Shoulder injuries are very common in both car accidents and slip and fall accidents.
The most common injury type is a rotator cuff tear. Dislocated shoulders are the second-most common.
Rotator cuff tears, in particular, can create problems in your case, simply because insurance companies like to argue that rotator cuff tears are degenerative rather than a result of the accident.
Any shoulder injury can cause massive problems for you both directly after the accident and later on in life.
The rotator cuff keeps your arm in your shoulder sockets. It’s a group of four muscles that can easily become strained or even torn during an accident. The tears can range in size, location, and severity, leading to very different outcomes from accident to accident.
Symptoms include intense pain, especially when lifting or lowering your arm. It’s also common to feel pain while sleeping on the injured shoulder. You may also feel weakness when lifting or rotating your arm, as well as experiencing a crackling sensation when you move your shoulder. Sometimes the full extent of the pain doesn’t show up right away.
If the tear isn’t severe your doctor may be able to help you manage it with steroid shots, rest, physical therapy, and time. A severe tear, however, will generally require surgery.
Other shoulder injuries include both fractures and dislocations.
All of these injuries, of course, can not only be painful, but can impact your ability to work, or to manage your day-to-day activities.
Many of our clients who have suffered from shoulder injuries have suffered from long-term chronic pain and progressive arm and hand weakness. In addition, they’ve suffered from insomnia, as the pain makes it difficult for them to sleep.
Clients of ours who have worked in physical professions have had to change jobs, or have been unable to work entirely, as a result of shoulder pain.
Minor injuries such as dislocated shoulders or bruising could cost less than $1,000 to treat, but major injuries can be far more expensive. Rotator cuff surgery ranges from $4,833 to $19,184. Surgeries for broken or fractured shoulders can range between $15,000 and $20,000. Surgery itself comes with risks, of course, which can further increase the costs. If recovery keeps you out of work, then you can add your lost wages into these economic losses, as well.
Additional costs include X-ray costs, MRI costs, physical therapy costs, the initial emergency room costs, and prescription costs. In short, even a single shoulder injury could drive the average person to bankruptcy without compensation.
Note that you should take care to follow your treatment plan once you have one. If you don’t get the physical therapy that's recommended, for example, then the defendant may have grounds to reduce the value of your claim. We recommend getting the very best care you can, and pursuing your treatment plan to its fullest extent.