Joint Dislocations Stemming from Negligence-related Traffic Wrecks

As Baltimore personal injury attorneys, the staff at the law offices of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, knows that many activities in daily life can place an individual in a position of being injured. And while many injuries received as a consequence of everyday activities are minor and in no way life-threatening, others do have the potential for extreme pain and discomfort, if not death in extreme cases.

Furthermore, being Maryland automobile and commercial truck accident lawyers, we also know that traffic collisions present one of the more frequent causes of bodily injury, both serious and fatal in nature. Whether one is hurt in a car crash at a local intersection not far from home, or in a multi-vehicle accident during the commute to work on the beltway, interstate or high-speed rural route wrecks happen quite often, and the results can be very severe.

As with all types of roadway collisions, the drivers and passengers of smaller passenger cars tend to fare worse than those in larger, more massive (or heavier) vehicles -- and there is certainly no comparison when considering the outcome of a road accident involving a motorcycle and a larger SUVs and commercial vehicles. Regardless of the reasons or circumstances, the injuries received by occupants of cars and trucks caught up traffic collisions are real and need attention as soon as possible.

As personal injury claims experts, Lebowitz & Mzhen can assist victims in filing an auto injury lawsuit by investigating all aspects of the collision, obtaining police reports and statements from first-hand eyewitnesses of the crash, then narrowing down the list of responsible parties to be named in the suit. We document how the collision occurred and what happened post-crash in order to determine with whom the liability should be placed. By factoring in the victim’s medical costs and financial losses, plus quantifying his or her pain and suffering, we prepare our clients’ cases accordingly.

While injuries sustained in car accidents can vary widely, there are often a range of medical problems associated with any one crash; some are simple and can be recovered from easily, others can be much more serious and may require weeks, months or years of treatment and rehabilitation. In the middle ground are those painful, yet not life-altering injuries. Dislocated joints are one of these areas of bodily injury that fit into this general category.

Dislocated shoulders and other related injuries are common results of serious traffic wrecks. Shoulder dislocations can occur when the humerus is separated from the scapula at the glenohumeral joint due to a severe impact to the victim’s upper body. Although the shoulder is designed to provide the greatest range of motion of any joint in the human body, its ability to move and flex an any number of directions also makes it susceptible to complete and partial dislocation (or what physicians call “subluxation”).

So prone to injury as the shoulder joint is, in fact, that these kinds of injuries make up about half of all major joint dislocations treated in hospital emergency rooms throughout the country. Nearly all of shoulder dislocations (about 95 percent) are “anterior” dislocations; and most of these are what doctors describe as “sub-coracoid.” There are others -- including, subclavicular, sub-glenoid – but these are much less common to anterior-type dislocations, which are typically the result of a direct blow to a person’s outstretched arm.

In a car crash, victims who experience anterior shoulder dislocation may have tried to brace themselves for the impact, during which the force of the collision caused the dislocation. Following a crash, victims suffering from an anterior dislocation of the shoulder may be seen holding their arm in an externally rotated and slightly abducted orientation.

Despite being the most frequently dislocated joint of the body, a shoulder dislocation can be a very painful event. Part of the pain and discomfort, both during and after treatment, is due to the resulting stretching -- and in some cases, tearing -- of the associated ligaments; those fibrous tissues that join the bones of the shoulder to the muscles. Tears in the ligaments can often complicate the treatment of and recovery from a shoulder dislocation.

Other trauma to the shoulder can also take place in a violent traffic collision. Aside from shoulder dislocations and separations, fractures of the bones that make up the shoulder -- the scapula, or shoulder blade; clavicle, or collar bone; and humerus; arm bone -- are known to result from high-speed car and truck crashes. The following is a brief list of typical shoulder injuries that can result from a severe traffic accident:

  • Fractures of the clavicle, proximal humerus and scapula
  • Dislocation of the acromioclavicular joint (collar bone joint), which is known more commonly as a shoulder separation
  • Dislocations of the sternoclavicular joint or the glenohumeral joint
  • Torn ligaments, tendons and muscles, etc., also referred to as soft-tissue injuries

Symptoms of a dislocation of the shoulder include pain across the top of the shoulder; a bump or prominence toward the upper portion of the shoulder; and the sensation that something is sticking or protruding up on the shoulder. In terms of shoulder fractures, symptoms can include pain, swelling and bruising; an inability of the patient to move his or her shoulder, sometimes accompanied by a grinding sensation; and outward visual appearance of not “looking right.”

As personal injury experts, Lebowitz & Mzhen understand the complexity of medical problems from joint dislocations resulting from a side-impact car crash to traumatic brain injury resulting from a head-on collision with a commercial truck. We understand the law and know when and where a personal injury claim can be filed against a negligent driver or other party.

With every auto accident case that we take on, the lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen look at all aspects of the car or motorcycle crash that resulted in the victim’s injury or death. It is not uncommon for important details to come to light only after the investigation of the crash has begun. During the post-crash investigation, using police accident reports, first-hand witness accounts and other information from the scene of the accident, our legal team studies and discovers causes of the collision and process in which the accident happened, all of which typically points to the responsible party(s).

As Maryland personal injury lawyers, we keep in mind the physical pain and discomfort experienced by the victim(s), as well as the total cost of medical treatments to date and the potential future costs of further medical procedures, rehab and long-term care. Because being badly injured in a car or truck accident can affect not only the victim, but his or her family, immediately following a crash and sometimes for years to come, we highly recommend consulting a skilled auto injury attorney.

At Lebowitz & Mzhen, our legal experts can assist victims recover accident-related medical and rehabilitation costs, plus any other monetary damages such as lost wages. As experienced trial attorneys, we prepare every case as though it will be fought in a court of law. And, although not every case is settled out-of-court, the level of case preparation can influence whether or not a named defendant in a personal injury case may opt to settle without a trial due to the strength of the facts.

If you have been hurt or badly injured in a car, truck or motorcycle accident, we suggest that you speak with a skilled injury attorney who has years of litigation experience in traffic accident negligence cases. Whether the case is an injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit, our Maryland auto accident lawyers are prepared to discuss the details with you. Phone our offices toll free at (800) 654-1949 to set up an appointment; or contact Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen by email to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.