What is a Soft Tissue Injury?
Thousands of people are hurt in car accidents every year in New York. These injuries range from small bruises and scratches to catastrophic injuries such as amputations, paralysis, and more. One of the most common, and most overlooked, injuries after a crash involve the soft tissues in the body. Unlike other injuries, such as broken bones, soft tissue injuries are not always evident after a crash, but they can have serious consequences, including chronic pain.
Recovering from a soft tissue injury can take a long time, and some conditions may require extensive physiotherapy and multiple surgeries. Most soft tissue injuries will significantly impact the lives of accident victims. If you have been in an accident and sustained a soft tissue injury, it is important to act quickly so you can recover the financial compensation you need for your medical expenses. An experienced New York City soft tissue injury can prove the seriousness of your injury, even when it is not visible.
What is a Soft Tissue Injury?
Any injury that affects the tendons, ligaments, or muscles is considered a soft tissue injury. The soft tissues are very important for the body to function. They work in the following ways:
- The muscles of the body allow a person to move, talk, walk, chew, and perform other bodily functions by connecting the joints together. Torn muscles are extremely painful and can greatly limit a person’s movements.
- Ligaments provide stability by connecting the bones together.
- Tendons connect bones to the muscle, which allows them to contract.
Any type of soft tissue injury will place great limitations on your range of motion. Even the smallest tasks will require an increased physical effort and you may find it very difficult to move.
Common Soft Tissue Injuries
Any time the soft tissues in the body are damaged, it can result in serious injury. However, there are some soft tissue injuries that are more commonly seen after an accident than others. These include:
- Whiplash: A person will suffer from whiplash if their head and neck move violently back and forth during a crash. This will cause damage to the ligaments, nerves, muscles, and spinal discs. Whiplash can cause accident victims pain for many days, weeks, and even months. The injury is most commonly seen in rear-end collisions.
- Contusion: Another name for a contusion is a bruise, but they are often very serious. A contusion occurs when a muscle is impacted severely enough that the fibers and connective structures are crushed, causing pain and bleeding around the lesion. During a crash, victims are often thrown against the steering wheel and other parts of the vehicle, resulting in contusions.
- Sprains: Any time a ligament is overstretched, it can result in a sprain, which tears the ligament either partially or completely. Sprains cause pain and swelling in the affected joint. Sometimes, sprains require only a few days of rest while other times surgery may be necessary.
- Strains: Strains are very similar to sprains, with the only difference being that strains affect the tendons, not the ligaments. Strains typically occur in the legs, back, feet, and neck and they can cause swelling, pain, and muscle spasms.
- Tendinitis: Tendinitis occurs when the tendons are inflamed or irritated. In this situation, tenderness and pain can be felt surrounding the affected joint. Tendinitis can affect any of the tendons, but the condition is most common in the elbows, shoulders, knees, wrists, and heels.
- Bursitis: When the small, fluid-filled sacs known as the bursa are inflamed, it results in a condition known as bursitis. Bursitis most commonly occurs in the elbow, shoulder, and hip and flare-ups are quite common even after a person has received the necessary medical treatment.
- Herniated discs: The spine is made up of small bones and between those bones are small, jelly-like discs. When one of these discs slips out of place, it is considered herniated. Regardless of the area of the spine that suffers a herniated disc, it can irritate surrounding nerves, causing numbness, discomfort, and weakness in the arm or leg, depending on where the injury is located.
Any soft tissue injury has the potential to become very serious. It is critical to seek medical treatment right away so the injuries do not become worse.
Treating a Soft Tissue Injury
Soft tissue issues do not always manifest right away but when they do, they are extremely painful. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation, known as the RICE approach, is the most common type of treatment for these injuries. Still, it is important to see a doctor that can assess the injuries and recommend the most appropriate treatment. When a soft tissue injury is serious, surgery and physical therapy are required, which can take months to complete.
Claiming Damages for Soft Tissue Injuries
After an accident, you can file a claim for damages or losses you sustained, including soft tissue injuries. However, soft tissue injuries are not as visible as other types of injuries, making them harder to prove. Medical documentation is important evidence that can help prove your case, as are photos and videos from the accident scene.
Due to the fact that soft tissue injuries do not always present themselves right away, it is also critical that you visit a doctor if you feel any new pain. A New York City car accident lawyer can collect the necessary evidence to prove your case so you can claim the full settlement you deserve.
Our Car Accident Lawyer in NYC Can Help You Claim Damages for Soft Tissue Injuries
You can claim damages for your soft tissue injuries after an accident, but claiming the fair compensation you deserve is not easy. At Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C., our NYC car accident lawyer will take the necessary steps to prove your case and secure the fair compensation you deserve. Call us today at 1-877-ASK4SAM or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation so we can advise you of your legal options.