Shoulder injuries are common following a car accident, and victims often suffer severe initial trauma from the sudden impact. On top of that, many victims also deal with longer-term chronic problems with the bones, tissues, and joints in their shoulder. When you experience chronic shoulder pain and loss of mobility, it can impact your quality of life and your ability to work – not to mention the massive medical bills a shoulder injury can rack up.
Each case is unique, but if your shoulder injury resulted from someone else’s negligence, then the law says you have the right to receive compensation for your financial losses as well as your pain and suffering. The type of injury, the severity, and the injury’s impact on your life are all factors that determine the amount of damages (which is a legal term for financial compensation) you can recover.
To learn more about shoulder injuries and your options for compensation, continue reading.
Common Types of Shoulder Injuries
Most shoulder injuries that result from a car accident happen because of the sudden physical impact that the crash created. These acute injuries may be very painful, and they often require immediate medical treatment. Rehabilitation that lasts weeks, months, or even years may follow as part of the recovery. Examples of acute shoulder injuries include:
- Severe bruising
- Sprains and strains
- Separated shoulder
- Rotator cuff tear
- Dislocated shoulder
- Broken bones
- Injuries to nerves
Some shoulder injuries, especially those that involve nerve damage or dislocation, may not be obvious for several days or weeks after your accident. Sometimes, acute trauma and the resulting intense pain can mask the symptoms of a secondary or underlying issue. Once the initial acute injury begins to heal, the symptoms of the underlying problem start to become more pronounced.
These issues should not be ignored since they usually get worse over time without proper care. You should always keep your doctor updated about your condition after a car wreck and let them know if you develop new pain or other physical symptoms.
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What Kinds of Damages Can I Recover After Suffering a Shoulder Injury?
The damages you can recover for a shoulder injury fall into two categories. First are economic damages, which are any losses you’ve suffered that have a specific dollar value which you can prove. Examples of economic damages include:
- Current and expected future medical bills, including ongoing physical therapy and in-home care
- Modifications to home or vehicle to accommodate new limitations
- Wages lost so far due to missed work and reduced earnings capacity
- Loss of future income due to expected missed work and reduced earnings capacity
Documentation is critical for establishing economic damages, which is why it’s essential to keep track of every medical bill and appointment as well as any missed work and any other earnings or opportunities you’ve missed out on due to your injuries. Keeping everything organized can be a challenge, but if you’re working with an experienced injury lawyer, they’ll be able to help.
The second category of damages is non-economic damages. This category includes items like pain and suffering or other effects that lead to a loss of quality of life.
Compared to economic damages, determinations about the value of your suffering and the impact the injury has had on your quality of life are more subjective. Fortunately, an experienced attorney will know how to quantify non-economic damages and frame them in terms that a judge or jury will understand.
One way you can help your attorney make a strong case for compensation is to keep a detailed diary of the ways your injury has affected you. For example, if you can no longer participate in a favorite sport or hobby because of your injury, or if you’re no longer able to be intimate with your spouse because of pain or mobility issues, these are all items to write about in your diary. Make sure to also write about any emotional and psychological issues that have accompanied your injury and the limitations it has placed on you.
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Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys: Experienced, Dedicated Representation for Your Personal Injury Claim
At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we believe that people hurt by the negligence of others deserve justice. If you’re struggling with life-changing shoulder pain or any other type of injury after a car crash, you deserve fair compensation, peace of mind, and space to heal. With decades of experience, our team of attorneys fights to get victims the compensation they need.
Healthwise staff. (n.d.). Shoulder problems and injuries. University of Michigan Health System. Retrieved from https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/shoul
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.