Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are some of the most common suffered by those in an auto accident.
These injuries are frequently painful, long-lasting and sometimes even disabling. Unfortunately, they can also be somewhat difficult to prove, especially if the crash victim did not seek immediate medical attention. This happens all too often because soft-tissue injuries can stem from low-impact collisions, meaning there may not be a sense of urgency to obtain treatment.
The experienced Boston traffic collision attorneys at The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman understand well the dynamics of how crashes can result in serious soft tissue injuries, and the evidence necessary to prove it to the insurance company, a judge or jury.
Documentation is of central importance, and sometimes expert witness testimony is necessary.What Are Soft-Tissue Injuries?
Soft tissue injuries are characterized by damage done to the muscles, ligaments and tendons in the body, as opposed to bone damage.
These may include:
- Sprains. A stretch and/or tear of a ligament, the connective tissue from one bone to another.
- Strains. Injury to a muscle or tendon. Tendons are the cords of tissue attaching muscles to bones.
- Contusions. Bruising caused by a direct or repeated blow, crushing the muscle fiber and connective tissue without a break to the skin.
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the primary causes of soft tissue injuries.
Soft tissue injuries may include whiplash, which is injury to the neck and upper spine. They may also include damage to any limb or joint, such as the shoulder, knee, ankle, foot, elbow wrist or hands.Whiplash
Whiplash is a type of neck strain that occurs when there is a sudden force that stretches and/or tears the muscles and tendons in one’s neck.
The violent jerking motion that can occur in a car accident – even one that is low-speed, low-impact – can cause whiplash. Sufferers may not be immediately aware that they have incurred this injury until hours or even days later. This is why it’s so important to seek medical attention soon after an accident, even if you feel “fine.”
Symptoms of whiplash may include:
- Neck pain
- Decreased motion or tightness in the neck
- Muscles feel knotted or hard
- Pain when moving head back and forth or side-to-side
- Headache, usually at base of skull and moving toward the forehead
The kind of impact that causes whiplash can also sometimes result in a concussion, which is another reason it’s important to see a physician as soon as possible, especially if you are dizzy, nauseous, confused or very sleepy.
Whiplash injuries can occur in any type of crash, but they are especially common in in rear-end collisions, because the individual’s neck and back are thrown back and then forth in a whip-like motion.
Complications for this – and other forms of soft tissue injuries – can last for six months or more after a crash. Follow-up care, therapy and medication are often needed.Proving Soft-Tissue Injuries
When it comes to most other types of injuries, such as broken bones or lacerations, the damage is often immediately visible or apparent.
This is not always the case with soft-tissue injuries, but that does not make them any less real – or compensable.
However, in order for someone to be compensated for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering, these injuries must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. That means injury attorneys have to prove not only the existence of these injuries, but causation. That means showing the injury was in fact caused by the accident and not, for example, by repetitive motion or some other unrelated incident.
These injuries are usually not visible on an X-ray, MRIs or other diagnostic scans, which is why so many insurance companies express a great deal of skepticism about them. Most defense lawyers will argue the pain is being exaggerated or underscore the subjective nature of pain in order to limit liability.
Some of the ways our attorneys can help prove your case to the insurance company and/or the court:
- Your own sworn testimony. Unless a person’s credibility is challenged, early complaints of pain, stiffness and discomfort is usually taken into consideration.
- Testimony from friends, family and co-workers. These individuals can attest to the limitations plaintiff has suffered in the aftermath of the accident.
- Medical records. A thorough analysis presented with a succinct summary can help to boost your case.
- Expert witness testimony. This could be your own treating physician or surgeon. It could be an accident reconstructionist. It could be an outside expert hired to review medical records and offer their take on your injuries. Juries often give great weight to expert witness testimony, so it can be important.
Our legal team is committed to finding solutions to the many challenges in proving soft-tissue injuries. We have decades of experience negotiating with insurance companies and presenting such cases in court at trial.
Contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman today for a free and confidential consultation.
Call (617) 367-2900 – NO FEE UNLESS SUCCESSFUL