Have You Sustained A Soft Tissue Injury In Fort Myers?
Soft tissue injuries involve tissues — tendons, ligaments, nerves, and muscles — rather than bones. They can be very painful, may result in surgery and physical therapy, and take a long time to heal. They are not as visible as broken bones, and often cannot be seen with the naked eye. Soft tissue injuries do not generally show up using typical medical diagnostic equipment, such as x-ray machines or MRIs, and are therefore harder to document with objective medical evidence. Many insurance companies are skeptical of soft tissue injury claims, downplay the intensity of the pain described by the victim, and offer extremely low settlements. If you’ve suffered this type of damage in an accident in Fort Myers, call a soft tissue injury lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer with experience dealing with these injuries and first-hand knowledge of typical insurance company strategies and defenses will give you the best chance to prove your claim, file a successful personal injury lawsuit, preserve your rights, and maximize any financial settlement to which you may be entitled. Do not make the mistake of trying to go through the process of filing a claim or lawsuit alone.
Common Types Of Soft Tissue Injuries
There are two basic types of soft tissue injuries: acute and overuse/overexertion injuries.
ACUTE SOFT TISSUE INJURIES
Acute soft tissue injuries occur from a sudden trauma, such as a motor vehicle accident, slip, twist, or fall. This type of injury presents as a sprain, strain, or contusion (bruise). Whiplash is a very common soft tissue injury that can occur as a result of a car accident.
OVERUSE SOFT TISSUE INJURIES
Overuse soft tissue injuries occur from overuse or overexertion of a particular body part, and are very common in sports. They are also caused by repetitive motion over a long period of time during which the injury does not have time to heal between repetitions, such as a long-time carpenter hammering nails into wood, or a professional carpet layer kicking in a carpet. The repetitive motion usually results in tendonitis or bursitis in the knees, ankles, or wrist. Soft tissue injuries from overexertion include those caused by lifting something that’s heavy, carrying it, pulling or pushing it, holding it, and throwing it, and often result in back or leg strains.
What Are The Different Degrees Of Soft Tissue Injuries?
Sprains and strains are two of the most common type of soft tissue injuries. They are given a grade based on the severity of the tissue damage.
Grade 1 sprain/strain – minor injury, usually resolved by following the RICE protocol (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)
Grade 2 sprain/strain – moderate injury with 10%-90% tissue damage, moderate pain, some rehabilitation or physical therapy
Grade 3 sprain/strain – severe injury with 90%-100% tissue damage, pain, loss of function, possible surgery, long-term rehabilitation, and physical therapy to return to pre-injury function
What Types Of Accidents Result In Soft Tissue Injuries?
Rear-end car collisions and falls often result in neck sprains and strains, including whiplash, and are the #1 reported soft tissue injuries reported in insurance claims. Whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), there were 805,581 whiplash injuries recorded as a result of car accidents over a 12-year period; 272,000 of the whiplash injuries occurred in rear-end collisions. Whiplash can cause mild neck or shoulder pain, back pain, headache, or dizziness due to a mild muscle strain or minor tearing of soft tissue. Serious whiplash injuries can include nerve damage, ligament ruptures in the neck, fractures of neck vertebrae, and disc damage. These types of whiplash injuries cause considerable pain, medical intervention, and multiple visits to doctors, specialists, and therapists. They can take a very long time – even years – to heal.
Many workplace injuries are soft tissue injuries. The Liberty Mutual Insurance Company’s annual Workplace Safety Index identified the top causes of serious non-fatal workplace injuries as injuries from overexertion, falling on the same level or to a lower level, being struck by an object such as falling materials, and work-related motor vehicle highway accidents.
Who Is Responsible For A Soft Tissue Injury?
If you are in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence and you suffered a soft tissue injury, you should contact a knowledgeable attorney to discuss the circumstances of your situation and whether filing a claim or personal injury lawsuit is appropriate. Your lawyer will guide you through the complicated processes, explain what is needed to substantiate your claim, help you compile the necessary medical documentation, and ensure that you meet all deadlines and appearances. If your injury was due to a property owner’s negligence, such as a cracked sidewalk in front of a store that caused you to slip and fall, your attorney will help you file a legal claim for compensation to cover medical bills and lost wages.
The victim of a soft tissue injury can pursue two different paths: a personal injury claim or an injury lawsuit against the negligent party.
In an injury claim, the victim files a claim with an insurance company. The claim might be against the auto insurance company, a professional liability policy, or a homeowner’s or property holder’s insurance company.
An injury lawsuit is pursued if a settlement cannot be reached with the insurance company. This is a much more complicated process and involves an independent investigation of the circumstances leading to the injury, discovery, depositions, negotiations, and a trial.
The best advice — DO NOT WAIT. Call a skilled soft tissue lawyer as soon as possible after suffering an injury.