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Shoulder Injuries and Car Accidents

Car accidents can lead to a wide range of injuries. Shoulder injuries are common in part due to the strain exerted by seat belts. These are the five common shoulder injuries that can occur due to a motor vehicle accident.

Rotator Cuff Tears

Car accidents are a leading cause of severe injuries like rotator cuff tears. This injury causes the detachment of the tendon connecting the upper arm bone to the shoulder. Sometimes, the trauma can result in partial or full-thickness tears. Pain, weakness and a crackling sensation during shoulder movement are common symptoms. These injuries will need medical attention to help with recovery.

Bone Fractures and Dislocations

Dislocated shoulders can be extremely painful. Many times, these injuries are the result of car accidents. Along with that, bone fractures and broken bones can occur from a crash. The sheer force of the impact can cause major damage to your arms, legs, shoulders and rib cage. Very often, you will have to be in a cast for a month or two to help the bones recover. For those experiencing a dislocation, surgery may be needed to repair the affected area.


The rapid back-and-forth neck movement during a collision can result in whiplash. Most of the time, the shoulders and back are affected. While whiplash is often looked at as a minor injury, it can have serious implications for the upper body. The symptoms of whiplash can vary from person to person. Typically, they include pain, stiffness and reduced range of motion in the neck and shoulders. Sometimes, whiplash can also cause headaches, dizziness and numbness or tingling in the arms and hands. You will want a physical examination to assess the extent of your injuries. Treatment for whiplash may include pain relief medication, physical therapy and, in some cases, surgery.


Bruising, or contusions, is another common shoulder injury. You may experience tenderness, swelling and skin color changes in the affected area. If there is a severe injury, you might feel numbness, tingling, loss of movement or severe pain. These symptoms require immediate medical attention.

Sprains and Strains

Sprains and strains can occur when the upper arm is abruptly pulled beyond its normal range of motion. As a result, that can lead to stretched or torn ligaments, affecting the tendons. These injuries often cause intense and prolonged pain. While they are less damaging than dislocations, they can still be debilitating.

What To Do After an Accident

Car accidents can be frightening and overwhelming experiences. You will want to take a few steps after an accident to protect your legal rights. Having a legal consultation with an Allentown personal injury attorney may help you understand your options and provide insight into the viability of your case. In addition to seeking legal advice, you will want to collect and preserve all relevant evidence related to the accident. This documentation includes medical records, photographs, accident reports and any communication with insurance companies. These pieces of evidence can help build a solid legal case. In some cases, it can increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for the economic and noneconomic losses that you have sustained. Also, you will want to act as quickly as possible. The statute of limitations is important in personal injury claims. This legal time limit sets the maximum time you can wait to file a lawsuit after an accident. Any delays could jeopardize your eligibility for compensation.

Is Compensation Available?

The elements of compensation depends on the unique circumstances of your case. Some could include:
  • Medical costs associated with treating shoulder injuries include emergency care, surgeries, hospital stays, medications, physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Reimbursement for wages lost due to the inability to work during recovery
  • Compensation for the physical and emotional distress experienced as a result of the shoulder injuries
  • Reimbursement for repairing or replacing personal property damaged in the accident
  • Coverage for ongoing rehabilitation and therapy expenses

Reach Out To an Allentown Personal Injury Attorney

If you have suffered a shoulder injury from a car accident, Metzger & Kleiner's personal injury lawyers are here to help. To learn more about how we might be able to assist you, call us at 610-435-7400 or fill out our online contact form.

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