Soft tissue injuries are probably the most common injuries suffered in motor vehicle accidents. They can result in both low and high speed impacts. When victims experience soft tissue injuries to their necks, the injury is often described as a whiplash injury. Soft tissue injuries to any part of the body are ordinarily caused by a rapid and sometimes traumatic change of direction of that body part. Tendons, ligaments and muscles are affected. There are two types of soft tissue injuries. Some are acute, and they might last for six or eight weeks after a crash. Others are chronic, and they can affect a person for a lifetime.
Typical soft tissue injuries from a motor vehicle collision
When a person suffers a soft tissue injury, the affected area swells and forms a natural splint around it to immobilize and protect it. This splinting can cause considerable pain and discomfort while also restricting range of motion. Classic examples of soft tissue injuries can include:
- Tearing of ligaments that are commonly called strains. These usually occur in the spine. They cause its anatomical structure to move beyond its ordinary range of motion. That results in spinal pain, stiffness and discomfort.
- Sprains are more serious than strains. They occur in joints when they’re overextended. Typical symptoms of a sprain are muscle spasm and weakness, swelling and loss of range of motion of the joint.
- Contusions are bruises that result from direct trauma. Blood pools beneath the skin, and the pooling becomes visible in the form of a bruise. Muscle fibers and connective tissues are crushed. A typical auto accident contusion might be a seatbelt bruise across a person’s chest and waist.
What to do Sometimes symptoms of soft tissue injuries don’t manifest themselves for a day or two, but you’ll want to begin treating for them right away. Conservative treatment would include ibuprofen along with rest, ice, electronic muscle stimulation and stretching exercises. You don’t want a long delay in treatment. The opposing insurer will attack your credibility and allege that either you’re faking an injury or malingering with a slight and insignificant injury. It will raise the same issue if it sees gaps in treatment too, so be sure to attend all of your appointments for treatment. If you experience blurred vision or extremity tingling, numbness or pain, get to an emergency room right away, and then come see us. You could have something more serious than an acute soft tissue injury.
Proving soft tissue injuries
Unlike a fractured arm or leg, you’re not going to be able to put an x-ray of a soft tissue injury on a flash box for a jury to see. A specialist might be in a better position to treat the injury while also documenting the nature and extent of your condition with the medical records that you need to prove your case. Those records are critical to proving any soft tissue injury case. The people who surround you in your life like family, friends and those you work with see how your soft tissue injury affects you too. Their testimony about how you’ve changed since your accident can be instrumental.
Only a skilled and experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer is capable of helping you seek financial compensation that’s consistent with the nature and extent of your injury. If you try to do that on your own, the opposing insurance company has you right where they want you. You’ll make significant mistakes that will profoundly affect your case.
If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle collision anywhere in or around Los Angeles, contact our offices right away for a free consultation and case evaluation. No legal fees are due unless we obtain compensation for you.