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Why is it Hard to Prove Soft-Tissue Claims After a Car Accident?

Posted on behalf of Anderson Cummings on Jan 06, 2023 in Auto Accidents

young woman with injured shoulderSoft-tissue injuries are very common after a car accident. However, when seeking compensation in an injury claim, many victims find it is extremely difficult to prove these damages without the help of a knowledgeable attorney.

Learn about soft-tissue injuries in car accident claims, including what evidence may be used to prove your case and help you recover compensation.

The attorneys at Anderson Cummings have extensive experience managing all types of car accident cases. We also have a strong history of proven results and have recovered hundreds of millions for our clients. Call our law offices anytime, night or day, to discuss your situation and learn if you have a case. This meeting carries no cost or risk to you.

Call Anderson Cummings at (817) 920-9000 for your FREE case review.

What is Soft Tissue in the Body?

Soft tissue is the connective and supportive material in your body that surrounds and protects things like your organs, bones and joints. Soft tissue includes your muscles, ligaments and tendons. Soft-tissue injuries occur as the result of trauma, such as from participating in a sport or being involved in a car crash. Often these injuries do not show any physical evidence of a wound, which is why they are often called invisible injuries. Visible or not, however, soft-tissue injuries can be severe and debilitating.

What Soft-Tissue Injuries Are Common to Car Accidents?

Those who experience a soft-tissue injury may not initially be aware they were hurt, especially if there is no visible bruising.Once symptoms become noticeable, victims are likely to experience a lot of pain, swelling and reduced mobility. Left untreated, these injuries are likely to become worse or lead to chronic pain issues.

Some of the most common soft-tissue injuries resulting from a car accident include:

Whiplash Injuries

Whiplash injuries are one of the most common soft-tissue injuries victims may suffer in a car accident. The name comes from the motion that occurs during the impact of a crash or when a driver suddenly slams on the brakes to try to avoid one. The injury, which causes mild to severe sprain and strain damage in the victim's neck, gets its name from the violent forward and back motion that follows - like the cracking of a whip. 

Contusions

While often contusions may visibly appear on the skin, they can also be internal. Most people think of bruises and contusions as being the same thing. Bruising may appear on your skin as “black and blue” marks. This type of injury may occur as the result of hitting something hard or something hard hitting you. This can cause the tiny blood vessels under your skin to tear and leak blood.

That said, even if a contusion does not leave a visible mark, you can still suffer pain and injuries internally in your muscles, organs and even your bones. These types of contusions can be very painful, but they are harder to detect and diagnose. They can also take a long time to fully heal.

Symptoms of a contusion may include:

  • Tenderness in the affected area
  • Pain that continues longer than a normal bruise would take to heal
  • Stiffness or swelling in the area
  • Reduced mobility when bending or using the injured area

Soft-Tissue Strains and Sprains

Sprains and strains are two different types of injuries, although many people may think otherwise.

With a sprain, the ligaments in your body may overstretch or tear. If this happens during a collision, the most noteable symptoms may include:

  • Swelling and inflammation
  • Reduced flexibility
  • Tenderness and soreness in the area (you could also have visible bruising)

A strain may also occur during the impact of a car accident. However, the injury will be to your tendons. The tendons are the soft tissue connecting your muscles to your bones or to other muscles. Lower back strains are extremely common in a car accident due to the sudden and violent jolt of an impact.

Symptoms of a soft-tissue strain may include:

  • Tenderness and soreness in the area
  • Some possible bruising
  • Swelling and inflammation
  • Muscle spasms
  • Reduced range of motion to the area
  • Inability to put weight on the affected area

Soft-Tissue Injuries to the Shoulder 

Soft-tissue injuries could cause shoulder impingement. You may know this injury more commonly as a rotator cuff tear. If you suffer this type of soft-tissue injury in a car crash, your range of motion in your shoulder may become severely restricted. For instance, you may not be able to reach your arms over your head or behind your back. You may also experience atypical weakness. Often this injury may require surgery.

Soft-Tissue Knee Injuries

Soft-tissue knee injuries, such as a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) or MCL (medial collateral ligament). These injuries can happen if your knees get bent in an unnatural position during the collision. Victims with these injuries may have swelling, pain and a feeling of pressure if you try to walk. Both an ACL and MCL injury cause the instability in the knee and while walking. Victims are also likely to have stiffness in the injured area. This injury will not heal on its own or without treatment. The good news is that a torn ACL or MCL should show up in an imaging test.

Why Are Soft-Tissue Injuries Hard to Prove in an Injury Claim?

The biggest problem with trying to prove a soft-tissue injury is that there is often no visible wound. While they may sometimes show up on an MRI diagnostic test, that is not always the case. Yet these injuries can cause victims to suffer from:

  • Chronic pain and stiffness - This can last for months to years after the original injury.
  • Invisible wounds – There are often no physical damages to give evidence of a wound.
  • Delayed symptoms – It may take hours to days for victims to feel pain and other symptoms in the affected area.

Unfortunately, the lack of a visible wound may cause the insurance company to attack your credibility. They may say that without any visible evidence of a wound, you have no claim at all. 

What Evidence is Needed to Prove a Soft-Tissue Claim?

Proving you were injured as a result of the at-fault party’s negligence is on you, however, that does not mean that you have to do it on your own. If you hire an experienced attorney, he or she will know what evidence you need to support your claim, and how to get it.

You can get started by providing these key items of evidence to help support your claim:

  • Medical records – We strongly urge you to seek medical care after a car crash and provide details of your injuries with the doctor treating you. Be sure to discuss your injuries clearly with the doctor, including where you are hurting and any other symptoms of stiffness, swelling and reduced range of motion. Protecting your health in this way is the top priority as it helps you get the treatment you need sooner. Your ER visit, diagnosis and treatment will get added to your medical records. This documentation helps provide evidence linking your injuries to the accident - which is critical for your claim. 
  • MRI Diagnostic tests – Diagnostic testing could help to reveal the physical evidence of your soft-tissue injuries.
  • Employment records – Be sure to have your employer provide records of the days you missed and the wages you lost due to this injury.
  • Create a pain journal – This type of journal is used to document the car accident, your injuries and the progress of your recovery. Entries should include details about the original crash, the diagnosis and your symptoms. You should also include daily entries about how the pain and reduced mobility is affecting your overall quality of life.

How Our Law Firm May Benefit Your Soft-Tissue Injury Claim

At Anderson Cummings, we are prepared to help you fight for full and fair compensation after suffering soft-tissue injuries resulting from another driver’s negligence.

If you are not sure if you have a case, you can find out at no cost or obligation to you. Simply call our law offices anytime, night or day, to request your free case review. Our vehicle crash lawyers in Fort Worth are knowledgeable and can answer any legal questions you may have in this meeting.

Call our firm to get started today, If we represent you, there are no upfront costs to pay.

Experienced Lawyers. Proven Results. (817) 920-9000