Can You Injure Your Rotator Cuff in a Car Accident? Here’s What You Need to Know

As a premier car accident lawyer in Orange County, we know that wrecks can cause a wide variety of physical injuries and other losses. If you suffered serious injuries in an accident caused by someone else, we may be able to help. Contact us for a free case evaluation

You’d be surprised by how many different injuries a serious car accident can cause. 

When you consider the numerous contributing factors, including speed, the number of vehicles involved, and the car’s primary point of impact at the time of the collision, the sad reality is that there’s no limit to the physical injuries that can result. 

Can you injure your rotator cuff in a car accident? The answer is yes, and, unfortunately, it happens more often than you might think. In fact, rotator cuff injuries are common in serious car accidents because a person’s shoulders tend to tighten in an effort to absorb the impact. Bracing yourself in this manner can make you more vulnerable to a tear. 

rotator cuff tear

If you or a loved one sustained a torn rotator cuff during a car accident, you’re likely dealing with debilitating pain, hospital bills, and time away from work. You may even require months of physical therapy or surgery to recover. All of these interventions cost money, so our question to you is this: Who’s paying the price for your injuries? 

At Case Barnett Law, we believe the at-fault party should be footing the bill for your recovery—not you. Luckily, our compassionate Costa Mesa car accident attorney team may be able to help secure the compensation you deserve. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about rotator cuff injuries, why they happen, and how we can help protect your future. 

Need help now? If an accident caused by someone else has left you drowning in a sea of medical bills, pain, and other losses, it’s important to know that you do have recourse. Call us at (949) 409-0055 to discuss your options with an experienced personal injury attorney

Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround each shoulder joint and help support the upper arm bone by keeping it in the shoulder socket. Rotator cuff injuries are common, and your risk for developing one increases with age. People whose jobs require them to perform repeated overhead motions also face increased risk for injuring their shoulder. 

Although rotator cuff injuries can develop as a result of progressive wear-and-tear on the shoulder tendons, they can also happen suddenly, for example, in a car accident. In these cases, it’s essential to seek medical treatment right away, as some people will require surgery. 

Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Tears

 A rotator cuff tear—a tear in the group of muscles and tendons surrounding the shoulder—is a common cause of pain and disability and is frequently seen in car accident victims. Tears can be full or partial, with partial-thickness tears referring to ones that don’t fully sever the tendon from the shoulder. 

These injuries can present with a range of symptoms, depending on whether it was caused by degeneration or sudden injury. If you’re experiencing the following symptoms in the aftermath of an accident, you may be dealing with a rotator cuff tear: 

  • Limited range of motion in the affected arm
  • Crackling or grating sounds when you move your arm
  • Recurrent pain that intensifies with certain activities 
  • Pain when you sleep on the affected side

Although these are among the most common symptoms, they are by no means the only ones. Because many symptoms mirror those caused by other conditions, you’ll need a physician to assess your injury. In addition to a physical exam, your physician may order an X-ray or an MRI to confirm you’re suffering from a torn rotator cuff. 

Treating a Torn Rotator Cuff

The medical intervention required to treat your rotator cuff injury or tear will depend on its severity. There are a number of common treatments your doctor may suggest, including the following: 

  • Surgery
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories 
  • Physical therapy
  • Rest

As you can imagine, it may be difficult to maintain a job—especially manual labor—and effectively heal from a rotator cuff injury. You may be forced to choose between keeping your job and recovering from your injury, or you may be unable to afford the required treatments. If you find yourself in this position, it’s a good idea to seek advice from a trusted personal injury attorney in Orange County.

Steps to Take after a Rotator Cuff Injury

In the aftermath of a serious accident, determining if you’re injured and how is often more difficult than it sounds. With adrenaline coursing through your body, you may be temporarily numbed to your pain, and it may take several days for your injuries to fully present. 

Whether you suspect you’ve suffered a rotator cuff injury, a different type of injury or aren’t sure, there are a few simple ways you can protect yourself. After you’ve gotten to safety and determined you’re in no immediate danger, it’s essential to document everything you can at the scene: the vehicles involved, license plate numbers, witnesses, road conditions, etc. Pictures, notes, and eyewitness accounts will prove invaluable should you decide to file a lawsuit. 

Next, you should seek medical attention. Doctors' notes, medical records, and treatments will also serve as essential evidence in your case. Lastly, it’s important to find a car accident attorney in Orange County with a proven track record of winning cases like yours. They will evaluate your situation and be able to recommend the best path forward. 

Case Barnett Law: Top Car Accident Lawyers in Orange County

If you find yourself Googling “Can you injure your rotator cuff in a car accident,” there’s a good chance you could benefit from speaking to an attorney. Luckily, you don’t have to look too far. 

The compassionate legal experts at Case Barnett Law have settled countless cases like yours and would love to hear from you! No matter what type of injuries you or your loved one have sustained, if the accident wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t be paying the price. We may be able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. 

Contact our firm online to schedule a free consultation, or give us a call at (949) 409-0055 to speak with one of our experienced legal professionals about your case. 

Case C. Barnett
Costa Mesa Personal Injury Attorney practicing in child injury law, car accident injuries and elder abuse law
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