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What is Soft Tissue Injury In a Car Accident?

Soft Tissue injury
New York City Personal Injury Lawyer I Greenberg & Stein, P.C.

Every year, numerous individuals in New York sustain injuries in car accidents, ranging from minor cuts and bruises to severe conditions like fractures and amputations. Among the most common injuries are soft tissue damage, often overlooked initially but potentially causing chronic pain and requiring extensive recovery, including surgery or physiotherapy. These injuries significantly impact daily life and may necessitate legal action to secure proper compensation for medical expenses. Acting swiftly after an accident is crucial, especially for soft tissue injuries that may not be immediately apparent. With the assistance of an experienced soft tissue injury lawyer, victims can effectively demonstrate the severity of their injuries and pursue the compensation they deserve.

What is a Soft Tissue Injury?

All injuries that affect muscles, ligament and tendons are considered to be soft tissue injuries.

  • Muscles pull our joints together, allowing us to move, walk, talk, chew, and perform other body functions. A torn muscle can make it difficult to carry out normal tasks and can be extremely painful.
  • Ligaments are tissues that connect two bones together, particularly in the joints, providing stability.
  • Tendons, on the other hand, connect our bones with our muscles. They allow us to move by transmitting the muscle’s contraction force.

Any injury to either of these tissues will obviously make it harder for us to move and execute numerous tasks that require physical effort.

Most Common Soft Tissue Injuries

Understanding the Types and Symptoms

There are many injuries that can be categorized as soft tissue injury. Nonetheless there are some more common than others, especially when it comes to car accidents. Here is a list of injuries that are very common:

  • Whiplash: In most rear-end collisions, the driver’s head moves violently back and forth. This movement can result in damage to muscles, ligaments, nerves, and spinal discs in the neck. The severity of the whiplash can vary, some may cause neck stiffness or sharp neck pain for several days or weeks. 
  • Contusion: This happens when a muscle receives an impact strong enough to crush the fibers and connective structures in a muscle, without piercing the skin. This results in bleeding and pain around the lesion. When drivers and passengers collide with the steering wheel or other automotive parts, contusions are common. Bruises are another name for contusions.
  • Sprains: These injuries typically occur when a ligament is overstretched, causing it to partially or totally tear. Ligaments hold bones together, so injuries to joints, such as the knees, wrists, and elbows, are common. Sprains induce swelling and pain in the afflicted joint. Depending on the degree of the sprain, it may be possible to recover by simply resting for a few days or weeks. Some sprains, however, may necessitate surgery.
  • Strains: These injuries closely resemble sprains but specifically affect the tendons. Tendons can be partially or totally ripped when stretched or twisted beyond their limitations. Muscles, ligaments, nerves, and spinal discs in the neck may sustain damage due to this movement. Pain, swelling, and muscle spasms are all symptoms of strains.
  • Tendinitis: Tendinitis is an inflammation or irritation of tendons. In this situation, individuals experience pain and tenderness just outside the joint. These injuries can affect any of your tendons, but they are most frequent in the areas of your shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and heels. Rest, physical therapy, and pain medication are typically effective in managing most cases of tendonitis. However, if tendonitis is severe and leads to a tendon rupture, surgery may be necessary.
  • Bursitis: Bursitis is a painful condition that occurs when small, fluid-filled sacs, called bursae become inflamed. Bursitis commonly affects the shoulder, elbow, and hip. Resting the injured joint and preventing it from further stress are common treatments. Bursitis discomfort usually goes away in a few weeks with correct treatment, although repeated bursitis flare-ups are common.
  • Herniated disk: Refers to an issue with one of the disks that sit between the various bones that make up your spine (vertebrae). A herniated disk might irritate a neighboring nerve if it occurs in any area of the spine. A herniated disk can cause discomfort, numbness, or weakness in an arm or leg, depending on where it is located.

What Are the Treatment Options for Soft Tissue Injuries?

Soft tissue injuries can take a long time to manifest, but once they do, they can be quite painful. Most soft tissue injuries are treated with the “R.I.C.E” approach, which is widely accepted. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation are the letters that make up this acronym. Nonetheless, a doctor will need to assess your injuries properly in order to determine the appropriate medical treatment. Some soft tissue injuries are serious enough to necessitate physical treatment, movement restriction, and surgery. 

Can You Claim Soft Tissue Damage?


Yes, you can file a soft tissue injury claim with either your own insurance company or the insurer of the responsible party. However, soft tissue injuries can be challenging to substantiate and compensate adequately. After an accident, it’s crucial to take immediate steps to protect your rights. Gather sufficient evidence, including photographs of the accident scene and your injuries, to demonstrate that the injury resulted from the collision. Seek prompt medical attention if you experience any new pain, as doctors can conduct tests to diagnose the extent of your injury. Medical records and test results are essential for building a strong case. Consulting with a personal injury attorney can expedite the gathering of evidence and improve your chances of obtaining fair compensation. Experienced lawyers can effectively negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve and protect you from their attempts to minimize payouts

New York’s Soft Tissue Injury Statute of Limitations

If you need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party, keep in mind that you only have a certain period of time to do so. You have three years from the date of the accident to initiate a lawsuit in New York State. Failure to complete this by the deadline will result in the dismissal of your case. Keep in mind that, while three years may seem like a long time, it is advisable to bring a lawsuit as soon as possible because it will strengthen your case and keep evidence and memories fresh.

Free Case Analysis

Suffering injuries as a result of an accident is both physically and mentally exhausting. Dealing with medical bills, car repairs, and lost wages can be stressful, necessitating adherence to the proper procedures to secure reimbursement from an insurance provider. If you ever find yourself in this situation, feel free to contact us. Our attorneys at Greenberg & Stein P.C. have assisted countless car accident victims in receiving the compensation they deserved. Call us at 212-969-8776 to schedule a free case consultation with a member of our legal team to review your case.