NJ Shoulder Injury Attorneys
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The shoulder is what's referred to as a ball-and-socket joint, the most moveable type of joint in the human body. Unfortunately, the shoulder's mobility also makes it particularly vulnerable to injury. Many shoulder injuries, like rotator cuff injuries, can occur as the result of repetitive motions, like house painting or throwing a baseball; but they can also be the result of accidents, such as slip-and-falls, car crashes, and workplace accidents.
Shoulder injuries of all types can be quite painful and take a long time to heal. They can result in expensive medical treatments and a significant amount of missed work. If your shoulder injury was the result of negligence, carelessness, or the intentional act of another party, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. To get the settlement you deserve, it is vital that you consult an accomplished NJ personal injury attorney. The legal team at the Princeton office of Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., has been successfully representing New Jersey injury victims for over 25 years. We will use our knowledge and experience gleaned from past cases on your claim. Call (609) 240-0040 today for a free case evaluation.
Because the shoulder joint is so moveable, it is used in many daily activities: picking up a child, cleaning and dusting, stocking shelves, pounding in nails, playing sports, even brushing one's own hair. If you've suffered a serious shoulder injury, you may find many of your daily tasks painful and difficult to perform. If you wish to perform the mundane tasks that an uninjured person doesn't think twice about, you may need extensive medical treatment.
Shoulder injuries can be treated in a variety of ways, depending on the type and severity of the injury. Some shoulder injuries will require heat and ice therapy, while others will require extensive physical therapy, involving cortisone injections, ultrasound treatments, and much more. Injuries like rotator cuff tears often require surgery that will take at least six months to fully recover from. In older patients, complete recovery may be impossible due to natural deterioration of the tendons involved.
While a fairly wide range of injuries can occur, a few particular ones are more common in the shoulder than others. Many of these can be caused simply by using one's arm over time, but often a serious accident will either aggravate or damage the shoulder. Some of the common types of injuries include:
- Rotator cuff tear: The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, where the top of the arm connects to the scapula and collarbone. Tears in these muscles can result in loss of mobility, pain, and difficulty sleeping and performing daily tasks. Muscle tears require a great deal of time to recover and often involve surgery and ongoing physical therapy.
- Shoulder impingement: Impingement refers to something that happens when the top of the shoulder blade places pressure on the soft tissues beneath it. This becomes most noticeable when moving the arm up and down and can result in other serious issues, such as tendinitis and rotator cuff tearing. Treatment for impingement is very important to avoid additional shoulder injuries and problems.
- Rotator cuff tendinitis: Tendinitis is inflammation or irritation of tendons, which connect muscles to bones. The tendons in the rotator cuff handle a great deal of stress and strain over a person's life. While regular activity, especially sports, can cause tendinitis in the rotator cuff, serious accidents can cause sudden inflammation of the tendons. This can be quite painful and often makes it difficult to sleep, but more importantly it can lead to tendon tears and other complications if not treated promptly.
- Tendon tears: Minor tears are quite common for active people, especially as we get older. Traumatic injuries, such as being struck by a vehicle or falling down stairs, can result in sudden and very serious tendon tears. Minor tears can heal with home remedies and care, but serious tears require medical treatment, including surgery. Without treatment, torn tendons can greatly limit mobility and make it difficult to raise or use the injured arm.
- Dislocated shoulder: In a complete shoulder dislocation, the "ball" of the upper arm bone completely comes out of the "cup" of the shoulder socket. Dislocations can be very painful and seriously impact mobility, often requiring medical attention to repair. Even worse, once dislocation occurs, damage to the tendons and muscles around the joint makes it easier for dislocations to happen again in the future. This creates long-term problems, often the result of a sudden impact or accident. Shoulder instability: Also called subluxation, or a partial dislocation, shoulder instability means the ball at the top of the arm has partially come free from the socket but not completely. While not quite as serious as total dislocation, it can become worse if not treated and is often accompanied by tendon or muscle tears. Instability can cause pain and make moving the arm difficult, and partial dislocation can easily lead to total dislocation if it is not treated properly.
- Fractures: When one or more bones of the shoulder are broken, usually due to a sudden impact, such as from a vehicle accident or fall. The bones of the shoulder include the clavicle (collarbone), scapula (shoulder blade behind the shoulder), and humerus (bone of the upper arm). Medical treatment is required to properly heal a fracture and the injury can cause serious pain and limited mobility.
Depending on the severity of your injury and the treatment prescribed for it, you may be entitled to compensation for any of the following:
- Medical bills, including current bills, future bills related to the injury, and the costs of physical therapy and rehabilitation.
- Pain and suffering.
- Lost wages, if the injury prevented you from performing your regular work duties while recovering.
- Household and vehicle modifications, or special services, if needed, while recovering (as mentioned earlier, shoulder injuries can affect your ability to perform everyday tasks).
- Permanent injury or disability.
- Hedonic damages for loss of joy of life, if the injury will prevent you from participating in activities you once enjoyed (such as sports, painting, or woodworking).
While we know that you would prefer to have never been injured in the first place, we don't have the ability to turn back time. What we can do is get you a settlement that will offset the losses your injury will cost you. Call the New Jersey shoulder injury lawyers at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., to begin your road to recovery. Call (609) 240-0040 for a free consultation.
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