Have you injured a shoulder or rotator cuff injury in a motor vehicle accident? The shoulder is the most complicated joint in the body. It is also the most mobile and flexible joint. It is often injured in a car accident, the pedestrian accident, or the slip and fall accident. When your shoulder is injured, it can have a significant impact on your daily activities and quality of life.
The shoulder can be injured when it is jammed, or impacted from the side, or top. Clearly when there is a fracture, these injuries are clear, and documentable.
However, it is the “soft tissue” injury, or the “tear” of a ligament, tendon or muscle where the insurance company attempts to make an extremely low offer when compared to their actual responsibility to you under the policy in question. You will need an experienced trial attorney and personal injury lawyer to stand up to the insurance company and ensure you receive full and fair compensation for your injuries and recovery.
Rivers Morrell is an experienced and proven car accident injury attorney based in Mission Viejo and Irvine for over 40 years. Serving all of Orange County, Los Angeles and the Inland Empire, Mr. Morrell is highly respected by insurance companies, his peers, the legal industry and his clients alike.
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Insurance companies Will Challenge Shoulder Injuries
Insurance companies will attempt to underplay the extent and therefore the value of your shoulder or rotator cuff injuries. This is why initial settlement offers in shoulder injury cases are much too low. The insurance company will often challenge the existence of the injury or that it was caused in the accident. They often allege your shoulder injury was there already. Aside from the fracture, or dislocation, the typical shoulder injury is a torn rotator cuff, or a shoulder impingement. Shoulder Instability is another common issue following a motor vehicle accident.
What is the Rotator Cuff
The rotator cuff is a group of 4 muscles that controls the movement of the arm and shoulder. This group is called the rotator cuff. Muscles are connected to bones by tendons. Bones are connected to other bones by ligaments. When there is a tear of one of the tendons, then it is said that there is a torn rotator cuff. The tear can be of one or more of the tendons that connect the muscle to the bone. When there is a blow to the area of the rotator cuff such as in a car accident, or a fall onto an outstretched hand or a fracture or dislocation of the shoulder joint such as would occur during a slip and fall, then a tear can occur. Tears can also occur from overuse, and/or from aging.
Different types of tears can result in a variety of symptoms, and treatment is adjusted to reflect the damage to the area as well as the best chances for a full recovery.
If your shoulder injury or rotator cuff tear was either caused in a motor vehicle accident or aggravated by the accident, it is important that it be carefully documented. This is why it is so important to see a physician within 24 to 48 hours of any car accident. This is why it is imperative that all complaints, to all parts of the body be mentioned to not only the medical professional, but the attorney as well. Too many cases are lost because the patient/client failed to mention that the shoulder hurt, or was in pain. The pain may not be the most significant pain from the accident, and therefore is overlooked.
When a Shoulder Replacement Needs to be Considered
Shoulder impingement results when there is some compression of the rotator cuff tendon[s]. The compression can occur as a result of a traumatic event, such as an accident, or it is a result of a gradual process, like a rope fraying as it is being rubbed. In a shoulder impingement the tendon is being rubbed, and if your condition is not properly treated or addressed it can ultimately result in a tear, i.e. a torn rotator cuff.
When the tendon is inflamed, due to the continued rubbing, it is called tendonitis. In the rotator cuff (the area of the group of muscles that controls the movement of the shoulder) is a lubricating sack, called a bursa. There are many bursa sacks in the body, principally where a tendon rubs over a bone. The bursa acts like a lubricating fluid to help the rubbing, so it is less frictional, and smooth. When it becomes inflamed, then this is a condition called “bursitis”. It can become inflamed because of an impingement.
These three conditions, shoulder impingement, bursitis, and tendonitis, can occur as a result of similar conditions, and are often referred to interchangeably.
Shoulder impingements (along with tendinitis and bursitis) are treated with anti inflammatory medications, rest, ice, and injections. If these do not work then surgery is considered. The surgery can result in the removal of part of the bone, called the acromion. This surgery is called an “acromioplasty”. This is done to create more room for the movement, and reduce, or eliminate the inflammation.
Never Settle a Shoulder Injury Quickly
This is the type of case where many inexperienced lawyers (and those who are not experienced trial attorneys) settle cases far to quickly, and for much less than what they are actually worth. My name is Rivers Morrell and after more than 40 years of experience with these types of injuries I can tell you it is important not to settle the case until the full extent of the injury as well as it’s short and long term impact are known.
I invite you to review the strong recommendations of our clients and the legal industry and contact us or call to speak with me personally for a free consultation at (949) 305-1400. Shoulder injuries require an experienced and proven personal injury attorney with extensive trial experience.