Shoulder Injury


For the driver of a vehicle, the forces of a collision are transferred through the steering wheel into the arms and then to the shoulder joints.  Both drivers and passengers have the force of the collision transferred to their shoulder joints where it is restrained by the seatbelt.  In side impacts, where seatbelts are of little help, the shoulder can make impact with the door or other occupants of the vehicle.

The abnormal forces applied to the shoulder joint leads to strains, sprains and tearing of the muscle ligaments and tendons of the shoulder joint.  One of the most common injuries, and one that is often missed in a diagnosis, is a partial or full tear of the supraspinatus tendon which connects the upper arm to the shoulder blade.  Often, after months and even years of ineffectual treatment, this is uncovered by an MRI scan.  Lawyers can assist in arranging these scans early, so that a true diagnosis and the proper treatment can be instigated.  Other muscles of the rotator cuff structure can also be injured, requiring surgery. Shoulder impingement, or subacromial impingement, can occur where the tendons of the shoulder become inflamed or irritated as they pass through a small space in the shoulder.

Difficulty raising your arm to the side or the front, difficulty fastening a bra strap, pain when you raise your arms over your head, are all symptoms of a shoulder issue.  Whether you are grabbing something from a high shelf, or working overhead for your job, shoulder injuries can have a significant impact on your life and your ability to work.

The value of cases of this nature, with the proper legal proof and representation, vary depending on the severity of the injury and degree of disability.

A subset of shoulder/neck injuries is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.  This occurs when the nerves the nerves that run from the spine to the arm (called the brachial plexus) are pinched by inflamed muscles as they pass between the collar bone or first rib.  The trauma to these nerves causes pain, numbness, coldness and weakness.  Again, this is a difficult diagnosis to make, and is often overlooked by doctors.  Motorcyclists are especially susceptible to suffering this type of injury, but anyone involved in a car accident can suffer from thoracic outlet syndrome.   A lawyer familiar with motor vehicle accident injuries, and these specific types of injuries, can help direct you to the specialists who deal with this type of injury.

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