A car accident can inflict many different types of injuries on a victim, including both hard-tissue and soft-tissue injuries. While hard-tissue injuries, such as broken bones, may be immediately obvious, it often takes time to notice a soft-tissue injury after a car accident, especially when adrenaline is masking the pain. If you are diagnosed with a soft-tissue injury after a car accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
Common Soft-Tissue Injuries in Car Accidents
A soft-tissue injury refers to injury or damage to the body’s muscular system. It can encompass injuries to the muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissues. Common types of soft-tissue injuries are sprains and strains. A sprain means that a ligament has stretched or torn and can no longer properly support the body’s joints. A strain is a muscle or tendon injury.
Soft-tissue injuries that are frequently associated with automobile accidents include:
- Whiplash and other neck injuries. Whiplash is one of the most common types of soft-tissue injuries from car accidents. It happens when the forces of a car accident whip the head and neck rapidly backward and forward, stretching or tearing the soft tissues of the neck.
- Wrist and ankle sprains. Torn or stretched ligaments are most common around the body’s main joints, such as the wrists and ankles. These parts of the body are often sprained in car accidents due to their proximity to pedals and the steering wheel.
- Rotator cuff (shoulder) tears. A torn tendon or ligament in the rotator cuff could impede the stabilization and movement of the shoulder joint, making it painful to lift and rotate your arm. A rotator cuff may be partially or completely torn in a car accident.
- Back strains. A muscle in your back could suffer a strain from the gravitational forces exerted on your back and spinal cord in an auto accident. For example, you could pull or damage a muscle in the back-and-forth motion of the spine in a wreck. Back strain can cause pain, muscle spasms and immobility.
Many parts of the body can sustain a soft-tissue injury in a car wreck depending on the dynamics of the collision. The location and severity of your soft-tissue injury can determine the symptoms you experience, as well as the level of physical debilitation, if any.
Symptoms of a Soft-Tissue Injury
If you suffer any type of soft-tissue injury in a car accident, you may experience painful symptoms for days, weeks or longer. Where you notice the symptoms will depend on the area of the body that was injured in the accident. Always take a moment to check yourself for injuries in the immediate aftermath of an accident. The following symptoms may point to a soft-tissue injury:
- Swelling or inflammation
- Lost range of motion or immobility
- Muscle spasms
- Bruising or contusions
Some soft-tissue injuries are immediately apparent, while others come with delayed or hidden injuries that you might not notice right away. This is why it is important to tell a police officer and insurance company that you’re not sure whether you are injured after a car accident. Explain that you will be seeing a doctor. If you say you are not injured and discover a soft-tissue injury later, your original answer may be used against you.
Can You Recover Compensation for a Soft-Tissue Injury?
A soft-tissue injury can result in expensive medical bills and lost wages from having to take time away from work. Although most victims will fully recover from soft-tissue injuries with treatments such as rest, ice and elevation, some soft-tissue damage can be permanently debilitating or require invasive treatments, such as surgeries.
You may be eligible for financial compensation for all of your losses after suffering a soft-tissue injury in a car accident. If one or more parties caused or contributed to the crash, their insurance company may be financially responsible for your losses. To learn how to file a car accident injury claim in Omaha, Nebraska for a soft-tissue injury, contact an Omaha personal injury lawyer near you.