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Shoulder Injury from Car Accidents

Shoulder problems, such as aches and pains stemming from sore muscles can often arise from the most seemingly mundane tasks. However, while these minor injuries can easily be lessened with a hot pad or a good bout of rest, the emotional and physical pain that can come from a car accident can often be astronomical.

Shoulder injuries that come from a car accident can result in dislocations, major strains and sprains, complete separations, a torn rotator cuff, and even long-term arthritis. As a personal injury lawyer, I have seen firsthand the type of devastation that can arise from these types of injuries, whether it is through the physical pain from the injury, or the economic and legal toll that can occur.

For drivers, especially those who have been in an auto accident it is important to understand what kind of shoulder injuries can arise from car accidents.

The Anatomy of the Shoulder

According to Medline Plus, presented by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the shoulders are considered to be the most moveable joints in the human body. Additionally, while many may believe a shoulder injury is simply one bone that can be affected; the reality is that, during an injury, there are actually three components that can be damaged: the collarbone (clavicle), the shoulder blades (scapula), and the upper arm bones (humerus).

The shoulder also rests on the ball of the upper arm, which is larger than the shoulder socket that keeps it into place. Additionally, there are many tendons, ligaments, and muscles that also work to anchor the shoulder. Thus, when an injury can occur it can affect one, or many of these different parts.

Common Injuries

While there are many different injuries that can arise from an automobile accident, as mentioned above, some of the most common will include:

  • Fractures: These typically involve the three areas mentioned above, and are essentially broken bones.
  • Dislocations: These can often involve one of three different types of joints: acromioclavicular joint (the collarbone), glenohumeral join (ball and socket joint of the shoulder), as well as the sternoclavicular joint (which affects the sternum). This occurs when a joint does not align correctly.
  • Ligament Tears: This occurs when the soft tissue, or the ligaments, or torn completely.


As with the many different types of injuries that can occur, there are equally many different treatment options that will be available. Many of these will depend on the individual scope of injury that has occurred.

Overall, the primary treatment for shoulder injuries is RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation). Beyond this, however, for more serious injuries, such as the ones that were outlined above, your doctor may suggest surgery or extended nonsurgical treatment, such as relocating a dislocated arm or shoulder.

Shoulder injuries resulting from a car accident can be extremely painful, expensive, and in some cases require surgical intervention. It is important to understand what injuries can arise and what treatment may be available. Although it would not prevent an accident from occurring, understanding your options will give you piece of mind.

If you would like to discuss your rights and options call us at 281-587-1111 or fill out the contact form.


Greg Baumgartner

attorney greg baumgartner

Greg Baumgartner has practiced personal injury law since 1984. He holds not one but two law degrees and is a graduate of Trial Lawyers College. He is licensed in Texas and Colorado. Mr. Baumgartner has earned a reputation for exemplary results for his clients. And has been preeminent rated for decades and recognized by Top 100 Trial Lawyers, Super Lawyers, Expertise, Newsweek, Houstonia magazine, and many others. He has given educational talks to lawyers and many media interviews regarding personal injury cases.