If you have suffered a shoulder injury in an accident that was caused by the negligence of someone else, you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim.
Shoulder Injury Symptoms and Causes
Prevention of Shoulder Injuries
Making a Shoulder Injury Claim
Shoulder Injury Compensation
Our Specialist Personal Injury Lawyers
Previous Shoulder Injury Cases
The shoulder is comprised of the clavicle (collar bone), scapula (shoulder blade) and humerus (bone of the upper arm), together with various muscles, tendons and ligaments. It has the most mobility of all the joints in the body, but this is at the cost of stability, making the shoulder more vulnerable to certain types of injury such as dislocation.
Some of the main types of shoulder injury include:
• Fractured shoulder
• Dislocated shoulder
• Fractured collar bone
• Dislocated collar bone
• Rotator cuff injuries
• Shoulder impingement
• Shoulder bruising
• Frozen shoulder
• Shoulder muscle injuries
• Shoulder tendon injuries
• Shoulder ligament injuries
• Damaged cartilage in the shoulder
Some shoulder injuries will be relatively minor, involving mild pain, stiffness, discomfort and minimal loss of function for up to a few weeks. Others however can be severe, requiring extensive treatment, medication, physiotherapy and often surgery. In some cases a total shoulder replacement may even be necessary.
There are cases where shoulder injuries can result in long term or permanent problems, causing chronic pain and restricted use of the arm, often affecting the sufferer’s ability to work or carry out their normal activities such as driving and hobbies.
A person suffering from a shoulder injury may experience some of the following symptoms:
• Shoulder pain
• Stiffness in the shoulder joint
• Shoulder swelling
• Restricted movement
• Weakness in the arm and shoulder
• Arm numbness
• Shoulder bruising
• Pain around the collar bone
Dependent upon the type of injury, the symptoms may be more noticeable at certain times. For example the pain may increase when the arm is raised, when pressure is applied or generally after movement. The symptoms may also be worse at certain times of day, i.e. stiffness may be worse first thing in the morning or swelling might increase by the end of the day.
There are many ways in which a shoulder injury can be caused. Some of the more common include lifting and manual handling accidents, road accidents, sports injuries, trauma from a blow to the shoulder and slips, trips and falls (particularly falls onto an outstretched hand).
Shoulder injuries can also be the result of medical negligence. For example a common birth injury is damage to the brachial plexus, or there may be injuries caused by a surgical error during an operation.
We will all suffer some form of injury at one time or another and many accidents cannot be avoided. Some can however, by taking simple steps to reduce the risk of accidents.
A great many shoulder injuries can be avoided by health and safety measures in the workplace including the employers carrying out risk assessments. This might include, for example, specific training for employees on manual handling tasks, providing lifting equipment, reducing the loads or erecting signs where there is a potential hazard. Local authorities should also ensure that pavements and other public areas are maintained to a safe standard to prevent unnecessary falls and drivers and other road users should act in accordance with the Highway Code.
If you have suffered a shoulder injury, there are some important steps that you should take. Where possible, ensure that the incident is recorded, for example by a member of staff if you are injured in a supermarket or shop, or by your employer if you suffer an injury at work. It is also a good idea to take photographs the scene of the accident (particularly if it occurred in a public place).
Prompt medical attention is essential if you believe you have been injured, so that you receive any treatment you require. This will also determine the nature of your injury and it will be noted on your medical records, which is helpful if you decide to make a personal injury claim. You should try to record as much information as possible about the accident and your injuries, including details of any witnesses, the date and time of the incident and any medical treatment that you have received. Remember to keep receipts for any injury related costs and expenses, as these may be useful in your claim.
In any personal injury claim, it is necessary to show that the person you are making a claim against owed you a duty of care, that they breached that duty of care (were negligent), and that the injury you sustained was a reasonably foreseeable consequence of that negligence. There may also be a breach of a statutory requirement or regulation. It is important to seek the advice and assistance of a specialist lawyer with extensive experience in recovering compensation for victims of back injuries. They can collate and prepare all of the necessary evidence to put forward the claim and deal with the matter on your behalf to achieve the best possible outcome.
There are two elements to a shoulder injury compensation award. The first, called general damages, is for the pain and suffering you have gone through and any loss of amenity (perhaps an inability to drive, look after your garden, go shopping). The award for loss of amenity can be for a short period after an accident or for ever if that is what the medical evidence supports.
The second element of a compensation award, for your losses and expenses, (known as special damages) aims to put you back in a position financially as if the accident had never occurred. It is important to keep receipts for any expenditure you have related to your shoulder injury so that these can be reclaimed.
In serious cases, where a person is no longer able to continue their employment, this can be taken into account. Costs for care, equipment, pain management treatment and physiotherapy, medications and painkillers, and transport can also affect the calculations. If the person is still able to work but not in the same role as before, particularly if they held a public service role such as a doctor or police officer, an extra amount may be awarded for loss of ‘congenial employment’. A court can also make a financial award to recognise that an injured worker's prospects on the open labour market may be limited.
Our lawyers have been assisting the victims of accidents in recovering injury compensation for over 90 years, from a network of offices throughout the UK.
They have an excellent record for securing high levels of damages in personal injury cases and will always work hard to provide you with the accident claim advice, guidance and assistance you need to achieve the best possible result in your case.
You can read details of some of the many shoulder injury compensation claims handled by our expert lawyers by following the links below, or visiting our personal injury news and client stories sections:
£57,000 in damages for shoulder injury and financial losses: In the course of his work our client was collecting recycling boxes from people’s homes. As he walked along a pathway between two houses, which was in a state of disrepair, he tripped suddenly on a raised paving slab. This caused him to fall and he suffered a personal injury.
The main injury was to our client’s shoulder, but he also suffered wounds to his elbow and knee. He was unable to attend work for a long period and eventually had to permanently change his job role altogether, as a result of which he incurred a considerable loss of earnings. He instructed our specialist personal injury lawyers to assist him in making a compensation claim against the local authority, who failed to ensure that the path was in a safe condition.
The case proceeded to court as the other side refused to negotiate a reasonable settlement and we secured over £57,000 in damages for the claimant. This sum was in respect of the pain and suffering caused by his shoulder injury and also his financial losses related to the incident, including his loss of past and future earnings.