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Should I Worry About Shoulder Pain After a Crash?

woman with shoulder injuryFeeling shoulder pain after a crash is not uncommon. When your body gets jolted around during a collision, it may cause your entire body, including your shoulder, to feel sore. However, sometimes, that pain in your shoulder may be a serious injury.

At Jay Trucks, we have been representing accident victims for a long time. We have seen many types of injuries from car crashes, including shoulder pain. Unfortunately, shoulder injuries may often be internal, so you may not always see visible damage. However, there are some specific symptoms that may alert you that something more serious is going on.

If you were injured in a crash caused by another driver, we encourage you to seek legal help. In addition to your no-fault benefits, you may be eligible to seek additional compensation for your injuries and other losses. Our experienced auto accident lawyers in Grand Rapids are ready to help, and you our intake staff is available 24/7 to take your call.

Call 989-244-0356 for your FREE case review.

What Are Some Common Causes of Shoulder Pain After a Crash?

Shoulder pain after a crash may mean only slight discomfort for some victims. However, for others, the pain could be disabling and the result of a severe injury.

There could be many reasons for your shoulder pain after a crash, including:


After a car crash, especially if you were rear-ended, whiplash is a very common injury. This is because the force of getting hit from behind causes your head to be suddenly thrust forward and back. This whip-like motion causes pain and soreness in your neck. However, when severe, it may radiate down and cause pain in one or both shoulders.

Dislocated Shoulder

The impact of a car crash can easily cause victims to suffer a dislocated shoulder. This type of injury can be extremely painful. If the victim does not get treated, the muscle damage and resulting pain could become chronic.

Soft-Tissue Damage

More often than not, shoulder pain after a crash could indicate some type of soft-tissue injury. This injury may sound minor, but for some crash victims, surgery may be necessary. One common soft-tissue injury of the shoulder is a SLAP tear. This injury indicates the labrum (the cartilage ring surrounding the shoulder joint) has suffered a tear. The soft tissue surrounding your shoulder joint provides stability. It is attached to other ligaments in the area to help facilitate flexibility and proper movement of the shoulder.

Torn Rotator Cuff

The rotator cuff is the part of your shoulder that helps you to lift and rotate your arm. There are four muscles that collectively attach your humerus to your shoulder blade. If you tear your rotator cuff, you may feel pain when rotating your arm or lifting anything. You may also feel pain when lying on your injured shoulder.


The impact of a car crash may sometimes result in one or more fractures in the shoulder area. For instance, you could fracture your humerus, clavicle or collarbone. In addition to feeling pain, fracturing any of these bones could result in bruising, swelling and decreased range of motion.

What Symptoms May Indicate a Serious Shoulder Injury After a Crash?

The only way to know if you suffered a severe shoulder injury or other serious harm after a crash is to seek immediate medical care. Even if you cannot see an injury with your eyes, internal damage can be seen through diagnostic imaging.

These symptoms are common and may indicate a more severe shoulder injury:

  • Limited or decreased range of motion
  • Severe burning or shooting pain
  • Bruising around the shoulder area
  • Extreme tenderness
  • Knotting or stiffness in the joint
  • Feeling burning, tingling or numbness
  • Sudden onset of weakness
  • Feeling a cracking sensation with movement

When you seek emergency medical care after a crash, it is helpful to be specific when you describe your injuries to the doctor.

How Do You Seek Compensation for a Shoulder Injury in a No-Fault State?

In Michigan, often the first step after seeking medical care to stabilize your injuries is to file your claim for no-fault benefits. Your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance will pay for your medical costs and provide other benefits up to your coverage limits.

Is it Possible to Sue for Excess Damages?

If you exhaust your PIP coverage or your insurer denies or limits payment for your damages, you may have other legal options for compensation. Every claim is unique, however, and there may be other requirements, such as the state’s injury threshold, you may have to meet. Our law firm is prepared help you seek excess damages that may be available to help your recovery.

Contact Our Law Firm for Legal Help You Can Trust

At Jay Trucks, we are dedicated to helping injured victims get the help they need after a car crash. We have been representing crash victims for decades and recovered more than $500 million for our clients during that time.

If you need legal help after a car crash in Michigan, we are prepared to help you get maximum compensation for your injuries and other losses. There are deadlines that apply, so we strongly encourage you to set up your free case review as soon after your crash as possible. There is no upfront cost if you choose to hire our firm, and we do not get paid our fees unless we win your case.

Local Lawyers. Proven Results. 989-244-0356