Soft tissue injuries may not seem as serious as broken bones, but the damage caused to muscles, tendons, and ligaments can sometimes be long-lasting, even permanent in severe cases. Despite initially appearing minor, soft tissue damage like strains and sprains may lead to chronic pain, limitation of movement, or other ongoing issues.
In order to ensure the best course of action for victims of auto accidents who experience such bodily injuries, it’s wise to consult with an experienced car accident attorney.
By evaluating your case and determining how severe your injury is, Vaughan & Vaughan can help you file a claim so that you obtain fair compensation based on your diagnosis.
Classifying Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries can be divided into three distinct categories. These include acute, repetitive strain, and cumulative trauma.
Acute Soft Tissue Injuries
Acute soft tissue injuries are usually caused by a sudden force or blow to the body, often producing complete or partial tearing of ligaments, muscles, or tendons. Common examples of acute soft tissue injury include tears and sprains in ligaments of the knee, shoulder, and ankle joint, as well as muscle strains and pulled hamstrings.
Repetitive strain injuries, on the other hand, are cumulative in nature, resulting from multiple applications of force over an extended period of time. Wrist pain caused by using a computer mouse for long hours is one such example of a repetitive strain injury.
Finally, cumulative trauma injuries result from frequent exposure to a single forceful event, such as prolonged hammering with too much force in construction work or from the impact of a car accident.
Soft Tissue Damage Frequently Caused by Car Accidents
Here are some of the most common types of soft tissue damage that can occur in a car accident:
- Whiplash: This refers to an injury of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck caused by rapid back-and-forth motion, like in a rear-end collision. It can lead to chronic neck pain.
- Back strains: The sudden jolt or impact in an accident can overstretch and tear muscles and ligaments in the lower back. This is a frequent injury complaint.
- Shoulder injuries: Injuries like rotator cuff tears or impingement can happen when the shoulder forcefully hits the door frame or seatbelt during the crash from improper impact distribution.
- Knee injuries: Jarring or twisting forces on the knees can damage ligaments like the ACL/PCL or menisci, sometimes requiring surgery if torn.
- Tendinitis: Repeated strain on tendons connecting muscles to the bone from the accident mechanics can lead to inflammatory conditions like tennis or golfer’s elbow over time.
- Hip injuries: The powerful impact can sap or sprain hip joint ligaments like the iliofemoral ligament, causing instability and internal bruising.
Proper medical treatment is needed right away to prevent permanent soft tissue damage from any such injuries sustained.
Indications of Soft Tissue Damage
Here are some common indications that someone may have a soft tissue injury after a car accident:
- Pain, swelling, bruising, or tenderness in injured areas like the neck, back, shoulders, hips, or knees. Pain can range from mild to severe.
- Muscle spasms, knots, or tightness in injured muscles around joints.
- Difficulty or limited range of motion when trying to move the injured body part.
- Stiffness or decreased flexibility, particularly after rest or inactivity. Injured tissues may feel inflamed.
- Instability, weakness, or giving way sensation in joints if ligaments have been compromised.
- Headache, nausea, or difficulty concentrating if there has been whiplash or concussion involving the neck and head.
- Sensations like pins and needles, numbness, or tingling radiating from injured soft tissues.
- Tendon or bone injuries may cause clicking, popping, or grinding sounds when moving.
- Pain worsens with activities that stress the injured area, like lifting, bending, sitting, or standing for long periods.
- Pain or discomfort persists longer than a few weeks rather than subsiding.
Unfortunately, soft tissue damage can often go undiagnosed if not cared for properly. This is why it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention after any kind of auto accident – even if no outwardly physical signs are readily detectable.
Diagnostic imaging such as X-ray or MRI can be used to assess internal injuries if necessary. If something doesn’t feel right after a crash, consulting with doctors who specialize in soft-tissue injuries is highly encouraged so you can be properly evaluated and establish a medical record of your accident-related injuries.
Seeking medical assessment right away can help diagnose and properly treat soft tissue injuries before they potentially become permanent.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me Seek Compensation for Permanent Soft Tissue Damage Sustained?
A personal injury lawyer with our firm can pursue compensation for your soft tissue injuries through insurance claims negotiation or lawsuits if needed. We can gather medical records and have you examined by specialists to prove the extent and permanence of your damage.
Experienced car accident attorneys understand what evidence is required to show long-term disability, pain, and reduced quality of life resulting from permanent injuries. We will determine liability for the accident and negotiate strongly with at-fault parties’ insurance on your behalf, presenting proper documentation to demand fair value for your current and future suffering.
Learn More About Permanent Soft Tissue Damage and How a Lawyer Can Help You
Soft tissue injuries can severely impact your life if not properly addressed. Seeking qualified legal assistance after a car accident can help you achieve fair compensation for your suffering and allow proper medical care going forward.
Don’t struggle alone. The personal injury lawyers of Vaughan & Vaughan understand the long-term consequences and can be your advocate as we help you pursue your claim. If you’ve sustained permanent soft tissue damage, learning more about your options may provide some relief. We are available to discuss your case and help get the answers you need. Contact us today.