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Shoulder Injuries Suffered in Automobile Collisions


There can be two major causes of pain in the shoulder after an automobile collision. The most common cause is when the victim braces for impact with their arm extended. The next most common is whiplash associated with the rapid whipping back and forth that occurs during a collision.

The shoulder is the part of the body at the end of the upper arm that allows the humerus bone to connect to the upper torso at the scapula (shoulder blade) and clavicle.  Two shoulder joints create the movement of the arm in many different directions. These joints are held together by a series of muscles and tendons called the rotator cuff.

Shoulder Injuries from an Automobile Collision

There are many different types of shoulder injuries that can occur from an automobile collision. Below are the most common ones that can occur:

  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome
  • Rotator Cuff Tear
  • Labral Tear
  • Shoulder Dislocation
  • Shoulder Fracture

These five injuries all can lead to extensive pain and, as a result, disrupt your everyday way of life. If injuries are so severe, victims might require surgery and extensive rehab just to be able to regain 100% usage in the hurt shoulder.

Symptoms of Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome:

  • Pain when extended arm above head.
  • Muscle weakness in your shoulder.

Rotator Cuff Tear:

  • Pain when lifting and lowering arm.
  • Constant pain, even when not moving arm.
  • Weakness in shoulder when moving, even if its not a big movement.

Labral Tear:

  • Pain with movement.
  • Loss of strength.
  • Reduced range of motion.

Shoulder Dislocation:

  • Severe and constant pain.
  • Bruising and/or swelling.
  • Muscle spasms in shoulder.
  • Weakness or numbness in arm, neck, hand and fingers.

Shoulder Fracture:

  • Bruising and/or swelling.
  • Tenderness.
  • Pain at the point of fracture.
  • Severe pain with movement.

Doctors will identify these injuries through the use of an MRI. In some cases, the injuries will require surgery, however, that depends on their severity.

Compensation Available

Having an experienced personal injury attorney can be key to receiving proper compensation for your injuries.

Maginnis Howard’s lead personal injury attorney, T. Shawn Howard has experience in handling complex and severe personal injury claims when it comes to shoulder injuries.

All personal injury matters will be handled on a contingency basis. You can contact our firm at 919.526.0450. Email inquiries may be sent to