What is the most common shoulder injury from Texas car accidents?

What is the most common shoulder injury from Texas car accidents?

You were involved in a car accident in Texas and now you're experiencing pain in your shoulder. Unfortunately, shoulder injuries are common after a vehicular collision. The force of impact can cause damage to the ligaments, muscles, tendons, and bones in your shoulder joint and upper arm. Of the possible shoulder injuries from a car accident, the most prevalent is a sprain or strain of the acromioclavicular joint, commonly referred to as the AC joint. This joint is located where your collarbone meets the highest part of your shoulder blade. A Texas Car Accident Lawyer can help you get started. 

An AC joint sprain occurs when the ligaments that hold these two bones together are overstretched or torn. The symptoms include pain, swelling, and difficulty moving your arm. If you're suffering from this painful injury, seek medical attention right away. Early diagnosis and proper treatment are key to recovering strength and range of motion in your shoulder.

Understanding Common Shoulder Injuries in Car Accidents

Shoulder injuries are among the most common in Texas car accidents. Understanding the types of shoulder injuries that frequently occur can help you recognize symptoms and get proper treatment.


A shoulder dislocation happens when the upper arm bone pops out of the shoulder socket. This can damage ligaments and tendons in the shoulder. Signs of a dislocation include:

  • Visible deformity or asymmetry of the shoulder
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Pain that worsens with movement

Dislocations require prompt medical attention to relocate the joint. You may need physical therapy and time off work to heal.


A shoulder fracture involves breaking one of the bones in the shoulder, such as the collarbone or shoulder blade. Symptoms include:

  • Pain, swelling, and bruising over the fracture site
  • Visible misalignment or deformity of the shoulder
  • Difficulty moving the shoulder

Treatment may involve resetting and immobilizing the broken bone, followed by physical therapy. Surgery is sometimes needed for severe breaks.

Rotator Cuff Tears

The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles connecting the upper arm bone to the shoulder blade. A tear in the rotator cuff can cause:

  • Pain radiating from the side of the shoulder into the upper arm
  • Weakness when lifting or reaching
  • Difficulty sleeping on the affected side
  • Swelling or bruising (in some cases)

Treatment options include rest, physical therapy, steroid injections, and surgery for complete tears.

With prompt diagnosis and proper treatment, many common shoulder injuries from car accidents can heal well. However, some may require occupational therapy or lifestyle changes to avoid re-injury. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you pursue compensation for costs related to your injury.

Rotator Cuff Tears - The Most Frequent Shoulder Injury

The rotator cuff is composed of four muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint and enable a wide range of arm movements. Unfortunately, the rotator cuff is frequently injured in car accidents resulting from the jerking motions caused by impact. The most common rotator cuff injury is a tear to one of the muscles or tendons.

Rotator cuff tears can range from minor partial tears to complete ruptures. Partial tears result in pain, weakness, and decreased range of motion. Total ruptures lead to loss of function and the inability to raise your arm. Seeking medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment is critical.

  • Symptoms: The primary symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include pain, especially with overhead arm movements or lifting, weakness in the arm, and difficulty sleeping on the affected side. You may experience a popping sensation at the time of injury.
  • Diagnosis: Rotator cuff tears are diagnosed through a physical exam to assess range of motion and strength, as well as imaging tests like MRIs, ultrasounds or CT scans.
  • Treatment: Treatment options for a rotator cuff tear include rest, physical therapy, steroid injections, and in severe cases, surgery to repair the torn tendon or muscle. Recovery can take several months of rehabilitation to regain strength and range of motion.

In summary, rotator cuff injuries are very common following a car accident in Texas and the surrounding states. Seeking prompt medical diagnosis and appropriate treatment is key to recovering functionality, mobility and alleviating discomfort in the shoulder joint. With patience and proper rehabilitation, most people are able to recover from a rotator cuff tear.

Symptoms of a Rotator Cuff Tear From a Car Accident

A rotator cuff tear can cause significant pain and mobility issues in the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff comprises four muscles and their tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint and enable arm movement. Damage to these muscles or tendons often results from traumatic injury, such as a car accident.

Some common symptoms of a rotator cuff tear after a car accident include:

  • Pain in the shoulder, especially when lifting or moving your arm overhead or backward
  • Difficulty lifting heavy objects or participating in overhead activities
  • Weakness in the shoulder that makes it difficult to lift or move the arm
  • A cracking or popping sound when moving the shoulder in certain directions
  • Swelling or tenderness in the shoulder area
  • Limited range of motion in the shoulder joint

If you experience these symptoms after a car accident, you may have sustained a rotator cuff tear or other shoulder injury. Seek medical attention from an orthopedic doctor, or physician specializing in musculoskeletal disorders and injuries, as soon as possible for an accurate diagnosis and to discuss treatment options like physical therapy, medication, or in severe cases, surgery to repair the damaged rotator cuff.

Early diagnosis and treatment of a rotator cuff tear is critical to regaining strength and mobility in the shoulder. An orthopedic doctor can evaluate your symptoms, medical history, and conduct physical exams and imaging tests like an MRI to determine the severity of the injury. They can then recommend an appropriate course of treatment and rehabilitation to minimize pain, restore shoulder function, and prevent long-term disability.

With prompt diagnosis and proper treatment, many people with rotator cuff tears from car accidents recover full or significant use of their shoulder. However, delaying treatment can lead to chronic pain, limited mobility, and potentially permanent shoulder impairment.

Consulting a Texas Car Accident Lawyer for Shoulder Injuries

If you have sustained shoulder injuries in a car accident in Texas, it is wise to consult with a personal injury attorney. An attorney can evaluate the details of your accident and nuances such as if you were driving someone else's vehicle. They can then help you pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering.

Shoulder injuries like sprains, strains, fractures, and tears can be painful and debilitating. Treatment may require physical therapy, bracing, steroid injections or in severe cases, surgical repair. The recovery process can span months and the injury may have long-term effects on your mobility and quality of life.

When meeting with a car accident lawyer, be prepared to provide details about how the crash occurred, including the direction of impact, and specefic such as if you were driving interstate. Bring any photos of the vehicles involved, medical records, and information on time missed from work. Your attorney will investigate the accident to establish liability, then work to secure a fair settlement from the insurance companies to cover costs associated with your injury.

If an acceptable settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer may file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. During litigation, they will gather evidence to demonstrate how the defendant’s negligence directly caused your shoulder impairment. Expert medical testimony and reports will also be used to validate the severity of your condition and prognosis.

Shoulder injuries from auto accidents can be complicated to resolve. However, an experienced car accident attorney has the knowledge and resources to fully handle your claim and help you recover damages. They can lift the burden from you during this difficult time, allowing you to focus on healing. With strong legal counsel advocating for your rights, you have the best opportunity to achieve maximum compensation for your shoulder injury.

Treatment Options for Rotator Cuff Injuries

Once a rotator cuff injury has been diagnosed, there are several treatment options available depending on the severity of the damage.

Rest and Physical Therapy

For minor tears or strains, rest, ice, compression and elevation (R.I.C.E.) are typically recommended to reduce pain and swelling. Limited movement and physical therapy can help strengthen surrounding muscles and increase range of motion as healing progresses. Physical therapy may include targeted exercises to improve flexibility and strength, as well as manual therapy like massage to break up scar tissue.

Corticosteroid Injections

If rest and physical therapy are not providing relief, corticosteroid injections may be used to reduce inflammation and ease pain. Steroids can temporarily relieve pressure on the rotator cuff, allowing for improved mobility and the ability to participate in physical therapy. Multiple injections may be needed to achieve results.


For severe rotator cuff injuries like large tears, surgery is often required to repair the damage. The most common procedures are arthroscopic surgeries to reattach torn tendons to the bone or remove damaged tissue. Recovery can take between 3 to 6 months and includes an initial period of rest followed by physical therapy. While surgery aims to relieve pain and restore strength and range of motion, it does not guarantee a full recovery. Some loss of mobility or weakness may remain.

The treatment path for a rotator cuff injury depends on various factors like the location and severity of damage, overall health, and personal needs. Consulting an orthopedic doctor is the best way to determine which options are most appropriate and develop a comprehensive treatment plan to address your injury, relieve pain, and work towards maximum recovery. With proper rest, rehabilitation, and if needed, medical procedures, significant improvement can be made for most rotator cuff injuries.

Fletcher Law Texas Injury Lawyers Have Experience To Help

If you have been in a car accident in Texas and suffered a shoulder injury, the attorneys at Fletcher Law have the knowledge and experience to help you pursue compensation for your damages. Shoulder injuries are common in car accidents due to the violent forces exerted on the body during impact and collision. The most prevalent shoulder injury from a motor vehicle accident is a shoulder sprain or strain. This occurs when the ligaments and tendons in the shoulder joint are overstretched or torn.

Symptoms of a shoulder sprain or strain include pain, especially with movement; swelling; bruising; loss of range of motion; and tenderness. These injuries can vary in severity but often heal within a few weeks with rest, ice, compression, and physical therapy. However, more serious sprains and strains may require surgery and rehabilitation to repair damaged tissues.

Other common shoulder injuries from car accidents include:

  • Dislocations: The upper arm bone becomes separated from the shoulder socket. This can cause excruciating pain, swelling, and deformity of the shoulder. Dislocations often require manual relocation of the joint followed by immobilization and physical therapy.
  • Fractures: Broken bones in the shoulder, including the clavicle (collarbone), scapula (shoulder blade), and humerus (upper arm bone). Fractures typically need to be set and immobilized using a sling or brace. Severe breaks may require surgery to hold the bone fragments in the proper position during healing.
  • Rotator cuff tears: The rotator cuff tendons and muscles that stabilize the shoulder joint can become partially or fully torn. This often causes pain, weakness, and loss of motion. Rotator cuff tears usually require physical therapy, medication, and in severe cases, surgery to repair the damaged tendons.

The attorneys at Fletcher Law have decades of combined experience helping clients in Texas recover compensation for all types of injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents. We understand how debilitating and life-altering shoulder injuries can be. There are important nuances of Texas law such as whether the no fault law will be applied.


As you have learned, rotator cuff injuries are the most common shoulder injuries resulting from Texas car accidents. Sometimes car accidents are frustrating when they result from distracted driving from cell phones. Seeking prompt medical attention and following your doctor's recommended treatment plan are critical to reducing pain, restoring range of motion, and avoiding long-term damage. While recovery can be a lengthy process, staying dedicated to physical therapy and at-home exercises will give you the best chance of returning to normal daily activities and an active lifestyle. The injury lawyers at Fletcher Law are here to help. 

Remember that you do not have to go through the legal and insurance claims process alone - contacting an experienced personal injury attorney can help ensure you receive fair compensation for medical bills, lost work, and pain and suffering. Though prevention is the best medicine, knowing how to identify the signs of a rotator cuff tear after an accident and the options available for treatment and recovery can provide some peace of mind if you ever find yourself in such an unfortunate situation.