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Collarbone Injuries From Seat Belt Complications

Road accidents can have severe impacts on your health and general well-being. Due to the life-saving capabilities of seatbelts, we are advised to wear them no matter the distance of travel.

Despite their safety features, seatbelts have equally caused significant damage to those who use them. The most common type of injury is damage to the collarbone. So how does this happen?

Causes of Collarbone Injuries

The collarbone, also known as the clavicle, runs at the top of the torso, right under the skin. Due to its strategic position, a seat belt strap rests on it.

During an accident, the sudden impact caused by collisions could constrict the belt against your chest. If this pressure is excessive, it may injure your collarbone.

Symptoms of a Broken Collarbone

The following symptoms could point to a broken collarbone after an accident.

  • Increased pain with shoulder movement, often accompanied by grinding or crackling sounds.
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • A bulge on or near the shoulder
  • Bruising

Complications From Collarbone Injuries

Below are medical conditions you could suffer from after sustaining collarbone injuries:


Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition resulting from the breakdown of cartilage in the joints, subsequently causing increased friction.

Naturally, fractures in these regions could deteriorate the cartilage, especially if the recovery is incomplete—osteoarthritis results in joint pain, loss of motion, and weakness in the affected areas.

Nerve, Artery, or Vein Damage

The ends of a fractured collarbone can injure nerves and blood vessels around it. The jagged ends could damage the subclavian artery and recurrent laryngeal nerve.

It could result in paralysis, blood loss, or other severe conditions. Ensure you visit the hospital if you develop symptoms like numbness or coldness in your arm after a traumatic incident.

Bone Scarring

As the healing occurs, there is a need for new bone to grow to knit together fractured areas. Unfortunately, there is excessive bone growth sometimes, which results in a lump or bulge. For most people, the lumps disappear after some time, while others have them permanently.

Typically, this lump will not cause physical pain but could cause body image issues as it is visible right under the skin. Though rare, it could result in mental health issues like depression and dysphoria.

Poor or Delayed Healing

Severe fractures to the collarbone could take significant time to heal. In other instances, collarbones could fail to heal fully.  In addition, bone fusing following a fracture could cause a shorter collarbone. This type of injury could limit your range of motion and cause pain and soreness.

Treatment for a Broken Collarbone

Fractured clavicles can easily be treated with physiotherapy, restricted movements like a sling, and further medication, including painkillers. Unfortunately, severe fractures may require surgical intervention to fix the damage.



Recovery time for a collarbone injury may not be easy to estimate. Fortunately, you may be entitled to receive compensation from the at-fault party. This will hopefully make your recovery easier to face. “Injuries unfortunately are common in accidents, even when you take the necessary precautions, which is why reaching out to an experienced personal injury lawyer may be helpful.” says personal injury lawyer Jon Ostroff of Ostroff Injury Law.

Like every other product, seatbelts have a downside and are known to cause injuryto the shoulders and internal organs. Nevertheless, they are proven to save lives and should not be disregarded while driving. If you are injured from a seatbelt due to someone else’s fault, consider contacting the attorneys at Ostroff Injury Law for a free consultation.


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