After the shock from a car accident passes, you may feel aches, pains, stiffness and limited movement in your shoulder. You need to take these signs seriously. They could indicate that you have suffered a serious shoulder injury.
For the sake of your health and your right to be compensated through an ICBC claim, you should seek medical attention without delay. If a doctor diagnoses you with a shoulder injury, you may be eligible to receive compensation through an ICBC claim. The claim could provide compensation for the costs of treating your injury as well as for your lost income, pain, suffering and more.
With more than 20 years of experience with handling ICBC claims on behalf of car accident victims in Vancouver and throughout British Columbia, Klein Lawyers can help you to pursue the compensation you deserve for your car accident injury. To learn more about the legal options available to you and the role we can play in your recovery, contact us today.
Understanding the Anatomy of the Shoulder
To understand your shoulder injury, you should understand the anatomy of your shoulder joint. If any part of this anatomy sustains damage in an auto accident, it can cause extreme pain, rob your shoulder of movement and lead to long-term problems such as arthritis. As a result, you may be unable to work or engage in daily activities – even doing something as simple as lifting a hair brush.
Like the hip, the shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint. It consists of three bones – the upper arm (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula) and collar bone (clavicle). Muscles, tendons and ligaments connect these bones and keep them in place. A fluid-filled sac called the bursa provides lubrication that allows these bones and tissues to move without friction.
The ball-like, rounded head of the upper arm fits into the shoulder blade socket. Cartilage on the rim of the socket, or labrum, forms a cup that holds the ball in place. The rotator cuff consists of muscles and tendons, which also stabilize the ball.
Common Shoulder Injuries in Car Accidents
When you get into any type of car accident, the impact can cause your shoulder to slam against a door, the dashboard or other interior part of the vehicle. You may also get struck by an air bag or engage in a sudden, violent movement to brace yourself. As a result, you can suffer severe shoulder damage.
In order to diagnose the shoulder injury, a doctor must perform a series of tests. The doctor may also order an X-ray or MRI or perform arthroscopic surgery. Depending on the type of shoulder injury, the doctor may order conservative treatment such as a combination of pain medication, stabilization and physical exercise. In cases of severe shoulder injury, a doctor may need to perform surgery.
At Klein Lawyers, we have worked with clients in Vancouver who have suffered a wide range of shoulder injuries in motor vehicle accidents, including:
- Shoulder fracture – Collar bone and upper arm fractures occur more commonly in accidents than scapula fractures. A 2007 study found that drivers and passengers are more likely to suffer broken bones in side-impact collisions than head-on crashes. A doctor may treat the fracture by stabilizing it in a sling or performing surgery to insert wires, pins or screws.
- Shoulder dislocation – A direct blow to the shoulder or forceful twisting of the arm in a crash can cause bones within the shoulder joint to line up improperly. A doctor can try many non-surgical techniques to move the bones back into the right position. However, if a broken bone fragment or soft tissue gets lodged within the joint, surgery may be necessary.
- Shoulder separation – Separation occurs when the ligaments that connect the collar bone to the high point of the shoulder blade become stretched or torn. If ligaments must be reconnected to the shoulder blade, a doctor may need to perform surgery. However, in most cases, doctors can stabilize the shoulder without the need for an operation.
- Torn labrum – The most common type of labral tear in a car accident is the “SLAP tear,” or a superior labral anterior to posterior tear. This highly painful injury involves damage to the area where the biceps muscle tendon attaches to the labrum. A doctor may need to perform surgery to remove tissue or to reattach the tendon.
- Torn rotator cuff – If any of the muscles or tendons at the top of the upper arm sustains damage in a crash, it can cause pain, loss of movement and weakness in the shoulder. A doctor may treat the injury by ordering physical therapy or prescribing steroid injections that reduce inflammation. Surgery may be required if the torn tendon does not heal.
Any type of shoulder injury may lead to complications that include infections, arthritis, bursitis and shoulder impingement. For this reason, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention if you experience pain, numbness, weakness, loss of motion and other signs of a shoulder injury after you have been involved in an auto accident.
How Can Our ICBC Claims Lawyers Help with Your Car Accident Shoulder Injury?
In addition to seeking medical attention, you should seek help from Klein Lawyers after a car accident. We will take immediate steps to protect your right to be fully compensated through an ICBC claim.
For instance, regardless of who is at fault for the accident, you should be eligible to receive medical, lost income and homemaker benefits through a claim for Part 7, or “no-fault,” benefits. However, even though you have paid for this insurance coverage, ICBC may claim that your shoulder injury was not caused by your auto accident. An ICBC claims adjustor could also challenge the costs and types of treatment that you seek. Klein Lawyers can help you to overcome those obstacles.
If another driver caused the car accident that injured your shoulder, our lawyers can help you to pursue compensation through an ICBC third-party liability claim. We can thoroughly investigate your accident, help you to establish the other driver’s fault and establish the damages you should be entitled to receive, including:
- Full recovery of your past and future medical expenses
- Lost income and diminished future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering.
With a legal team of more than 50 staff members, Klein Lawyers has the resources it takes to pursue full and fair compensation for you through an ICBC settlement or, if necessary, through a lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Additionally, you may be eligible for compensation through an uninsured, unidentified or underinsured motorist claim.
We know how a shoulder injury can majorly disrupt a person’s life. Our goal will be to pursue maximum compensation for you.
Contact Our Vancouver Shoulder Injury Claim Lawyers Today
If you have suffered any type of injury from a car accident in British Columbia, you will likely have a lot of questions about seeking compensation through an ICBC claim. Contact Klein Lawyers today. We can review your case, answer your questions and go to work right away on pursuing the compensation you deserve.