Last Updated: 4/6/2023

Adhesive capsulitis is a condition characterized by pain and stiffness in the shoulder. More colloquially referred to as ‘frozen shoulder syndrome,’ a possible cause of adhesive capsulitis is trauma from a car accident that causes an injury and inflammation in the shoulder.

The following takes a look at frozen shoulder syndrome, signs and symptoms of the condition, treatment and recovery time, and compensation available to victims of a frozen shoulder injury from a car accident.

What is frozen shoulder syndrome?

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons describes the hallmark sign of frozen shoulder as being unable to move the shoulder. Over time, the shoulder starts to “freeze,” beginning with limited mobility and transitioning into severe stiffness and pain, where even daily activities are challenging.

One of the main causes of frozen shoulder syndrome is immobilization from surgery or treatment for a shoulder injury. For example, a victim of a car accident may suffer trauma to the shoulder during the car accident, leading to a shoulder dislocation. The shoulder dislocation may require surgery, which in turn requires immobilization during the recovery time. Prolonged immobilization of the shoulder can contribute frozen shoulder syndrome.

Signs and Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder

The most obvious sign of frozen shoulder syndrome, as mentioned above, is the inability to move the shoulder. The lack of mobility is typically also accompanied by pain, either dull or aching. This pain is usually concentrated in the shoulder, but can also extend down the upper arm.

A medical professional can diagnose frozen shoulder by performing a physical examination as well as imaging tests.

Treatment for Frozen Shoulder

According to, doctors may use a series of both nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) and steroid injections to treat pain for frozen shoulder. In addition to injections, doctors may recommend physical therapy to rehabilitate the shoulder and increase mobility. If intense physical therapy and injection aren’t effective, then the patient may require surgery.

Treatment for a frozen shoulder is lengthy. A patient may need up to a year to fully rehabilitate the shoulder. If not treated, the condition may persist even longer.

Compensation for a Frozen Shoulder Injury

If you sustained frozen shoulder syndrome as a result of car accident injuries, you may be able to file a personal injury claim for compensation if another party is to blame.

Iowa is an at-fault insurance state. You may file a claim with your own no-fault coverage if you have it, but your main source for recovering damages is usually the at-fault driver’s liability insurance. You must file a lawsuit within two years, so get started right away. If you fail to file within this time period, you may not be able to recover any compensation for the injury and related damages.

The types of compensation that you may be able to recover for a frozen shoulder injury includes the cost of your medical expenses, lost wages you suffered as a result, and more. Iowa’s negligence laws will also affect how much compensation you are able to collect.

As this can be a long-term complication of an injury, it’s important to work with your doctor and attorney to evaluate the long-term effects. Doing so allows you to better understand the damages you may pursue in your insurance claim or lawsuit.

How an Iowa Attorney Can Help

At Walker, Billingsley & Bair, our attorneys are passionate about defending car accident victims. If you need legal help or aren’t sure how to recover compensation for your frozen shoulder injury, we are ready to assist you. By calling us today, you can set up a free case consultation and get answers to all of your difficult legal questions. To begin now, reach our offices at (888) 435-9886 or fill out our contact form.

Corey Walker
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With over 28 years legal experience, Corey has been recognized for his work as an injury attorney.