One of the most common medical complaints from a vehicle crash includes shoulder pain. After a car accident the pain often intensifies or develops days or even weeks after the incident, often resulting in very serious long term health issues for the individual. Since the pain tends to develop later rather than immediately, often the person has already settled and signed off on the liability release, preventing them from seeking compensation from the insurance company for the injury.
Causes of Shoulder Pain After a Car Crash
A leading cause of shoulder pain after a car accident is the seat belt strap that goes over the shoulder and across the chest. When a collision occurs from the side or back at a low to high rate of speed the body is thrown forward or sideways, putting all the pressure of the weight of the body on the shoulder area. The strap, which is important to keep the body secured in the seat, actually can bruise and tear the shoulder muscles.
Whiplash, which is often thought of as a neck injury, can cause significant tearing and bruising of the muscles that run along the shoulders and down the arms. This is typically noted as an initial tingling or burning sensation in the muscle that over days and weeks becomes progressively more painful, intense and debilitating.
Impact or striking the vehicle doors, windows or body can also lead to significant shoulder pain. Imaging such as x-rays and MRI tests can determine bone breaks, chips and dislocations but the muscle and soft tissue damage is much more difficult to identify immediately after the accident.
Lawyers and Documentation
If you have been in any type of vehicle accident where your body was thrown or jerked sideways or forward or where your shoulder or arms hit the door, steering wheel or dash it is essential to talk to an attorney and seek medical treatment and evaluation. Too often people assume that if the injury isn't immediately apparent there isn't a problem. If this assumption is made and a settlement finalized with the insurance company you may find yourself without recourse for compensation. An attorney can evaluate your case, provide advice on your options and help you fight to get the settlement you need to cover your medical expenses and shoulder injury issues both now and into the future.