From minor accidents to head-on collisions, being involved in a car accident can leave vehicle occupants with long-lasting injuries. Some of the most common car accident injuries are soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash or muscle tears. If you sustained soft tissue injuries from a car accident, you may not need to shoulder the financial burden of medical treatment, lost income, and emotional distress. A seasoned attorney by your side, fighting to maximize your settlement, may assist you in getting compensation to cover those expenses. Consider scheduling a free consultation with a personal injury attorney at Stufano Law by calling (914) 752-7746 to discuss the details of your case and how you can start a soft tissue injury claim.
What Is Considered a Soft Tissue Injury in a Car Accident?
A large percentage of the human body is made up of soft tissue, which includes the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. This tissue helps to keep the body mobile and protects bones and joints from impact. Soft tissue injuries occur when the individual fibers become stretched, torn, or inflamed. Generally, soft tissue is more vulnerable to damage compared to bones and joints.
What Causes Soft Tissue Injuries in Car Accidents?
Soft tissue injuries are common in car accidents, primarily because of the force of impact that occupants in the vehicle may experience. Even in a minor car accident, the force can violently jolt victims within the vehicle. This irregular motion may stretch soft tissue beyond its typical range of motion, resulting in partial or complete tears. The force of the impact can also cause damage to the blood cells within the soft tissue.
Common Soft Tissue Injuries From Car Accident
Some of the most common complaints resulting from soft tissue injuries that individuals sustained in car accidents include:
- Strains and sprains. Occurring when a ligament is stretched or torn, car accident-related strains and sprains are characterized by pain, bruising, inflexibility, and/or inflammation in the affected area.
- Bulges and Herniations: Abnormal protrusions or ruptures in soft tissue, potentially causing nerve compression and related symptoms.
- Whiplash. One of the most common injuries, whiplash happens when the head suddenly snaps forward, causing pain and cognitive issues.
- Contusions. Contusions are more commonly known as bruises, occurring when the capillaries or blood vessels are damaged, causing blood to leak into the surrounding tissue. Contusions may indicate a more serious injury like sprains or strains.
- Concussions. A type of head injury, concussions can be very dangerous. Concussions are characterized by memory loss, confusion, or loss of speech.
- Lacerations. Between shattered glass, road debris, and loose objects striking the body during impact, cuts and gashes are highly common in car accidents.
- Bursitis. Several parts of the body have a bursa sac that allows for pain-free movement. If trauma affects the bursa sac in the knee or shoulder, for example, the individual may struggle to move parts of their body without intense pain.
- Myalgia. Soft tissue injuries may cause myalgia, or soreness and achiness in the muscles. Myalgia pain can be severe and impact the person’s ability to work and perform routine activities.
How Long Does Soft Tissue Damage Take To Heal After a Car Accident?
Healing from a soft tissue injury can take a great deal of time. These injuries often begin as acute, with symptoms including pain, swelling, and even bleeding in the first few days. With proper rest and medication, symptoms will usually subside, and the injury will begin to heal. In some cases, however, surgery may be required to repair serious damage or relieve long-term pain. If an individual is still in pain and struggling to recover three months or more after the car accident, they may be experiencing a chronic condition. Persistent numbness, loss of function, and prolonged pain are all symptoms of a chronic health issue.
After sustaining a soft tissue injury, it is important to seek medical attention and document both symptoms and any visible signs of the injuries. Once the accident victim has begun treatment, they may want to speak with an experienced New York personal injury attorney at Stufano Law to discuss whether they may be able to collect damages to compensate for the losses, such as the costs of medical treatment, occasioned by the soft tissue injuries from car accident.
How Much Can You Claim for Soft Tissue Injury?
The amount an individual can claim for their soft tissue injury varies widely based on the severity of the injury, the impact the injury has on their life, and the details of the specific insurance policies involved. Generally, the more severe the injury and the more extensive the treatment required, the greater the total amount of the car accident injury claim is likely to be. If surgery was required to treat the injury and the person now struggles with limited mobility of a limb, they may be able to claim more for your soft tissue injury from car accident than would someone whose injuries healed quickly, without complications or long-term symptoms.
Under CVP § 1411, New York is a pure comparative negligence state, which means the damages someone can collect after an accident will depend on their percentage of fault. If an individual is considered 30% at fault for the accident, for example, their recovery will be limited accordingly. Given the nature of soft tissue injuries, it is often more difficult to prove the extent of the damage inflicted when compared to bony fracture injuries. This circumstance can in turn lead insurance companies to underestimate the pain someone is feeling. As a result, they may deny or reduce the value of the claim if sufficient evidence is not included in the claim.
What Is a Fair Settlement for Soft Tissue Injury?
While it can be difficult to succeed with a soft tissue injury claim, appropriate documentation can make the goal more attainable. An individual’s settlement amount will depend on their economic and non-economic damages, as well as the overall strength of their evidence. If they required surgery for their soft tissue injury, for example, a person may receive more in their settlement. Likewise, if they were required to miss work for several months, a greater settlement may be required to compensate for those losses.
Consider Contacting Stufano Law Today
While soft tissue injuries may not always be visible, they are just as serious as other injuries. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to obtain compensation for soft tissue injuries. With the right legal representation in your corner, you can pursue full compensation for soft tissue injuries from a car accident. To learn more about how the team of experienced New York personal injury attorneys at Stufano Law may be able to assist car accident injury victims, consider scheduling a free consultation with them by calling (914) 752-7746 today.