After a car accident, you may suffer a variety of different injuries, including those to the neck and shoulder. These are high-risk areas of the body that, if injured, can negatively impact your ability to work and may cause a permanent disability.
Shoulder Injuries After a Crash
You may suffer a shoulder injury if your body is pushed or propelled into a hard object such as the dashboard or the side of the car. Because the many muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and joints make the shoulder a complex part of the body, it doesn't take much speed or force to injure it. Some common shoulder injuries include:
- Soft tissue damage. If you suffer a soft tissue injury, you may have tears to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints surrounding the shoulder. A rotator cuff tear is an example of soft tissue damage, as well as a superior labrum anterior and posterior (SLAP) tear. This type of tear occurs in the top or 'superior' area of the labrum, where the biceps tendon is attached. The tear occurs in the front and back of the attachment. Accident victims with a rotator cuff tear may suffer from severe pain, tenderness, and limited movement.
- Dislocations. This type of shoulder injury occurs when the arm's ball and socket become dislocated from one another. You can suffer a partial or complete dislocation, and the injury can cause numbness or tingling, muscle spasms, weakness, and reduced range of motion.
Neck Injuries After a Crash
It's also common to suffer neck injuries after a car accident. These can include:
- Disc injury. When you're in a crash, your body suffers a significant trauma that can bulge, herniate, or rupture the water-filled discs in between your spine. A disc herniation irritates the nerves that are encased in the spine, and this can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in your body.
- Whiplash. Low- and high-impact crashes can cause a driver or passenger to suffer a neck injury known as whiplash. This occurs when the head is thrown forward and back in a rapid movement, much like the cracking of a whip. This type of injury causes damage to the soft tissue in your neck, including the muscles, nerves, and ligaments. Immediately following or after the accident, the victim may have neck pain and stiffness, as well as numbness or tingling in the arms and neck.
- Fractures. During a car accident, you can fracture your clavicle—also known as the collarbone. This type of injury can be extremely painful, making it difficult to move your arm and neck for weeks after the crash. You may also feel a "grinding sensation" when you try to raise your arm; see a bump that presents over the break; and swelling and bruising over the collarbone.
- Strains and sprains. These types of injuries are common after car accidents. Tendons, muscles, or ligaments can be injured when they're overextended or twist in the wrong direction. When your joints are forced to move or bend beyond their usual range of motion, the tissues that stabilize the joint can be damaged.
When You Have a Delay in Symptoms
Injuries after a car accident aren't always obvious. Many times, there's a delay in the symptoms, and you may not feel pain until days after. You should seek medical help if you were in a car accident and experience any of the following symptoms:
- Pain that wakes you up or keeps you up at night
- Back pain
- Dizziness or headache
- Pain in the shoulders or neck
- Numbness or tingling
Hiring a Virginia Car Accident Attorney
Neck and shoulder injuries after a car accident can negatively impact your life. The surgery and medical treatment required may be costly, and you could suffer lost wages if you're unable to work. It's important to hire skilled, experienced legal representation to negotiate a fair car crash settlement, so you can move forward with your life after your injuries. Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to go over the details of your case. Because we work on a contingency basis, there is no up-front cost to you, and you will not have to pay a retainer. We don't get paid until we recover damages on your behalf.