A soft tissue injury is classified as damage to a person’s muscles, ligaments, or tendons. They can be caused by a sprain, strain, overuse, or a single impact to the body that results in a contusion (otherwise known as a bruise). They are injuries that do not involve any bone or internal organ and are therefore often dismissed as minor, though this is often not the case.
In the 1990s, the insurance industry (led by Allstate and State Farm) employed consultants to help maximize insurance company profits at the expense of injured people. They began delaying tactics that are still used today to deny claims involving soft tissue injuries, to delay paying claims based on soft tissue injuries, and to force injured people to sue and take a case through trial in order to recover for soft tissue injuries. In short, the insurance industry has led an all-out war against anyone who has suffered soft tissue injuries at the hands of one of their negligent drivers.
Common Causes & Types
Any number of activities or incidents can result in soft tissue injuries including falls and athletic activity injuries. However, the number one cause of soft tissue injury is automobile accidents. The severity of the soft tissue injury will vary depending on the force and magnitude of the crash. While soft tissue injuries can be very minor and fast healing bruising, they can also be severe resulting in permanent damage that will impact the way you can use your body and thus live your life.
A very common car accident soft tissue injury is something called whiplash which results from the stretching of the tendons, muscles and ligaments in the neck caused by the impact of the crash. The violent stretching of these elements of the neck will cause pain and limited mobility. While most sufferers from whiplash will recover in a period of about six weeks, it is not uncommon for people to report ongoing symptoms for the rest of their lives. It is also common to see stretched tendons in the back, knees and elbows following a car accident. The resulting injury might be called a sprain which occurs when ligaments are stretched to the point of injury or even a tear which is the rupture of soft tissue.
How Soft Tissue Injuries are Graded
Soft tissue injuries are graded based on their severity. Grade I injuries are relatively minor and will heal on their own. Typically only some of the fibers of the ligament are torn and the function of the joint will remain unaffected. Grade II injuries involve many torn ligament fibers and will result in some joint instability and may require medical intervention such as surgery to heal in the more severe cases. Grade III soft tissue injuries are the most severe and involve total tears of the tissue. They will generally require surgery and the sufferer will not be able to use the affected body part until it has healed.
Most soft tissue injuries will heal within a period of six weeks to three months. Unfortunately if pain persists past three months, the injury and accompanying pain may be considered chronic. There are many possible chronic symptoms of a soft tissue injury including numbness, pain, limited mobility, loss of function and reduced muscle function. Permanent disability, disfigurement and loss of bodily function may be caused by the loss of function to muscles that are no longer supported by the surrounding damaged soft tissue.
Severe soft tissue injuries can cost the sufferer in medical expenses including any emergency medical services provided at the time of the accident, as well as surgical and rehabilitation costs. In addition to medical costs, the injured party may have to spend time away from work and therefore also suffer damages in the form of lost wages.
If you have been in an accident resulting from someone else’s negligence, whether it be a reckless driver or the owner of a poorly maintained premises, you may have a claim against the other party for damages resulting from your injuries. Contact Aaron M. House at 816-875-4260 today for a free consultation. There is no fee until we obtain a settlement or judgment on your behalf.