Shoulder and Rotator Cuff Injury After A Car Accident

Trauma to the shoulder can be painful and require costly medical treatment

Pain in your shoulder after a car accident could indicate a rotator cuff tear or another painful shoulder injury that can potentially turn your whole life upside down.

If you or someone you love suffered a shoulder injury in a crash that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. However, getting the compensation you deserve for your medical bills and other losses might not be easy without the help of an experienced car accident attorney who can help you maximize your recovery.

How is the rotator cuff damaged in a car accident?

The impact of a car accident can tear your rotator cuff, causing excruciating pain. Sometimes as a natural reflex, people stick their arms out to brace for the impact of an accident. This puts their arms and shoulders in a compromising position and may lead to a rotator cuff injury.

The rotator cuff attaches your arm bone to your shoulder bone. It allows you to lift your arm and rotate it freely. You can either completely tear your rotator cuff or partially tear it.

When you tear your rotator cuff, you damage your soft tissue. Only when you completely tear it does the tendon fully separate.

How do you treat a rotator cuff injury?

Treatment for a torn rotator cuff depends on the size of the tear. Small tears may heal with simple treatments like rest, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications.

Larger or smaller tears that aren’t getting better may require rotator cuff surgery. It is a severe injury that can sometimes lead to ongoing shoulder problems. In addition, you can suffer a rotator cuff injury on top of other shoulder injuries after a car accident.

Common car accident shoulder injuries

In a car accident, the impact can launch you with extreme force into your seatbelt. Pressure from a seatbelt can easily cause a rotator cuff tear or another painful shoulder injury.

You should see a doctor to diagnose the specific shoulder injury caused by your accident. Common shoulder injuries sustained in car accidents include the following:


A car accident can cause your arm bone to pop out of its socket completely. This injury can leave victims unable to move their arms. Shoulder dislocations can heal independently, but without treatment from a doctor, the shoulder will likely dislocate again.

Labrum tear

A collision can tear the cuff of cartilage at the end of your arm found in your shoulder joint and become debilitating. Recovery from a labrum tear often takes a long time, and some victims may never regain shoulder functionality. Labrum tear car accident settlements often include compensation for arthroscopic shoulder surgery.

Soft tissue injuries

What you believe to be temporary pain in your left shoulder after a crash could be a soft tissue injury, so don’t ignore the pain. The surrounding muscles, tendons, and ligaments are crucial to support your shoulder. Any damage to them can impact the stability of your shoulder. Because this injury lies deep within the tissue, a CT scan or MRI is often needed to locate and diagnose a soft tissue injury.


A hit to your shoulder in a car accident can break your collarbone, upper arm bone, and shoulder blade. You may have a fracture if you see bruising and discoloration around your shoulder area. X-Rays are used to identify fractures, but your course of treatment will depend on the severity of your broken bone. Breaking a bone in the shoulder is painful and can take a while to heal.

Frozen shoulder

A shoulder injury sustained in a car accident, such as a rotator cuff tear or a bone fracture, can develop if your shoulder is immobilized while healing. Likewise, a neck injury like whiplash can also cause the shoulder joint to stiffen and freeze.

Common shoulder injury symptoms

Symptoms may start to show right after your car accident or develop later. Any of the following symptoms could signify a severe shoulder injury. If you are suffering from any of the symptoms listed below, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

  • Chronic shoulder soreness.
  • Collarbone pain.
  • Shoulder blade pain.
  • Stiffness and pain when lifting and lowering the arm.
  • Limited or full loss range of motion.
  • Swelling.
  • Tingling feeling.
  • Numbness.
  • Weakness.
  • Instability.

Suffering a shoulder injury in a car accident caused by another driver can be frustrating, but fortunately, you have the right to seek compensation for your injury.

Compensation for a shoulder injury after a car accident

Your compensation will depend on the specifics of your case, and you won’t know how much you rightfully deserve until you talk to an experienced car accident attorney.

A good lawyer will consider the severity of your injury, its effect on your life, and every detail of your accident to calculate the value of your claim.

Contact us today to review your potential legal options

If your shoulder was hurt in a car accident in the Wichita Falls or Lawton area, seek the compensation you deserve with Hoover Rogers Law, LLP.

We can listen to what happened, answer your questions, and arm you with the information you need so that you can decide what you want to do next. We also take shoulder injury claims on contingency, meaning you pay no fees unless we win your case.

You can speak with a member of our team at any time. We are available to hear from you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Or you can contact us and schedule a free injury consultation.

Consultation* Click Here