Financial Compensation for Soft Tissue Injuries
Involved in an accident and experiencing stiffness or soreness? Most likely you have sustained soft tissue injuries. Soft tissue injuries involve the muscles, tendons, nerves or ligaments- structures that connect, support and surround the bones. These injuries often are the result of car accidents, falls, sports accidents or on-the-job accidents, all of which our New York City personal injury attorneys are prepared to handle
Examples of soft tissue injuries include the following:
- Sprains – A stretch or tear of the ligaments
- Strains – A simple stretch in your muscle or tendon or a partial or complete tear in the muscle and tendon combination
- Contusions – A bruise caused by a blow to your muscle, tendon or ligament
- Tendonitis – Inflammation in response to an injury (swelling, heat, redness, pain)
- Stress injuries – When one of your bones is stressed by overuse, tiny breaks can occur
- Bursitis – A sac filled with fluid between a bone and a tendon or muscle (swelling/irritation)
- Whiplash – When the head or neck snaps backward after a sudden impact and the muscles are strained severely (leading to stiffness, spasms or ticks)
- Identifying Soft Tissue Injuries
Because soft tissue injuries are not visible like broken bones, how can you be certain that you were injured in this way? Symptoms of soft tissue injuries can include the following:
- Stiff or painful back/neck movements
- Joint dysfunction
- Chronic pain
- Herniated discs
While soft tissue injuries are normally concentrated around the spine, they can also affect the shoulders, knees, elbows and other body parts. If you have experienced any of the symptoms listed above, it is imperative that you seek out medical care immediately. Soft tissue injuries are often more painful and take longer to heal than broken bones. The longer you delay treatment, the more likely that your injury could develop into a more serious, painful and permanent condition.
Soft Tissue Injuries Sustained in NYC Can be Difficult to Prove
Unfortunately, you cannot “see” soft tissue injuries which can make these claims harder to defend. According to a CNN article, insurers play “hardball” when it comes to minor crash claims involving soft tissue injuries. CNN conducted an 18-month investigation into minor-impact-soft-tissue-injury crashes.
The study found that:
“Since the mid-1990s, most of the major insurance companies—led by the two largest, Allstate and State Farm—have adopted a tough take-it-or-leave-it strategy when dealing with such cases. The result has been billions in profits for insurance companies and little, if anything, for the public.”
As soft tissue injuries cannot be seen on an X-ray, they can be easy to fabricate which is why insurance companies are wary of soft tissue claims and tend to offer small settlements. If your soft tissue injury develops into a more serious injury, insurance companies will often try to argue that the injury existed before the accident. They will insist that if the vehicle was not damaged extensively, then the occupants could not have been injured extensively. Furthermore, while you may pay thousands of dollars of chiropractic bills, chiropractors are not viewed as credible as neurologists or orthopedic physicians.
Nonetheless, under New York’s no-fault auto insurance laws, certain types of whiplash do qualify as “serious injuries.” Statistics say that up to half of people who experience whiplash will continue to have pain months after their injury. Whiplash can cause hyperextension and hyperflexion of the neck and upper back which causes micro-trauma to the soft tissues. If you have not been able to work for at least 180 days due to neck or back pain, you could have a whiplash claim.
Low back pain, neck pain and arm pain are some of the most common causes of disabilities and handicaps in industrialized nations. According to statistics, between 50% to 80% of the population in industrialized nations will experience back pain during their lifetime. Occupational back pain is common and is either caused or exacerbated by work. Cases of back pain constitute the largest single category of lost-time claims to Workers’ Compensation Boards in North America (or approximately 30% of all lost time claims).
Likewise, often the neck or hand can experience repetitive strain injuries as a result of work (for example, carpal tunnel syndrome). If your company disregarded set-in-stone laws and overworked you or expected you to get a task done too quickly or a task beyond your powers to execute, you can hold it responsible for you injuries.
Fight for damages today!
Treatment for soft tissue injuries can include any of the following: physical therapy, oral pain relievers and muscle relaxants, chiropractics, immobilization of the neck with a soft cervical collar, massage, heat, ice, injection and ultrasound. Treatment for soft tissue injuries can sometimes require surgery or long stays in the hospital. If you choose to fight for damages, you could receive compensation for property damage, wage loss, medical expenses, permanent disability and so forth.
If you want to win your soft tissue injury claim, you need an attorney on your side that will go to great lengths to prepare an iron-tight case and that will invest the necessary resources. Because soft tissue claims are difficult to prove, you need a hard-hitting legal team on your side. Greenberg & Stein has over 50 years of combined legal experience representing personal injury victims and has successfully secured million dollar and hundred thousand dollar settlements for car accident victims, fall victims, and more!
Talk to Greenberg & Stein today to get the legal representation you deserve!