Shoulder Pain After an Accident

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2018 | Car Accidents

Most of us will experience shoulder pain at some point in our lives. Shoulder pain is a common complaint for those who are injured in accidents. It can happen after a collision or a fall, and it may not readily go away, even with treatment. It’s tempting to ignore it or think it’ll go away with a pain reliever and rest, but shoulder pain may not go away on it’s own, and sometimes, it can get worse.  More importantly, shoulder pain may be a symptom of a more serious underlying injury.

What is the Shoulder, Exactly?

The entire human shoulder consists of both parts of the arm and parts of the torso. The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint where the arm meets the torso. It’s held there by a group of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The shoulder area includes the shoulder, the collar bone (clavicle), the shoulder blade (scapula), and muscles like the upper bicep.

We use our shoulders in just about everything we do when we’re using our arms or hands. The ball and socket joint allows for a wide range of movements. The shoulder lets the arm move in many directions. This range of motion helps a person avoid injury by moving the arms to keep something from the hitting the body or to stop a fall. However, this range of motion also makes it vulnerable to injury because it takes the impact of the blow or fall.

A shoulder injury does not require direct trauma to the joint.  To that end, you do not have to fall on your shoulder or hit your shoulder directly.  For example, it’s common to break the collarbone when trying to break a fall because the force of the impact is transmitted up to the collarbone. This is the reason bicycle injuries often involve a broken collarbone.

Shoulder Pain Could Be Nothing…or It Could Be Very Serious

The shoulder is made up of bone, muscle, connective tissue, and nerves. Shoulder pain could be caused by a multitude of things, and the pain can range from annoying to debilitating. Usually a broken bone is very painful and causes immobility. A broken collarbone may even look deformed. A dislocated shoulder is extremely painful and will cause immobility. Torn muscles, torn ligaments, and damaged nerves can also cause great pain and immobility. However, only with proper diagnostic testing(MRI, CT, X-Rays), can a doctor formulate a proper treatment plan

Shoulder pain can often accompany other types of pain after an accident, like neck pain. Thus, it can be difficult to determine the source of the pain.  Is it radiating neck pain that travels down the neck into the shoulder, or is the pain coming directly from the shoulder area?  Again, this is why it is important to seek a medical evaluation immediately after an accident. Shoulder injuries may require medication, rest, immobility, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. Many of those with shoulder injuries are unable to resume normal activities temporary or even permanently after an accident. Considering all the things one does best with two working shoulders, such as driving, typing, carrying a child, and getting dressed, it’s of no benefit to ignore shoulder pain.

Loss of mobility and inability to work can be as painful as a hurt shoulder. Not everyone can take time off work and make ends meet or find an equivalent job that allows them to avoid using their shoulder. Many people who have to take pain medication or have injuries that permanently affect their mobility may be unable to work ever again.

Should Injury Settlements

It’s very difficult to live a normal life while dealing with shoulder pain. Those who can’t work may lose money or go into debt and sometimes into foreclosure and bankruptcy. Medical care for shoulder pain can be very expensive, too. However, there are remedies for this loss and suffering.  For example:

  • In Florida in October of 2017, a jury awarded close to half a million dollars to the driver of a minivan who was cut off by a tractor-trailer and hit the truck’s tire. The driver suffered back and shoulder injuries, requiring surgery and other invasive medical procedures.
  • In January 2016, a driver received $1.4 million in a settlement for a torn rotator cuff (the muscles and tendons surrounding the shoulder joint) after being rear-ended by a truck. The driver had to undergo surgery and was unable to resume working as the owner of air conditioning installation business.

If you were in an accident and now you have shoulder pain, you may be able to recover damages from whoever caused your injury. A Miami personal injury attorney can help you get the money you need to cover your medical costs and compensate you for time lost at work and your loss of enjoyment of life. Contact our attorneys today for a free legal case review.


Mark Kaire has been practicing law in Miami for nearly 15 years. He is dedicated to helping the injured people of Miami receive compensation. Mr. Kaire has been blogging on Miami’s legal issues for 4 years.