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Rotator Cuff Injury Lawyer

shoulder injury

The shoulder is comprised of two joints, the glenohumeral (GH) joint and the acromioclavicular (AC) joint. The GH joint is where the humeral head (ball) and the glenoid (socket) meet, whereas the AC joint is where the clavicle and the scapula meet. Four muscles make up the rotator cuff that originate along the scapula and insert onto the superior humeral head. These include the subscapularis, infraspinatus, supraspinatus, and teres minor that all work in tandem to stabilize the GH joint. An injury of the rotator cuff may range in severity from partial tears to tendinopathy and even complete tears. When considering a torn rotator cuff, extensive medical treatment and time away from work may be necessary for optimal patient outcomes.

Working with a personal injury lawyer in California will allow you to focus on recovering from a rotator cuff tear without the stress of dealing with difficult insurers. Get started today and receive free, friendly case advice from one of our accident attorneys at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.

At our personal injury law firm, we understand how frustrating and stressful it may be to get into an accident by means of a negligent party, particularly when traumatic injuries like a torn rotator cuff are involved. The claims process may be time-consuming and overwhelming for an injured party who is trying to make ends meet, all while dealing with medical bills, lost time at work, and other losses related to the incident. That is why our legal team wants to make the process as easy as possible for you and your family. We have handled cases like yours since 1982 and would like to put our knowledge, skills, and resources to work for you. We will help you recover the compensation you need to move forward and ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way.

What are the Common Causes of a Rotator Cuff Tear?

Injury and degeneration are the two main causes of a torn rotator cuff. This type of injury may occur because of blunt trauma to the shoulder, such as a motor vehicle collision. It may also happen when a person is involved in a slip and fall accident and lands on an outstretched arm. Conversely, tears of the rotator cuff may also be attributed to aging because of the degeneration of the tissues.

How Do You Know if You Tore Your Rotator Cuff?

The signs and symptoms of a tear of the rotator cuff may include:

  • Cracking sensation when the shoulder is moved in a specific position
  • Deep and dull aching in the shoulder
  • Difficulty reaching behind the back
  • Sleep disturbance, particularly when resting on the affected shoulder
  • Weakness when rotating or lifting the arm

It is essential to see a physician immediately if there are any experiences of weakness in the arm after an injury in an accident.

How is a Rotator Cuff Injury Classified?

A tear of the rotator cuff is generally classified by size. A small tear is classified as one under 1 centimeter, a medium tear ranges between one to three centimeters, a large tear is three to five centimeters, and a massive tear is over 5 centimeters. Physicians will utilize patient history, a physical exam, and imaging techniques to diagnose a rotator cuff tear and its severity.

How is a Rotator Cuff Tear Treated?

Most rotator cuff injury cases may be treated through non-surgical management. Conservative treatments like physical therapy, ice, and rest may be beneficial for recovery. Rehabilitative exercises are generally focused on the specific location of the injury to the rotator cuff to help restore the strength of the affected shoulder and flexibility.

If pain relief through conservative treatments is unsuccessful, a physician may recommend steroid injections. These are administered into the shoulder joint and are generally reserved for a patient who is experiencing pain that has interfered with daily activities, sleep, or rehabilitation.

Is Surgery Required for a Rotator Cuff Injury?

If a torn rotator cuff is severe, surgical intervention may be necessary. A tendon transfer may be recommended for a patient presenting with a torn tendon that is damaged beyond repair and cannot be reattached to the bone of the arm. In this procedure, a surgeon may utilize a tendon in a nearby area as a replacement. In arthroscopic tendon repair, a surgeon may insert tools and an arthroscope through small incisions. These will help the surgeon in reattaching the torn tendon back to the bone. Shoulder replacement may be reserved for a patient with a massive rotator cuff injury. In this case, a surgeon will perform reverse shoulder arthroplasty for improved stability of the artificial joint.

What are the Possible Complications of a Torn Rotator Cuff?

The complications of a torn rotator cuff may be based on intraoperative, postoperative, or patient-dependent factors. While rare, complications may still arise and may have considerable effects on patients. A tear of the rotator cuff may worsen without medical care. A patient may experience difficulty using the affected arm and chronic pain in the shoulder. A complete tear may make it challenging for the patient to move their arm.

Complications that may arise after a repair of a torn rotator cuff treated through non-operative management may include complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), stiffness, superficial infection, nerve damage, bone fracture, and venous thromboembolism. Some of the complications after rotator cuff repair through operative management may include chondrolysis, deltoid injury, failure of the artificial implant, infection, osteonecrosis, and a re-tear. As with any traumatic injury, prompt recognition and immediate treatment are crucial in the improvement of patient outcomes and reducing the long-term sequela.

Can You Seek Compensation for a Rotator Cuff Injury?

When the negligence of another party or entity causes harm to an individual, that person may have the right to take legal action. The process generally involves bringing a bodily injury claim against the insurance company representing the at-fault party. While no amount of money may undo the pain associated with a rotator cuff tear, a personal injury claim may help an injured party seek the financial recovery they need to ease the emotional, financial, and physical burdens in connection with the accident. This may help the injured person start the healing process and get their life back on track.

There are some situations where the at-fault party may not carry enough liability coverage or none at all to pay for damages incurred. This may place an injured person in a financial predicament, particularly when dealing with mounting medical expenses for the treatment of a torn rotator cuff and missed time at work for recovery. Fortunately, an injured party may seek recourse through their insurance plan if they have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM and UIM). This type of protection is optional to carry in California but is beneficial to those who have it. UM and UIM coverage may help pay for losses up to the limits of the policy if it has been proven that the other party has little to no liability insurance.

Can a Pre-Existing Condition Affect a Personal Injury Claim for a Torn Rotator Cuff?

A pre-existing condition is an injury or a health condition that existed before an individual was involved in a crash, such as a degenerative rotator cuff tear. While an injured party may not be compensated for a pre-existing health condition, there may be an exception if it can be proven that the incident has resulted in an aggravation of that condition. That is why it should not be a surprise that an insurance carrier will go to great lengths to claim that reported injuries were unrelated to the accident. If such defense tactics are successful, the insurer may downplay the value of the personal injury case or outright deny it.

Evidence that may be useful in a personal injury claim involving a pre-existing condition may include medical records from before and after the incident and statements from physicians who provided medical treatment to the injured party following the crash. Expert witnesses may also be useful in these cases as they may review medical records and the facts of the collision to provide testimony on how the incident has affected the injured party’s health condition and has aggravated it. With their assistance, an injury lawyer may ensure that demands for fair compensation are backed up with compelling evidence and testimony.

While an injured party may be entitled to financial recovery for accident-related injuries and any aggravations to pre-existing medical conditions, obtaining the compensation they need may be challenging. An insurance company will undoubtedly attempt to use a claimant’s health against them in an effort to pay as little as possible on a personal injury claim. The best course of action in such situations is to enlist the assistance of an experienced rotator cuff injury lawyer. For information on how to find the best accident attorney in your area to handle your case, watch this video.

What is the Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Lawsuit in California?

A statute of limitations is a restriction on the amount of time an injured party must bring a civil action. According to the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1, a claimant only has two years to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. The time limit generally starts on the date of the incident, and if the deadline is not met, the court may dismiss the case. As such, there may be exceptions to the statute of limitations in California. That is why it is essential to contact an attorney with years of experience handling injury cases to ensure that all filing criteria and deadlines are met accordingly.

Contact a Rotator Cuff Injury Attorney Today

Sustaining a traumatic injury such as a rotator cuff tear because of another party’s negligence may be stressful and overwhelming, to say the least. To make matters worse, an injured party may have to deal with difficult insurance companies looking to take advantage of their situation by paying as little as possible on their bodily injury claim. Parties injured in crashes caused by the negligent actions of others deserve to be fairly compensated for their losses under California law.

At AutoAccident.com, we have over three decades of experience handling a wide array of personal injury cases arising from accidents. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients and obtaining justice on their behalf. Our Sacramento-based law firm is here to help you and your family through this difficult time in your life. Give us a call today to learn more about our legal team and our services at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. We are available anytime to review your rotator cuff injury case and provide free, friendly advice on how to move forward.

Photograph Source: Pexels User "Ryutaro"

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