A car accident, slip and fall, or another type of accident could cause a variety of personal injuries. Doctors classify these injuries according to the body system involved: skeletal, muscular, nervous, circulatory, etc. An injury impacting the skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments rather than the bones is a soft-tissue injury. You may hear the phrase soft-tissue injury in comparison with bone fractures (hard-tissue injuries). Understanding the differences between the two from a physical and legal perspective could help you with your injury claim.
Types of Soft-Tissue Injuries
The soft tissues are those that connect, surround and support the body’s other parts and organs. It can include the muscular system, dermis, fascia, nerves, blood vessels, fat, ligaments and tendons. Many types of accidents can cause soft-tissue injuries. Some of the most common are falls, auto accidents, sports incidents, overuse of a muscle and abuse. Overuse, physical activity and acute trauma could all lead to different soft-tissue injuries.
- Pulled muscle
- Sprained or strained muscle
- Torn or stretched ligament
- Back strain
- Tennis elbow
- Pulled hamstring
A victim might notice the symptoms of a soft-tissue injury immediately, such as with a dislocation or sprain, or the effects might happen more slowly over time. Bending the back the same way day after day in a warehouse, for example, could wear out the muscles and ligaments used over time. Eventually, the worker might notice symptoms of an overuse injury, such as a sore or strained back. The victim may be eligible for financial compensation for his or her soft-tissue injury.
How Long Does it Take a Soft-Tissue Injury to Heal?
A soft-tissue injury could be major or minor. A minor soft-tissue injury may heal on its own within a few days or weeks. A more significant soft-tissue injury, however, could require medical treatments, take months to heal or never fully dissipate. An injured muscle or ligament may inflict chronic pain and long-term suffering. It could also limit mobility and range of motion, causing a permanent disability. The prognosis and healing timeline for your soft-tissue injury depends on your unique circumstances.
Can You Recover Compensation for a Soft-Tissue Injury?
The civil courts in Nebraska classify soft-tissue injuries as injuries you can be compensated for. You could receive financial recovery from the person or party that caused your soft-tissue injury through a civil claim. Be careful not to assume you have no injuries after a traumatic accident. A soft-tissue injury might have hidden symptoms, especially with the pain-masking effects of adrenaline. If you tell police officers or insurance adjusters you have no injuries, this could hurt your chances of obtaining compensation if you discover soft-tissue injuries such as whiplash or a slipped disk in your back later.
Tell those who ask after an accident that you are not sure whether you have injuries yet. Then, see a doctor for a checkup. Pay attention to how you feel in the days following an accident. A soft-tissue injury may present symptoms such as feeling sore, stiff, achy, numb or tingly hours or days after a traumatic accident. The injury could also cause bruising or swelling. If you notice any symptoms of a potential injury, go to a doctor for a diagnosis. Then, start documenting your injury to build a claim.
It can be more difficult to prove a soft-tissue injury than a hard-tissue injury. While an injury such as a bone fracture will show up on an x-ray, soft-tissue injuries generally will not. Write down any sensations or pain you feel in an injury diary to document your experience. Keep copies of medical statements, records, documents and bills. Then, hire an attorney to help you prove your soft-tissue injury and related damages during a claim. Your lawyer can hire experts, reconstruct the crash and take other steps to help demonstrate a soft-tissue injury to an insurance company or jury. A Omaha personal injury attorney can help you fight for fair compensation for a soft-tissue injury.