page updated: March 2, 2022
soft tissue injuries
Soft tissue injury cases are some of the hardest to go to trial for and to get fair settlements from. This is because of new “get tough” tactics used by insurance companies who do everything they can to deny soft tissue injury claims and limit room for insurance adjusters to negotiate on settlements.
This means incredibly low initial settlement offers and a refusal to exceed these low amounts with cases sent directly to litigation with the insurance company’s attorneys.
This article will help you understand:
♦ What do we mean by soft tissue?
♦ what is a soft tissue injury?
♦ How long does it take to recover from these injuries?
♦ Can I have soft tissue damage in my back after a car accident?
♦ how you can prove your case and maximize your soft tissue injury claim in court
Read more below for helpful and informative information on how you can maximize your soft tissue injury compensation.
symptoms of soft tissue injury
I was in a car accident, do I have a soft tissue injury? You may be wondering if your pain is a soft tissue injury. The first thing you should know is what is soft tissue injury damage to identify if you have this type of injury.
what is soft tissue damage?
The soft tissue of the body includes fat, muscles, blood vessels, tendons, nerves, and really all the tissue that surrounds the joints and bones.
This means it can cause pain in the ankles, knees, joints, wrists, and just about every part of the body.
thus, soft tissue is found in all parts of the body, including things like the heart, which are not classified as bone. soft tissue will include:
♦ blood vessels
♦ lymphatic vessels
symptoms of soft tissue damage
Your question now may be whether or not you have a soft tissue injury after your car accident. Since these types of injuries can affect almost any part of the body, there are many symptoms that she is likely to feel.
Some of the more common symptoms that may indicate you have a soft tissue injury include:
♦ muscle spasms
♦ pain and swelling
♦ inability to bear any weight
♦ muscle weakness
♦ limitations in your range of motion
♦ muscle cramps
However, it is important to know that you need immediate medical attention and evaluation to know what injury you have and exactly what soft tissue injury your car accident caused so that there is concrete documentation. This way, if a jury needs to decide your case, they will have all the evidence they need to make a full and fair assessment of the seriousness of your injuries.
common soft tissue injuries
It is important to note that soft tissue damage can affect any part of the body because soft tissue is found everywhere in the body. This means that from the ankles to the neck and everything in between, soft tissue can be damaged in an accident.
ligaments connect the bones and vessels of the body. these are distributed over the legs, arms, back, chest, and neck, as well as other parts of the body. soft tissue injuries after a car accident tend to affect these ligaments detrimentally.
ligament injuries can, as a consequence, cause tears and damage to the nerves that are connected to the tissue. The impact of an accident can cause the ligaments that hold vital bones together, such as those in the knee, to weaken and become disconnected or torn.
A torn ligament can mean your knees, wrists, and ankles are weakened because the very muscles that hold them together are traumatically damaged.
This pain can radiate from where the injury occurred to adjacent parts of the body creating large amounts of general pain.
Injury to the tendons is called tendonitis and occurs when there is inflammation in the tendons. tendons are found in fingers, elbows, wrists, and many other parts of the body.
In an accident, these can be injured by the force of the accident, through a sudden change in speed, and then cause painful swelling that causes immobility and chronic pain.
This injury can cause you to have a popping sound when you move the injured body part, general difficulty moving, as well as swelling, pain, and tenderness.
injury to the tendons can become debilitating, as this is often seen in cases of soft tissue injury after car accidents with trauma to the shoulder leading to the inability to raise the arms above the head, making daily tasks seem impossible without excruciating pain.
strains and sprains
The fact that these soft tissue elements are throughout the body means that major areas of the torso and neck are often affected by these injuries. this includes strains and sprains in the neck, upper back, and lower back.
Sprains and strains are due to impact trauma in car accidents stretching muscles abnormally and beyond their normal stretching capacity, and in sudden stretching faster than is reasonably tolerable by your body .
Pain like this and injuries to the soft tissues of these parts of the body require immediate medical attention because not only are they slow to develop, but they are also often difficult to see even with diagnostic tools.
This means that while sprains and strains are painful and often debilitating, they won’t show up easily on tests. however, a doctor can tell you the extent of these injuries and what treatment you should receive to help you recover and manage your pain.
Bursitis occurs when there is trauma to the soft tissue of the knee or other areas that have a bursa sac in a car accident. When there is irritation or inflammation of the bursa in the knee, shoulder, elbows, etc., it affects the ability to move the legs without severe pain.
the bursa sac normally allows the knee or shoulder or other areas with this sac to move and the fluid in the sac ensures that the bones, muscles and tendons in the area rub together easily without pain from friction .
Some of the damage to your soft tissue after a car accident may take time to appear.
For example, a lipoma is a fatty tumor that can form just under the skin. this is a slow-growing tumor and recent research has shown that this can actually occur due to soft tissue injury.
Therefore, a soft tissue injury can have both immediate injuries and those that develop over time due to the impact sustained in a car accident.
Myalgia is pain that can be felt in a single muscle or a group of muscles after a car accident. myalgia causes widespread, deep muscle pain that can be constant or intermittent, with either severe pain or dull pain.
Myalgia may also be accompanied by other symptoms, such as joint pain in the affected areas, fatigue, and chills. the debilitating nature of myalgia also often leads to depression due to the constant nature of the pain.
Tenosynovitis occurs when there is inflammation in the sheath that surrounds the tendons. these are filled with a fluid and when damaged, cause swelling, stiffness, and pain.
This painful condition commonly affects the feet, wrists, hands, and any other part of the body that has this fluid-filled sheath that protects the tendons.
This is damaged in a car accident, making common daily tasks incredibly painful with sharp pains that make mobility nearly impossible without constant discomfort.
The MCL is also known as the medial collateral ligament and is located on the inside of the knee. When you’re in a car accident, this ligament can be damaged because during an accident your knee bends and moves in unnatural positions and speeds.
Similar to an anterior cruciate ligament injury, a medial medial ligament tear can cause symptoms such as:
♦ swollen knee
♦ discomfort or sharp pain
♦ inability to stand up
♦ pain when walking
treatments of soft tissue injuries
Soft tissue damage requires a variety of treatments, but many have similar underlying actions but vary in intensity depending on the severity of the original injury.
Some treatments may offer immediate relief, while others may only help manage pain and teach you how to adjust to your new injury, as the results of the injury may be permanent.
In many cases, such as shoulder, knee, or elbow injuries, surgery may be the only option to offer long-term pain relief and a return to normalcy.
Tears and tears in the tendons and connective tissues may require surgery and there may be weeks or months of inactivity before it returns to normal. This unfortunately means a lot of lost wages and medical bills that the insurance company will try not to pay you, even if it was caused by the car accident.
Physiotherapy is a common course of action after a soft tissue injury. this may be a treatment on its own or along with surgery.
Physical therapy can help you recover from your injuries as well as strengthen the tendons and muscles that were injured in your car accident.
rest and immobilization
One approach to treating milder cases of soft tissue damage is to focus on resting and keeping the injured area immobilized long enough to ensure you have time to recover.
This means plenty of rest, wearing compression tools like braces, and using combinations of heat and ice to treat the affected area. keeping certain areas elevated and staying off your feet can also help ensure you don’t injure yourself further and help control pain.
Prospects for recovery from soft tissue injuries
Soft tissue injury recovery times and outlooks vary depending on the degree or severity of the injury. These types of injuries are divided into grade 1, grade 2 and grade 3 injuries.
A grade 1 injury is the mildest case of a soft tissue injury and can usually be recovered quickly. these are faster to heal because they typically only include injuries to about 10% of the damaged muscle or ligament group.
With non-invasive treatments such as rest, compression, and icing, as well as over-the-counter medications, recovery from these types of injuries can typically occur within a few days or, at most, a few weeks.
A grade two injury takes a little longer and has a recovery time of a few weeks to a little over a month. These soft tissue injuries involve 10% to 90% of the tear and damage to the ligament or tendon, which means a longer recovery time and more treatment, such as cortisone injections and physical therapy, is needed.
A grade 3 injury is the most serious and means a very long prospect of recovery that will be followed by injections to control inflammation, long periods of immobility and rest, as well as the need for longer physical therapy and potentially invasive surgery.
In this degree of injury, 90-100% of the ligament of the muscle is injured, meaning there is a complete tear and rupture of the muscle or ligament.
This degree can severely immobilize you and mean a long road to recovery and potentially permanent alteration to the affected area.
test your soft tissue injury
soft tissue injury claims are some of the most difficult to file due to insurance company denials for these injuries.
Because of this, soft tissue injury settlements become difficult to obtain and require you to document your injuries and losses as much as possible to ensure you receive a soft tissue injury insurance settlement that is equitable considering what happened.
Here are some steps to take that will help ensure the insurance company doesn’t mislead you into getting a fair settlement for a soft tissue injury claim:
♦ take pictures of the accident scene
♦ keep copies of all test results and medical appointments
♦ Track and save all notes and medical records
♦ Keep a pain diary and keep track of all limitations and events influenced by the accident (talk to a lawyer first before doing this)
♦ Insist and keep copies of imaging tests and results
♦ contact your employer and document all work missed due to your injury
♦ do not miss your follow-up and treatment appointments with physiotherapy doctors
Keep reading to see what the average settlements are in soft tissue injury cases.
Resolution rates for cases of soft tissue injuries
Insurance claims for soft tissue injuries can be difficult to obtain, but they are not impossible. Although insurance companies have a habit of making a low initial offer on soft tissue injury settlements and often only give one offer, there have been cases where there have been fair and equitable payouts.
Insurance payouts for soft tissue injuries are often minimal because insurance companies use computers to generate an amount based on generic information that doesn’t take into consideration you or the specific events of your life.
Despite this, with competent representation, average insurance settlements for soft tissue injury cases have averaged between $10,000 and $20,000 for soft tissue injuries such as ankle injuries and tissue sprains and strains. soft related to the neck and back.
The attorneys on our team have secured recoveries of $30,000, $50,000 and $200,000 for clients with soft tissue injuries. In short, who your attorney is makes a big difference.
increasing your soft tissue injury insurance settlement
can you increase your specific clearance for soft tissue injuries? Is there anything I can do to improve your payment?
The answer is yes, and it will depend on how well you can prove to the insurance company that you are likely to win your case if it goes to trial.
Insurance companies don’t like going to trial any more than you do because it’s a long, slow process. however, if they think they can win and avoid paying you, they will meet you in court with their attorneys.
You can also show the insurance company that you have a strong case by obtaining testimony from a competent medical professional who has experience treating patients with soft tissue injuries. That, combined with corroborating evidence of how your injuries have damaged your life, will go a long way in helping the jury assess the full value of your damages.
examples of verdicts & settlements
Verdict: $30,000. Plaintiff’s vehicle was struck from behind while stopped in the driveway of a shopping center waiting to make a right turn. as a result of being rear-ended, plaintiff sustained soft tissue damage to her cervical tissue, which resulted in the need for medical treatment. a verdict was entered to compensate for both medical damages and pain and suffering, both past and future pain and suffering.
Verdict: $100,000.00 While at a traffic light, plaintiff was struck by a driver who ran a red light. Plaintiff’s car was struck and caused soft tissue damage to his neck that required medical attention, including rehabilitation. case was settled to cover both past and future medical expenses, as well as coverage for pain and suffering incurred in the accident.
Verdict: $348,685.00 Plaintiff’s vehicle was rear ended while stopped at a red light by an uninsured driver. the plaintiff was awarded medical damages close to $100,000.00 and was also able to recover economic and non-economic damages suffered during the accident, as well as future losses.
Verdict: $106,000.00 While running a green light, plaintiff was struck at the intersection by an underinsured driver. The case was settled with the insurance company, however, the insurance company did not cover the losses suffered by the plaintiff in the accident. the plaintiff got the case settled later in court to cover medical damages as well as pain and suffering.
questions and answers about soft tissue injuries
How much do insurance companies settle soft tissue injury cases for?
Insurance companies tend to reduce cases of soft tissue damage. They will initially offer you between $2,500 and $10,000 for your case.
soft tissue cases can be worth more than this. You’ll have to fight to make sure you get the value you deserve from your settlement, which will require making a case for why you’re right and why the defendant was at fault for your injury.
Is it important to prove fault in a soft tissue injury case?
yes. It is very important in soft tissue injury cases to prove who was at fault in the case. These cases require this to be convincingly proven because it will affect the likelihood that you will win your case and get the settlement you deserve. When liability is in dispute, the value of your case is compromised and you may get less for your honest injuries.
will my soft tissue injury prevent me from working?
yes, it could be. Soft tissue injuries, no matter how serious, will prevent you from doing your normal activities, including work, for a period of time. This limitation on his life can range from a few days to a few months, depending on his injury and recovery time.
Are treatments for soft tissue injuries invasive?
yes and no. this will depend on the treatment you need, which in turn depends on the different degrees of soft tissue damage and which one you have suffered.
Some of the treatments for these injuries are less invasive than others, such as the use of compression braces and the application of ice to the affected areas, while others, such as injections into the muscles and surgery, as well as physical therapy, can indeed be invasive and harsh.
Is soft tissue damage a serious injury?
Yes, these are serious injuries and require close attention to both diagnosis and treatment. As proof, I will mention that a large body of literature supports the fact that approximately 40% of soft tissue injuries resulting from car accidents are permanent. Don’t sweep these injuries under the rug!
If a soft tissue injury is not identified in a timely manner, the injury will only worsen over time, making recovery more difficult and, in some cases, impossible. therefore, it is important to take these injuries seriously and get treatment as soon as possible.
is a grade 3 soft tissue injury serious?
yes, a grade 3 soft tissue injury is the most serious of all soft tissue injuries. this level of damage means that the tendon or ligament in question has been completely destroyed and ruptured, requiring prolonged recovery time and invasive treatment to improve.
Los Angeles Soft Tissue Insurance Claims Attorneys
Soft tissue injury claims are unique in that they are an uphill battle with insurance companies using many tools to ensure you get the lowest settlement possible in the event of a claim.
Insurance companies consistently refuse to fairly compensate auto accident victims with soft tissue injuries. insurance companies will fight hard to deprive you of compensation that barely covers your medical costs and lost wages, much less your pain and suffering.
If you suffered a soft tissue injury from a car accident, let us fight the insurance company for you. Call, email, or message our Los Angeles personal injury team using the contact form below 24/7 for your free consultation and learn how we can help.
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