been herniated, surgery and stabilization of the spine are likely.

Shoulder Injury Case Values in California:

The following settlements and verdicts might be of help to you in your decision of whether to pursue your auto accident shoulder injury. Each such case pivots on a variety of factors that may or may not apply to your case.  For example, if you’re right-handed, and the injury occurs to your right shoulder, the case might carry a higher value.

  • $250,000 settlement in Maryland. The claimant was stopped in congested traffic when she was rear-ended. Her shoulder injury required surgery.
  • $300,000 settlement in Alaska after the claimant suffered torn tendons and a rotator cuff injury in a car accident. Arthroscopic surgery was performed.
  • $450,000 settlement in California when a driver was rear-ended when stopped in traffic on the freeway. He required shoulder surgery, but he also suffered a mild concussion.
  • $300,000 in Michigan after being rear-ended in stopped traffic by a semi-trailer. The rotator cuff injury required surgery.

Contact a California Car Accident Lawyer Today

Each of a person’s shoulders are complicated pieces of their body that are surprisingly vulnerable to injury. Most shoulder injuries involve the rotator cuff. If you or somebody close to you suffered a rotator cuff tear, a fracture, dislocation, labrum tear or other shoulder injury in an auto accident that was caused by somebody else, contact us at Maison Law right away to arrange for a free consultation and case review with an experienced, dedicated and aggressive California car accident lawyer from our offices. We’re going to listen to you closely about how your accident happened and how it has affected you. We’re going to answer your questions too, and then, we’ll advise you on what we believe is the best way of effectively approaching your injuries and damages. Upon being retained to represent you, our objective is to obtain the highest and best settlement or verdict for you that you deserve. 

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