If you have shoulder pain after a car accident, you may have an upper arm, collarbone, or joint injury. While the pain could come from seatbelt bruising or another relatively benign cause, it could also be a significant injury that requires treatment.
You can likely pursue damages to cover the cost of a medical assessment and treatment for your injuries if someone else caused your crash. There is no reason not to see a doctor, whether in the emergency department, a walk-in clinic, or your general practitioner.
What Causes Shoulder Pain Following a Car Accident?
The shoulder is a complex joint that requires bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles to work together. A car crash can fracture the bones or injure any soft tissues vital to the joint’s function. When you see a doctor about the pain in your shoulder, they will evaluate the injury, check your range of motion, and call for medical imaging such as an X-ray or scan.
Many shoulder injuries are manageable with conservative treatment, such as:
- Ice and/or heat
- A sling or brace
- Rest, including missing work in many cases
- Physical therapy
- Ongoing monitoring
Other types of shoulder injuries often require surgical repair. These could include:
- Fractures especially dislocated or compound breaks
- Torn rotator cuff
- Shoulder impingement
- Labral tears
Lasting Impacts of Shoulder Injuries
Because of its unique range of motion, people rely on their shoulders for many tasks. As a result, an injured shoulder could prevent you from participating in chores at home, activities you enjoy, and returning to work, depending on your job. In addition, you could be sidelined for months.
Once healing begins, you may need physical therapy to regain strength and range of motion. If you have lasting pain or disability, you may need occupational therapy or other care to help you relearn how to manage tasks you once did with ease. Some people require an ongoing plan for pain management.
All these long-term and lasting impacts should be considered when you value your claim for compensation. They are all losses you experienced because of the accident and your injuries.
What Damages Can I Recover for My Injured Shoulder?
The four states in the Gulf South region – Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi – all have fault-based auto insurance laws. This allows victims of traffic accidents to prove the other driver acted negligently and hold them financially liable for the crash.
They also require all drivers to carry auto liability insurance coverage to cover these costs up to the policy limit. In theory, this should make it easy to recover compensation for the expenses you incurred. In practice, getting a fair settlement requires a strong case and documentation of your recoverable losses and their value.
Recoverable damages from an accident could include:
- Your medical bills and related expenses
- Rehabilitation and therapy costs
- Lost wages and other income
- Reduced ability to earn due to permanent injuries
- Vehicle repairs
- Miscellaneous related costs
- Pain and suffering damages
How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help Me?
Building a strong case to support a fair financial recovery takes time. You will need to gather evidence, investigate the crash, and prove negligence, liability, and value. Only then can you demand the insurer pay you a fair and just settlement for the personal injuries and losses you sustained.
Many victims decide to retain a car accident attorney to handle their case because of the time investment, necessary knowledge, and other skills required to develop and file a claim and negotiate a fair settlement.
An attorney can help in several ways. These include:
- Most provide complimentary consultations
- They can answer your questions, explain rights, and weigh options with you
- They protect your rights to a fair payout
- You will have an advocate on your side
- The firm will use its resources to investigate your crash
- They know how to navigate the claims process
- They have experience with effective negotiation tactics
- They can determine if filing a personal injury lawsuit is necessary
If you need to sue the driver who hit you, there are deadlines you need to understand. In some cases, you may have less time. In general, you have:
- Alabama: Two years under Ala. Code § 6-2-38
- Arkansas: Three years under Ark. Code Ann. § 16-56-105
- Louisiana: One year under La. Civ. Code Art. 3492
- Mississippi: Three years under Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49
Get Help From a Car Accident Attorney to Pursue Damages
The Morris Bart law firm has 16 office locations in the Gulf South states. Our attorneys review traffic accident cases for free and handle insurance claims and lawsuits for victims. We may be able to help you recover the compensation you need for your shoulder pain and other accident-related expenses.
Call (800) 537-8185 today to speak to a team member about your case for free.