Soft tissue injuries are quite common after a car accident. These are injuries that involve damage to the tendons, ligaments, or muscles. They can include whiplash, bruises, micro-tears, contusions, muscle strain, sprains, and stress fractures. What makes soft tissue injuries trickier than other types of injuries is that they may not show up on an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI. At The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC, California soft tissue injury lawyer Travis G. Black previously worked in insurance, and he understands how adjusters evaluate catastrophic injury claims.
Pursuing Compensation for Soft Tissue Injuries
In pop culture, many people are familiar with the idea of a person who fakes whiplash by putting on a collar and then turning the neck when a sudden sound is made. This scenario has caused many people to be skeptical about soft tissue injuries until they actually suffer one. Since they do not necessarily show up on imaging as a broken bone does, it can be hard to evaluate the extent of the injury and how long the plaintiff will experience pain from it.
Untreated soft tissue injuries may become worse. Often, they are suffered for years after an accident, and they may take a long time to heal. For example, when a driver rear-ends your car, the quick forward and backward motion of your head can result in strain on your neck tendons, ligaments, and muscles. This is known as whiplash. Whiplash can be excruciating over the long term and can even affect discs in the spine.
Our California personal injury lawyers know that it is easy for an insurance adjuster to believe that a plaintiff is exaggerating a soft tissue injury. Therefore, you should document the pain that you are feeling from the first day. You can keep a diary of these injuries, recording the symptoms on a daily basis until the problem goes away. You should also be sure to explain to a treating doctor or ER physician the facts that gave rise to your soft tissue injury, whether it arose from a car accident or a fall from a height on someone else’s property.
To recover damages for a soft tissue injury, you will likely need to establish negligence. This involves proving the defendant’s duty to you, a breach of duty, causation, and actual damages. The defendant’s duty will vary based on the context of the accident. All drivers owe a duty to use reasonable care while on the road to avoid injuries to others. Property owners owe a duty to make reasonable inspections of their property and provide adequate warnings about dangerous conditions to avoid injuries to lawful visitors. A trucking company owes a duty to conduct a background check of a tractor-trailer driver and make sure that the driver is adequately trained in such matters as wide turns and dealing with jackknifing.
Damages for soft tissue injuries can vary dramatically. They can cover both tangible and intangible losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, mental anguish, household services, loss of consortium, pain and suffering, and out-of-pocket expenses.
You should obtain treatment for soft tissue injuries as soon as possible and follow the doctor’s recommendations, such as pursuing follow-up care, taking a medication, or going to physical therapy. If you do not follow the doctor’s recommendations, and as a result your injuries worsen, the insurer can argue that you failed to mitigate your damages. Mitigating your damages means taking steps to reduce your harm and costs.