Trial-Ready Attorneys in St. Louis

Treating a Rotator Cuff Injury After a Car Accident

A rotator cuff tear is a common car accident injury, particularly in rear-end collisions. If a driver checks their rearview mirror and prepares for an impending crash, they may brace for impact by tightly gripping their steering wheel and tensing up. Consequently, this causes their shoulders to absorb a great deal of force, potentially tearing their rotator cuffs as a result.

If you sustained an injury to your rotator cuff due to the negligent actions of a driver, you’re going to need an experienced attorney to represent your claim. Insurance companies often profess that a torn rotator cuff is caused by degenerative conditions or “normal wear and tear.” Your legal representative can negotiate on your behalf and secure necessary damages that may facilitate your recovery.

What Is a Rotator Cuff?

A rotator cuff encompasses the muscles and tendons that protect your shoulder joint and allow you to raise and rotate your arm. A torn rotator cuff can severely limit your range of motion and make everyday tasks painful, if impossible. This injury can affect both your personal life and career by preventing you from executing your necessary daily tasks.

The symptoms of a torn rotator cuff include:

  • Sudden and severe pain at the shoulder
  • Radiating pain down the arm
  • Limited range of motion
  • Popping or clicking sounds when moving a shoulder
  • Weakness in the shoulder

Seeking Treatment

It’s important to seek medical treatment immediately after your accident. Medical professionals are trained to notice and treat injuries that you may not be immediately aware of. This appointment should take place no later than 7 days after your accident. If you don’t seek treatment within this time period, the insurance company may claim that your injuries don’t warrant compensation.

During your appointment, your doctor can review your medical history and analyze any pains you’re experiencing. By evaluating your range of motion and performing other tests, your doctor can determine if your symptoms are consistent with a rotator cuff tear. To confirm this diagnosis, your doctor may order an MRI of your shoulder, which can detect both the existence and the severity of the damage.

Your doctor will be able to prescribe you a treatment plan based on these tests and the extent of your injury. If your tear is small, physical therapy and stretching may resolve your pain. You may also receive injections to temporarily reduce the pain in your shoulder so that you can complete this treatment process. However, if your shoulder doesn’t respond to physical therapy, you may need surgery. In certain cases, it’s possible for a surgery to be done arthroscopically. But certain injuries necessitate an open repair, where a surgeon cuts into the shoulder and moves the bone spurs to repair the rotator cuff.

Will I have a Permanent Problem with My Shoulder?

Some people do experience lasting medical complications and pain symptoms due to a past rotator cuff tear. Unfortunately, the outcome of a surgery is never certain.

Lasting rotator cuff damage may include:

  • Continuous pain
  • Limited range of motion
  • Difficulty performing work duties
  • Inability to perform daily activities

Seek Legal Representation

If you have suffered a rotator cuff injury in a car accident, you’re going to need an experienced attorney to ensure you receive full compensation for your claim. At Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, P.C., our St. Louis car accident lawyers can represent your case and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. Our legal team works on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t need to pay any attorney fees until you’re awarded compensation for your injury. Because we’ve helped countless clients navigate this legal process, we know it isn’t always convenient to come to our office for an appointment. When you call to schedule an appointment, we can discuss meeting you at your home or hospital room.

We offer evening and weekend appointments. Call Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, P.C. at (314) 635-7606 to schedule your case evaluation.