The AC joint can be injured in a car accident. Generally speaking, the ligaments that support the AC joint can be injured in an auto accident. Sometimes, AC joint separation is also known as “shoulder separation.” The AC joint is formed where the clavicle and the scapular area meet. It’s generally in the highest part of the shoulder. The two bones that form the shoulder attach by a ligament that can be damaged. Sometimes there is damage to the muscle as well.
The AC joint is most often injured when there is direct contact the shoulder. Some insurance companies will doubt the AC joint injury if there is no evidence of direct impact to the shoulder. However, with the proper medical diagnosis, medical documentation, and the absence of joint separation in previous medical records, some insurance companies can be convinced that the AC joint injury was from the accident. They will doubt it at first in my experience, questioning the “mechanism of injury.”
Symptoms can include pain in the collarbone area that spreads through the shoulder. Sometimes there is swelling where the joint has been disrupted. Often there is pain when moving the shoulders, especially when trying to raise the arms high above the shoulders. Therefore, it is possible to have AC shoulder joint separation from an accident. Just make sure you tell all your doctors so that your injury can be well-documented. This isn’t the time to take a “wait and see” approach.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,