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Shoulder Injuries After a Wichita Falls, TX Car Accident

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Find out how to get maximum compensation for your crash-related shoulder injury

A verified Wichita Falls, TX, car accident lawyer can protect your rights

Car accidents are an unfortunate reality in Wichita Falls, Texas. While any injury can result from these collisions, shoulder injuries are particularly common and can have a significant impact on your daily life and ability to work.

If you suffered a shoulder injury in a car accident, it’s important to take your case seriously from the start. Consult with a Wichita Falls attorney to learn about your rights and how to get the best possible outcome for your case. 

What is the most common shoulder injury in a car accident?

The shoulder is a complex joint with a wide range of motion, making it vulnerable to injury during the sudden impact of a car accident. Some of the most common shoulder injuries include:

  • Rotator cuff tears: The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint. The impact of a car accident can cause these tissues to tear.
  • Shoulder fractures: The impact of a collision can break bones in the shoulder area, including the clavicle (collarbone), scapula (shoulder blade), or humerus (upper arm bone).
  • Dislocations: The force of a car accident can push the upper arm bone out of the shoulder socket, resulting in a dislocation.
  • Soft tissue injuries: Sprains (ligament injuries) and strains (muscle or tendon injuries) can occur when the shoulder is stretched or twisted during the accident.

Many of these injuries can result in pain, discomfort, and other symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of a shoulder injury after a car accident

Shoulder injuries are a common consequence of car accidents and can range from mild to severe. Recognizing the symptoms early is crucial for prompt treatment and recovery. Here are some symptoms to watch for if you suspect you have sustained a shoulder injury:

Common Symptoms

  • Pain: Persistent pain in the shoulder, whether it's dull, sharp, or throbbing, can indicate an injury. This pain may worsen with movement or while resting.
  • Swelling and Bruising: Swelling and bruising around the shoulder area are common signs of trauma. These symptoms can appear immediately after a car accident or develop over time.
  • Limited Range of Motion: Difficulty moving your shoulder or arm or a feeling of stiffness may suggest a shoulder injury. You might find it hard to lift your arm or perform routine tasks.
  • Weakness: Weakness in the shoulder or arm can be a sign of muscle or tendon damage. It can affect one's ability to grip or carry objects.
  • Numbness or Tingling: Numbness, tingling, or a pins-and-needles sensation in the shoulder, arm, or hand could indicate nerve damage or compression.
  • Popping or Clicking Sounds: Hearing or feeling popping, clicking, or grinding noises when you move your shoulder can indicate a joint or tendon injury.
  • Deformity: Visible deformity or irregularity in the shape of the shoulder can indicate a severe injury, such as a dislocation or fracture.
  • Persistent Discomfort: Continuous discomfort that doesn’t improve with rest or over-the-counter pain medications warrants medical attention.

What to Do If You Experience These Symptoms

If you experience any of these symptoms after a car accident, it's essential to seek medical attention promptly. A healthcare professional can diagnose the extent of your injury and recommend appropriate treatment options.

How are shoulder injuries diagnosed and treated after a car accident?

Once you seek medical treatment for a suspected shoulder injury, a doctor will assess your symptoms, examine the affected area, and test your range of motion.
X-rays can reveal fractures, while MRI or CT scans provide detailed images of soft tissue injuries and more complex fractures.

Shoulder injury treatment depends on the type and severity of the injury. Rest, ice application, and physical therapy may be sufficient for minor injuries. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs can help manage pain and reduce swelling. For severe injuries, such as complex fractures or large rotator cuff tears, surgery may be required.

Who pays for shoulder injury treatment in Wichita Falls, TX?

Texas follows a fault-based or tort system for car accidents. If another driver was responsible for your crash, their car insurance provider should cover your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and other related damages.

However, there is a burden of proof when seeking compensation for a shoulder injury. For starters, four key criteria must be established: 

  • The other driver(s) had a duty of care to uphold. This includes obeying traffic laws and driving in a way that is deemed safe, prudent, and reasonable. 
  • The other driver(s) breached their duty of care by driving distracted, failing to yield, speeding, or engaging in other forms of negligence. 
  • There was a direct link between the car accident you were involved in and your shoulder injury. 
  • You accrued damages as a result of your car accident and shoulder injury. 

What if the other driver wasn’t insured at the time of the crash?

If the driver who caused your car accident doesn’t have insurance, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of options. Car insurance companies in Texas must offer uninsured (UM) and underinsured (UIM) coverage to all drivers. However, drivers are not required to have UM or UIM and can reject it in writing. 

It’s highly recommended that you have UM and UIM coverage in case you get hit by an uninsured, underinsured, or unidentified hit-and-run driver. This type of coverage pays for medical bills, wage loss, pain and suffering, and permanent or partial disability. It also covers the cost of car repairs, damaged personal items, and a rental car. 

If you don’t have UM or UIM, another option is to turn to your own health insurance provider to cover some of your medical expenses. Just be aware that you may need to pay copays and deductibles if you use this option. 

What should I do after a car accident in Wichita Falls?

If you were involved in a car accident in Wichita Falls and sustained a shoulder injury, your first priority should be to get immediate medical attention. Even if your shoulder injury seems minor, it can worsen and lead to further complications if left untreated. Plus, getting a medical diagnosis establishes a link between your shoulder injury and the car accident. 

You should also gather as much evidence as possible. For example, you can take pictures of the crash scene, obtain a copy of the police report, and speak to witnesses to help strengthen your claim. An experienced Wichita Falls car accident lawyer can also gather evidence during a thorough investigation. 

Additionally, you should keep all documents regarding your car accident and resulting shoulder injury. That includes hospital bills, medical appointment logs, pay stubs, vehicle repair bills or estimates, a pain and suffering journal, and other relevant documents. 

Lastly, get legal help from a Wichita Falls car accident attorney who can handle all aspects of your case. Never admit fault or provide a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company without your lawyer present. Follow all medical advice and refrain from activities that could worsen or disprove your injury. 

How much can I expect from my shoulder injury settlement?

The amount of money you can expect for a crash-related shoulder injury can range from a few thousand dollars to $50,000 or more, depending on its severity. It can be difficult to determine your shoulder injury settlement until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement and an attorney has factored in all of your losses. 

Before negotiations with the other driver’s insurance company can begin, your attorney will need to determine the true value of your claim. This ensures that the insurance company doesn’t attempt to reduce your settlement by offering a lowball offer. 

It’s also worth noting that Texas follows a modified comparative negligence rule with a 50% threshold for seeking compensation. This means you can’t get compensated by the other driver’s insurance company if you’re 51% at fault or greater. 

However, if your fault is 50% or less, you can still seek compensation, but your payout will be reduced by your level of fault. For example, if you were involved in an intersection accident, the other driver illegally made a left turn, but you were speeding, you could be found 10% at fault. If your damages equal $50,000, you would be eligible for $45,000. 

Get legal help today for your crash-related shoulder injury

If you have a shoulder injury due to a car accident, dealing with insurance companies can be overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to focus on your recovery. An experienced car accident lawyer in Wichita Falls, TX, can level the playing field and protect your rights. 

Concerned about legal fees? There’s good news: car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay anything unless they win your case. Plus, they offer free consultations, so you can discuss your case and ask questions without any further obligations. 

To get started, contact a verified Wichita Falls, TX, car accident attorney today.

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